Egyptian

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Did you know Egyptians were one of the firsts in the world to play board games? They were also the first to forge peace treaties on record, use calendars, toothpaste, door locks and plow, invent eye-makeup, design world's first writing language (hieroglyphics), pop breath mints and shave and cut hair. That is right! Such was the ingenuity of the Egyptians. No wonder, in a land where greatness and accomplishment is measured by dynasties and deeds, its civilization stands revered as one of the most advanced civilizations of its times, and its countrymen, some of the most dexterous and avant-garde. From pharaohs and philosophers to singers and scientists and from architects and dentists to sculptors and physicians, Egypt has given the world some of the best exemplary men and women it has ever known. Let us explore the feats and deeds of some of world's most famous Egyptians through their timeline, trivia, and facts covered in the biographies here.
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 1 
Nefertiti
(Queen of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt)
Nefertiti
17
Birthdate: 1370 BC
Birthplace: Thebes, Egypt
Died: 1330 BC

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.

 2 
Hatshepsut
(Pharaoh (1479 -1458 BC))
Hatshepsut
20
Birthdate: 1507 AD
Birthplace: Ancient Egypt
Died: January 16, 1458

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.

 3 
Mohamed Salah
(Football player)
Mohamed Salah
125
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 15, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nagrig, Egypt

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."

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 4 
Tutankhamun
(Pharaoh (1332-1323 BC))
Tutankhamun
31
Birthdate: 1341 BC
Birthplace: Amarna
Died: 1323 BC

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.

 5 
Gamal Abdel Nasser
(Political Leader of Egypt)
Gamal Abdel Nasser
14
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 15, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bacos, Egypt
Died: September 28, 1970

Gamal Abdel Nasser was an Egyptian politician. He was the second president of Egypt, serving from 1954 to 1970. Before becoming the president, Nasser played a crucial role in the Egyptian revolution of 1952, in which he led a group of army to overthrow King Farouk. Nasser remains an iconic figure, not just in Egypt, but the entire Arab world.

 6 
Mena Massoud
17
Birthdate: September 17, 1991
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
 7 
Ramesses II
(Pharaoh (1279-1213 BC))
Ramesses II
15
Birthdate: 1303 BC
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 1213 BC

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.

 8 
Saladin
(Sultan of Egypt and Syria (1174 - 1193))
Saladin
14
Birthdate: 1138 AD
Birthplace: Tikrit, Iraq
Died: March 4, 1193
Named the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saladin founded the Ayyubid Dynasty. He abolished the Fatimid Caliphate and later defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin, thus taking control of Palestine. As the de facto Caliph of Islam, he controlled a vast area, including Egypt, Syria, and Yemen.
 9 
Moses
(Hebrew Religious Leader, Prophet)
Moses
18
Birthplace: Land of Goshen, Ancient 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.

 10 
Omar Sharif
14
Birthdate: April 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: July 10, 2015
Egyptian actor Omar Sharif shot to fame with the iconic film Lawrence of Arabia, which won him two Golden Globes and an Academy Award nomination. He is also remembered for his role in Doctor Zhivago. He was one of the world’s top 50 contract bridge players and spoke six languages.
 11 
Dodi Fayed
(Film producer, Romantic Partner of Princess Diana)
Dodi Fayed
23
Birthdate: April 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: August 31, 1997

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.

 12 
Akhenaten
(Pharoah of Egypt (1353-1336, 1351-1334 BC))
Akhenaten
6
Birthdate: 1372 BC
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 1335 BC
Akhenaten ruled Egypt in 14th century B.C. He is believed to be Tutankhamun’s father. Akhenaten’s monuments and statues were destroyed following his death, as his deviation from the traditional polytheistic Egyptian culture, to worshipping Aten, was rejected by people. His capital city and his mummy were later unearthed by researchers.
 13 
Anwar Sadat
(Former President of Egypt)
Anwar Sadat
7
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 25, 1918
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mit Abu al-Kum
Died: October 6, 1981
Anwar Sadat served as the president and prime minister of Egypt till his assassination in 1981. He was part of the Free Officers, a group that overthrew King Farouk. He became the first Muslim Nobel laureate, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.
 14 
Mohamed Al-Fayed
(Egyptian Businessman and Owner of 'Hôtel Ritz Paris')
Mohamed Al-Fayed
7
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: January 27, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: El-Gomorok, Alexandria

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.

 15 
Thutmose III
(Pharaoh (1479-1429 BC))
Thutmose III
8
Birthdate: 1481 BC
Birthplace: Ancient Egypt
Died: 1425 BC
The Napoleon of Egypt, Thutmose III is remembered for his ruthless expansion strategies. After co-ruling the kingdom with his regent stepmother, Hatshepsut, he enriched Egypt’s treasuries with the plunders from his raids as a pharaoh. He would often enter the battlefield on a chariot of gold, to intimidate his enemies.
 16 
Caesarion
(Pharaoh)
Caesarion
5
Birthdate: June 23, 0047
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: August 23, 0030

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.

 17 
Origen
(Theologian, Cleric, Writer, Translator, Philosopher)
Origen
3
Birthdate: 0185 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0253 AD

Origen was an early Christian ascetic, scholar, and theologian. Also a prolific writer, Origen wrote as many as 2,000 treatises, including biblical exegesis, textual criticism, biblical hermeneutics, spirituality, and homiletics. Origen is widely considered one of the most prominent Christian theologians, although his teachings on the existence of souls were vehemently rejected by the Church.

 18 
Hosni Mubarak
(Former President of Egypt)
Hosni Mubarak
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 4, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monufia Governorate
Died: February 25, 2025

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. 

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 19 
Joshua
(Ruler)
Joshua
1
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 1245 AD

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.

 20 
Narmer
(Egyptian King)
Narmer
3
Birthdate: 3150 BC
Birthplace: Thinis

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.

 21 
Seti I
(Pharaoh)
Seti I
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1323 BC
Birthplace: Avaris
Died: 1279 BC

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.

Catherine of Alexandria
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0287 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0305 AD

Catherine of Alexandria is a Christian saint who was martyred at the hands of the Roman Emperor Maxentius in the early 4th century. Catherine is generally credited with converting hundreds of people to Christianity. Over 1,100 years after her martyrdom, French warrior Joan of Arc claimed that Catherine was one of the saints to counsel her in her visions.

 23 
Ankhesenamun
(Ancient Egyptian Queen, Akhenaten's daughter)
Ankhesenamun
2
Birthdate: 1348 BC
Birthplace: TThebes, Egypt
Died: 1322 BC

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.

 24 
Umm Kulthum
(The Voice of Egypt)
Umm Kulthum
2
Birthdate: December 31, 1898
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: El-Senbellawein, Egypt
Died: February 3, 1975
 25 
Ashraf Marwan
(Egyptian billionaire who worked as a spy for the Israeli Mossad and deceived Israel in 1973 war.)
Ashraf Marwan
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: February 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Died: June 27, 2007

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.

 26 
Ahmed Zewail
(Chemist)
Ahmed Zewail
2
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: February 26, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Damanhour, Egypt
Died: August 2, 2016
 27 
Anthony the Great
2
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 12, 0251
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Herakleopolis Magna, Egypt
Died: January 17, 0356

Anthony the Great is revered as the patron saint of diseases for miraculously healing people of ailments such as ergot poisoning, which came to be known as St. Anthony's Fire. Known widely as the Father of Monasticism, he had spent 20 years in isolation in the Thebaid desert.

 28 
Faten Hamama
(Actress)
Faten Hamama
3
Birthdate: May 27, 1931
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mansoura, Egypt
Died: January 17, 2015

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.

 29 
Hagar
(Abraham’s concubine and the mother of his son Ishmael)
Hagar
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Egypt
A prominent Biblical figure, Hagar, also known as Agar, finds mention in the Old Testament. Known as the concubine of Abraham and the mother of his child, Ishmael, Hagar was an Egyptian slave bought to serve Abraham’s wife, Sarah. Sarah, being childless, allowed Hagar to conceive Abraham’s child.
 30 
Imhotep
4
Listed In: Architects
Birthplace: Memphis
 31 
Athanasius of Alexandria
(Patriarch of Alexandria)
Athanasius of Alexandria
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: May 2, 0373

Athanasius of Alexandria was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. A well-known Egyptian leader of the 4th century, Athanasius' career was shaped by his conflicts with Arius and successive Roman emperors. He is venerated as a saint and his feast day is observed on different days depending upon the various churches.

Fawzia Fuad of Egypt
4
Birthdate: November 5, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: July 2, 2013

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.

 33 
Aaron
(Prophet, High Priest)
Aaron
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1396 BC
Birthplace: Egypt
Died: 1273 BC
Aaron didn’t just establish the Israelite priesthood but also led the Israelites out of Egypt, along with his brother, Moses. He finds mention in the Bible, the Quran, and the Talmud. His role in the Exodus changes to being that of Moses’s assistant as the march out of Egypt progresses.
 34 
Amenhotep III
(Pharaoh)
Amenhotep III
1
Birthdate: 1411 BC
Birthplace: Ancient Egypt
Died: 1353 BC

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.

 35 
Ramesses I
(Pharaoh, Sovereign)
Ramesses I
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthplace: Avaris

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.

 36 
Andre Aciman
(Writer)
Andre Aciman
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: January 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
 37 
Naguib Mahfouz
(Novelist)
Naguib Mahfouz
4
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 11, 1911
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Died: August 30, 2006

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.

 38 
Zahi Hawass
(Egyptian archaeologist)
Zahi Hawass
1
Birthdate: May 28, 1947
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Damietta
 39 
Ramesses III
(Pharaoh)
Ramesses III
0
Birthdate: 1217 BC
Birthplace: Thebes, Egypt
Died: 1155 BC

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.

 40 
Magdi Yacoub
(Heart Surgeon)
Magdi Yacoub
12
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: November 16, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belbin, Ashraqya, Egypt

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.

Abdul Basit 'Abd us-Samad
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 1927 AD
Birthplace: Armant, Egypt
Died: 1988 AD
 42 
Nassef Sawiris
(entrepreneur, businessperson)
Nassef Sawiris
1
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: 1961 AD
Birthplace: Egypt

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.

 43 
Mohamed A. El-Erian
(Egyptian-American Economist and Former CEO of 'PIMCO')
Mohamed A. El-Erian
2
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: August 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

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.

 44 
Ay
(Pharaoh)
Ay
0
Birthplace: Akhmim, Egypt
Died: 1319 AD

Ay was the son of an Egyptian military officer and grew up to follow in his father’s footsteps. Following the death of Tutankhamen, Ay became the penultimate king of Egypt’s 18th dynasty. The Amarna Tomb, which was built to house his grave but didn’t, provides a lot of information on him.

 45 
Ahmose I
(Ruler)
Ahmose I
0
Birthplace: Thebes

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.

 46 
Sneferu
(Founding Pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt)
Sneferu
0
Birthplace: Ancient Egypt
Died: 2589 BC

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.

 47 
Cleopatra Selene II
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: 0040 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0005 AD

Ptolemaic princess Cleopatra Selene II, the only daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, was the Queen of Numidia and Mauretania through her marriage with King Juba II. Considered a leading royal lady of the early Augustan age, Selene had great influence in decisions made by the Mauretania government, particularly those related to trade and construction projects. 

 48 
Yusuf al-Qaradawi
(Theologian, Writer)
Yusuf al-Qaradawi
0
Birthdate: September 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saft Turab, Egypt
 49 
Fuad II of Egypt
(Former King of Egypt and the Sudan (1952 - 1953) and a Member of the Egyptian Muhammad Ali Dynasty)
Fuad II of Egypt
1
Birthdate: January 16, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt

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.

 50 
Mohamed Aboutrika
(Association football player)
Mohamed Aboutrika
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: November 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Giza

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.