Most Egyptians are descended from the indigenous pre-Muslim population (the ancient Egyptians) and the Arabs, who conquered the area in the 7th century AD. Elements of other conquering peoples (Greeks, Romans, Turks) are also present, especin Lower Egypt. Themixture has given the inhabitants of the Nile Valley physical characteristics that set them apart from the other Mediterranean peoples of the region. The Nubians, an indigenous people, are an important minority group in Egypt. The Nubians lived in villages along the Nile in southern Egypt and northern Sudan for thousands of years. However, the formation of Lake Nasser inundated many of these villages. The proportion of the population living in rural areas is decreasing as people move to the cities seeking employment and a higher standard of living. About 45 percent of the Egyptian population lives in urban areas. Some nomadic and seminomadic herders, mostly Bedouins, continue to live in the desert regions.
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