The Nile River


May 25, 2022

The Nile (in English: Nile, Coptic: ⲫⲓⲁⲣⲟ, Luganda: Kiira, Nubian: Áman Dawū) is a historical river that flows in northeastern Africa, and is the longest river in the African continent and the longest river in the world, although there is a dispute that stems from some research indicating that The Amazon River is a little longer. The length of the Nile River is about 6,650 km (4,130 mi), and its watershed covers eleven countries called the Nile Basin countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, the Republic of Sudan and Egypt. The Nile River is the main source of water in Egypt and Sudan in particular, Egypt depends on the Nile to obtain about 97% of its irrigation and drinking water. The Nile River has two main tributaries: the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The White Nile is the source of the Nile itself or the farthest source, while the Blue Nile is the source of most of the water in the river, as it contains 68% of water and silt. The White Nile is longer than the Blue Nile and originates in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, while the outermost tributary of the White Nile is still not precisely known. It is located either in Rwanda or Burundi. The White Nile flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and southern Sudan, and the Blue Nile originates in Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeast. The White and Blue Rivers meet north of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. The Nile flows through the Sudanese desert into Egypt towards the north and passes through the city of Cairo located on the great river delta (the Nile Delta), then the river crosses the cities of Damietta and Rashid and finally drains into the Mediterranean Sea. Today, most of the inhabitants of the cities of Egypt live along those parts, starting from the Nile Valley, north of Aswan. The Nile River has a long history, as one of the oldest civilizations in the world arose on its banks, the civilization of the Pharaohs, which dates back more than 5,000 years. This civilization (in addition to the Sudanese kingdoms) relied on the river since ancient times, when agriculture was the main activity that distinguished it, especially in Sudan and Egypt. Therefore, the Nile flood constituted a great importance in ancient Egyptian and Nubian life as well. For the pharaohs, the flood was associated with semi-sacred rituals, and they used to hold celebrations for the fulfillment of the Nile to rejoice in the flood. They also recorded these celebrations in the form of inscriptions on the walls of their temples and tombs and on the pyramids to show the extent of their reverence for the flood. In the Islamic era, the rulers also took an interest in the flood, and designed the “nilometer” to measure the water.