Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Cairo Name Origin’s

The city of Cairo has an interesting history behind its name. Its name is derived from the Arabic word al-Qāhirah which translates to The Victorious.

Cairo's name is derived from the Arabic word al-Qāhirah, which means The Victorious. It was named after the city's establishment in 969 CE during the Fatimid Caliphate, signifying the region's conquest. Cairo is home to the world's oldest functioning university, Al-Azhar University, founded in 970 CE. 


Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, has a population of over 20 million people. It is interesting to note that approximately 95 percent of this population resides within a distance of 12 miles or 20 km from the Nile River and its delta. 

The Nile River has been a lifeline for the people of Egypt for thousands of years, providing water for irrigation, transportation, and other purposes. The delta region of the river is particularly fertile and supports a large number of people engaged in agriculture and fishing. However, vast areas of the country still remain sparsely populated or uninhabited, with much of the population concentrated in urban areas such as Cairo and other major cities.

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city on the African continent and has stood for more than 1,000 years on the same site on the banks of the Nile. Tucked away amid the modern urban area of Cairo lies one of the world's oldest Islamic cities. 

In the outskirts of Cairo, there are six communities of people known as the Zabaleen, which translates to garbage people in Arabic. These communities have developed a unique way of survival by collecting and recycling trash.

They have become experts in separating different types of waste such as plastic, metal, and paper. The Zabaleen then sell the recyclable materials to local factories to be processed. Despite facing challenges such as poor living conditions and lack of recognition, the Zabaleen have been able to build a sustainable and self-sufficient system of waste management that benefits both the environment and the local economy.

Did you know?

Mall of Arabia in Cairo, Egypt is the largest shopping mall in Africa, covering 2.8 million square feet; it boasts luxurious hotels, cinemas, gyms, casinos, and international brands, along with a hypermarket, food court, family entertainment center, and bowling alley. A hypermarket is a retail store that combines a department store and a grocery supermarket.

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