CAIRO

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CAIRO (in Arabic, Kahira, which signifies victorious); the capital city of Egypt, and one of the largest cities in the world. It lies on the east bank of the Nile, in a sandy plain, and contains Old Cairo, Boulac (the harbor), and New Cairo, which are, to a considerable degree, distinct from each other. The city itself, separate from the gardens and plantations which surround it, is Si leagues in circuit, has 31 gates, and 2400 irregular, unpaved streets, which, during the night, are closed at the end of the quarter, to prevent disturbances ; also 25,840 houses, for the most part built of brick, with flat roofs, and more than 200,000 inhabitantsArabs or Mohammedans, Coptish Christians, Mamelukes, Greeks, Syrians, Armenians, Jews, and natives of various countries of Europe. The castle, situated on a rock containing Joseph's well, 276 feet deep, is the residence of the pacha. There are 80 public baths, 300 mosques, 2 Greek, 32 Coptish, and 1 Armenian church, 36 synagogues, and many silk, camlet, tapestry, gunpowder, leather, linen and cotton factories. The commerce of the city is very great, since it is the centre of communication between Europe, the Mediterranean sea, Asia, and the north of Africa. Here is also a Mohammedan highschool, a printingoffice, and a library of 25,000 volumes. A line of telegraphs extends from hence to Alexandria, about 255 miles distant, by which intelligence is communicated in 40 minutes. In the neighborhood is an aqueduct of 317 arches; also Boulac, the harbor of C, which contains an institution for 100 scholars, supported by the pacha, and a printingoffice. In 1798, C. was taken by the French. (See Egypt.)