- Jīzah, Al-
or GizaLocated on the western bank of the Nile River, it is a suburb of Cairo. A noted entertainment district, it is also the centre of Egypt's motion-picture industry. Rising 5 mi (8 km) west of the city are the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza (see pyramid), built during Egypt's 4th dynasty (с 2613–с 2494 BC).
* * *▪ Egyptalso spelled Giza, Gizah, or El-Giza,city, capital of Al-Jīzah (Jīzah, Al-) muḥāfaẓah (governorate) of Upper Egypt, located on the west bank of the Nile just south-southwest of Cairo. It is a suburb of the national capital, with a distinctive character enriched by several archaeological and cultural sites.The district was settled in prehistoric times; Neolithic objects have been found there. Southwest of the city are the three great pyramids (pyramid) of the pharaohs: Khufu (Cheops), Khafre (Chephren), and Menkaure (Mykerinos), all 4th dynasty (c. 2613–c. 2494 BC). Because of their tremendous size and precise construction, they have been visited by travelers for millennia (see Giza, Pyramids of). Other monuments include the Sphinx, smaller pyramids, tombs, and temples. In earliest Muslim times Al-Jīzah formed a defense line with the island of Roda (Ar-Rawḍah) and, later, Cairo, against incursions up the river from the sea. In AD 643 its defenses were completed by ʿAmr ibn-al-ʿĀṣ, general of the caliph ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb; they were restorations of earlier Byzantine fortifications. In the time of Caliph al-Maʾmūn (reigned 813–833), Al-Jīzah was linked to Cairo by a bridge of boats and then by successive permanent bridges. Later, a chief mosque was added (961) and Al-Jīzah became the chief town of a kūrah (district) and later of its province. The six present bridges link both banks with Ar-Rawḍah and Az-Zamālik islands.The city has modern housing, government offices, embassies, research institutes, hotels, parks, a zoo, and a well-known entertainment district. The University of Cairo, founded in 1908, was reestablished in Al-Jīzah in 1924. The city also has an ophthalmic research institute, the Academy of the Arabic Language, the Higher School of Applied Arts, and offices of the Ministry of Agriculture. Most of Egypt's motion-picture industry is also concentrated there. Other industries produce cement, iron products, wood products, automobile parts, cotton and polyester textiles, footwear, and beer. The Cairo-Aswān railway has a station in the city. Pop. (1996) 2,221,868.muḥāfaẓah (governorate) of Upper Egypt, on the west bank of the Nile River, extending toward the southwest into the Western (Libyan) Desert as far as Al-Wādī al-Jadīd governorate. It is bordered on the north by Al-Minūfīyah governorate and on the south by Banī Suwayf and Al-Fayyūm governorates. It includes Al-Baḥrīyah and part of Al-Farāfirah oases.The settled portion of the governorate in the Nile valley is about 409 square miles (1,059 square km). Aside from the capital, Al-Jīzah, most of this portion is agricultural. Crops include corn (maize), cotton, wheat, millet, berseem (clover), and market vegetables grown for use in Cairo. The area produces dates, and there is a date-packing factory at Al-Badrashayn, near the west bank of the Nile. Al-Jīzah is the largest industrial centre. Mineral resources include iron ore and coal found at Al-Baḥrīyah oasis. A railway transports the ore to the steel plant at Ḥulwān, in Cairo governorate.Historical sites in the governorate include the Giza (Al-Jīzah) pyramids and Sphinx of the 4th dynasty (c. 2613–2494 BC) and the ruins of Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, and its cemetery, Ṣaqqārah, just to the west. The governorate has an airport at Imbābah, north of Al-Jīzah, near Cairo. It is served by the Cairo-Aswān railway, which has a station in Al-Jīzah, and also by highway. The population includes a small number of oasis and desert dwellers. Area 32,878 square miles (85,153 square km). Pop. (2006) 6,272,571.
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