Cairo

cairoEgypt’s capital Cairo is situated where East meets West. The city is a mixture of 5000-year old history and high-pulse metropolitan lifestyle.It offers something for each and everyone.

Cairo has long been a center of the region's political and cultural life. Even before Cairo was established in the tenth century, the land composing the present-day city was the site of national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo is also associated with Ancient Egypt due to its proximity to the Great Sphinx and the pyramids in adjacent Giza.

Egyptians today often refer to Cairo as Masr the Egyptian Arabic pronunciation of the name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's continued role in Egyptian influence. 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, and the Arab League has been based in Cairo for most of its existence.

With a population of 6.8 million spread over 214 square kilometers (83 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. With an additional ten million inhabitants just outside the city, Cairo resides at the center of the largest metropolitan area in Africa and the eleventh-largest urban area in the world.Cairo, like many large cities in developing countries, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic, but its metro – currently the only on the African continent – also ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 700 million passenger rides annually.

Geography

Cairo is located in northern Egypt, known as Lower Egypt, 165 kilometers (100 mi) south of the Mediterranean Sea and 120 kilometers (75 mi) west of the Gulf of Suez and Suez Canal.The city is along the Nile River, immediately south of the point where the river leaves its desert-bound valley and branches into the low-lying Nile Delta region. Although the Cairo metropolis extends away from the Nile in all directions, the city of Cairo resides only on the east bank of the river and two islands within it on a total area of 214 square kilometers (83 sq mi).

Until the mid-19th century, when the river was tamed by dams, levees, and other controls, the Nile in the vicinity of Cairo was highly susceptible to changes in course and surface level. Over the years, the Nile gradually shifted westward, providing the site between the eastern edge of the river and the Mokattam highlands on which the city now stands. The land on which Cairo was established in 969 (present-day Islamic Cairo) was located underwater just over three hundred years earlier, when Fustat was first built.

Northern and extreme eastern parts of Cairo, which include satellite towns, are among the most recent additions to the city, as they developed in the late-20th and early-21st centuries to accommodate the city's rapid growth. The western bank of the Nile is commonly included within the urban area of Cairo, but it composes the city of Giza and the Giza Governorate. Giza has also undergone significant expansion over recent years, and today the city, although still a suburb of Cairo, has a population of 2.7 million. The Cairo Governorate is just north of the Helwan Governorate, which was created in 2008 when some of Cairo's southern districts, including Maadi and New Cairo, were split off and annexed into the new governorate.

Climate
In Cairo, and along the Nile River Valley, the climate is a desert climate (BWh according to the Koppen climate classification system), but often with high humidity due to the river valley's effects. Wind storms can be frequent, bringing Saharan dust into the city during the months of March and April. High temperatures in winter range from 13°C to 19°C, while night-time lows drop to below 8°C, often to 5°C. In summer, the highs rarely surpass 40°C, and lows drop to about 20°C. Rainfall is sparse, but sudden showers do cause harsh flooding. In New Cairo, the temperatures often drop below zero during winter. New Cairo's weather is generally cooler than that of Cairo due to its higher altitude, reaching up to 500m

Transportation

Transportation in Cairo comprises an extensive road network, rail system, subway system, and maritime services. Road transport is facilitated by personal vehicles, taxi cabs, privately-owned public buses, and microbuses. Cairo, specifically Ramses Square, is the center of almost the entire Egyptian transportation network.[citation needed]

The subway system, officially called "Metro", is a fast and efficient way of getting around Cairo. It can get very crowded during rush hour. Two train cars (the fourth and fifth ones) are reserved for women only, although women may ride in any car they want.

An extensive road network connects Cairo with other Egyptian cities and villages. There is a new Ring Road that surrounds the outskirts of the city, with exits that reach outer Cairo districts. There are flyovers, and bridges such as the Sixth of October bridge that, when it doesn't experience heavy traffic, allows fast[citation needed] means of transportation from one side of the city to the other.

Cairo International Airport
Ramses Railway Station
Cairo Tram
Cairo Transportation Authority CTA
Cairo Taxi
Cairo Metro
Cairo Yellow Cab
Cairo Nile Ferry


Culture

Over the ages, and as far back as four thousand years, Egypt stood as the land where civilizations have always met.[citation needed] The Pharaohs together with the Greeks and the Romans have left their imprints here. Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula, led by Amr ibn al-A'as, introduced Islam into Egypt. Khedive Mohammad Ali, with his Albanian family roots, put Egypt on the road to modernity. If anything, the cultural mix in this country is natural, given its heritage. Egypt can be likened to an open museum with monuments of the different historical periods on display everywhere.

Cairo Opera House
Main article: Cairo Opera House
President Mubarak inaugurated the new Cairo Opera House of the Egyptian National Cultural Centers on October 10, 1988, seventeen years after the Royal Opera House had been destroyed by fire. The National Cultural Center was built with the help of JICA, the Japan International Co-operation Agency and stands as a prominent feature for the Japanese-Egyptian co-operation and the friendship between these two nations.

Egypt is proud to be the only state in the region which built two opera houses within a century.

Khedivial Opera House
Main article: Khedivial Opera House
The Khedivial Opera House or Royal Opera House was the original opera house in Cairo, Egypt. It was dedicated on November 1, 1869 and burned down on October 28, 1971. After the original opera house was destroyed, Cairo was without an opera house for nearly two decades until the opening of the new Cairo Opera House in 1988.

 

Cairo International Film Festival


Egypt's love of the arts in general can be traced back to the rich heritage bequeathed by the Pharaohs. In modern times, Egypt has enjoyed a strong cinematic tradition since the art of filmmaking was first developed, early in the 20th century. A natural progression from the active theatre scene of the time, cinema rapidly evolved into a vast motion picture industry. This together with the much older music tradition, raised Egypt to become the cultural capital of the Arab world.

For more than 500 years of recorded history, Egypt has fascinated the West and inspired its creative talents from play writer William Shakespeare, poet and dramatist John Dryden, and novelist and poet Lawrence Durrell to film producer Cecil B. de Mille. Since the silent movies Hollywood has been capitalising on the box-office returns that come from combining Egyptian stories with visual effects.

Egypt has also been a fount of Arabic literature, producing some of the 20th century's greatest Arab writers such as Taha Hussein and Tawfiq al-Hakim to Nobel Laureate, novelist Naguib Mahfouz. Each of them has written for the cinema.

With these credentials, it was clear that Cairo should aim to hold an international film festival. This dream came true on Monday August 16, 1976, when the first Cairo International Film Festival was launched by the Egyptian Association of Film Writers and Critics, headed by Kamal El-Mallakh. The Association ran the festival for seven years until 1983.

This achievement lead to the President of the Festival again contacting the FIAPF with the request that a competition should be included at the 1991 Festival. The request was granted.

In 1998, the Festival took place under the presidency of one of Egypt's leading actors, Hussein Fahmy, who was appointed by the Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, after the death of Saad El-Din Wahba.

Four years later, the journalist and writer Cherif El-Shoubashy became president.

For 29 years, the home of the Pyramids and Nile has hosted international superstars like Nicolas Cage , John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Bud Spencer, Gina Lollobrigida, Ornella Muti, Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Victoria Abril, Elizabeth Taylor, Shashi Kapoor, Alain Delon, Greta Scacchi, Catherine Deneuve, Peter O'Toole, Christopher Lee, Irene Pappas, Marcello Mastroianni, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Alicia Silverstone and Omar Sharif, as well as great directors like Robert Wise, Elia Kazan, Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Stone, Roland Joffe, Carlos Saura, Ismail Merchant and Michelangelo Antonioni, in an annual celebration and examination of the state of cinema in the world today.

Cairo Geniza

The Cairo Geniza is an accumulation of almost 200,000 Jewish manuscripts that were found in the genizah of the Ben Ezra synagogue (built 882) of Fostat, Egypt (now Old Cairo), the Basatin cemetery east of Old Cairo, and a number of old documents that were bought in Cairo in the later 19th century. These documents were written from about 870 to as late as 1880 AD and have now been archived in various American and European libraries. The Taylor-Schechter collection in the University of Cambridge runs to 140,000 manuscripts; there are a further 40,000 manuscripts at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Al-Azhar Park

Inaugurated in May 2005, Al-Azhar Park is located adjacent to Cairo's Darb al-Ahmar district. The Park was created by the Historic Cities Support Programme (HCSP) of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), an entity of the Aga Khan Development Network, and was a gift to Cairo from His Highness the Aga Khan. It is interesting to note that the city of Cairo was founded in the year 969 by the Fatimid Imam-Caliphs who were ancestors of the Aga Khan.

During the development of the park, a part of the 12th century Ayyubid wall was discovered and subsequently restored. The wall had originally been built by Salah al-Din al-Ayubbi as a defence against the crusaders. The discovery prompted additional research into the nearby historic neighborhood of Darb al-Ahmar, and eventually led to a major project encompassing the restoration of several mosques, palaces and historic houses. The HCSP also established social and economic programs to provide a wide range of assistance for local residents.

From museums and cultural events to golfing and shopping. Enjoy the big city life and the buzzing streets of Cairo, Known as the jewel of the east, it's the throbbing, pulsating heart of Egypt, the gateway to its ancient past as well as its thoroughly modern metropolis.
On its eastern edge are the relics of over 2,000 years of Islamic and Coptic civilization, from the mosques and minarets of Saladin's Muslim Citadel to the Christian churches of the lost fortress of Babylon. Through its western edge, the river Nile runs past the soaring spire of the Cairo Tower and the treasures and artifacts of the Egyptian Museum.

Cairo's streets and alleyways throng with the smells, sounds and sights of its sixteen million citizens, from the hagglers of the Khan al-Khalili bazaar to the chattering crowds in its traditional coffee houses.

Sights in Cairo

The Egyptian Museum     The Giza Pyramids & Sphinx
Citadel of Salah El Din Sakkara & Memphis Area
Khan El Khalili Local Market Coptic Museum
Ben Ezra Synagogue Islamic Museum
El Seheimy House Ibn Tulun Mosque
Sultan Hassan School & Mosque Wikalet El Ghuri
Beit El Sennari Solar Boat Museum
The Nilometre & Monasterly Palace          Manial Palace Museum
Church of Abu Serga El Mo'alaqa Church
Church of the Virgin Church of St. Barbara
Church of Mar Guirgis St. Mark's Cathedral
The Anderson Museum City of the Dead
Sound & Light Show at Pyramids Pharaonic Village
Alazhar Mosque Virgin Mary Tree

 

Cairo Gallery

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