Sam's Exotic Travels to Cairo, Capital of Egypt and Africa's Largest City
Cairo, which means "the Victorious" or "the Triumphant", is the capital and largest city of Egypt. It is the Arab World's and Africa's second most populous city. While Al-Qahirah is the official name of the city, in Egyptian Arabic it is called by the dialect's name for the country, transliteration: Masr. Cairo was founded by the Fatimid caliphs as a royal enclosure. It replaced Fustat as the seat of the government. It later came under the Mamluks, was ruled by the Ottomans 1517 to 1798, and briefly occupied by Napoleon. Muhammad Ali of Egypt made Cairo the capital of his independent empire from 1805 to 1882, after which the British took control of it until Egypt attained independence in 1922.
Cairo has a population of about 6.8 million people, according to the 2006 population census. Cairo's metropolitan area has a population of about 17.8 million people, making it the sixteenth most populous metropolitan area in the world and the most populous metropolitan area in Africa.
Today, Greater Cairo homes various historic towns and modern districts. A journey through Cairo is virtual time travel: from the Pyramids, the Hanging Church, Saladin's Citadel, the Virgin Mary's Tree, the Sphinx, and Heliopolis, to Al-Azhar, the Mosque of Amr ibn al-A'as, Saqqara, the Cairo Tower, and the Old City. It is the Capital of Egypt, and its history is intertwined with that of the country. Today, Cairo's official name is Al-Qahira (Cairo), although the name informally used by most Egyptians is "Masr" (Egyptian Arabic name for Egypt), from the original name of Egypt's first Arab capital Fustat, Misr al-Fustat, "City of the Tents". It is also titled as "The City of A Thousand Minarets".
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