Cairo is the capital and largest city of Egypt. The Cairo metropolitan area, with a population of 21.3 million, is the largest metropolitan area in the Arab world, the second largest in Africa, and the sixth largest in the world. Cairo is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, Cairo was founded in 969 AD during the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of Ancient National Capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region’s political and cultural life, and is titled “the city of a thousand minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a “Beta +” classification according to GaWC.
Today, the Egyptian capital 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; the Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence.
With a population of over 9 million spread over 453 km2 (175 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. An additional 9.5 million inhabitants live in close proximity to the city. Cairo, like many other megacities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic. The Cairo Metro is one of only two metro systems in Africa (the other being in Algiers, Algeria), and ranks amongst the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, and 43rd globally on Foreign Policy’s 2010 Global Cities Index.(Wikipedia)