Minya Governorate on the map of Egypt
|• Total||32,279 km2 (12,463 sq mi)|
|• Density||160/km2 (400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
Minya Governorate (Arabic: محافظة المنيا) is one of the governorates of Upper Egypt. The name originates from the chief city of the governorate, originally known in Sahidic Coptic as Tmoone (ⲧⲙⲟⲟⲛⲉ) and in Bohairic as Thmonē (ⲑⲙⲟⲛⲏ), meaning “the residence”, in reference to a monastery formerly in the area. The name may also originate from the city's name in Egyptian Men'at Khufu.
Little is known today about Minya Governorate compared to its great wealth of important archaeological sites. Its remarkable history, including Ancient Egyptian, Hellenistic, Roman and Arab periods, has not yet received the full attention of scholars.
Ancient Egyptian period
The village of Bani Hasan al Shurruq houses 390 rock-cut decorated tombs and chapels from the Middle Kingdom (2000–1580 BC, especially the sixteenth dynasty). The Speos Artemidos is nearby, and hosts temples built by Queen Hatshepsut.
Akhetaten was built by Pharaoh Akhenaten and dedicated to the god Aten. Akhenaten lived there in isolation with his beautiful wife, Nefertiti, and daughters, devoting himself to the monotheistic religion that he preached. The glorious remains of the palaces, temples and tombs still exist today.
El Ashmunein (Hermopolis Magna) was the capital of the region during this period. It was the main center of worship of the god Thoth. Today, the ruins of a Greek temple, similar to the Parthenon, can be still found.
The Monastery of the Virgin Mary at Gebel el-Teir is an important Christian site near the city of Samalut. Its church was built by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, in 328, on one of the sites where the Holy Family is believed to have stayed during its Flight into Egypt.
Today, Minya governorate has the highest concentration of Coptic Christians of 50% of the total population. There are also a number of active monasteries in the region.
Agriculture and industry
Minya Governorate is an important agricultural and industrial region. Among its principal crops are sugar-cane, cotton, beans, soybeans, garlic, onions, vegetables of various sorts, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, and grapes. Among the leading local industries are food processing (especially sugar and the drying and grinding of onions), spinning and weaving of cotton, perfumes, oils and fats, cement-making, quarrying (especially limestone), and brick-making.
Location and setting
The capital of Minya governorate is the city of Minya. The governorate is one of the most highly populated governorates of Upper Egypt. It contains nine cities; 3,375 villages; and 10,875 hamlets, within the following nine boroughs, from north to south:
Other important sites in the Minya Governorate include:
- Akhetaten (Amarna)
- Dehenet (Akoris or Tihna el-Gebel)
- Ansena (Antinopolis or Sheikh Ibada)
- Beni Hasan
- Deir el-Bersha
- el-Sheikh Sa'id
- Fraser Tombs
- Hebenu (Kom el-Ahmar)
- Herwer (Hur)
- Khmun (Hermopolis Magna or el-Ashmunein)
- Per Medjed (Oxyrhynchus or el-Bahnasa)
- Sharuna (el-Kom el-Ahmar Sawaris)
- Speos Artemidos (Istabl Antar)
- Tuna el-Gebel
- Zawyet el-Maiyitin
Monasteries in the Minya Governorate
- Abdel Hakim Amer, military general
- Akhenaten, Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty
- Hakim, folkloric singer
- Hoda Shaarawi, female activist
- Khufu, second Pharaoh of the Fourth dynasty
- Louis Awad, writer and intellectual
- Maria al-Qibtiyya, wife of Muhammad
- Sanaa Gamil, actress
- Suzanne Mubarak, the first lady of Egypt
- Taha Hussein, writer and intellectual
- Mervat Amin, artist
- Ahmed Hassan, leader of Egyptian Football Team
- Total area: 32,279 km².
- Percentage to total area of Egypt: 3.2%.
- Population: around 4.2 million
- Population density: 115 people/km²
- Rural population:
- Percentage to the whole population of Egypt: 5.1%
- Population growth rate:
- Minya Governorate administrative divisions: 9 localities, 57 local administrative units, 346 small villages, and 1.429 tiny villages.
- The Egyptian Tourist Authority, - ETA.
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