Cairo overpopulated? No problem! You don’t have to move house if you’ve too many kids and not enough space. You just extend your home upwards! Personally, I can’t help wondering whether these wonky structures are actually a convenient place for stashing eccentric aunties and dodgy uncles.
Cairo is the capital of Egypt. It is the largest city in the Middle East and the Arab world, and the second-largest in Africa. Greater Cairo is the 15th-largest metropolitan area in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt as both the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are situated in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 CE by Jawhar al-Siqilli (“The Sicilian”) of the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region’s political and cultural life, and is nicknamed “the city of a thousand minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture.
With a population of 6.76 million spread over 453 square kilometers (175 square miles), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. With an additional 10 million inhabitants just outside the city, it resides at the centre of the largest metropolitan area in Africa and the Arab World, and is also the 18th-largest urban area in the world. Cairo, like many other mega-cities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic. Cairo’s metro, one of only two metros on the African continent (the other being Algiers), ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion passenger rides per annum. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, and 43rd globally by Foreign Policy‘s 2010 Global Cities Index.