The Host City, Cairo
Cairo is the historical, political, and cultural center of Egypt. Within Cairo’s metropolitan area is evidence of every civilization in the 6,000-year history of the Nile Valley. The city is a center of Islamic culture and learning. Cairo is a heavily populated city with many challenges such as traffic and pollution. It is a mix of ancient and modern, where steel and concrete buildings meet limestone and sandstone. An international airport is located on the eastern outskirts of the city. To the western edge of the city are the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx. The city continues to grow around the Nile River and the adjacent deserts.
The Host Village, Maadi
CAC faculty generally live in Maadi, a suburb six miles (ten kilometers) south of the center of Cairo. Maadi has historically been a quiet residential suburb with green gardens and tree-lined streets. The suburb is divided into many neighborhoods: Maadi, Digla (where CAC is located), New Maadi, Old Maadi, and Zahraa El Maadi.
New construction has been changing the face of Maadi. Over the past two decades, the suburb has doubled in size. Many schools, businesses, and embassies have been established in the area. Movie theaters, shopping centers, cafés, restaurants, art galleries, and fashion boutiques are now located in Maadi.
Touring and Outdoor Activities
PSMs living in Egypt have a unique opportunity to visit some of the most outstanding sites in the world. Cairo can be seen at your leisure if you’re armed with a guidebook, a map and a few words of Arabic. Tours and trips can also be arranged through travel agencies.
Apart from some restrictions in military areas, most parts of Egypt are accessible: Alexandria; the Mediterranean beaches, west to Marsa Matrouh; Fayoum, the largest oasis in Egypt; major cities of the Delta; and the Sinai Peninsula, including St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sharm El Sheikh, Nuweiba, and Taba. The Mediterranean beach west of Alexandria is beautiful, several resort hotels are there and reservations can be made in Cairo. Hurghada and the Red Sea can be visited by air or road. Many fascinating archaeological sites are within a day’s drive of Cairo: Giza, Saqqara, Memphis, Meidum and Hawarra. Two nearby villages, Harrania and Kerdassa, are famous for their weaving and fabric.