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Cairo

Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt. The city's metropolitan area is the largest in the Middle East and the Arab world, and the 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 CE by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a center of the region's political and cultural life, and is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC.

Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab world, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University. Many international media, businesses, and organizations have regional headquarters in the city; the Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence.

With a population of 6.76 million spread over 453 square kilometers (175 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. An additional 9.5 million inhabitants live in close proximity to the city. Cairo, like many other mega-cities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic. Cairo's metro, one of two in Africa (the other being in Algiers, Algeria), ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world,  with over 1 billion annual passenger rides. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, 

Initial settlements

The area around present-day Cairo, especially Memphis, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta. However, the origins of the modern city are generally traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium. Around the turn of the 4th century, as Memphis was continuing to decline in importance, the Romans established a fortress town along the east bank of the Nile. This fortress, known as Babylon, remained the nucleus of the Roman, and, later, the Byzantine, city and is the oldest structure in the city today. It is also situated at the nucleus of the Coptic Orthodox community, which separated from the Roman and Byzantine churches in the late 4th century. Many of Cairo's oldest Coptic churches, including the Hanging Church, are located along the fortress walls in a section of the city known as Coptic Cairo.

Following the Muslim conquest in 640 AD the conqueror Amr ibn As settled to the north of the Babylon in an area that became known as al-Fustat. Originally a tented camp (Fustat signifies "City of Tents") Fustat became a permanent settlement and the first capital of Islamic Egypt.

In 750, following the overthrow of the Ummayad caliphate by the Abbasids, the new rulers created their own settlement to the northeast of Fustat which became their capital. This was known as al-Askar (the city of sections, or cantonments) as it was laid out like a military camp.

A rebellion in 869 by Ahmad ibn Tulun led to the abandonment of Al Askar and the building of another settlement, which became the seat of government. This was al-Qatta'i ("the Quarters"), to the north of Fustat and closer to the river. Al Qatta'i was centred around a palace and ceremonial mosque, now known as the Mosque of ibn Tulun.

In 905 the Abbasids re-asserted control of the country and their governor returned to Fustat, razing al-Qatta'i to the ground.

Climate:

In Cairo, and along the Nile River Valley, the climate is a hot desert climate (BWh according to the Köppen climate classification system, but often with high humidity as it is not very far from the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile Delta. Wind storms can be frequent, bringing Saharan dust into the city, sometimes from March to May (see Khamasin) and the air often becomes uncomfortably dry. High temperatures in winter range from 14 to 22 °C (57 to 72 °F), while night-time lows drop to below 11 °C (52 °F), often to 5 °C (41 °F). In summer, the highs rarely surpass 40 °C (104 °F), and lows drop to about 20 °C (68 °F). Rainfall is sparse and only happens in the colder months, but sudden showers do cause harsh flooding. Snowfall is extremely rare; a small amount of graupel, widely believed to be snow, fell on Cairo's easternmost suburbs on 13 December 2013, the first time Cairo's area received this kind of precipitation in many decades.Dewpoints in the hottest months range from 13.9 °C (57 °F) in June to 18.3 °C (65 °F) in August.

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