A report on Fustat

The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As. Though none of the original structure remains, this mosque was the first one built in Egypt, and it was around this location, at the site of the tent of the commander Amr ibn al-As, that the city of Fustat was built.
Lustreware Plate with Bird Motif, 11th century. Archaeological digs have found many kilns and ceramic fragments in Fustat, and it was likely an important production location for Islamic ceramics during the Fatimid period.
The ruins of Fustat in Old Cairo
Indian textile fragment, circa 1545 – 1645, found in Fustat. Old, discarded textile fragments are commonly found in the area, preserved in the dry climate of Egypt.

The first capital of Egypt under Muslim rule, and the historical centre of modern Cairo.

- Fustat

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Cairo

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Capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world.

Capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world.

Remains of a circular Roman tower at the Babylon Fortress (late 3rd century) in Old Cairo
Excavated ruins of Fustat (2004 photo)
The Mosque of Ibn Tulun, built by Ahmad Ibn Tulun in 876–879 AD
A plan of Cairo before 1200 AD, as reconstructed by Stanley Lane-Poole (1906), showing the location of Fatimid structures, Saladin's Citadel, and earlier sites (Fustat not shown)
The Cairo Citadel, seen above in the late 19th century, was begun by Saladin in 1176
Mausoleum-Madrasa-Hospital complex of Sultan Qalawun, built in 1284–1285 in the center of Cairo, over the remains of a Fatimid palace
Funerary complex of Sultan Qaytbay, built in 1470–1474 in the Northern Cemetery (seen in lithograph from 1848)
Map of Cairo in 1809, from the Description de l'Égypte.
Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933). On the Way between Old and New Cairo, Citadel Mosque of Mohammed Ali, and Tombs of the Mamelukes, 1872. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum
Qasr El Nil Bridge
Aerial view 1904 from a balloon where the Egyptian Museum appears to the right side.
A panoramic view of Cairo, 1950s
Everyday life in Cairo, 1950s
A protester holding an Egyptian flag during the protests that started on 25 January 2011.
The river Nile flows through Cairo, here contrasting ancient customs of daily life with the modern city of today.
Aerial view looking south, with the Zamalek and Gezira districts on Gezira Island, surrounded by the Nile
Cairo seen from Spot Satellite
Cairo weather observations by French savants
View of the 6th October Bridge and the Cairo skyline.
Cairo University is the largest university in Egypt, and is located in Giza.
Library building at the new campus of the American University of Cairo in New Cairo
The interior of Ramses Station
The Autostrade in Nasr City
Cairo International Stadium with 75,100 seats
Cairo Opera House, at the National Cultural Center, Zamalek district.
Khedivial Opera House, 1869.
Solomon Schechter studying documents from the Cairo Geniza, c. 1895.
Statue of Talaat Pasha Harb, the father of the modern Egyptian economy, in Downtown Cairo
The NBE towers as viewed from the Nile
View of Tahrir Square (in 2008)
Main entrance of the Egyptian Museum, located at Tahrir Square
Cairo Tower at night
The Hanging Church in Old Cairo
Al-Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo
Al-Azhar Mosque, view of Fatimid-era courtyard and Mamluk minarets
Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan and the al-Rifa'i Mosque, seen from the Citadel
The Citadel of Cairo, with the Mosque of Muhammad Ali
A medieval gateway in Khan al-Khalili
Smog in Cairo
Traffic in Cairo
View of the Nile and the Cairo skyline.
6th October Bridge in Cairo
Cairo International Stadium with 75,100 seats
View of Tahrir Square (in 2020)
Smog in Cairo
Traffic in Cairo

Located near the Nile Delta, the city first developed as Fustat, a settlement founded after the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 640 next to an existing ancient Roman fortress, Babylon.

Evolution of the Fatimid state

Fatimid Caliphate

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Ismaili Shia caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east.

Ismaili Shia caliphate extant from the tenth to the twelfth centuries AD. Spanning a large area of North Africa, it ranged from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east.

Evolution of the Fatimid state
Map of Abu Abdallah's campaigns and battles during the overthrow of the Aghlabids
Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, built by the Fatimids between 970 and 972
The Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo, commissioned by Al-'Aziz in 990 and completed by al-Hakim in 1013 (later renovated in the 1980s by the Dawoodi Bohra)
Al-Juyushi Mosque, Cairo, overlooking the city from the Muqattam Hills
Bab al-Futuh, one of the gates of Cairo dating from Badr al-Jamali's reconstruction of the city walls (1987)
Al-Salih Tala'i Mosque in Cairo, built by Tala'i ibn Ruzzik in 1160 and originally intended to house the head of Husayn (the head ended up being interred instead at the present-day al-Hussein Mosque)
The original Fatimid-period mihrab inside the al-Azhar Mosque
Side chapel in the Hanging Church in Old Cairo, including frescoes (partly visible behind the screen here) dating from the late 12th or 13th century, before the church's later renovation
Cover page of the Leningrad Codex, a manuscript of the Hebrew Bible copied in Cairo/Fustat in the early 11th century
Entrance portal of the Great Mosque of Mahdia (10th century)
Fragment of a bowl depicting a mounted warrior, 11th century. Fatimid dynasty, found in Fustat, Egypt. Brooklyn Museum

The city was located several miles northeast of Fusṭāt, the older regional capital founded by the Arab conquerors in the seventh century.

Egypt

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Transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.

Transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula.

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Temple of Derr ruins in 1960
The Giza Necropolis is the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
Egyptian soldier of the Achaemenid army, c. 480 BCE. Xerxes I tomb relief.
The Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII and her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, at the Temple of Dendera
The Amr ibn al-As mosque in Cairo, recognized as the oldest in Africa
The Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, of Ahmad Ibn Tulun
The Al-Hakim Mosque in Cairo, of Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth caliph, as renovated by Dawoodi Bohra
Napoleon defeated the Mamluk troops in the Battle of the Pyramids, 21 July 1798, painted by Lejeune.
Egypt under Muhammad Ali dynasty
Muhammad Ali was the founder of the Muhammad Ali dynasty and the first Khedive of Egypt and Sudan.
The battle of Tel el-Kebir in 1882 during the Anglo-Egyptian War
Female nationalists demonstrating in Cairo, 1919
Fuad I of Egypt with Edward, Prince of Wales, 1932
British infantry near El Alamein, 17 July 1942
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser in Mansoura, 1960
Smoke rises from oil tanks beside the Suez Canal hit during the initial Anglo-French assault on Egypt, 5 November 1956.
Egyptian tanks advancing in the Sinai desert during the Yom Kippur War, 1973
Celebrating the signing of the 1978 Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin, Jimmy Carter, Anwar Sadat
Cairo grew into a metropolitan area with a population of over 20 million.
Women in Cairo wear face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt in March 2020.
Egypt's topography
The Qattara Depression in Egypt's north west
The Eastern Imperial Eagle is the national animal of Egypt.
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is the current President of Egypt.
Egyptian honor guard soldiers during a visit of U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen
President el-Sisi with US President Donald Trump, 21 May 2017
The High Court of Justice in Downtown Cairo
Protesters from the Third Square movement, which supported neither the former Morsi government nor the Armed Forces, 31 July 2013
Prominent Egyptian dissident Alaa Abd El-Fattah was sentenced to five years of imprisonment in December 2021.
1. Matrouh
2. Alexandria
3. Beheira
4. Kafr El Sheikh
5. Dakahlia
6. Damietta
7. Port Said
8. North Sinai
9. Gharbia
10. Monufia
11. Qalyubia
12. Sharqia
13. Ismailia
14. Giza
15. Faiyum
16. Cairo
17. Suez
18. South Sinai
19. Beni Suef
20. Minya
21. New Valley
22. Asyut
23. Red Sea
24. Sohag
25. Qena
26. Luxor
27. Aswan
Change in per capita GDP of Egypt, 1820–2018. Figures are inflation-adjusted to 2011 International dollars.
Smart Village, a business district established in 2001 to facilitate the growth of high-tech businesses
The Suez Canal
Tourists riding an Arabian camel in front of Pyramid of Khafre. The Giza Necropolis is one of Egypt's main tourist attractions.
An offshore platform in the Darfeel Gas Field
The Cairo Metro (line 2)
The Suez Canal Bridge
Green irrigated land along the Nile amidst the desert and in the delta
Egypt's population density (people per km2)
St. Mark Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria
Cairo University
Egyptian literacy rate among the population aged 15 years and older by UNESCO Institute of Statistics
Children's Cancer Hospital Egypt
Al-Azhar Park is listed as one of the world's sixty great public spaces by the Project for Public Spaces.
The "weighing of the heart" scene from the Book of the Dead
Naguib Mahfouz, the first Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature
Salah Zulfikar, film star
Soad Hosny, film star
Tanoura dancers performing in Wekalet El Ghoury, Cairo
The Egyptian Museum of Cairo
Tutankhamun's burial mask is one of the major attractions of the Egyptian Museum of Cairo.
Kushari, one of Egypt's national dishes
A crowd at Cairo Stadium watching the Egypt national football team

The Arabs founded the capital of Egypt called Fustat, which was later burned down during the Crusades.

The Amr ibn al-As Mosque in Fustat, Egypt

Amr ibn al-As

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The Arab commander who led the Muslim conquest of Egypt and served as its governor in 640–646 and 658–664.

The Arab commander who led the Muslim conquest of Egypt and served as its governor in 640–646 and 658–664.

The Amr ibn al-As Mosque in Fustat, Egypt
The Amr ibn al-As mosque in Fustat, Egypt
The ravines of the Yarmouk River where Amr kept the Byzantines confined at the decisive Battle of Yarmouk in 636
Map detailing the route of Amr and al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam's conquest of Egypt
Amr initially halted his campaign at the Babylon Fortress (pictured in 2008), but ultimately forced its Byzantine garrison to evacuate in April 641 after a lengthy siege.
Outline of the Seal of Amr Ibn Al-Aas from 643 CE
A map depicting growth of the Caliphate. The red-lined areas indicate the territories annexed by the Caliphate—namely most of Palestine, Egypt, Cyrenaica and Tripolitania—as a result of Amr's conquests

He founded Fustat as the provincial capital with the mosque later called after him at its center.

Old Cairo, view of Roman gate under the Hanging Church.

Old Cairo

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Historic area in Cairo, Egypt, which includes the site of a Roman-era fortress and of Islamic-era settlements pre-dating the founding of Cairo proper in AD 969.

Historic area in Cairo, Egypt, which includes the site of a Roman-era fortress and of Islamic-era settlements pre-dating the founding of Cairo proper in AD 969.

Old Cairo, view of Roman gate under the Hanging Church.
c.1800 map showing Medieval Cairo (Le Kaire, left) and Old Cairo (Vieux Kaire, right)
Cairo, channel between Rhoda Island and Old Cairo, Egypt
Detailed map of Old Cairo, opposite Roda Island and Giza

Old Cairo contains the remnants of those cities which were capitals before Cairo itself, such as Fustat, al-Askar and al-Qatta'i.

Amr ibn al-As Mosque

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Mosque of Amr ibn al-As
Mosque of Amr in Cairo. 1893. Wilbour Library of Egyptology, Brooklyn Museum
Egypt - Mosque of Amru, Cairo. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection
Arcades in the Mosque of 'Amr ibn al-'As

The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As (جامع عمرو بن العاص), or Taj al-Jawame' (تاج الجوامِع), or Masjid Ahl ar-Rayah (مسجد اهل الرّاية), or Jame’ al-Ateeq (جامِع العتِيق), was originally built in 641–642 AD, as the center of the newly founded capital of Egypt, Fustat.

Plan of Alexandria c. 30 BC

Alexandria

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Mediterranean port city in Egypt.

Mediterranean port city in Egypt.

Plan of Alexandria c. 30 BC
Alexander the Great
The Lighthouse of Alexandria on coins minted in Alexandria in the second century (1: reverse of a coin of Antoninus Pius, and 2: reverse of a coin of Commodus).
Alexandria in the late 18th century, by Luigi Mayer
Entry of General Bonaparte into Alexandria, oil on canvas, 365 x,, Versailles
The Battle of Abukir, by Antoine-Jean Gros 1806
Alexandria: bombardment by British naval forces
Map of the city in the 1780s, by Louis-François Cassas.
Macedonian Army, shown on the Alexander Sarcophagus.
Engraving by L. F. Cassas of the Canopic Street in Alexandria, Egypt made in 1784.
Satellite image of Alexandria and other cities show its surrounding coastal plain
Lake Mariout
Egypt – Obelisk, Alexandria. Brooklyn Museum Archives, Goodyear Archival Collection.
Roman Amphitheater
Roman Pompey's Pillar
Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral
Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
Side view of The Temple of Taposiris Magna.
Citadel of Qaitbay
Jewish girls during Bat Mitzva in Alexandria
Collège Saint Marc
Lycée Français d'Alexandrie
Borg El Arab International Airport
Alexandria port
Misr Railway Station
An Alexandria tram
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Alexandria Stadium
The Italian consulate in Saad Zaghloul Square
Shalalat Gardens
Montaza Garden
Alexandria Art Centre
Alexandria Opera House
Fawzia Fahmy Palace
Alexander the Great's statue
Monument of the Unknown Navy Soldier
Montaza Palace
Al Qa'ed Ibrahim Mosque

It retained this status for almost a millennium, through the period of Roman and Eastern Roman rule until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641 AD, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo).

Abbasid Caliphate

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The third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

The third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

Folio from the Tarikhnama of Bal'ami depicting al-Saffah (r. 750–754) as he receives pledges of allegiance in Kufa
The city of Baghdad between 767 and 912 CE.
Battle of Talas, 751
Map of Abbasid Caliphate and its provinces c 788 (2nd century Hijri)
Harun al-Rashid (r. 786–809) receiving a delegation sent by Charlemagne at his court in Baghdad. Painting by German painter (1827–1918), dated 1864. Oil on canvas.
Gold dinar minted during the reign of al-Amin (809–813)
Map of Abbasid empire and other world empires in 9th century
Map of the fragmented Abbasid empire, with areas still under direct control of the Abbasid central government (dark green) and under autonomous rulers (light green) adhering to nominal Abbasid suzerainty, c. 892
Southwest Asia – c. 970 A.D
Coin of the Abbasids, Baghdad, 1244
Siege of Baghdad by the Mongols led by Hulagu Khan in 1258
Manuscript from the Abbasid era
Jabir ibn Hayyan, a pioneer in organic chemistry.
Ibn al-Haytham, "the father of Optics.
Baraka Palace in Samarra
Illustration from More tales from the Arabian nights (1915)
Zumurrud Khatun Tomb (1200 CE), in cemetery at Baghdad
9th-century harem wall painting fragments found in Samarra
Bowl with Kufic Inscription, 9th century, Brooklyn Museum
Qasr al-'Ashiq palace in Samarra, constructed during 877–882. Emir 'Amad al-Dawla wrote a poem about this palace. During the medieval period, it was referred to as "al-Ma'shuq (المعشوق)" which means "beloved".
Illustration showing a water clock given to Charlemagne by Harun al-Rashid
Windmills were among Abbasid inventions in technology.
Hunayn ibn Ishaq was an influential translator, scholar, physician, and scientist.
Ukhaidir Fortress, located south of Karbala, is a large, rectangular fortress erected in 775 AD with a unique defensive style.
The provinces of Abbasid Caliphate in c. 850 under al-Mutawakkil
The Madrasa of Al-Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, established in 1227, one of the only Abbasid-era madrasas remaining today

The Fatimid dynasty took control of Idrisid and Aghlabid domains, advanced to Egypt in 969, and established their capital near Fustat in Cairo, which they built as a bastion of Shia learning and politics.

Ruins of the pillared hall of Ramesses II at Mit Rahina

Memphis, Egypt

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The ancient capital of Inebu-hedj, the first nome of Lower Egypt that was known as mḥw ("north").

The ancient capital of Inebu-hedj, the first nome of Lower Egypt that was known as mḥw ("north").

Ruins of the pillared hall of Ramesses II at Mit Rahina
Memphis and its necropolis Saqqara as seen from the International Space Station
Ritualistic object depicting the god Nefertem, who was mainly worshipped in Memphis, The Walters Art Museum
Rameses II flanked by Ptah and Sekhmet
Sculpture from the Middle Kingdom restored in the name of Rameses II
Relief representing the High Priest of Ptah, Shoshenq
Ruins of the palace of Apries, in Memphis
Alexander at the Temple of Apis in Memphis, by Andre Castaigne (1898–1899)
Artist's depiction of the western forecourt of the Great Temple of Ptah at Memphis
Column depicting Merenptah making an offering to Ptah
The ruins of the temple of Hathor of Memphis
A statue of the sacred bull, Apis, found at the Serapeum of Saqqara.
Ankhefenmut kneels before the royal cartouche of Siamun, on a lintel from the Temple of Amun in Memphis
The colossus of Rameses II in the open-air museum
The famed stepped Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara, the Memphis necropolis
The ruins of the palace of Apries, overlooking Memphis
James Rennell's map of Memphis and Cairo in 1799, showing the changes in the course of the Nile river
Statue of Rameses II, uncovered in Memphis by Joseph Hekekyan
Museum worker in the process of cleaning the Rameses II colossus
Depiction of Ptah found on the walls of the Temple of Hathor
The alabaster sphinx found outside the Temple of Ptah
Statue of Rameses II in the open-air museum
Closeup of the sphinx outside the Temple of Ptah
Colossus of Rameses II

Memphis remained the second city of Egypt until the establishment of Fustat (or Fostat) in 641 AD. Afterward it was largely abandoned and became a source of stone for the surrounding settlements.

Al-Qata'i

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The short-lived Tulunid capital of Egypt, founded by Ahmad ibn Tulun in the year 868 CE.

The short-lived Tulunid capital of Egypt, founded by Ahmad ibn Tulun in the year 868 CE.

Al-Qata'i was located immediately to the northeast of the previous capital, al-Askar, which in turn was adjacent to the settlement of Fustat.