Zagazig

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Zagazig (Zakazik, Arabic الزقازيق az-Zaqāzīq; colloquial [zaʔaziːʔ] or [zaɡaziːɡ]), is a town of Lower Egypt, in the eastern part of the Nile delta, and is the capital of the province of Sharqia Governorate.

As of 1999, its population was approximately 279,000. It is built on a branch of the Fresh Water or Ismaïlia Canal and on al-Muˤizz Canal (the ancient Tanitic channel of the Nile), and is 47 miles by rail north-northeast of Cairo. Situated on the Nile Delta in the midst of a fertile district, Zagazig is a centre of the cotton and grain trade of Egypt. It has large cotton factories and used to have offices of numerous European merchants.

It was the birthplace of Colonel Ahmed Orabi who led the revolt against the British in 1882. It is located on the Muweis Canal and is the chief center of the corn and cotton trade. There is a small museum called the Orabi Museum that contains some interesting archaeological exhibits.

Zagazig University, one of the largest universities in Egypt, is also located in the city, with colleges in different fields of science and arts. Also there is a branch for Al-Azhar University, the largest Islamic university in the world.

Zagazig is the birthplace of famous Coptic Egyptian journalist, philosopher and social critic, Salama Moussa.

Contents

History

The ruins of the Ancient Egyptian city of Bubastis are located 3 km southeast of town. Bubastis was the ancient capital of the 18th nome, and is home to the feast celebrating the cat-goddess Bastet. Bubastis is the Greek name of the Egyptian Per-Bastet. Bubastis became the capital of Egypt in the 22nd and 23rd Dynasties. There are remains of the temples built by Osorkon II and Nectanebo II. Catacombs where the sacred cats were buried are located behind an Old Kingdom chapel remains that are from the period of Pepi I. The name Zaqaziq comes from a powerful Yemeni tribe, the Sakasic, a Himyarite, Yemeni tribe that settled Northern Egypt around 3rd century AD. They settled the ancient Egyptian town of Bubastis in Egypt giving it its modern name Zaqaziq after the name of their tribe.[citation needed]

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