This compendium is designed to facilitate easy access to information of a comprehensive nature on the resources, economy, and external characteristics of the population of Egypt, together with the necessary background material. Not exhaustive on any subject, it represents an attempt to gather together, within the confines of a single volume, general information about a country for which little up-to-date material of a trustworthy nature is available.
The subject matter of the compendium can conveniently be divided into three parts. Part I (chapters 1 to 3) provides an historical and geographical introduction of Egypt and a description of the population today. Part II (chapter 4 through 7) deals with land and livelihood, the traditional economy of the country. Part III (chapters 8 through 12) deals with Egypt as a modern industrial and strategic power.
The volume was written jointly by Dr. Mohammed Bahy Hefny, Lecturer in Geography at Fouad I University (now Cairo University) and Raye R. Platt, Research Associate at the American Geographical Society and Editor-in-Chief of the Handbook Series. Dr. Hefny was responsible for the major part of the research on which the volume is based, the preliminary draft of most of the chapters, and the planning of the maps. Dr. John K. Wright, former Director of the Society, prepared the chapter on History, and Dr. David Lowenthal, Research Associate at the Society, the chapter on Egypt and the World. The cartographic illustrations were drafted by Lee Hunt and Victor B. Harris, Jr. of the Society's special cartographic staff. Miss Marion Hale, formerly of the staff of the Society, and Mrs. Marguerite Gardner typed the manuscript; the latter and Miss Rhoda L. Heinecke, both of the Society's staff, copy-read the final draft.
The Society wishes to express its thanks to the Embassy of Egypt, in Washington, and the Consulate General of Egypt and the Egyptian State Tourist Office, in New York, for generous assistance in obtaining source material; to the Societe Misr de Filature et de Tissage Fin en Coton Egyptienne at Kafr + ̇-El Dawar and the Societe Anonyme Egyptienne de Chaussures "Bata," at Alexandria, for supplying information on various phases of the Egyptian manufacturing industry; to the office of Al Ahram, Egypt's leading newspaper; and to Mr. Claude Boillot, of the New York office of the Suez Canal Company, for critical reading of an earlier draft of the chapter on the Canal.
A wide variety of sources has gone into the preparation of this compendium on Egypt. Statistical material on population growth and trends, the occupational structure of the population, land ownership and tenure, agricultural and industrial production, inland transport and communications, local and foreign trade, and economic and social conditions up to the revolution of 1952 was taken from the published reports of the decennial censuses (1897 to 1947), the triennial censuses of industrial production . . .