الجيزة (Egyptian Arabic)
|Coordinates: 29°59′13″N 31°12′42″E / 29.9870°N 31.2118°E|
|• Governor||Ahmed Rashed |
|• Total||98.4 km2 (38.0 sq mi)|
|Elevation||30 m (100 ft)|
|• Density||44,000/km2 (110,000/sq mi)|
|• Demonym||Gizan Gizanne|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EST)|
|Area code||(+20) 2|
Giza (/ˈɡiːzə/; sometimes spelled Gizah, Gizeh, Geeza, Jiza; Egyptian Arabic: الجيزة el-Gīza [elˈgiːzæ]) is the third-largest city in Egypt by area after Cairo and Alexandria; and fourth-largest city in Africa by population after Kinshasa, Lagos and Cairo. It is the capital of Giza Governorate with a total population of 4,872,448 in the 2017 census. It is located on the west bank of the Nile opposite central Cairo, and is a part of the Greater Cairo metropolis. Giza lies less than 30 km (18.64 mi) north of Memphis (Men-nefer, today the village of Mit Rahina), which was the capital city of the unified Egyptian state during the reign of pharaoh Narmer, roughly 3100 BC.
Giza is most famous as the location of the Giza Plateau, the site of some of the most impressive ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a number of other large pyramids and temples. Giza has always been a focal point in Egypt's history due to its location close to Memphis, the ancient pharaonic capital of the Old Kingdom.
Districts and population
The city of Giza is the capital of the Giza Governorate, and is located near the northeast border of this governorate.
2017 Population and administrative divisions
Giza city is a municipal division and capital of Giza governorate with an appointed city head. It comprises nine districts (ahya', singl. hayy) and five new towns (mudun jadidah) administered by the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA).
The districts/qisms fully subsume to the city head and according to the 2017 census had 4,872,448 residents:
|Shamal (North)/ Imbâba||210100||632599|
|Janoub (South)/ Jîza, al-||210400||285723|
|Shaykh Zâyid, al (new city)||211900||90699|
|6 October 1 (new city)||212000||93012|
|6 October 2 (new city)||212100||196373|
|6 October 3 (new city)||212300||59485|
The new towns are mostly administered by the national level New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), with some public services under the jurisdiction of Giza. They are confusingly named madina (city), however they are not administratively incorporated as such where many are formed of a single district or qism. Ones not in the 2017 census as they were not yet incorporated, or inhabited at that time are:
- New 6th of October
- October Gardens
- New Sphinx
Permanently inhabited Nile islands:
- Qorsaya Island (Janoub/Giza district)
- Dahab Island (Janoub/Giza district)
- Al-Warraq Island (Al-Warraq district)
The city's population was reported as 2,681,863 in the 2006 national census, while the governorate had 6,272,571 at the same census, without specifying what the city is. The former figure corresponds to the sum of 9 districts/qisms.
|Giza, 9 kisms (contiguous)||2,681,863||98.4|
|Giza, 10 kisms (not contiguous)||2,822,271||115.7|
|Giza, 10 kisms + Giza markaz (contiguous)||3,063,777||187|
|Giza, 10 kisms + Giza, Kerdasa, Ossim markaz (contiguous)||–||338.9|
Geography and history
Giza's most famous landform and archaeological site, the Giza Plateau, holds some major monuments of Egyptian history, and is home to the Great Sphinx. Once thriving with the Nile that flowed right into the Giza Plateau, the pyramids of Giza were built overlooking the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis, across the river from modern day Cairo. The Great Pyramid of Giza at one time was advocated (1884) as the location for the Prime Meridian, a reference point used for determining a base longitude.
Giza experiences a hot desert climate like arid climate (Köppen: BWh). Its climate is similar to Cairo, owing to its proximity. Wind storms can be frequent across Egypt in spring, bringing Saharan dust into the city during the months of March and April. High temperatures in winter range from 16 to 20 °C (61 to 68 °F), while nighttime lows drop to below 7 °C (45 °F). In summer, the highs are 40 °C (104 °F), and the lows can drop to about 20 °C (68 °F). Rain is infrequent in Giza; snow is extremely rare.
Up to August 2013, the highest recorded temperature was 46 °C (115 °F) on 13 June 1965, while the lowest recorded temperature was 2 °C (36 °F) on 8 January 1966.
|Climate data for Giza|
|Record high °C (°F)||28
|Average high °C (°F)||19.3
|Daily mean °C (°F)||13.0
|Average low °C (°F)||6.8
|Record low °C (°F)||2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||4
|Source 1: Climate-Data.org|
|Source 2: Voodoo Skies for record temperatures|
The area in what is now Giza served as the necropolis of several pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt, during the second millennium BC. Three of these tombs, in the form of giant pyramids, are what is now the famed Giza pyramid complex, featuring the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Classical to medieval era
As ancient Egypt passed under several conquests under the Persians, Greeks, Romans and Byzantines, so did the area in what is now Giza. A Byzantine village named Phylake (Greek: Φυλακή) or Terso (Coptic: ϯⲣⲥⲱ, meaning "the fortress", now Tersa) was located south of Giza and should not be confused with it.
Egyptians called the area Tipersis (Bohairic Coptic: ϯⲡⲉⲣⲥⲓⲥ[a] and Sahidic Coptic: ⲧⲡⲉⲣⲥⲓⲥ ⲛ̀ⲃⲁⲃⲩⲗⲱⲛ, lit. 'the Persian (fortress) of Babylon'). Eutychius gives a legend the about city's name and its foundation by Artaxerxes Ochus, while Abu Salih says it was found by a Persian king Hūš at the same time as Qasr ash-Sham, but in view of the fact that older evidence is missing, it is perhaps most likely to have been founded during the Sasanian conquest of Egypt in the early 7th century.
As Muslims of the fledgling Islamic caliphate went on with their conquest of Egypt from the Byzantine Empire beginning in 639 AD, three years after their victory at the battle of Yarmouk in 636 AD, they conquered all of the land by the time they captured the city of Alexandria in 641 AD. A year later in 642 AD (year 21 in Islamic calendar), they founded the city of Giza. The exact etymology of its name is unknown. Al-Maqrizi suggested an irregular Arameo-Arabic root meaning "edge, side" to be the source. Everett-Heath suggested Ancient Egyptian: r-gs-ḥr "on the side of the height (pyramid)". Peust also suggests a Persian etymology of the word from Middle Persian: 𐭣𐭦, romanized: diz, lit. 'fortress, castle', which Persians could have given to the pyramids or a fortress they found in the area.
Giza has seen many changes over time. Changes in infrastructure during the different occupations of Egypt by various rulers, including the British in the 18th and early 20th century, focused on the construction of roads, streets, and buildings in the area. Giza is a thriving centre of Egyptian culture and is quite heavily populated, with many facilities and buildings in the current area. Giza saw much attention in particular to its vast amount of ancient Egyptian monuments found on the Giza Plateau, and has astonished thousands of visitors and tourists over the years. Giza's infrastructure saw much attention from both the British government prior to the 1952 coup d'état, as well as the current Egyptian government due to the city's importance in tourism. Giza's St. George Cathedral is the episcopal see of the Coptic Catholic Eparchy of Giza.
The city hosts the first zoo on the entire African continent and one of the oldest in the Mediterranean region, the Giza Zoo. In addition, there are several parks, the most famous among them is Orman Park, which means "Forest Park" in the Turkish language.
Transportation in Giza comprises an extensive road network, rail system, subway system, and maritime services. Road transport is facilitated by personal vehicles, taxi cabs, privately owned public buses and microbuses.
Giza shares with Cairo a subway system, officially called the "Metro (مترو)", a fast and efficient way of getting around. An extensive road network connects Giza with 6th of October City, Cairo and other cities. There are flyovers and bridges such as the 15th. Giza traffic is known to be overwhelming and overcrowded.
- Cairo Taxi
- Uber (Available in Cairo and Giza since 2015)
- Careem (Available in Cairo and Giza since 2015)
- Swvl (Available in Cairo and Giza since 2017) (A new concept of shared rides within Egypt).
- Water Taxis (Motorized Feluccas) available for transport to nearby places along the Nile River
Industries here include movies, chemicals, Giza cotton, machinery and cigarettes. In addition, Giza has many luxury apartment buildings along the Nile, making it a popular place to live.
Access to the city of Giza, which has its own governorate adjacent to the Governorate of Cairo, is dependent on the Cairo International Airport. Another local airport is found in Giza, called the Imbaba Airport, but recently the Egyptian government has decided to shut down the area and turn it into a cultural or an athletic area.
Sphinx International Airport opened in 2018.
Giza's learning institutions include Cairo University, which was moved to Giza in 1924. The city is a hub of education and educational services not only for Egypt but also for the entire Mediterranean Region. Giza has numerous schools, kindergartens, and institutes of higher learning.
The Cairo Japanese School, a Japanese international school, is in Giza. The Deutsche Evangelische Oberschule, a German international school, is located in Dokki in Giza. Previously the Pakistan International School of Cairo had its campus in Giza.
The city hosts the second most successful sports club in Egypt and Africa, El Zamalek, which is located in the Meet Okba neighbourhood near the Mohandesin neighbourhood. Beside El Zamalek there are other clubs like El Tersana and Seid Shooting Club which is one of the elite clubs in Egypt.
Twin towns and sister cities
Giza is twinned with:
- Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
- Bergen, Norway
- Los Angeles, United States
- Rinkeby, Stockholm, Sweden
- Amr Abou El Seoud (born 1968), bank CEO
- Giza church fire
- List of cities and towns in Egypt
- List of ancient Egyptian sites
- List of megalithic sites
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