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Cairo's political influence diminished significantly after the Ottomans supplanted Mamluk power over Egypt in 1517.Ruling from Constantinople, Sultan Selim I relegated Egypt to a province, with Cairo as its capital.In 1250 slave soldiers, known as the Mamluks, seized control of Egypt and like many of their predecessors established Cairo as the capital of their new dynasty.Continuing a practice started by the Ayyubids, much of the land occupied by former Fatimid palaces was sold and replaced by newer buildings.which was to serve as the new capital of the caliphate.

This was known as al-Askar (the city of sections, or cantonments) as it was laid out like a military camp.Cairo, like many other mega-cities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic.Cairo's metro, one of two in Africa (the other being in Algiers, Algeria), ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world,), meaning "Place of the Sun", possibly referring to the ancient city of Heliopolis, the main seat of worship of the solar deity Ra—(or Re).The area around present-day Cairo, especially Memphis, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta.However, the origins of the modern city are generally traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium.

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