Egypt / Cities and Towns /
Other spellings: Al-Minya; El-Minya
City in the middle of Egypt with 250,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), between the Nile river and the Ibrahimiyya Canal. It is the capital of Minya governorate.
Minya is a market and financial centre for its region, mainly the Minya governorate. Among its industries are cotton ginning and flour mills, a sugar refinery, dairies and weaving of carpets and rugs. Minya also has a television station.
About half of the population of Minya are Christians, predominantly Copts. There are a few important Coptic monasteries on the eastern side of the Nile.
Minya has a university.
Minya is called by locals "Bride of Upper-Egypt", which may be a reflection of the city's charm, or it may have historical roots back to cults of Ancient Egypt.
The Minya governorate has 3.9 million inhabitants (2003 estimate) and an area of 2,262 km². In addition to the capital Minya, there are 8 more towns, the largest of which are Mallawi and Beni Mazar.
The land of Minya governorate is green river beds along the Nile, around 20-25 km wide, 120 km in length, and desert.
Among the natural resources are iron ore and limestone quarried on the eastern bank. The agriculture is rich and well-maintained, yielding mainly cotton, maize, wheat, dates, sugar cane, watermelons, grapes, millet, beans, soya beans, garlic, onions, vegetables of various sorts, tomatoes and potatoes. Industries include spinning and weaving of cotton, perfumes, oils and fats and cement-making.
Minya governorate has a number of ancient sites, like Beni Hassan, Hermopolis, Tuna el-Gebel and Tell el-Amarna.
In the times of Ancient Egypt, the town of Menat Khufu was an important regional town, it even was the ancestral home of the pharaohs of the 4th Dynasty.
1960's: Al-Minya University is opened.