Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. Located on mainly the eastern bank of the river Nile, it is also the largest city in Africa. In Arabic, it is known as Al-Qahirah, or 'the victorious.'
Cairo is an old city, having stood over 1000 years at its present location under the same name. However, the old and the new present sharp contrasts in this city. A large portion of ancient structures still exists in and around Cairo today. The most famous of them are undoubtedly the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Tourists and historians alike still flock today, thousands of years after it was built, still trying to uncover more of their mysteries. In all, Cairo contains more than 400 registered monuments - the largest number in any city in Africa or the Middle East. In the Fatimid city lies a large number of monuments like the Mosque of Baybars I and Saladin's Citadel. The downtown area Al-Azbakiyah is modern, with its elegant buildings and present a sharp contrast with the older areas. The city's architecture reflects the diversity of style, with modern styles intermingling with ancient Egyptian, Roman, medieval Arab and Turkish styles.
The city is fan-shaped - narrow at the south and widest in the north where the valley opens up in the Nile delta. However, the deserts are nearby, and the climate is thus naturally affected - dry, hot days, with cooler nights and scant rainfall.
Cairo is an enormous city, with over 7 million inhabitants. It is also the center of higher education in Egypt. The Cairo University, along with many other universities draw in students from all over the Arab Middle East region. The rich culture of Egypt is well displayed in the city's Egyptian Museum, Museum of Islamic Art, National Library and other buildings.
Cairo is well connected with other cities by rail, and there is also an international airport in the city. The city has its metro service, suburban trains, public buses, along with hordes of automobiles that create an air pollution problem.
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