‘For those who are lost, there will always be cities that feel like home.’
Cairo is the capital of Egypt and one of the largest cities in both Africa and the Middle East. It is also the 19th largest city in the world, and among the world’s most densely populated cities. Cairo has stood for more than 1000 years on the same site on the banks of the Nile, primarily on the eastern shore. It is a place of physical contrast. Along the well-irrigated shoreline, lush vegetation shares the landscape with tall skyscrapers.
This mega-city’s constant buzz and noise is a product of its 22-or-so million inhabitants simultaneously crushing Cairo’s infrastructure under their collective weight and lifting its spirits up with their exceptional humor. Your nerves will jangle, your snot will run black from the smog and touts will hound you at every turn, but it’s a small price to pay to tap into the energy of the place Egyptians call Umm Ad Dunya – the Mother of the World.
Cairo is chaos at its most magnificent, infuriating and beautiful. From above, the distorted roar of the call to prayer echoes out from dueling minarets. Below, car horns bellow tuneless symphonies amid avenues of faded 19th-century grandeur while donkey carts rattle down dusty lanes lined with colossal Fatimid and Mamluk monuments. Egypt has long been known for its musical and dramatic talent and as the site of a renaissance in Arab theatre. The majority of Arabic films are produced by Egyptian companies in Cairo, and leading cinema stars and many popular musical entertainers of the Arab world make Cairo their headquarters.
The stunning attractions of Cairo include Giza Necropolis- site of the great pyramids and the Sphinx, The Egyptian Museum- tracing the 5,000 years of Egyptian history, Khan-E-Khalili- major bazaar selling crafts souvenirs, Cairo Tower- Egypt’s tallest tower with viewing deck, The Hanging Church- Coptic place of worship with icons and many more such beauties. Plan a trip to this beautiful capital via direct flight from India. The currency used in Cairo is Egyptian Pound (1 EGP= 4.77 INR).
Cairo is one of the greatest storehouses of human achievement on earth, ranging from the pharaonic through the Christian and Islamic periods to Belle époque. It is an exploding modern metropolis which nevertheless preserves within its heart the finest medieval city in the world. Blow your nose, crack a joke and look through the dirt to see the city’s true colors. If you love Cairo, it will definitely love you back.
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