A queen of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. She and her husband reigned during a period marked by great prosperity in Ancient Egyptian history. Some scholars even claim that she reigned independently for some time following her husband’s death though this claim is a matter of debate.
Hatshepsut, daughter of Thutmose I, ruled as the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt and was the second female pharaoh, according to records. She was the chief wife of Thutmose II, and ruled jointly with Thutmose III, Thutmose II’s son. She also named herself God's Wife of Amun.
Egyptian professional footballer Mohamed Salah is considered one of the best players in the world. Known for his finishing, dribbling, and speed, he plays for the Premier League club Liverpool and the Egyptian national team. He has been named the CAF African Footballer of the Year twice. His fans and the press have nicknamed him "The Pharaoh."
Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh who ruled between 1334 and 1325 BC. He is one of the most studied ancient Egyptian pharaohs, thanks to his well-preserved tomb. Although he was not a popular ruler, the global exhibitions of artifacts associated with him have made Tutankhamun the most renowned pharaoh in the modern world.
Ramesses II, son of Seti I, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty. Also known as the “Great Ancestor,” he is remembered for his aggressive military expeditions to Nubia and Canaan. The second longest-reigning ruler of Egypt, he is credited for building monuments and cities such as the Pi-Ramesses.
Mohamed Al-Fayed is a businessman whose son Dodi Fayed's death in a car crash alongside Diana, Princess of Wales became international news. Apart from being one of the richest businessmen in the world, Al-Fayed is also a humanitarian. In 1987, he established the Al Fayed Charitable Foundation, which aims at helping children living in poverty and children with life-limiting conditions.
Caesarion reigned as the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt from September 44 BC to August 30 BC. He was Julius Caesar's only known biological son and his mother Cleopatra ruled over ancient Egypt along with him. Caesarion's death at the age of 17 marked the beginning of the famous Roman Empire and the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt.
Hebrew leader Joshua led the Israelite tribes after Moses’s death. He finds mention in the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament. He played a major role in conquering Canaan after the Exodus. Apart from Christianity, Joshua is also significant in Islam and Islamic literature.
The son of Ramesses I, Seti I was an Egyptian king of the 19th dynasty. Known for his glorious reign, as opposed to his father’s short 2-year rule, he fought wars in Palestine and Syria. He also built temples, mines, and wells, and completed the hypostyle hall at Karnak.
While many historians believe Narmer of the First Dynastic Period was the first Egyptian king who brought about peace in the region, some scholars later claimed Narmer was the same as Menes. The Narmer Palette is one of the most significant relics that describe Narmer’s heroics through hieroglyphics.
Dodi Fayed was an Egyptian movie producer who died in a car crash in 1997 alongside his romantic partner Diana, Princess of Wales. The car crash became international news and Fayed is often referred to as Diana's eternal love. Fayed's billionaire father, Mohamed Al-Fayed, erected two memorials, including a 3-metre high bronze statue, to Diana and his son at Harrods.
Ankhesenamun was an Egyptian queen and wife of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Unlike other ancient Egyptian queens, Ankhesenamun's life, especially her youth, is well-documented in the ancient paintings and reliefs of the reign of her parents. As the Great Royal Wife of Tutankhamun, Ankhesenamun may have played an important role in his administration.
Faten Hamama was an Egyptian actress and film producer. Regarded as an icon in Middle Eastern and Egyptian cinema, Hamama played an important role in popularizing the film industry in Egypt. She is also remembered for stressing the importance of women in the film industry and Egyptian society at large. In 1965, she was awarded the Decoration of the Republic.
Often compared to actor Hedy Lamarr, for her beauty, Fawzia Fuad, the daughter of Fuad I, was an Egyptian princess who later became the empress of Iran, as Mohammad Reza Shah’s first wife. An unhappy marriage led to her divorce, following which she married diplomat Ismail Chirine.
Egyptian military and political leader Hosni Mubarak served as the fourth president of Egypt from 1981 to 2011. An Egyptian Air Force officer prior to entering politics, he assumed office as the president after the incumbent Anwar Sadat's assassination in 1981. After 30 years, he had to step down from the presidency during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.
Ashraf Marwan was an Egyptian billionaire businessman and diplomat. He is best remembered for his work as a spy for Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency. In 2002, it was revealed that Ashraf Marwan had been working for Egyptian Intelligence and that he may have misled Mossad with wrong information in the years leading up to the Yom Kippur War.
Cambyses II was the second King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire. He ruled from 530 BC to 522 BC. He was the son of Cyrus the Great and Cassandane. Before claiming the throne, he served as the governor of northern Babylonia under his father. His reign was relatively brief and marked by his conquests in Africa, notably Egypt.
A prominent prophet in Islam, Christianity, and the Baháʼí Faith among other Abrahamic religions, Moses is also the most important prophet in Judaism. One of the most important biblical characters, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments are fundamental to both Christianity and Judaism. The authorship of the Torah is also attributed to Moses.
Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz had previously worked in the Egyptian civil service. Initially a short story writer, he later wrote novels such as Al-Thulāthiyyah, or The Cairo Trilogy. His novel Children of the Alley was banned for its religious references and led him to be stabbed by Islamists.
Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses I was the founder of the 19th dynasty but had a brief reign. His mummy was stolen from Egypt by looters and transported through Turkish agents to the US and eventually ended up in a Canadian museum. Years later, it was returned to Egypt and displayed at Luxor Museum.
The son of Setnakhte, the founder of the 20th dynasty in Egypt, Ramesses III, or the warrior Pharaoh, had a long reign that was marked by peace and his successful defense against foreign invasions. Studies suggest he was assassinated in a coup led by one of his wives.
Magdi Yacoub is a retired professor who worked at Imperial College London. He is best known for his work in repairing heart valves, a procedure which came to be known as the Ross-Yacoub procedure. In 1983, he performed the United Kingdom's first combined lung and heart transplant. Also a humanitarian, Yacoub co-founded the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation in 2008.
Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria was perhaps the first to use allegory to fuse Jewish scriptures with Greek philosophy. Though not much is known about his life, it is believed Philo was a lover of theater, boxing contests, and lavish dinners. His written works showcase the development of Hellenistic Judaism.
One of the wealthiest businessmen from Egypt, Nassef Sawiris has helmed Orascom Construction Industries as its CEO. The youngest son of construction magnate Onsi Sawiris, he became the richest Arab in 2021. He was also 4th on the Forbes list of Africa's Billionaires in 2022.
Amenhotep III reigned as the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the early and mid-14th century BC. Nicknamed Amenhotep the Magnificent, Amenhotep III's reign witnessed Egypt reach the height of its international and artistic power. Under his reign, Egypt also enjoyed unprecedented splendor and prosperity.
Sneferu reigned as a pharaoh during the Old Kingdom. The founding pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt, Sneferu is credited with introducing important innovations in the construction and design of the Egyptian pyramids. At least three pyramids, which were built during his time, have survived to this day.
The last king of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, Horemheb is best remembered for reviving the Amon religion, which was suppressed by Akhenaton. He headed an army under Tutankhamen and succeeded Ay as the ruler. He dismantled temples of god Aton and rebuilt statues of god Amon.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi was an Egyptian scholar based in Qatar. An important influencer in the Muslim world, Al-Qaradawi is best remembered for his program, Sharia and Life. In addition to authoring over 120 books, Yusuf al-Qaradawi also helped found a website known as IslamOnline. Al-Qaradawi is often counted among the most influential Islamic scholars of his generation.
Mohamed Aboutrika is an Egyptian former footballer who helped his national team win the 2006 African Cup of Nations. In the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, he played a key role in Egypt's success by scoring the winning goal in the finals. A controversial figure, Aboutrika's association with the Muslim Brotherhood has earned him a place in a terror list.
The son of pharaoh Ptolemy XII, Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator co-ruled with his sister, Cleopatra VII. Faced with a civil war after he forced his sister to flee to Syria, he later ruled with Arsinoe IV, another sister. He was killed while battling Julius Caesar’s forces in the Alexandrian War.
Ahmose I was an Egyptian pharaoh credited with founding the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Identified as the New Kingdom of Egypt's first dynasty, Ahmose's Eighteenth Dynasty marked the beginning of an era, during which ancient Egypt achieved the height of its power. Ahmose started construction projects which culminated in the erection of the last pyramid constructed by native Egyptian rulers.
The son of king Farouk I of Egypt, Fuad II became a king at age 6 months, following his father’s abdication. He ruled for less than a year and was exiled soon after. He grew up in Switzerland and France and was given back his Egyptian citizenship years later.
Born to Egyptian parents in New York, Mohamed A. El-Erian grew up in the U.S., Egypt, and France, with his diplomat father. Educated at Cambridge and Oxford, he later served as the CEO of PIMCO. Apart from being a Bloomberg columnist, he has also written bestsellers such as When Markets Collide.
Being an illegitimate son of Ptolemy IX, Ptolemy XII Auletes apparently bribed Julius Caesar, in exchange for a law acknowledging his kingship in Egypt. He was later exiled, but came back to Egypt and killed his daughter, Berenice IV, who ruled in his absence and with the support of the opposition.
Born to Cyrus the Great of Persia, Bardiya was also known as Tanyoxarces. Though most sources believe he was the king of Persia, some sources claim an impersonator ruled Persia, pretending to be the real son of Cyrus. Both historian Herodotus and king Darius believed the impersonator was Gaumata, a magus.
Fuad I of Egypt was the Sultan of Egypt who ruled as the ninth ruler of Sudan and Egypt from the Muhammad Ali dynasty. Fuad played an important role in modern Egyptian historiography. His efforts to depict his ancestors as benevolent monarchs and nationalists would prove to be a long-lasting influence on Egyptian history.