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"Copt" can be taken to mean "Egyptian" in general, but now commonly means an Egyptian Christian, technically one belonging to the majority Coptic Church. This name is older than the Muslim conquest, but is attested to in the Koran.
It can refer to either the whole country or the capital city.
The highest point is Mount Catherine in the Sinai, at 8,743 feet (2,665 meters). Rainfall is not adequate to sustain agriculture or a settled population, and water instead comes from the Nile.
The Nile rises far to the south of Egypt, in Ethiopia and in the drainage basin of Lake Victoria.
Before the construction of dams and barrages, floodwaters would spill out of the river's banks and, channeled by sluices and dikes, cover most of the agricultural land.
Egyptians then practiced a form of recession agriculture, planting winter crops in the mud left behind by the receding river.
Most of the Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, the historic church of Egypt, but minorities within the minority are Catholic or Protestant, or derive from the churches of the Levant (Maronite, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic).
This culminated in the construction of the Aswān High Dam, completed in 1971 but which first held back the floodwaters in 1964.
Another urban enclave was the Jews, now largely emigrated, who spoke either Arabic or various European languages.
The urban minorities were much larger before the middle of the twentieth century. Egypt has an area of 385,229 square miles (1,001,000 square kilometers).
They represent less than 1 percent of Egypt's population, and are concentrated around Aswan.
Other linguistic minorities include a few thousand Berber speakers in Siwa oasis, the easternmost outpost of Berber speech, and the small population of Beja (Ababda and Bisharin) in the eastern desert east of Aswan. There are also urban linguistic enclaves of Armenians, Greeks, Italians, and others.