Cairo is the largest city in Africa and the capital of Egypt. It sits on the east bank of the Nile River. It was
established in the 7th century AD and destroyed several times until 968 when it was rebuild by the
Fatimids. Modern Cairo developed in the 19th century.
The new city is a grid of wide boulevards, modern apartments and skyscrapers lining the river-front. Swank
hotels rise on the islets in the Nile, along with imposing foreign embassies. The old city is a grid of narrow
alleys, dilapidated housing and a bazaar where visitors are accosted by blind beggars and craftsmen
pushing their crafts.
Standing on the Mokattam hills, eastward of downtown, one can see the Great Pyramids of Giza and the
domes and minarets of hundreds of mosques. The voices of the muezzins can be heard calling the faithful to
The Great Pyramids are probably the most famous pyramids ever built. One of the remaining Seven
Wonders of the world, they look unreal and out of place when viewed over a Coca Cola billboard just outside the city. However, when standing up close, today's accomplishments seem insignificant.