Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. It was founded in the year 969 A.D. making it 1,042 years old. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life. Cairo was founded by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD.; but the land composing the present-day city was the site of national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo is also associated with Ancient Egypt due to its proximity to the ancient cities of Memphis, Giza and Fustat which are nearby to the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza.
Egyptians today often refer to Cairo as Maṣr, the Arabic pronunciation of the name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's continued role in Egyptian influence. Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab World, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University. Many international media, businesses, and organizations have regional headquarters in the city, and the Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence.The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is home to the most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. It has 136,000 items on display.