Egypt Cairo History


Egypt Cairo History


Cairo History


The beginnings of the site of today’s Cairo can be tracked back to when the capital of Egypt was Memphis, which is said to have been founded in the beginning of the 4th millennium BC near the head of the banks of the Nile delta which was south of the current Cairo. The city spread to the north along the east bank of the Nile, and its present situation has attracted political dominance ever since.
It was in Cairo that the Romans built their city named Babylon. The area was later known as Al Fustat by Arab Muslims who relocated there from the Arabian Peninsula in 641 AD.


When a rebellious branch of Muslims known as the Fatimids took over Egypt in 969, they built their seat of government in the city and named it Al Qāhira (Cairo). The 12th century saw the Christian Crusaders attack Cairo, but they lost to the Muslim army from Syria which was led by Saladin, founder of the Ayyubid dynasty in the city.

The Mamluks built their capital in Cairo in the 13th century, and the city became famous throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. The decline of Cairo occurred after the middle of the 14th century when the bubonic plague known as the Black Death hit the city, killing hundreds, causing a decline in population. In 1517 the Ottomans invaded and conquered Cairo until Napoleon I of France captured the city during an expedition in 1798. But years later, Ottoman rule was restored in 1801.


Egyptian foreign debt by the middle of the 19th century and the decline of the Ottoman Empire attracted greater European influence in Cairo. Ismail Pasha, the viceroy who ruled from 1863 to 1879, constructed many European-style buildings and monuments in Cairo and took the opportunity of the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal northeast of Cairo in 1869 to display the city for the European powers.




Unfortunately, much of the improvements that happened during this time were funded by foreign loans, which caused an increase in the country’s debt and left the capital a “sitting duck” to British dominance. Great Britain consequently ruled the country from Cairo from the second half of the 19th century through the time after World War I from 1914 to 1918 when the colonial presence in Cairo started to lessen.

History of Cairo

During the interwar years, Cairo's population grew rapidly reaching over 2 million by the start of World War II in 1939. Since then, Cairo has continued to progress in terms of both population and development. In part, this population growth was a result of the influx of immigrants from cities along the Suez Canal that were destroyed in the 1960s and late 1970s during the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The city’s landscape has been modified by many new residential, commercial, and governmental structures. Tourism has become an important source of foreign revenue for the country, and as a result has drawn a lot of investment from the government.


The city has also progressed from Egypt's growing international distinction. The birth in 1945 of the Arab League made Cairo a political capital. Egypt's ongoing efforts in the Middle East peace process has also helped put the country on the map.



 The assassination of President Anwar al-Sadat in 1981 by Islamic fundamentalists within the army was a tragic event for the city as it happened during a military parade. The 1992 earthquake that hit the city caused a fatality of more than 500 and injured about 6500 others.



Copyrights for all pictures on this site, it is and remains the property of

   2007 - 2011