It is the capital of the Arab Republic of Egypt and most important city. It was established by the Fatimid commander Jawhar al-Seqaly, who established it north of al-Fustat Town in (358 - 969 AD). It was called al-Mansuriya. When the Fatimid caliph Al-Moez Ledeen Allah came, he made it the capital and called it al-Qahera (Cairo).
Cairo is a governorate and a city, that is, the entire area of the governorate is occupied by one city. The unique strategic location privileged Cairo to be the political capital of Egypt over the centuries, as well as being a cultural, artistic, scientific and historical capital of the Arab and Islamic world.
Cairo celebrates its national day on July 6th marking Commander Jawhar al-Seqaly, when he laid the foundation stone of the city of Cairo in 969 AD.
Cairo takes Al-Azhar Mosque, the beacon of Islam and its pulpit in the world as its emblem.
Cairo is located on the eastern bank of the Nile River and is bordered from the north by Qalyobia governorate and from the eastern and southern sides by the desert, and from the western side by the River Nile and Giza Governorate.
Cairo climate is moderate most days of the year. The daily average ranges in July (summer) between 22° C and 34° C, while the daily average during January (winter) ranges between 18 ° C and 9 ° C.
The total area of Cairo reaches (3085.10) km2. The inhabited area reaches about (190.42) km2.
Cairo is the largest governorate all over the Republic in terms of population. Total number of population is estimated to 9.336.841 million (January 2015), representing approximately 10.6% of Egypt's total population. The population density reaches (46.86 inhabitants / km2).
Cairo consists of (4) areas comprising (37) districts, divided as follow:
- The northern region comprises (7) districts.
- The eastern region includes (9) districts.
- The western region includes (9) districts.
- The southern region includes (12) districts.
In Cairo governorate, the arable land area does not exceed 7.16 thousand feddans. Such area is confined to the northern and southern parts of Cairo, where vegetable and fruit trees are planted to contribute to providing a limited amount to meet the needs of the city's population of these crops.
Cairo is one of the important industrial centers in Egypt, where there are important industrial zones such as:
Helwan in the south, which includes: plants of iron and steel, engineering and chemical industries, cement and textile.
The northern region is an important center of food industries, for being near the agricultural areas in the southern Nile Delta, as well as electronic engineering, textile and ready-made clothes industries.
Sixth of October city in the northwest which is considered an important and new centre for engineering, chemical, metal, wood, food, and building materials industries.
In addition to other industrial zones such as: the industrial zones in May 5th city, Shaq al-T’ban, Katameya, al-Rubiky, Badr City, New Cairo, and the public free zone in Nasr City.
There are various fields of investment in Cairo. These fields include establishment of hotels, tourist facilities, commercial centers, and exhibitions. In addition to an increase in investment in real estate and industrial fields and the establishment of multi-storey car parkings. Moreover, a great attention is paid to small craft projects.
In the academic year 2013/2014, the total number of schools reached 4506, including 2105 private, 106 cooperative, 3 military sports and 184 for technical education. The number of institutes reaches about 454 for Azharite education. Besides, Cairo governorate includes four universities (Cairo - Al-Azhar - Ain Shams, and Helwan).
Research and health centers:
The number of research centers in Cairo reaches 116. There are also 39 hospitals affiliated to the Ministry of Health, 7 hospitals to Health Insurance Authority, including 90 renal dialysis centers, and four educational hospitals, namely (al-Sahel - Ahmad Maher- al-Mataria- al-Gala’). There are also four educational institutes, i.e. (National Institute for Kidney Diseases - National Institute for Endemic Diseases and liver -Nutrition Institute- Diabetes Institute), as well as 29 university hospitals, 4 police hospitals and prisons, and 384 private hospitals that account for about 80% of the total number of hospitals in the governorate.
Cairo comprises 24 culture palaces, 441 public libraries, the oldest, best known and most influential one in the cultural life of Egypt is the Egyptian National Library (currently, Egyptian General Book Authority) in addition to the libraries of the universities such as Cairo, Al-Azhar, Ain Shams and Helwan. Besides, New Cairo Opera House is one of the latest cultural establishments in Cairo. Moreover, there are (13) museums, 209 cinemas, and 31public theaters.
Youth and Sports:
There are many playgrounds in Cairo, on top of which comes Cairo Stadium in Nasr City, east Cairo, and the Olympic Sports Complex in Maadi south Cairo, to serve the national teams of all games. Number of youth centers reaches 73, number of clubs reaches 174, number of playgrounds reaches 415, and number of indoors reaches 34.
Tourism is one of the economic activities that assumed a distinctive position by Cairo's inhabitants during the last two decades in particular. Cairo is considered an open museum that houses Pharaonic, Greco-Roman, Coptic and Islamic monuments.
Tourist destinations vary in Cairo. There are the Pharaonic Cairo which comprises the city of Owen «Ain Shams», which is considered the oldest capital of the ancient world, and Greco-Roman Cairo, where fortress of Babylon lies, and Coptic Cairo, where there are the Hanging Church and the Tree of Virgin Mary, that tree protected her during her journey from Palestine to Egypt to escape from the oppression of the Romans.
Islamic Cairo, with its unique architectural style appeared with the Islamic conquest by Amr ibn al-Aas, who built a mosque named after him, in 641 AD.
Furthermore, al- Fustat, al-Askar, and al-Qata’a cities were built during the Abbasid era. Then, the Fatimid ruled Egypt and Al-Azhar Mosque, which is considered the most famous Islamic university all over the world, was built by al-Moazz Le deen Allah.
Cairo comprises several museums, such as:
The Museum of Islamic Art (which houses numerous articles dating back to the period between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries), the Coptic Museum, Muhammad Ali Museum, the Agricultural Museum, the October War Panorama, the Militry Museum, the Museum of the Police, the Museum of the Sun Boats at the Great Pyramid, and the Egyptian Museum, which houses articles dating back to the different Pharaonic eras. The most famous of these articles is Young King Tutankhamun’s group (which includes the contents of his famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings), on top of which comes his golden mask, in addition to the royal mummies, mainly in terms of fame, comes the mummy of King Ramses II.
Cairo also comprises other monuments such as: Citadel of Saladin, the Japanese Garden, Cairo Tower, International Park, the Cairo International Convention Centre, and Al-Azhar Park.