Cairo is one of the greatest Islamic cities, since Mongols sacked Baghdad in 1258. Egyptians call the city by two names ‘Masr’ meaning both the capital and land of Egypt whereas the other name is Al-Qahira or the triumphant links to the conquest of Fatimid which made the capital an Islamic empire together along with Libya, Tunisia, Palestine and Syria.
Cairo has always been the greatest attraction to the tourists. Even it has attracted travelers ten centuries ago when the Mamluks used to rule. However, the beautiful and crowded city of Cairo still floats in the eyes of the Egyptians in the City of Victorious. The city is one of largest urban areas and offers many sites to visit. It is the administrative capital of Egypt today and has the most spectacular Pyramids of Egypt, such as Great Pyramids of Giza, which lies just as the edge of the city. You will also come across many ancient temples, Christian churches and Muslim monuments as well and the Egyptian Antiquities Museum.
When you are at Cairo, make sure you do not miss the two dramatic landmarks the Pyramids of Giza lying at the edge of the western desert and the great and famous mosque of Mohammed Ali. Just between these two fantabulous monuments lies the whole city, amidst sands and ashes. You will find a fantastic conglomeration of medieval slums to art deco suburbs, from garbage pickers to marble malls. Even you can find both donkey carts and limos as the mode of communication, both at Cairo. Cairo people live on their own terms. Today the population of Cairo city is near about twenty millions and it swells some more with the immigrants from the Delta. Near about half million people in Cairo resides in the squatted cemeteries called the Cities of the Dead. The greenery is less, early travelers used to speak about their temperature sand hotness, but today they speak of throat chocking pollution.
Looking inside Cairo
Cairo is able to humanize the inescapable realties with social rituals. These people are quite different from the rest of the world, when a conflict occurs, crowd gather and restrain both the parties, encourages them to rant and sympathize in the end saying each other “Maalesh, maalesh” (“Never mind”). Here the life of the locals sweetens by the salutations and gestures shown to each other. The poor also get equal respect for piety and in the mosque both millionaire and beggar kneels side by side.
As long as you choose to lose yourself in this majestic city, you can keep on discovering the sweetness in Cairo. You can find those small and cozy cafes and even can have pleasure strolling across the dingy streets. You can catch up with a city full of life and movement and that keeps on running almost 24 hours.
The urban life
The city provides you a great environment for the culture and heritage such as their art galleries and the music halls. The worth mentioning name is the Cairo Opera House, Savvy Culture Wheel and Ahmed Shawky Museum. You can also find some world class accommodations in Cairo from such as Four Season, Cairo Marriott and even budget hotels as well.
If you are done with the sightseeing, you can take to shopping and nightlife activities. You can shop in the famous Khan el-Khalili souk or bazaar of the 14th century contradicted with the modern marbled malls, you can buy various ranges of goods such as spices, perfumes, carpets, gold and silver ornaments, copper ware and many more. You can also try of the famous street market such as Wekalat al-Balaq for fabrics and Egyptian cotton, the Tentmakers Bazaar for appliqué-work, Mohammed Ali Street for musical instruments. Another market, though you are not going to purchase anything here, but it will bring a promising experience to you such as the Camel Market.
It is time to explore the city as lively as Cairo and explore what is in store more for you that too on trip. You will never run out of things to do in Cairo.
Kevin is a travel writer. He has spent many holidays in and around the world. He loves to exploring the surrounding areas and enjoys discovering new places on his travels.