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The origins of the Egyptian capital with it's 15 million inhabitants can be found near the present day Coptic district. In 641 AD, Amr Ibn Al-As, general of the Caliph Omar built a new capital for Egypt near his tent (Arabic: Fustat). That is why the first capital of Egypt was called Fustat. But when the Abbassids overthrew the Omaiads in 750 AD the city was burnt down except the mosque of Amr Ibn Al-As, so that a new capitol was built somewhat to the north and was called Al-Askar.

Cairo at Night

This dynasty ended when the Ottomans under Sultan Selim I, conquered Cairo in 1517 AD and subjugated it under Turkish rule. In 1805, after Napoleon's "Egyptian Campaign", the citadel (built by Saladin 1176 AD) was occupied by Mohammed Ali and the town received a fresh revive. He modernised and founded new city districts.


Cairo Tower

During the reign of Ahmed Ibn Tulun (863-883), his residence was transferred to the Jashkur hills where he built his famous mosque and a new capital names "Al Katai". The origin of today's name (Cairo) can be traced back to the Fatimid General Gohar invading Egypt in 969 AD. He named the city after constellation of Mars (Al-Kahir), the victorious.

Under the reign of many sultans and especially in the Mameluke period, Cairo prospered and became a centre of Islamic art and architecture.


Today's Cairo is the foremost capital on the African continent and the political, cultural and economic centre of Egypt with many monuments and relics of the Pharonic, Graeco-Roman, Christian and Islamic period, attracting many visitors from all over the world.


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