The Capital of Egypt & Paris of the Middle East
The Egyptian word for both the capital Cairo and the country as a whole is the same: Misr, and at times, when they refer to the city, they add the phrase "the mother of the world" (Um el-dunia).
This is Cairo; Paris of the Middles East, Near East and Africa.
Of course in this Website, we will talk about Ancient Egypt too and the Pyramids of course, but I am really more connected with life and joy when I mention Cairo.
As the Egyptian call it, the "Mother of the world"
Perhaps, the Ancient Egyptians were great builders, but no doubt the modern Egyptian if not surpass them in art and science, they are certainly equal to their greatness.
Marvell with me at Cairo, the greatest City in Africa.
With a population of 16 million, Cairo is the largest African city.
The Egyptian capital now extends on either side of the Nile, the two banks connected by a series of bridges supported by Roda and Gezira islands in the middle of the river.
The centre of Cairo is a veritable hive of activity, the traffic is massive and the noise is very live! to say the least.
Nonetheless, this is an impressive great metropolis in which different religions and cultures live side-by-side, though Islam predominates.
The Egyptian word for both the capital and the country as a whole is the same: Misr, and at times, when they refer to the city, they add the phrase "the mother of the world" (Um el-dunia).
This reminds us that in medieval times Cairo was the world's largest city, and that its university, El-Azhar, is the oldest in the world.
Cairo Underground (Metro) Map
The centre of modern Cairo
The renovation of the city centre, carried out to mark the opening of the Suez Canal, transformed an outlying district into the heart of the capital.
In Bab al-Hadid, a square near Central Station, is a great statue of Ramses II.
This granite work stands 10 metres high and was found in the ruins of Memphis.
Further along, the Azbakeya gardens occupy the site in bygone days of a pond around which stood the principal European residences and the Palace of Mohammed Ali.
The pond was drained in 1837 and the gardens are now flanked on all sides by the city's finest cafes,banks, shops and department stores.
The city's true heart revolves around the Midan al-Tahrir, however.
It is in and around this square that we find the principal hotels, embassies and out¬standing buildings, such as the Parliament, the Geo¬graphic Society and, to the north, the Egyptian Muse¬um.
When you need a break from city life, try a round of golf on the famous Mena House course overlooking the Pyramids, watch the horse racing at the Gezira Club or visit the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens.
Take a trip on the Nile in a felucca or ride on horseback from the Giza Pyramids to Sakkara.
For a day trip outside Cairo visit Haraniyya village and see the beautiful tapestries and weaving produced by local people.
If you wish, you may get away from it all at the top of the Cairo Tower, a modern 187 meter-high tower with views of the city from all sides, topped by a revolving restaurant.
Cairo comes alive at night, which is the best time to shop, eat delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, or simply watch the world go by from a pavement cafe.
You can dine in a floating restaurant on the Nile, sample an apple-flavored shisha waterpipe at a coffee-shop or see oriental dancers and cabarets at a luxury hotel.
The splendid Opera House complex houses several galleries (including the Museum of Modern Art), restaurants and concert halls. Listening to Arabic music under the stars, in the open-air theater, is a magical experience.
At El-Ghuriya, in the heart of Islamic Cairo, you can watch folk musicians and whirling dervish dancers. And don't forget the most essential after-dark experience, the Sound and Light show at the Pyramids, a dramatic fusion of light and music recounting the story of antiquity.
Many New Mall and Supermarkets
Most of the monuments in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt are not so difficult to identify.
Most have one of several different types of markers and the more important have full descriptions.
Therefore, walking through one of the historical areas of Cairo, one does not necessarily need a guide, though certainly it helps.
Modern Cairenes consider Central Cairo to consist of the area bordered by Old Cairo to the south, Islamic Cairo to the east and the Nile River to the west, but this covers a number of different districts.
Modern Cairo (Central Cairo)
Islamic Cairo is not the oldest section of Cairo, as that distinction belongs to Old Cairo. Westerners visiting Cairo many not wish to think in terms of Islamic here, but rather medieval. Indeed this area encompasses the medieval history from beginning to end.
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