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Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in North Africa and the Middle East. 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. Even before Cairo was established in the tenth century, 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 due to its proximity to the Great Sphinx and the pyramids in adjacent Giza.

Egyptians today often refer to Cairo as Mar the Egyptian Arabic pronunciation of the name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's continued role in Egyptian influence. 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, and the Arab League has been based in Cairo for most of its existence.

With a population of 6.8 million spread over 214 square kilometers (83 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. With an additional ten million inhabitants just outside the city, Cairo resides at the center of the largest metropolitan area in Africa and the eleventh-largest urban area in the world. Cairo, like many large cities in developing countries, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic, but its metro – currently the only on the African continent – also ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 700 million passenger rides annually.

The Cairo is the capital of Egypt, and is the most chaotic city that I’ve never seen ever, but anyway is a wonderful place. The traffic is really crazy, the taxis are horrible, everybody drive without light at night, the curbs are really high because in other case the cars get on the roadside.
Anyway in the Cairo, you can find one of the most incredible mosque in the world, the Alabaster mosque. You can find also people leaving in the cemeteries, and a big different between rich and poor areas, but without a doubt The Cairo is one of the places that I recommend to everybody to visit.

September 2001

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