Cairo (Arabic: القاهرة transliteration: Al-Qāhirah), which means "the Victorious" or "the Triumphant", is the capital and largest city of Egypt. It is the Arab World and Africa's most populous city. While Al-Qahirah is the official name of the city, in Egyptian Arabic it is called by the dialect's name for the country, transliteration: Masr. Within Egypt, residents of Cairo are called Masraweya rather than Masri.
Cairo was founded by the Fatimid caliphs as a royal enclosure. It replaced Fustat as the seat of the government. It later came under the Mamluks, was ruled by the Ottomans 1517 to 1798, and briefly occupied by Napoleon. Muhammad Ali of Egypt made Cairo the capital of his independent empire from 1805 to 1882, after which the British took control of it until Egypt attained independence in 1922.
Cairo has a population of about 6.8 million people, according to the 2006 population census. The number of inhabitants was about a million higher at the time of the census, but this was adjusted downwards on the 17th of April 2008 when the new governorate of Helwan was created from parts of a.o. Cairo governorate. Cairo's metropolitan area has a population of about 17.3 million people. Cairo is the sixteenth most populous metropolitan area in the world. It is also the most populous metropolitan area in Africa.
Today, Greater Cairo encompasses various historic towns and modern districts. A journey through Cairo is virtual time travel: from the Pyramids, Saladin's Citadel, the Virgin Mary's Tree, the Sphinx, and Heliopolis, to Al-Azhar, the Mosque of Amr ibn al-A'as, Saqqara, the Hanging Church, and the Cairo Tower. It is the Capital of Egypt, and its history is intertwined with that of the country. Today, Cairo's official name is Al-Qahira (Cairo), although the name informally used by most Egyptians is "Masr" (Egyptian Arabic name for Egypt), from the original name of Egypt's first Arab capital Fustat, Misr al-Fustat, "City of the Tents." It is also titled as "The city of a thousand Mazan ( tower in a mosque , i.e. 1000 mosques).
Photos From Cairo
The Great Pyramid of Giza, also called the Pyramid of Khufu, and Pyramid of Cheops, is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt, and is the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms.
Egyptian Museum Website:
One of Cairo's most popular tourist attractions is the Citadel which houses a number of museums, ancient mosques and other sites, located on a spur of limestone that had been detached from its parent Moqattam Hills by quarrying. The Citadel is one of the world's greatest monuments to medieval warfare, as well as a highly visible landmark on Cairo's eastern skyline.
The Cairo Opera House (Arabic: دار الأوبرا المصرية; Dār el-Obra el-Masreyya; literally "Egyptian Opera House"), part of Cairo's National Cultural Center, is the main performing arts venue in the Egyptian capital. Home to most of Egyptian's finest musical groups, it is located on the southern portion of Gezira Island in the Nile River, close to downtown Cairo.
Located in the heart of old historic Cairo and commanding stunning panoramic views of the world's most intriguing city, Al-Azhar Park offers every visitor a glimpse into the captivating past. Lush green landscaped gardens are an enjoyable sojourn away from city's major tourist attractions. Embracing valuable history, the park is home to the newly discovered Ayyubid wall, constructed by Salah El Din more than 800 years ago.
Cairo Web Sources
EGY.COM by Samir Raafat offers a variety of old and new articles, photos and references dealing with 19th and 20th century aspects of a 1000 year old capital. Learn about its architecture, its landmarks, its character, its people and its problems. This is about a millennium old city which cannot sit still.