Alexandria Governorate (Egyptian Arabic: محافظة الإسكندرية Muḥāfẓet El Eskenderiya) is one of the governorates of Egypt. The city of Alexandria was historically the capital of Egypt until the foundation of Fustat, which was later absorbed into Cairo, today the governorate is considered second in importance after the Cairo Governorate. It is located in the northern part of the country, directly on the Mediterranean Sea, making it one of the most important harbours in Egypt.
Alexandria Governorate on the map of Egypt
|• Governor||Mohamed Ali Sultan|
|• Total||2,818 km2 (1,088 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,700/km2 (4,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
Along with Cairo, Port Said and Suez, Alexandria is one of four governorates in the country that are also municipalities. The governorate capital is the city of Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt. Alexandria governorate lies along the Mediterranean coast and stretch for about 70 km northwest of the Nile Delta. The governorate is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the north, El Behera governorate in the south and the east and Matrouh governorate in the west. The total area size of Alexandria governorate is almost 2818 km2. It has the most important harbour in Egypt and it is the second largest urban governorate in the country with population more than four and half million (4,799,740 in March 2015) and population density of 1700 square kilometres according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). Alexandria has a unique geographical location and a mild climate. It is also considered an industrial governorate where 40% of Egyptian industries are concentrated, especially chemicals, food, spinning and weaving as well as petrol industries and fertilisers.
The foundation of AlexandriaEdit
The bond between Egypt and the Hellenic Empire dates from centuries before Alexander the Great. Greek merchants and brokers were located in a village called "Kom Geif" in the Governorate of Beheira and Egyptians were particularly close to the Greek community in Egypt during the entire time of the Persian occupation of the Nile Valley.
When Macedonia unified the Hellenic Empire into a mighty army, Philip (Alexander's father) decided to attack the Persian Empire, but he died short of fulfilling his goal, which became the task of his successor; his son Alexander the Great, to undertake.
- The crushing victory of Alexander the Great over the Persians in Asia gave him control over the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. As Alexander took control of all ports and harbour of the Eastern Mediterranean, he reached the location of Alexandria in the autumn of 332 B.C. On entering Alexandria, the Persian ruler of the city surrendered without resistance and Alexander entered the city in triumph.
- Travelling further south, he reached the City of Menf where he was given a warm welcome by the poor farmers who were euphoric at the ousting of the Persians. Alexander was ceremoniously crowned in a Pharaonic ceremony as the Son of Amun and ordered the construction of the seaside city of Alexandria, which was to bear his name forever.
As Alexander the Great rides along the Mediterranean Coast, a plot of land between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mariout catches his attention. With its unique features and intrinsic peculiarity, the spot was ideal for founding a great city of the most modern style back then. It had easy access to fresh water from the River Nile via the Canopic Branch, and was hardly a mile away from a small island strategically placed right on the opposite side allowing for the possibility of connecting them both, and creating a formidable natural frontline for the city. To the south was Lake Mariout; another natural border, which further fortified the city defences. Alexander was firmly persuaded of the importance of building a city bearing his name to immortalise his memory for good and become a port for international trading in the entire region. At the outskirts of the area to the west was the Rhacotis Village, which was populated with fishermen.
Faithfully conceived by Alexander the Great, the idea was conveyed to Denocrates, the Greek architect, who was appointed by Alexander the Great to the task of planning the new city.
The name of Denocrates remains closely associated with the history of Alexandria since he started planning the city's layout in 331 B.C. The genius of this architect became evident as he blueprinted plans for roads, squares and districts of the city. Denocrates was born in the island of Rhodes in the Mediterranean Sea. He had been a close advisor of Alexander the Great, and accompanied him on his expeditions to scout the area, which started from the town of Canopic Abou Kir to Racoda village and the Island of Pharos, to decide on the most suitable spot to build the great city of Alexandria.
Denocrates chose to use the hippo-dame theme for the city which consisted of two main roads intersecting at right angles, while other side streets were planned to be parallel to these perpendicular axes. Such a cityscape was widespread across Greek cities in the fifth Century B.C. Denocrates also thought of building a bridge linking the mainland with the island, later on called "Pharos", at a height of 1300 meters. As this bridge was erected, the port was split into two parts: the main port – known as the Grand Port – on the Eastern side and the Lesser Port – known as Port Al Awd Al Hamid – on the Western side.
Alexandria was divided into five quarters, bearing the first five letters of the Greek Alphabet. Quarters included the Royal Quarter (Brucheum), the Jewish Quarter (with the Great Theatre extending across the centre of town from East to West, a district known as Canopus Street (currently known as Fouad Street), bordered by Canopus Gate to the East, Sedra Gate to the West and the long street stretching North to South intersecting with Nabi Daniel Street, bordered to the North by the Moon Gate and to the South by the Sun Gate.
Alexandria lays north-west of the Nile delta and stretches along a narrow land strip between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Maryut (Mareotis). The governorate extends southwards from the coast to a depth of 2–5 km in the area of Abu Qir to El Dekheila, to about 30 km. near El Ameriya and Borg El Arab. It is linked to Cairo by two major highways and a railroad line. It is one of the most notable summer resorts in the Middle East, in addition to its temperate winters, its beaches stretch for 140 km along the Mediterranean Sea, from Abu Qir, in the east to Sidi Kerir, in the west.
The Governorate of Alexandria consists of three individual cities: Alexandria, Borg El Arab and New Borg El Arab. The city of Alexandria itself is divided into six districts, three local village units and five sub village units. The six districts of the urban area are:
- ¾ Montazah District, which include five villages in the Abyss region, with a total area of 81 square kilometres.
- ¾ Eastern District, which includes two sub-district; namely; El-Raml and Sidi Gaber, with a total area of 49 square kilometres.
- ¾ Middle District, which includes three, sub-districts; namely; Bab Sharq, Al Attareen, and Moharrem Beik, with a total area of 36 square kilometres.
- ¾ Western District, which includes two sub-districts; namely; Karamouz and Mina El-Bassal, with a total area of 30 square kilometres.
- ¾ Customs District which has the highest population density and is the smallest Alexandria district with a total area of about 4 square kilometres and includes four sub- districts, namely; El-Mansheya, El-Gomrok, El-Labban and ElImina El-Sharqi. ¾ El-Ameriah District, which includes three sub-districts; namely; El-Dekheila, El-Agamy, and El-Ameriah, with a total area of 2295 square kilometres for the district.
The governor of Alexandria Governorate appointed Soad Helmy to head the central district of Alexandria. She is the first woman to ever head a district of Alexandria.
The climate of the Alexandria region is one of the mildest of the Mediterranean Sea. It varies from a moderate climate in the north to arid-semi arid climate in the south. The average annual rain is 169 mm. Most of rain falls along the coastal area and it decreases suddenly moving southwards. The humidity in Alexandria is very high; however sea breeze keeps the moisture down to a comfortable level.
|Minimum Temp (°C)||9.3||9.7||11.3||14.5||16.7||20.4||22.7||22.9||21.3||17.9||14.8||11.2|
|Maximum Temp (°C)||18.3||19.2||21||23.6||26.5||28.2||29.6||30.4||29.4||27.7||24.4||20.4|
The total surface area of Alexandria Governorate is 2818 square kilometres with different land uses which are:
- ¾ Desert land which represents about 53% of the governorate area which is about 1430 square kilometres and mainly lies in the west and western south of the city.
- ¾ Agricultural uses of total area of about 730 square kilometres represent about 27% of the total area of the governorate which mainly lies in the south and south east.
- ¾ Surface water area which represents about 8% of the total area of the governorate and includes lakes, canals, drains and fishery farms with a total area of about 210 square kilometres.
- ¾ Municipality and urban area which represents the remaining part of the governorate area (about 12% and 310 square kilometres) including the following uses:
1. Housing buildings of about 46%.
2. Industrial buildings of about 19%.
3. Roads, railway, and marine uses of about 29%.
4. Public and recreation areas of about 3%.
5. Military buildings of about 3%
According to the Egyptian Governing Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), in affiliation with the Ministry of Investment (MOI), the following industrial zones are located in this governorate:
- New Manshia
- Al Nasseria
- Upper and Lower Mergham
- The industrial zone in K 31, Desert Road
- Al Nahda and its expansions
- Ohm Zagheou
- (New urban community industrial zone) Borg Al Arab
Alexandria is known with its diverse history as it was occupied by several cultures throughout the years.Several monuments nowadays shape Alexandria's historic sites.
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina
- Citadel of Qaitbay
- Graeco-Roman Museum
- Alexandria National Museum
- Royal Jewelry Museum
- Serapeum Temple
- Pompey's Pillar
- Roman Amphitheatre
- Lighthouse of Alexandria
Alexandria Governorate follows the Egyptian Educational System in its public schools and universities.
Most notable educational institutesEdit
The governorate of Alexandria has several sports clubs that represents the governorate such as:
- El Ittihad Alexandria Club
- Egyptian Olympic Athletes Club
- Smouha Sporting Club
- Alexandria Sporting Club
Alexandria governorate most common sport is football and holds three main stadiums which are:
- Counselor. Mohammed Mustafa Kamal Dib. ( From April 10, 1952 to January 5, 1957)
- Mr. Mahmoud Ismael Mehanna. ( From March 4, 1957 to September 10, 1960)
- Major. Sedeek Abdul Latif. ( From October 8, 1960 to November 12, 1961)
- Mr. Mohammed Hamdi Ashour. ( From November 12, 1961 to October 27, 1968)
- Major. General. Ahmed Kamel. ( From November 6, 1968 to November 17, 1970)
- Major. Mamdouh Salem. ( From November 18, 1970 to May 13, 1971)
- Dr. Ahmed Fouad Muhyiddin. ( From May 8, 1971 to September 7, 1972)
- Prof. Abdel Moneim Wehbe. ( From September 8, 1972 to May 28, 1974)
- Major General. Ahmed Abdel Tawab Hdaib. ( From May 29, 1974 to November 27, 1978)
- Prof. Mohamed Fouad Hilmi. ( From November 28, 1978 to May 14, 1980)
- Prof. Naim Mustafa Abu Talib. ( From May 15, 1980 to August 23, 1981)
- Mr. Mohammed Saeed Al-Mahi. ( From August 24, 1981 to May 17, 1982)
- Major General. Mohamed Fawzy Maaz. ( From May 18, 1982 to June 9, 1986)
- Counselor. Ismail El-Gawsaqi. ( From July 10, 1986 to July 8, 1997)
- Major General. Mohamed Abdel Salam Mahgoub. ( From July 9, 1997 to August 28, 2006)
- General. Adel Labib. ( From August 2006 to February 2011)
- Dr. Essam Salem. ( From April 3, 2011 to July 2011)
- Dr. Osama Foley. ( From August 4, 2011 to July 2012)
- Counselor. Mohamed Atta Abbas. ( From September 4, 2012 to June 1, 2013)
- Counselor. Maher Mohamed Zahir Baybars. ( From June 16, 2013 to August 12, 2013)
- General. Tarek Mahdy. ( From August 13, 2013 to February 6, 2015)
- Mr Hany El-Mesiry ( From February 7, 2015 to October 25, 2015)
- Eng Mohamed Ahmed Abd-El-Zaher ( From December 26, 2015 to September 7, 2016)
- General Reda Mohamed Farahat ( From September 9, 2016 to February 16, 2017)
- Doctor Mohamed Sultan ( From February 16, 2017 to present)
- Alexandria Port
- Al Dekheila Port. ( The second largest port in Alexandria Governorate after Alexandria Port).
- Abu Qir Port
- Eastern Port. ( One of the oldest ports as it was built in 2000 B.C in Racoda village to serve the coastal area in the 'Pharos Island').
Alexandria Governorate has two international airports:
Governorate telephone codeEdit
- National: 03
- International: +203
List of Important telephone services in the governorateEdit
- Rescue Police: 122 / 03-4264773
- Ambulance : 123
- Civil Defense and Fire Department: 180 / 033934207 / 033934206
- Telephone Failures: 111-188
- Electricity Failures: 129
- Gas Emergency : 127
- Electricity Queries: 121
- Facilities Police: 034244322
- Traffic Police: 033612621
- Human Rights Office: 034247715
- Government Emergency: 114
- Telephone Guide: 140 / 141/ 142
- International Guide: 144
- Borg El Arab Airport: 034559671 / 034591487 / 034591486
- Taxi : 19559
- Abu-Zeid, Khaled, Alaa Yasseen, Peter Van Der Steen, Phillip Sharp, and Mohamed ElRawady. "Integrated Urban Water Management." Alexandria 2030 (2011): 59. Managing Water for the City of the Future. Switch. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.
- "About AU: History." Alexandria University. Alexandria University, 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <https://web.archive.org/web/20160110094656/http://www.alexu.edu.eg/index.php/en/about-au/auhistory%3E.
- "About the BA: Overview." Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Web. 7 Dec. 2015. <http://www.bibalex.org/en/Page/overview>.
- "Alexandria." Alexandria Portal. Ministry of State For Administrative Development. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <http://www.alexandria.gov.eg/alex/english/index.aspx>.
- "Egypt Embassies & Consulates." Egypt. Embassy Pages, 28 Nov. 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <http://www.embassypages.com/egypt>.
- Khalifa, Alaa. "The City of Alexandria in Egypt - Information & Location of Alexandria." The City of Alexandria in Egypt - Information & Location of Alexandria. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <http://www.ask-aladdin.com/Alex-Travel-Information/>.
- Official portal for Alexandria governorate <http://www.alexandria.gov.eg/MainHome.aspx>
- "Governor appoints first woman to head municipality in Egypt's Alexandria". Ahram Online. June 20, 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- "Investment Regimes, Industrial Zones of Governorate". Ministry of Investment Egypt. Archived from the original on 30 October 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "محافــظ الإسكندريـــة | المحافظون السابقون". www.alexandria.gov.eg. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
- Alexandria Governorate (in Arabic)
- Alexandria websites Alex4All website
- Discover Alexandria
- List of Governors of Alexandria with photos (1798-2000) (in Arabic)
- Miscellaneous statistical information regarding Alexandria
- St. Takla Haymnaot the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church - One of the famous Coptic Orthodox Churches of Alexandria