The Great Nile River, Nahr Al-Nīl, the longest river, is the father of the African river, which rises south of the equator and flows north through northeast Africa, affiliating into the Mediterranean.
Its length includes an area of approximately 4,132 miles (6,650 km) and approximately 1,293,000 square miles (3,349,000 sq km).
Its basins include the cultivated parts of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. Kagera River of Burundi is the most distant source of the great Nile.
Origin of the word the Nile comes from the Greek Neilos, probably derived from the Semitic root Nahal, meaning a valley or river valley and, therefore, by an extension of meaning, a river.
The ancient Egyptians called this great river Ar or Aur River, which means black, indicating the color of the silt carried by the river during the flood.
The mud of this great river is black enough to give the bank its ancient famous name, Kem or Kemi, meaning “black” and darkness.
In the Odyssey, the epic poem by the great Greek poet Homer, Aigyptos is the name of the great Nile River (masculine) and Egypt (feminine) through which it flows.
In Sudan and Egypt, this great river is now called Al-Nil, Al-Bahr, and Bahr Al-Nil or Nahr Al-Nil. The Nile Basin, which inserts about one-tenth of the continent, served as a platform for the evolution and decay of advanced civilizations of the ancient world.
Ancient people settled on the riverbanks and first used agriculture and plowing. The soil of the Nile delta between El Qâhira (Cairo) and the Mediterranean is rich in nutrients.
The Nile left behind large sediments as it continuously flowed toward the sea. There is also rich soil along its vast plains along the banks of the Nile. It is the gift of the annual flood that accumulates silt.
From space, the difference is evident between the banks of the green river Nile and the barren desert through its flowing. For millennia, the people of Egypt have grown much of the food in the Nile delta region.
The ancient Egyptians developed irrigation systems to increase the amounts of available land for crops to support the large and progressing population. Beans, wheat, cotton, and flax were vital and plentiful crops that people could easily store and trade.
The Nile delta was an ideal growing position for papyrus plants. The ancient Egyptians used the papyrus tree in many ways, such as making cloth, boxes, and ropes, but its most important use was in making paper.
The early Egyptians used the river for bathing, drinking, recreation, and transportation by utilizing natural resources and doing business with others with the river.
Today, nearly 95 percent of Egyptians live within a few kilometers of the great Nile river. The canals bring water from the great Nile River to support cities and irrigate farms. The Nile is a great supporter of agriculture and fishing.
Today, some residents of El Cairo (Cairo) have started using private speedboats, water taxis, or ferries to avoid overcrowded roads. Dams, such as the Aswan High Dam in Egypt, are designed to control the river and supply a source of hydropower.
However, silt that used to flow north, enriching the soil and creating delta islands, is now being developed behind the Aswan High Dam. In addition, regular annual floods no longer happen in some parts of the great Nile.
There was a high necessity for floods to flush and clean water and dirty waste of humans. As a result, water is becoming more polluted gradually. The great Nile continues to be an important trade route, connecting Africa with markets in Europe and other parts of the world.