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  • Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Middle-East and second-largest in Africa after Lagos. Its metropolitan area is the 16th largest in the world. Located near the Nile Delta, it was founded in AD 969. Nicknamed "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a center of the region's political and cultural life. Cairo was founded by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century CE, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo is also associated with Ancient Egypt as it is close to the ancient cities of Memphis, Giza and Fustat which are near the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza. Egyptians today often refer to Cairo as Maṣr, the Egyptian Arabic pronunciation of the name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's continued role in Egyptian influence. Its official name is القاهرة al-Qāhirah, means literally "the Vanquisher"; "the Conqueror"; or: "the victorious" after the Arabic name of the planet Mars. Sometimes it is informally also referred to as كايرو Kayro.

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