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Cairo
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Cairo

Contents
1. Economy
2. Culture
3. Education
4. History

Cairo, Egypt
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Looking south from Cairo Tower on Gezira. Cairo centre to the left, Roda Island and across the Nile is Giza.

Cairo, Egypt
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The Midan Talaat Harb, perhaps the most beautiful Paris-like quarter of Cairo.

Amr Mosque, one of the very first built in this region, and before Cairo itself was founded. Cairo, Egypt
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Amr Mosque, one of the very first built in this region, and before Cairo itself was founded.

Travel info from
LookLex / Egypt

The city that never ends
The National Museum
al-Azhar Mosque
Mosque of Amr
Ibn Tulun Mosque
The Citadel
Muhammad Ali Mosque
Sultan al-Nasir Mosque
Old Cairo
Hanging church
The synagogue
Modern Cairo

Al-Azhar Mosque. It was founded in the late 10th century, but nothing remains of the original mosque.
Al-Azhar Mosque. The open courtyard with the perfect marble floor.

Al-Azhar Mosque. The interior is quite interesting with its wooden horizontal beams. In the middle, the Qible, which indicates the correct direction of Mecca.
The National Museum, possibly the one single place in the world with the richest treasures.

The 19th to 20th century Rifai Mosque. The passage between this and the 600 year older Mosque of Sultan Hassan is deliberately strange and different: Narrow, cold and windy.
Seen from the Citadel. The two grand mosques are the 14th century Sultan Hassan to the left, and the 19th to 20th century Rifai to the right. In front of them, the smaller 16th century Akhur Mosque.

Cairo skyline, with the Pyramids of Giza in the far. This is all seen from the Citadel.
Mosque of Muhammad Ali at the top of the Citadel.

The Cairo of another era. A carriage of the pasha.
With its islands, Cairo has certain sections where the Nile most resembles a small, romantic river. Roda Island to the left, Cairo centre to the right.

The street running down to the left of the pink hotel is Sharia Talaat Harb, the most popular downtown street in Cairo.
The Nile is a popular place for young lovers. Standing on the Cairo side, with Zamalek to the right.

Closing in on the Ibn Tulun Mosque, the main mosque of the first quarters of Cairo.
In Coptic Cairo, the Hanging Church.


Capital of Egypt with 8.5 million (larger Cairo, including Giza has 15 million inhabitants) (2005 estimates). Larger Cairo may have passed 17 million now, but today's borders between cities and a high influx of people make such estimates difficult to assign.
The infrastructure of Cairo is well developed, but it is designed for a population of about 2 million. Although the infrastructure is somewhat sophisticated, it can no longer cope with the growth of the city. Still, new projects have aided the city, both the subway, city tunnels and general improvements. Electricity, water, and public transportation work well within metropolitan Cairo. Pollution and poverty are reaching the extremes along the periphery.
Greater Cairo is made up of original Cairo, the city of Giza, the islands Gezira and ar-Ruda, and regions in Qalubiyya, north of Cairo proper. The main centre of Cairo is just across the bridges from Giza and Gezira. The most popular places to live are on Gezira, the less densely populated Giza, the southern centre of Maadi and the northern centre of Heliopolis.
The area has been populated for at least 6,000 years, and has even served as the capital of Ancient Egypt. Today Cairo covers almost 300 km². Industrial areas prevent further growth of the city in many directions.

Economy
The economic foundations of Cairo is diverse industrial and governmental activity. Cairo completely dominates Egyptian economic life.
There are also numerous embassies and administrative offices.

Culture
Cairo has more than 500 mosques, the most famous are the mosques of Ibn Tulun, Kalaun and sultan Hassan, but the one dominating the skyline is the marble mosque of Muhammad Ali in the citadel overlooking the city.

Education
Cairo has the world's first university, al-Azhar, founded in 970, which serves as the most important centre of Islamic learning for the whole Sunni world. Another university is the American University, established in 1919.
There are also many excellent museums, of which the National Museum is among the foremost in the entire world.

History
Prior to its establishment, the area of Cairo had been the site of many cities. The Ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis had been on the west bank a few km south. The eastern side was turned into an important power centre by the Iranians around 500 BCE, who named their fortified settlement Babylon.
640: Arabs take control of the area under the leadership of Amr ibn al-As. He took control of Babylon, and exercised power over the Christian and Jewish city of Fustat nearby.
969: Cairo is established by the Fatimids after their conquest of Egypt. The city is placed about 2 km north of the city of Fustat.





By Tore Kjeilen