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Located on the banks of the Nile River, Cairo is Africa's largest city, as well as the largest city in the Arab world and the capital of Egypt. In the course of its thousand-year history it has been the capital of the great Egyptian dynasties of the Middle Ages, a British colonial enclave, and a modern industrialized city. The population is 12.000.000 people.
The first settlement in the region of present-day Cairo was al-Fustat, founded in A. D. 641 as a military encampment by the Arabic commander Amr ibn al-As. In A. D. 969 Jawhar, the leader of an Islamic sect called the Fatimids, founded a new city near al-Fustat, initially naming it al-Mansuriyah, its name was later changed to al-Qahirah, or Cairo. When the Fatimids became the rulers of Egypt, founding a dynasty that lasted for two centuries, Cairo became their capital.
The area of old Cairo contains the remains of the ancient Roman fortress of Babylon and overlaps the original site of Fustat, the first Arab settlement in Egypt (7th century AD). The area is also known as Coptic Cairo as it holds old Christian churches: the Hanging Church, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, most are located over the site of the ancient Roman fortress. The areas around the old walled city and around the Citadel are characterized by hundreds of mosques, tombs, madrasas, mansions, caravanserais and fortifications dating from the Islamic era. It is also the location important religious shrines: the al-Hussein Mosque, whose shrine is believed to hold the head of Husayn ibn Ali, the Mausoleum of Imam al-Shafi'i, the Tomb of Sayyida Ruqayya, the Mosque of Sayyida Nafisa.
The Giza pyramid complex is about 13 km far from southwest of Cairo city centre. The Pyramids of Giza consist of the Great Pyramid of Giza = Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu and constructed c. 2560–2540 BC, the Pyramid of Khafre or Chephren and the Pyramid of Menkaure or Mykerinos. The Great Sphinx lies on the east side of the complex.

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