Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic center. With a population of 5,200,000, it is the largest city on the Mediterranean, the sixth-largest city in the Arab world and the ninth-largest in Africa. The city extends about 40 km (25 mi) at the northern coast of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea. It is a popular tourist destination, and also an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez.
It was founded in c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquestof the Achaemenid Empire. An Egyptian village named Rhacotis existed at the location and grew into the Egyptian quarter of Alexandria. It grew rapidly to become an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was the intellectual and cultural center of the ancient Mediterranean world for much of the Hellenistic age and late antiquity. It was at one time the largest city in the ancient world before being eventually overtaken by Rome.
The city was a major center of early Christianity and was the center of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which was one of the major centers of Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria both lay claim to this ancient heritage.
Following the Arab conquest of Egypt in AD 641, the city was plundered and lost its significance before re-emerging in the modern era. From the late 18th century, it became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.
Compounds in Alexandria, Egypt:
- Safari Alexandria by Saudi Egyptian Developers: See More
- Palm Hills Alexandria by Palm Hills Development: See More
Colleges / Universities:
Alexandria has a number of higher education institutions. Alexandria University is a public university that follows the Egyptian system of higher education. Many of its faculties are internationally renowned, most notably its Faculty of Medicine & Faculty of Engineering. In addition, the Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology in New Borg El Arab city is a research university set up in collaboration between the Japanese and Egyptian governments in 2010.
The Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport is a semi-private educational institution that offers courses for high school, undergraduate level, and postgraduate students. It is considered the most reputable university in Egypt after the AUC American University in Cairo because of its worldwide recognition from board of engineers at UK & ABET in US. Université Senghor is a private French university that focuses on the teaching of humanities, politics and international relations, which mainly recruits students from the African continent. Other institutions of higher education include Alexandria Institute of Technology (AIT) and Pharos University in Alexandria.
Alexandria has a long history of foreign educational institutions. The first foreign schools date to the early 19th century, when French missionaries began establishing French charitable schools to educate the Egyptians. Today, the most important French schools in Alexandria run by Catholic missionaries include Collège de la Mère de Dieu, Collège Notre Dame de Sion, Collège Saint Marc, Ecoles des Soeurs Franciscaines (four different schools), École Girard, École Saint Gabriel, École Saint-Vincent de Paul, École Saint Joseph, École Sainte Catherine, and Institution Sainte Jeanne-Antide.
As a reaction to the establishment of French religious institutions, a secular (laic) mission established Lycée el-Horreya, which initially followed a French system of education, but is currently a public school run by the Egyptian government. The only school that completely follows the French educational system is Lycée Français d’Alexandrie (École Champollion). It is usually frequented by the children of French expatriates and diplomats. The Italian school is the Istituto “Don Bosco”.
English schools in Alexandria are becoming the most popular. English-language schools in the city include: Riada American School, Riada Language School, Alexandria Language School, Future Language School, Future International Schools (Future IGCSE, Future American School and Future German school), Alexandria American School, British School of Alexandria, Egyptian American School, Pioneers Language School, Princesses Girls’ School, Sidi Gaber Language School, Taymour English School, Sacred Heart Girls’ School, Schutz American School, Victoria College, El Manar Language School for Girls (previously called Scottish School for Girls), Kawmeya Language School, El Nasr Boys’ School (previously called British Boys’ School), and El Nasr Girls’ College. There are only two German schools in Alexandria which are Deutsche Schule der Borromärinnen (DSB of Saint Charles Borromé) and Neue Deutsche Schule Alexandria, which is run by Frau Sally Hammam.
The Montessori educational system was first introduced in 2009 at Alexandria Montessori.
The most notable public schools include El Abbassia High School and Gamal Abdel Nasser High School.