Cairo (/ˈkaɪroʊ/ kye-roh ; Arabic: القاهرة) is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Middle-East and Africa. Its metropolitan area is the 16th largest in the world. Located near the Nile Delta, it was founded in CE 969. Nicknamed “the city of a thousand minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a center of the region’s political and cultural life. Cairo was founded by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century CE, but 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 as it is close to the ancient cities of Memphis, Giza and Fustat which are near the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza.
Egyptians today often refer to Cairo as Maṣr ([mɑsˤɾ], مصر), the Egyptian Arabic pronunciation of the name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city’s continued role in Egyptian influence. Its official name is القاهرة al-Qāhirah , means literally “the Vanquisher” or “the Conqueror”; Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [elqɑ(ː)ˈheɾɑ], sometimes it is informally also referred to as كايرو Kayro [ˈkæjɾo]. It is also called Umm al-Dunya, meaning “the mother of the world”.
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; the Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence.
With a population of 6.76 million spread over 453 square kilometers (175 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. With an additional 10 million inhabitants just outside the city, Cairo resides at the center of the largest metropolitan area in Africa and the Arab World as well as the tenth-largest urban area in the world. Cairo, like many other mega-cities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic. Cairo’s metro—one of only two metros on the African continent (the other the Algiers Metro)—ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East and 43rd globally by Foreign Policy’s 2010 Global Cities Index.
Cairo’s Tahrir Square was the focal point of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak. Over 2 million protesters at Cairo’s Tahrir square. More than 50,000 protesters first occupied the square on 25 January, during which the area’s wireless services were reported to be impaired. In the following days Tahrir Square continued to be the primary destination for protests in Cairo. as it took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of February 2012. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil disobedience, and labour strikes. Millions of protesters from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Despite being predominantly peaceful in nature, the revolution was not without violent clashes between security forces and protesters, with at least 846 people killed and 6,000 injured. The uprising took place in Cairo, Alexandria, and in other cities in Egypt, following the Tunisian revolution that resulted in the overthrow of the long-time Tunisian president. On 11 February, following weeks of determined popular protest and pressure, Mubarak resigned from office.
6th of October City, west of Cairo, and New Cairo, east of Cairo, are major urban developments which have been built to accommodate additional growth and development of the Cairo area. New development includes several high-end residential developments.
Over the ages, and as far back as four thousand years, Egypt stood as the land where many civilizations have met. The Pharaohs together with the Greeks, Babylonians 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. The cultural mixture in this city is only natural, considering its heritage. Egypt can be likened to an open museum with monuments of the different historical periods on display everywhere.