Cairo and Guangzhou (Canton)by Rit Nosotro
Compare the economic, social, cultural, and political role of modern Cairo and Guangzhou (Canton).
In this composition, hopefully we will be able to clearly take a look at the two cities of Guangzhou and Cairo. We will take a look at many aspects of these two cities while providing a comparison and contrast.
We will first examine Cairo. Cairo is the capital of Egypt. It has more people than any other city in Africa. It lies on the east bank of the Nile River. The metropolitan area also includes suburbs, some of which lie on the west bank, and the islands of Gezira and Roda in the river. Cairo lies in the Nile Valley at the southern edge of the Nile Delta. It is in one of the few parts of Egypt that has fertile soil and plentiful water. This city is a mixture of the old and new. In general, the oldest and most historic sections are in the eastern part of the city. The newer, more modern areas are along the west bank of the Nile on islands in the river. Cairo’s older areas offer a sharp contrast with the modern sections. They are famous for their old quarters, which are areas of narrow, winding streets and buildings that are hundreds of years old. Bazaars fill almost all the buildings of the old sections; open front shops occupy the ground floor. Small apartments take up the upper floors. The old sections are also known for having more than 300 mosques. Many of Cairo’s mosques are outstanding examples of Islamic architecture. Most of the people of Cairo are poor, unskilled workers employed by factories or small shops. They live in crowded apartments in the old quarters. Most middle-class and wealthy people live on the islands or in the suburbs. Most of them are Arabs and Muslims. The Copts form the largest Christian group in Cairo. They trace their origin back to the Christians who lived in Egypt before the Arabs came. Many Europeans and some Jews live in Cairo, but their numbers have decreased greatly since the mid-1900’s. At the time, the government took over most businesses and adopted policies that promoted the economic opportunities or Egyptian Muslims.
The ancient city of Memphis once stood near the site of present day Cairo. It was founded about 3100 B.C. as the first capital of ancient Egypt. In the A.D. 640’s, Arabs from the east conquered Egypt. At the time, Egypt was a province of the Byzantine Empire. Its people, who were descendants of the ancient Egyptians, were Christians. In 640, the Arab conquerors set up a large military camp near what is now southern Cairo. They later built houses, mosques and palaces there. The camp became known as the Arab capital, Fustat. Many treasures of ancient Egypt were discovered in the early 1800’s. Exhibits and lectures about Egypt’s past aroused great interest among people in the Western countries during the 1800’s. Thousands visited Cairo to see the wonders that they had heard about. Britain gained effective control of Egypt in 1882. Egypt became an independent monarchy in 1922. The government has done much to modernize Cairo, especially since a republic form of government was established in 1953. But great poverty exists in many parts of the city.
Now we will proceed on to the city of Guangzhou. Guangzhou is the largest city in southern China and a major center of international trade. It is also an industrial center and one of China’s principal ports. Foreigners have known is as Canton and its people as Cantonese. It is located at the head of the Zhu Jiang River. It is directly north of Hong Kong. The city is the capital of Guangdong Province. Guangzhou is one of China’s most modern cities. Until 1960, thousands of Cantonese lived on boats anchored in the Zhu Jiang. Since then the government has moved these people into apartments. The economy of Guangzhou is based largely on trade. China’s largest foreign trade fair takes place twice annually in Guangzhou. This event is held for a month each spring and fall. It attracts thousands of foreign merchants.
Shi Huangdi, the emperor of China’s Qin dynasty, founded Guangzhou at about 214 B.C. During the time of the Roman Empire, Roman merchants went to Guangzhou for silks, spices and tea. Arab and Persian traders visited the city during the A.D. 600’s. Portuguese merchants first went to Guangzhou in 1516. By the early 188’s, British, Dutch, French and Portuguese traders controlled most of the trade between Guangzhou and the West. From 1759 to 1842, Guangzhou was the only Chinese port open to foreign trade. Many leaders of the 1911 revolution came from Guangzhou, This revolt led to the establishment of the Chinese republic in 1912.
1. Which city in Africa has the highest population?
2. Which emperor of China founded Guangzhou?
a. Emperor Wu
b. Shi Huangdi
c. Eunuchs from Peking
d. Mao Ze Dong
3. Where did most Cantonese live until 1960.
a. In underground tunnels
b. On boats in the Zhu Jiang River
c. In individual mansions
d. Along only the west bank of the Zhu Jaing
4. In what year did Egypt become an independent monarchy?
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