Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

According to abbreviationfinder, Cairo (in Arabic, القاهرة Al-Qāhira “the strong”, “the victorious”) is the capital of Egypt. It is the largest city in the Arab world and in Africa. To the southwest is the city of Giza and the ancient necropolis of Memphis, with the Giza plateau and its monumental pyramids, such as the Great Pyramid. To the south is the place where the ancient city of Memphis was built.

The city was founded in 116 BC, in what is now known as Old Cairo, when the Romans rebuilt an ancient Persian fortress along the Nile River. Before its founding, Memphis or other cities were the capital of the pharaonic empire. The current name is due to the Fatimids, who baptized the city with the name of Al-Qahira. After various invasions such as that of the Mamluks, Ottomans, Napoleon and the British, Cairo became the sovereign capital in 1952. See population of Egypt.


Cairo, Al-Qahira (القاهرة), was founded by the Fatimid Yawhar al-Qaid, in 972, north of the palaces and encompassing al-Askar and Al-Qatta’i, and there the Al Mosque was built -Azhar, the first university in history. This city became the urban center over the years, although at the beginning of the Fatimid Caliphate Al-Fustat remained the capital.

In 1176 the Sultan Saladin (Salah al-Din) built The Citadel to fortify the city, expanding it and replacing the old walls with stone ones. The Citadel separates the old city from the new one created by Ismael Pasha.

The city grew to the west and south, with the Citadel as the administrative center. The construction of palaces and mosques attracted large numbers of artisans and merchants, making Cairo a prosperous city with hundreds of mosques, madrasas, public baths and other buildings, as well as a large number of fountains. In 1382 the Mamluk emir Djaharks El-Jalili built a caravanserai that bore his name and which became an important economic center.

The Mamluks reigned in it from May 2, 1250, and drove out Mongols and Crusaders. In his time, Cairo suffered a plague epidemic in 1348, and business between Egypt and Europe promoted by Vasco de Gama paralyzed the growth of the city and brought the decline of Al-Fustat as a port, diverting trade to the ports of the Mediterranean.

In 1517 the Ottomans occupied Egypt and held it until 1798, but a certain autonomy was maintained: Al-Qahira became an international center for the coffee trade, and the Al-Azhar university was the intellectual benchmark of the Islamic world.

After the brief passage of Napoleon, Mehmet Ali (1805-49) industrialized the city: in 1816 the first textile factory was built in Cairo, and in 1831 a paper factory; it also modernizes infrastructures, building the Mahmudiyya canal that connects Cairo with Alexandria. In 1854 the Alexandria – Cairo railway was inaugurated.

The Jedi Ismail Pasha (1863-79) undertook a total urban redevelopment: he drew up an orthogonal urban plan, cleaned up the marshy areas and built new residential neighborhoods along the Nile; coinciding with the inauguration of the Suez Canal, it opened the doors of new buildings such as the Al-Qubba Palace and the Opera House, with which the old Al-Qahira became a city of people with few economic resources since the elite settled in the new city. Between 1882 and 1937 the population grew by 250%, mainly due to the rural exodus.

During British rule, the modernization of the city continued, for example with the installation of the telegraph in 1903 and the extension of the railway to the south.

The independence proclaimed in 1922 made Cairo the capital of Egypt, which was the headquarters of the British command during World War II ; Between 1958 and 1961 it was the capital of the United Arab Republic and is also the headquarters of the League of Arab States.

International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, 1994


It is found on the banks and islands of the Nile River, south of the delta (30 ° 3′0 ″ N 31 ° 15′40 ″ E). To the southwest is the city of Giza and the ancient necropolis of Memphis, with the Giza plateau and its monumental pyramids, such as the Great Pyramid. To the south is the place where the ancient city of Memphis was built.


Its temperature, that is, its climate is Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters. The mildest season covers the months of November to March, and average temperatures range between 23-24 ° C during the day. It is important to specify the part of the day because in Egypt, day and night temperatures suffer great contrasts. Cairo suffers from very hot temperatures, reaching average records of 35-36 ° C during the day, which drop to 21-22 ° C at night.


Cairo One fifth of Egypt’s total population resides in its metropolitan area, so most of the national trade is generated or passed through there. This has led to rapid growth: one in ten buildings is less than fifteen years old. Roads, electricity, telephone and sewage quickly became too small. Various analysts who studied the changes called this process hyper-urbanization.

Political organization

Cairo is the political, economic and cultural center of Egypt and the Middle East. It is the seat of the Egyptian government, the Parliament (Majlis al-Sha’b), all central state and religious bodies and numerous diplomatic representations.

Social development


The most important is the Egyptian Museum, located in Tahrir Square and which houses the world’s largest collection of objects from ancient Egypt. It is currently considering its transfer to a larger building, erected in the Giza area.

In this center, the Cairo Opera House stands out, inaugurated in 1988 by President Hosni Mubarak and which hosted a concert by the Royal London Philharmonic Orchestra in January 2007 in his first performance in the Middle East and Africa. Classical music is usually the predominant one in the Opera of the city, although it is also easy to enjoy Arabic classical music, although it is widely disseminated at the Institute of Arabic Music, located on Ramsis Street. A must for music in the city is the Arab Music Festival, which is held at the beginning of November at the Cairo Opera House. In this cultural complex there are six other theaters and auditoriums. The current Opera replaced the Khedivial Opera, or also known as the Royal Opera, a building that was erected in 1869 and remained active until 1971.

Cairo, formerly known as the Hollywood of the East, lost its status as the film capital of the East to Hindu Bollywood. The vast majority of Cairo cinemas are home to Hollywood blockbusters with Arabic subtitles. Local productions also enjoy success in the population of Cairo. These films are usually shot in the big studios located in Misr or Al-Ahram, both very close to the pyramids of Giza.

Egyptian Museum

The great Egyptian Museum in Cairo contains the largest collection in the world on Ancient Egypt, with more than 120,000 objects. Its history begins in 1798, due to the expectation raised in Europe by Napoleon’s expedition: during the 19th century, agents of the European consuls, such as Drovetti or Belzoni, searched for and removed all kinds of relics from the country, until in 1835 the Egyptian Antiquities Service to protect monuments and treasures from looting.

The ground floor has works by the best known Egyptian artists, among others are represented:

  • Mohamed Owais, with his work Portrait of an unemployed person, made in 1989 when unemployment was one of the biggest problems in the country.
  • Mohamed Sabry, with his representation of the Bab Zuweila Gate.15
  • Gazebya Serry, with Bastet, an abstract portrait of the goddess.
  • Ingy Aflaton, with Maternity.
  • Zakana El Zieny, with Hunber, the image of a hungry man looking at a can of food and many others.


The mission of the Keops Pyramid was to house the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Cheops and it is estimated that about 2.5 million limestone blocks were used for its construction. Somewhat further from the neighboring pyramids of the queens are the two great pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure. In its origins, the Mamluks made their public executions here, but from the 19th century the place was chosen by Saint Mitwalli for the performance of his miracles.

Today, the population and tourists nail a lock of hair or a piece of their clothes to the door in order to see their prayers fulfilled. Also in Islamic Cairo is Bayn al-Qasryn, which was the main public square of the city in the Middle Ages. In it, several Mamluk palaces are erected, highlighting the Mausoleum and Madrasa of Qalaun, whose origin dates back to 1279.


Soccer is the most popular sport among the people of Cairo. The city is home to the two giants of Egyptian football, Zamalek and Al-Ahly, between them they add 11 titles from the African Champions League record with one more winged Al-Ahly over the other team. Both play at home at the Cairo International Stadium, located in the suburb of Nasr City, remodeled in 2005. and with capacity for 75,000 spectators. It is one of the largest and most modern stadiums in Africa, also hosting the Egyptian national team. Most of the governing bodies of Egyptian and African football are based in or around Cairo. The Egyptian Football Association is one of the most important federations based in the capital after the departure of the African Football Confederation, which recently moved to the City of October 6, a small town on the outskirts of Cairo.

Historic Cairo. World Heritage

The Historic Cairo, hidden amid the modern urban area of Cairo, is one of the oldest Islamic cities of the world, with its famous mosques, madrasas, hammams and fountains. The old town was included on the List of World Heritage of UNESCO in the year 1979.

Cairo, Egypt