The constancy and richness of
the yearly Nile River flood, partnered with near-isolation
provided by deserts to the east and west, made possible the
birth of one history’s great civilizations.
system of government arose around 3200 B.C. and for the next
3 millennia a succession of powerful families ruled in
In 341 B.C. the last of these native dynasties fell to the
The Persians were later replaced by the Greeks,
then the Romans, and finally the Byzantines. For the next 6
centuries in the 7th century the Arabs ruled and introduced
Islam and the Arabic language.
The Mamluks, a local
military caste, took control in circa 1250 and
continued to rule after the Ottoman Turks conquered
Egypt in 1517. In 1869 after the building of the
Suez Canal, although Egypt became an important world
transportation hub it also fell deep into debt.
In 1882, seemingly to protect its investments, the
British took control of Egypt's government, but a
farcical partnership with the Ottoman Empire went on
until 1914. In 1922, Egypt became partially
independent from the UK acquired full independence
after World War II.
With the completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971
and the resultant Lake Nasser, the Nile River’s
time-honored role in Egypt’s agriculture and ecology
Resources were overtaxed and society became highly stressed
with the fast growing population (the largest in the Arab
world), limited farmable land, and dependence on the Nile.
Economic reform and numerous investments in infrastructure
and communications were take on by the government to ready
the economy for the new millennium.
Egypt’s capital city of Cairo is located on the banks of the
river Nile. The river has enormously influenced Cairo
geography and its development and evolution as a city. Cairo
stands in between the upper and the lower areas of the river
Nile. The upper portion of the Nile spreads from south of
Cairo to the Sudanese border, the lower portion starts from
the north of Cairo and makes up the Nile Delta.
The oldest part of
Cairo is east of the Nile River. The city has spread
its way to the west swallowing the flooded fertile
plains of the Nile. Cairo can be separated into Old
Cairo and the New Cairo. The old Cairo is unplanned
and rather hodge-podge. The roads and lanes in this
part of the city are small with crowded living
The western areas of the city know as New Cairo is
relatively new. The beautiful capital city was
designed by Ismail the Magnificent in the mid-19th
century. Built on the model of Paris, the city is
characterized by wide roads and byways for
pedestrians, open spaces and public gardens and
parks. Architecture of the old and the new Cairo are
The old Cairo mainly
contains ancient mosques while the new Cairo has modern
architecture and government building.
The Nile Rivers many water
systems has allowed the expansion of this city. Giza and
Imbahbah are linked to the capital through bridges across
Nile. Gezira and Roda are also linked to Cairo through
Cairo’s topography are dominated by plateaus and deserts.
The Giza plateau is the location for the ancient burial
ground of Memphis and so is the Pyramid of Giza. The ancient
cities of Memphis and Necropolis were the predecessors of
The geography of Cairo is diverse and interesting. The Nile
River and the plateau of Giza are the most important
physical features of Cairo’s topography.