From Intro to Human Geography 2014

Jump to: navigation, search


Individuals working on this city

Brooker Muir User:bm12zy

Kate Monteith User:km12qe

Ariana Nunes User:an10ld

Lucas Fasullo User:lf11uz

[edit] Introduction



Cairo, Egypt is Located on the banks of the Nile River, Cairo is the capital of Egypt and is also Africa's largest city covering around 500 sq kilometres and its urban areas have an estimate population is 22 million, making it the 16th largest in the world. Cairo has been a major cultural, religious and political center of the Arab, Islamic and African worlds for centuries. [4]

The climate of Cairo is a hot desert climate with temperatures ranging form 20 to 30 °C (avg day time high) in the winter and the summer months ranges from 20 to 40°C (avg day time high). Since Cairo is a desert climate it seldom gets rainfall, typically there is little to no rainfall in the summer months (may-sept), and a sparce amount in winter. Due to its close proximity to the Nile rive the climate can get very humid. [5]

Cairo was founded in 969 AD by Jawhar al-Siqilli. The first major settlement in what we now refer to as, ‘Cairo’, was Al-Fustat (“tent city”). This city was founded in 641 A. D. by Amr ibn, an Arab commander. This town was military base by the Arabic commander 'Amr ibn al-'. Throughout the dynasties that would rule Egypt over the following centuries, the town developed into a major port city. Cairo, Egypt (founded c. 969 C.E.). [6]

Egypt has a booming industrial sector accounting for 30% of GDP in 2001. The industrial employers are clothing and textile manufactures. Cairo also has a large petroleum industry that accounts for 40% of export earnings. In 2002, the country had 9 oil refineries, and was producing 631,616 barrels per day of crude oil. [7] Both the textile and oil industry are some of Egypt’s main exports to Italy and the United States. Some of the main imports include wheat and iron from China and the United stated again. [8]

Cairo’s history dates back thousands of years and is full of history and culture. The Al-Azhar University, which was founded in the 10th century, Al-Azhar is thought to be the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Education in Egypt, as well as Cairo is mandatory and subsidized; tuition for Universities has been free since 1962. [9]

[edit] Globalization

caption=View of Cairos bustling city

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and considerably the largest city of the Arab world and although it is a world city it ranks in at 116 out of the worlds 120 major cities in terms of their economy. [11] A world city is a dominant city in terms of its role in the global political economy and rather their strategic control of the world. [12] Cairo has been strongly affected by globalization just like all world cities. However, the cities of the south have been affected differently than of the north due to the mechanisms of the globalization of the world market. This has led a greater space between the rich and the poor.[13] is described as the expansion of economic, political and cultural processes that connects individuals within different countries on a global scale. [14]Staring in the late 1980’s the Egyptian society and economy made a transition to a free-market capitalist system. This has led for new globalization to happen in Cairo such as suburban malls, amusement parks and urban stores.[15]

[edit] Political Geography

[edit] Egyptian Government

Cairo is the political capital of Egypt. Egypt is a republic and the current president is Abdul Fattah el-Sisi. He was recently elected in May 2014 due to the civil unrest that swept the country beginning in 2011. The Egyptian government is a parliamentary system, consisting of two houses of parliament. The upper house is called Majlis al-Shoura, and is similar to a senate. The lower house is called Majlis al-Sha'ab, which is similar to the House of Commons. The elected President serves a six year term, but there is no limit as to how many terms one can serve. In order for a president to run, he or she must be nominated by the Majlis al-Sha'ab and then voted into office through a national election. Although many Egyptian laws are based on the Qur'an and Islamic law, the government is secular.[16]

[edit] Egyptian Governorates

The 27 Districts of Cairo
The 27 Districts of Cairo
Egypt is currently a unitary state because it has a centralized government that is equally powerful over the entire state. [17] Egypt is spatially organized into 27 Governorates. A governorate may be just one large city or an area of several small cities. There is one president appointed governor per governorate. [18]

The Govenorate of Cairo is divided into 27 districts (Governorates) all governed by governor Galal Saeed. It is located on the East bank of the Nile River and is the largest metropolitan area in Africa. Many people migrate to the city to find employment because the city centre is home to many company headquarters and factories. Cairo has a public transportation system which brings people from the poorer outskirts of the city to the centre. Egypt's parliament buildings are located in the city centre. [19]

[edit] Political Unrest 2011-Present

[20] In early 2011, Egyptians became unhappy with the president at the time, Hosni Mubarak. Many protests broke out across the country and shortly after, Mubarak resigned. Most of these protests happened in Cairo. After the Mubarak resigned, the Council for the Armed Forces to control of the country however, many citizens were unhappy with this decision as well. So, an election was held in June, 2012 and Mohamed Morsi was elected as president. Months later, Morsi granted himself the power to legislate without any judicial review. His move led to massive and violent protests across the country. Egypt's armed forces, led by Abdul Fattah al-Sisi overthrew Morsi and took control of the government. The again led to massive protests by Morsi's supporters against the armed forces and police. Another election was quickly called in May 2014 and Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was elected president and won 96.6% of the vote. [21]

[edit] Population

[edit] Introduction


Cairo is one of the most densely populated capital cities in the world. Cairo is the largest city of the Middle East. Cairo has an estimated population of 12 million with a metropolitan population of roughly 22 million. Making it the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nearly 100% of Egypt's population resides in Cairo.[23]

[edit] Egypt's Demographics Profile 2014

Age structure 0-14 years: 32.1% (male 14,272,494/female 13,639,550)

15-24 years: 17.8% (male 7,913,351/female 7,536,925)

25-54 years: 38.4% (male 16,942,145/female 16,398,524)

55-64 years: 6.7% (male 2,888,193/female 2,973,531)

65 years and over: 5% (male 1,949,145/female 2,381,241) (2014 est.)

Dependency ratios total dependency ratio: 58.3 %

youth dependency ratio: 49.1 %

elderly dependency ratio: 9.3 %

potential support ratio: 10.8 (2014 est.)

Median age total: 25.1 years

male: 24.7 years

female: 25.4 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate 1.84% (2014 est.)

Birth rate 23.35 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate 4.77 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate -0.19 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization urban population: 43.5% of total population (2011)

rate of urbanization: 2.04% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population CAIRO (capital) 11.169 million; Alexandria 4.494 million (2011)

Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

[edit] Demographics


The demographic composition of Cairo is homogeneous, meaning, there are few minority communities and the existing ones are very small. There are no ethnic minorities aside from northern Sudanese, Nubians and refugees from Southern Sudan. Cairo's population is characterized by the youth. About 33% of the population is under 15 years old. 48.8% of the population is female, creating practically an even girl to guy ratio. The population of Cairo is estimated to be growing at a rate of 2% per year. The labour market is growing 3% annually due to the large influx of youth reaching working age. [25]

[edit] Social Geography

[edit] Gender Equality

Out of 142 countries, the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report rates Egypt 129 for gender equality. Egypt scored low on female empowerment in politics as well as in the general economy. [26] As Egypt’s parliament is located in Cairo, this could provide women the opportunity to be involved in politics. However, women take only eight seats out of 454 in parliament. There are also only three female ministers and no all 29 of Egypt’s governor’s are male. Egypt’s administrative court ruled against women becoming judges because they are believed to be unfit due to their mothering duties. However, this decision was overruled in 2010, but no women have yet to be appointed. [27]

[edit] Social Inequality

25.2 per cent of the population in Cairo lives in poverty. [28] There is an unfortunate two-tiered system of social services, where the wealthier are able to afford better health care, education and housing and the poor only have access to deplorable public services. Areas around the city often lack access to proper sanitation so families must pay to have their sewage emptied. Many low socio-economic status neighbourhoods do not have access to running water and if they do, there is very little pressure making it hard to get. Families living in the city center can pay to be connected to the city’s water network, which is much better. Supposedly, there is universal and free education for children, but many schools are privatized. Parents must pay a tuition fee for their children to attend a good school. There are public schools, but they do not have access to the same resources the private schools have. Often, children do not attend school past the seventh or eighth grade because their parents cannot afford it. [29]

[edit] Egyptian Identity

Arab Unity located in Cairo

The official language spoken is Arabic, but citizens call it Egyptian-Arabic as it is slightly different than the language spoken in other Arab countries. Egypt is known for the pyramids in Giza as well as the history of their ancient world. The main identity problem arises between Egypt and other Arab countries as it is unknown if Egypt really is an Arab country or not. Many citizens have trouble distinguishing between an Egyptian identity and an Arab identity and most do not know what they would rather be. Arab countries share many cultural traits, including language, religious practices (Islam) and often, political problems. Egypt is included in the Arab Unity and their headquarters is in Cairo. [31]

[edit] Migration


Migration is defined as a change in a residence, which intends to be permanent [33].The amount of migrants in Cairo is estimated to be between 300 thousand and 3 million with 86 thousand of them being refugees which are mainly Palestinians . With that the UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) recorded Cairo as one of the top five largest urban refugee populations in the world [34].Without refugee status in Egypt it is nearly impossible to find work, leading people to suffer with unemployment salaries to be with held a majority of the time if a job is to be had under the table. Cairo also has high rates of internal migration from Upper Egypt; internal migration is the human movement inside a nation state [35]. This means Egyptians are moving from Upper Egypt, which is considered the underdeveloped part of the country, in terms to find labour. They also migrate because of family that lives in Cairo and the possibility of networking themselves into a government job. In 1985 the streets of Cairo was considered to be treacherous as there was mass migration and an exceptionally high birthrate. In a matter of 30 years, the cities metropolitan population had gone from 2.5 million to an estimated 12 million. This lead the streets to being jammed packed, with tens of thousands more coming in looking for work [36]. The majority of migrants that reside in Cairo are Sudanese, as well as African’s that escaped the Sudan war [37]. There are three different ethnic groups that make up the population in Cairo and Egypt, which is Berbers at 0.4%, Europeans 0.4%, and Egyptians (Arabs) at 99% [38]

[edit] Cultural Geography

[edit] Introduction

Cultural Geography is a topic within Human Geography. It deals with the practices and norms in relation to places and space. The customs and practices in Egypt are considered cosmopolitan due to its combination of several different traditions and cultures. The traditions introduced by Pharaohs is still very prevalent within Egypt amongst modern Egyptian culture. Egypt can be considered to be a melting pot where several cultures and ethnicities intertwine and embrace the differing customs and traditions which surround them.[39]

[edit] Language

Egypt is very unique due to their language and its past. Hieroglyphs were widely used in Egypt, they can be seen on ancient literature, wood or monuments in Egypt. More recently, Arabic has been the written and spoken language of Egypt. It is the language of both Christian and Muslim Egyptians. English and French are also widely spoken throughout Egypt.[40]

[edit] Religion

Islam is the religion widely practiced amongst Egyptians. It governs their economic, political, social and legal lives. Muslims are required to pray five times a day; dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and evening. In Egypt, the exact times in which one is expected to pray is listed in all local newspapers every day. On Fridays, everything is closed because it is considered the Muslim Holy Day.[41]

[edit] Ramadan

[42] Ramadan is a very special month for all Muslims in Egypt. It is a holy month in which sacrifices are made to cleanse the body, mind and spirit. During this month, abstaining from food, drink and physical pleasures are necessary. The purpose is to practice sacrificing needs in order to focus your attention on God. During this month, every part of the body must be restrained from all evil actions, words and thoughts.[43]

[edit] Ancient Egyptian Culture


Ancient Egyptian culture was prevalent between 5500 BCE during the rise of technology and 30 BCE, the death of Cleopatra VII, a ruler of Egypt. Ancient Egyptian culture is famous today for its breathtaking monuments that celebrated the victories of the rulers and honoured the gods of land. A passion for life was embedded within this ancient culture. Regardless of social standing during these times, all Egyptians appreciated life and enjoyed existence. [45]

[edit] References

  1. View of pyramids Retrieved from:
  2. Cairo, Egypt. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from
  3. Flag of Egypt Retrieved from:
  4. Cairo Facts Retrieved from:
  5. World weather: Cairo Retrieved from:
  6. Cairo History: Retrieved from:
  7. Egypt Industry Retrieved from:
  8. Observatory of economics complexity. Retrieved from:
  9. Cairo Education Retrieved from :
  10. View of Cairos bustling city Retrieved from :
  11. Cunningham, E.(2013). Cairo ranked one of the world’s least competitive cities. Retrieved from:
  12. Fouberg, E. (2012). Human Geography, Canadian Edition [VitalSource bookshelf version]. Retrieved from
  13. Ahmed, S. (2010). Impact of Globalization On A Southern Cosmopolitan City (Cairo): A Humans Rights Perspective. Retrieved from
  14. Fouberg, E. (2012). Human Geography, Canadian Edition [VitalSource bookshelf version]. Retrieved from
  15. ADHAM, K. (2005). Globalization, Neoliberalism, and New Spaces of Capital in Cairo. Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, (1). 19. Retrieved from
  16. Hartwell, T. Cairo: Politics and Economy. Retrieved from:
  17. Fouberg et al. (2012). Human Geography, Canadian Edition. Mississauga, ON: John Wiley&Sons Canada, Ltd.
  18. Governorates Directory. Retrieved from:
  19. All Countries: Egypt. Retrieved from:
  20. Military takes over in Egypt. Accessed December 10 2014 From
  21. Egypt in Transition: Who holds the power? BBC News. Retrieved from:
  22. Cairo's Population Density, Britannica. Accessed December 10, 2014 From
  23. Cairo Population 2014:
  24. The Arab Spring and Demographics. Accessed December10 2014 From
  25. Demographics of Egypt. Princeton Education. Accessed on December 9 2014 From
  26. World Economic Forum: Gender Rankings 2014. Retrieved from:
  27. El-Naggar, Mona. (2010). The New York Times: In Egypt, Women Have Burdens but No Privileges. Retrieved from:
  28. Al-Youm, Al-Masry. Poverty rate increased to 25.2 percent of population. Egypt Independent. Retrieved from:
  29. Soafman, Sarah. (2011). Social Inequality in Egypt. Retrieved from:
  30. Arab League, Accessed on December 10 2014 From
  31. Every Culture: Egypt. Retrieved from:
  32. 500+ migrants killed at sea by smugglers. Accessed December 10 2014 From
  33. Fouberg, E. (2012). Human Geography, Canadian Edition [VitalSource bookshelf version]. Retrieved from
  34. Daniel, M. (2010). Integration Building Inclusive Societies. Migration and Integration Cairo. Retrieved From:
  35. Fouberg, E. (2012). Human Geography, Canadian Edition [VitalSource bookshelf version]. Retrieved from
  36. . Robert, H. (1985). Los Angeles Times. Mass Migration Turns Cairo Into Urban Dungeon. Retrieved from:
  37. Daniel, M. (2010). Integration Building Inclusive Societies. Migration and Integration Cairo. Retrieved From:
  38. Daniel, M. (2010). Integration Building Inclusive Societies. Migration and Integration Cairo. Retrieved From:
  39. Egypt Culture and Traditions. Accessed December 10 2014 From
  40. Egypt- Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette. Accessed December 10 2014 From
  41. Egypt- Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette. Accessed December 10 2014 From
  42. Ramadan Celebration Photos. Accessed December 10 2014 From
  43. What is Ramadan? Accessed December 10 2014 From
  44. Ancient Egypt. Accessed December 10 2014 From
  45. Ancient Egyptian Culture, Accessed December 10 2014 From
Personal tools
Bookmark and Share