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Cairo Islamic Mosque
History and Information
A Brief History of Cairo, Egypt
Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Middle-East and second-largest in Africa after Lagos. Its metropolitan area is the 15th largest in the world. Located near the Nile Delta, it was founded in 969 CE. Nicknamed "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life. Cairo was founded by Jawhar al-Siqilli "The Sicilian", of the Fatimid dynasty, in the 10th century, 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.
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, is home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. It has 136,000 items on display, with many more hundreds of thousands in its basement storerooms. Among its most famous collections on display are the finds from the Tomb of Tutankhamun.
Cairo was ranked as the world's most 24-hour city in a 2011 study conducted by the social networking site Badoo, placing it well ahead of other famous big cities such as New York, London or Paris. The study's rankings were determined by measuring the amount of online activity at night versus during the day and by comparing peak-times for such activity in cities across the world. Cairo's highly nocturnal lifestyle is attributed not only to young people in nightclubs but also to the importance of cafes, which remain very active at night as social gathering places to smoke shisha, and even to the late-night public activeness of families with children.
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.