Finding Cairo

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The largest city of Arab world, Cairo is referred to as the city of a thousand minarets. Cairo is the heart and largest city of Arab world. It is the capital of Egypt. It is also the largest city of African continent and 16th largest city of the world. Because of the soaring Islamic architecture, Cairo is called City of a thousand minarets. The city was founded during the rule of Fatimid Dynasty in 10th century. The meaning of the word Cairo is ‘the conqueror’ and ‘the victorious’. The city was named al-Manṣūriyyah at first, but when Caliph Al-Muizz arrived in the city from the old Fatimid Capital, the city was re-named al-Qahira in reference to the victorious Caliph. Cairo is located on the bank of river Nile in Northern Egypt also known as Lower Egypt.

Because of the constant change in direction and tide of River Nile, the city has grown into many districts and islands. The newer parts of city include Garden City, Zamalek and Downtown Cairo which are nearest to the bak of the river. Most of the embassies are present in this part of the city. Old Cairo resides at the South of the city and is home to the Coptic Christian community. Boulaq district lies at the Northern side and is dominantly an industrial area of the city. Islamic Cairo is located to the eastern side of the city and holds Islamic architecture of Fatimid and Ottoman period. The city is subjected to a desert climate but with high humidity because of the river. The city experiences extreme weather. In winter the highest temperature can reach 17C and lowest can reach 4C especially at nights. In summer, the highest temperature can touch to 40C extreme and lowest can reach 20C.

Wind and dust storms are common in the city. Rainfall is not frequent but sudden rain brings flood in the river. Cairo is the oldest hub of education in Africa and houses many famous universities. It is the center of Egyptian Education and holds the largest number of educational institutes of the country. Al Azhar University and Cairo University are world famous and renowned universities.

These universities have produced highly polished minds that have altered the course of the world. The long list of high standard universities specializes in all fields of education. The famous sights of Cairo include Tahrir Square, which is located at the heart of the city and is surrounded by important government buildings. Its central location makes it an ideal place for protestors to reach government. Egyptian museum is also located around the Tahrir Square and houses ancient collection of antiquities in thousands. Old Cairo houses buildings like Coptic Museum, Hanging church, Greek Church and other churches. The Islamic buildings include Al Azhar mosque, Al-Hakim Mosque, Juyushi Mosque, Lulua Mosque, Imam Husayn Mosque, Mosque-Mausoleum Zaynab, Sayyidah Ruqayya Mashhad, Sayyeda Nafisa Mosque, and Mohammed Ali Basha Mosque. The culture of Cairo is diverse because of its subjection to rulers of different civilizations. From Egyptian Pharaohs to Greeks, Babylonians, Romans and Muslims, Cairo has been influenced by world’s famous ancient civilizations. Their landmarks still embed in the streets and surroundings of the city.
 

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Finding Cairo

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This article was published on 2011/11/26