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The delta of the Nile produces most of the world's long-staple cotton.

While short-line

railways are now being used extensively to carry the crop from the fields to central assembly points, much of it is still transported on camel back.

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Egypt ranks third among the countries of the world as a cotton-producer. The soil and climate of the Nile Valley cause the farmer little worry, but, like the Pharaoh of Bible fame, he is scourged by an insect pest, the pink bollworm (see text, page 292). The building in the background is a cotton ginnery.



Photograph by Gaddis and Seif

From time immemorial the prosperity of Egypt has depended upon the swollen flood that comes down the Blue Nile and inundates the narrow
valley lying between the Libyan and the Arabian deserts. Here, at Luxor, the water almost laps the ruins of the Ramesseum and completely surrounds
the Colossi of Memnon, which may be seen in midstream to the right (see, also, illustration on opposite page). The Ramesseum was the palace of
Rameses II and in its time was one of the most gorgeous and extensive of human habitations. Across the river is a flourishing field of sugar cane.

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For more than 3,000 years these great sandstone images of King Amenhotep III have gazed tranquilly over the Nile Valley. Once part of a huge and richly decorated temple built by this king to commemorate his triumphs in Asia, where he extended Egypt's power beyond the Euphrates, they now stand quite alone, rising 65 feet above the ground and measuring 20 feet across the shoulders. The misnomer "Colossi of Memnon" probably the misreading by the Greeks of the names of Amenhotep III. Note the statues of the king's wife and mother at either side


Donald McLeish


More transactions are effected in Egypt while sitting in cafés than in offices. Here business is combined with the pleasure of drinking thick, inky coffee, and smoking the water pipe.

From time immemorial, however, the prosperity of the country has depended upon the swollen flood that overflows the banks of the river and for weeks inundates the surrounding region. This blessed overflow is the result of other Nile sources, which are something of a variable.

The Blue Nile and the River Atbara find their catchment basins in the highlands of Abyssinia. Late in the summer this region is drenched with torrential rains, caused by the mountain interception of equatorial winds which draw across the heart of Africa from the Atlantic. Then the Blue Nile and the Atbara rise some 25 to 30 feet above their ordinary levels, and some weeks later these freshet

waters appear in Egypt as the annual inundation of the Nile (see, also, text, page 277).

This so-called "red water" from the Abyssinian highlands not only supplies. moisture, but also fertility to the soils of agricultural Egypt.

There are soils in Egypt which have been cropped continuously for six thousand years and have maintained their fertility without the application of artificial manures. The modern Egyptian farmer, however, is making a shift to maintain soil fertility by growing berseem, a species of clover, which is not only a good forage plant, but which restores atmospheric nitrogen to the soil.


It is worth noting in passing that the Nile is longer than either the Amazon or Mississippi. To ascend from mouth to source requires a journey equal to the distance from Cobh to Halifax. Further, the Nile is the only great river in the world that for more than one thousand miles has no tributaries. The volume of the river at Berber is considerably greater than at Cairo, some 1,300 miles downstream. In this long journey, both earth and air exact toll from the water without yielding the slightest compensation in the form of rain or tributary streams.


So much for Nature's uniformities in the scheme of Egyptian agriculture. On the human side it is interesting to inquire about the atoms that swarm over the earth's surface in the Nile Valley and how they accomplish their work

Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams


The veil which hides this Bedouin woman's face probably constitutes a good part of her family's wealth, as it is made of silver coins. Throughout the land of Egypt, jewelry represents to the native woman the ultimate power of applied wealth, and the wearing of it affords the greatest pleasure in her drab life (see text, page 295). The bag on the woman's head contains cornstalks, to be dried for fuel.

of extracting a living from the soil. One hundred years ago the population of Egypt was slightly less than 2,500,000. It had risen forty years ago to 6,800,000. Since then the population has doubled.

The pressure of this rapidly expanding population upon the limited agricultural area is the most important factor in the economy of modern Egypt. The process of land subdivision is accelerated by Mohammedan law and custom, under which no man may devise real estate to any one of his children to the exclusion of the

others. For practical purposes, every Mohammedan dies intestate, since no man can dispose of his estate except on the basis of equal distribution to his children. As a consequence of all this, the land is minutely subdivided.

Whereas twenty acres and a mule represented the unit of cotton production in our Southern States, two acres without the mule is a fair average to a family of Egyptian cotton growers. About three and one-half acres represent the average Egyptian farm. Practically all the work

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