Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Middle-East and second-largest in Africa after Lagos.
Cairo is located in northern Egypt, known as Lower Egypt, 165 kilometers south of the Mediterranean Sea and 120 kilometers west of the Gulf of Suez and Suez Canal. The city is along the Nile River, immediately south of the point where the river leaves its desert-bound valley and branches into the low-lying Nile Delta region. Although the Cairo metropolis extends away from the Nile in all directions, the city of Cairo resides only on the east bank of the river and two islands within it on a total area of 453 square kilometers.
Cairo has long been a center of the region's political and cultural life. With a population of 6.76 million, Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. With an additional 10 million inhabitants just outside the city, Cairo resides at the center of the largest metropolitan area in Africa and the Arab World as well as the tenth-largest urban area in the world.
Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab world, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, al-Azhar University. Many international media, businesses, and organizations have regional headquarters in the city.
Over the ages, and as far back as four thousand years, Egypt stood as the land where many civilizations have met. The Pharaohs together with the Greeks, Babylonians and the Romans have left their imprints here. Muslims from the Arabian Peninsula introduced Islam into Egypt.
The cultural mixture in this city is only natural, considering its heritage. Egypt can be likened to an open museum with monuments of the different historical periods on display everywhere.