Cairo kī´rō [key], Arab. Al Qahirah, city (1996 pop. 6,789,479), capital of Egypt and the Cairo governorate, NE Egypt, a port on the Nile River near the head of its delta, at the boundary of ancient Upper and Lower Egypt. The city includes two islands in the Nile, Zamalik (Gezira) and Roda (Rawdah), which are linked to the mainland by bridges. Cairo is the largest city in the Middle East and in Africa. It is Egypt's administrative center and, along with Alexandria, the heart of its economy. Cairo's manufactures include textiles, food and tobacco products, chemicals, plastics, metals, and automobiles. Tourism is central to the local economy. The first railroad in Africa (built 1855) linked Cairo with Alexandria, and today Cairo has extensive rail facilities and is also a road and air hub.
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