Cairo is a city of 20 million people, a metropolis combining charm and squalor and a place where architectural treasures compete with overcrowded, impoverished neighborhoods.

In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, billboards promoting a new residential housing compound  overlook a crowded run-down neighborhood, on the ring road, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital, miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, billboards promoting a new residential housing compound overlook a crowded run-down neighborhood, on the ring road, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital, miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 28, 2018 photo, a man stands on the roof top of his home looking at the skyline littered with billboards promoting new residential suburban housing compounds, on the ring road, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital, miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 28, 2018 photo, a man stands on the roof top of his home looking at the skyline littered with billboards promoting new residential suburban housing compounds, on the ring road, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital, miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, in Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds with names like “La Verde” or “Vinci” in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city. Often, what lies behind the billboards are Cairo’s most overcrowded neighborhoods, with shoddily built homes and dirt roads frequently inundated with sewage water. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, in Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds with names like “La Verde” or “Vinci” in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city. Often, what lies behind the billboards are Cairo’s most overcrowded neighborhoods, with shoddily built homes and dirt roads frequently inundated with sewage water. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Oct. 28, 2018 photo, the view from a bedroom window in slum area includes a billboard advertising a pricey gated suburban compound, in the Ezbet Khairallah neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds with names like “La Verde” or “Vinci” in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Oct. 28, 2018 photo, the view from a bedroom window in slum area includes a billboard advertising a pricey gated suburban compound, in the Ezbet Khairallah neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds with names like “La Verde” or “Vinci” in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, children play billiards in Shubra, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, children play billiards in Shubra, Egypt. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 28, 2018 photo, children play on a make shift see-saw made out of a tree trunk in slum area Ezbet Khairallah, Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The smallest apartment there -- 120 square meters -- is expected to cost 1.3 million Egyptian pounds ($73,000), out of reach for a mid-level bureaucrat, who may make the equivalent of about $4,800 a year. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 28, 2018 photo, children play on a make shift see-saw made out of a tree trunk in slum area Ezbet Khairallah, Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The smallest apartment there — 120 square meters — is expected to cost 1.3 million Egyptian pounds ($73,000), out of reach for a mid-level bureaucrat, who may make the equivalent of about $4,800 a year. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

This Nile-side city, the seat of power for more than 1,000 years, may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new Egyptian capital — a proper name has yet to be found — that is under construction in the desert.

In this Oct. 29, 2018 photo, a woman walks between residencial buildings in the Imbaba neighborhood of Giza, Egypt. A new Egyptian capital is being built on 170,000 acres about 28 miles east of Cairo, but what will become of Cairo, a city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor? The smallest apartment in the new capital -- 120 square meters -- is expected to cost 1.3 million Egyptian pounds ($73,000), out of reach for most Egyptians. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 29, 2018 photo, a woman walks between residencial buildings in the Imbaba neighborhood of Giza, Egypt. A new Egyptian capital is being built on 170,000 acres about 28 miles east of Cairo, but what will become of Cairo, a city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor? The smallest apartment in the new capital — 120 square meters — is expected to cost 1.3 million Egyptian pounds ($73,000), out of reach for most Egyptians. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 29, 2018 photo, a woman hangs a rug in the Imbaba neighborhood of Giza, Egypt. A new Egyptian capital is being built on 170,000 acres about 28 miles east of Cairo, but what will become of Cairo, a city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor? The smallest apartment in the new capital -- 120 square meters -- is expected to cost 1.3 million Egyptian pounds ($73,000), out of reach for most Egyptians. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 29, 2018 photo, a woman hangs a rug in the Imbaba neighborhood of Giza, Egypt. A new Egyptian capital is being built on 170,000 acres about 28 miles east of Cairo, but what will become of Cairo, a city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor? The smallest apartment in the new capital — 120 square meters — is expected to cost 1.3 million Egyptian pounds ($73,000), out of reach for most Egyptians. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Oct. 23, 2018 photo shows residential buildings in Cairo, Egypt. A new Egyptian capital is being built on 170,000 acres about 28 miles east of Cairo, but what will become of Cairo, a city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor? The smallest apartment in the new capital -- 120 square meters -- is expected to cost 1.3 million Egyptian pounds ($73,000), out of reach for most Egyptians. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Oct. 23, 2018 photo shows residential buildings in Cairo, Egypt. A new Egyptian capital is being built on 170,000 acres about 28 miles east of Cairo, but what will become of Cairo, a city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor? The smallest apartment in the new capital — 120 square meters — is expected to cost 1.3 million Egyptian pounds ($73,000), out of reach for most Egyptians. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, a man walk on the ring road on a foggy morning, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The departures are expected to begin next year and, when in full swing, would be recorded as the latest contemporary flight from Cairo. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, a man walk on the ring road on a foggy morning, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The departures are expected to begin next year and, when in full swing, would be recorded as the latest contemporary flight from Cairo. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, people wait for an early morning bus on the ring road, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The government argues that Cairo is already bursting at the seams and will grow to 40 million by 2050. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, people wait for an early morning bus on the ring road, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The government argues that Cairo is already bursting at the seams and will grow to 40 million by 2050. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Oct. 23, 2018 photo shows, billboard advertisements new residential compounds over looking a damaged building in Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds with names like “La Verde” or “Vinci” in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Oct. 23, 2018 photo shows, billboard advertisements new residential compounds over looking a damaged building in Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds with names like “La Verde” or “Vinci” in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

The $45 billion project is brainchild of general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the biggest of the mega-projects he launched since taking office in 2014 and which he contends attract investors and create jobs.

In this Oct. 28, 2018 photo, a man sits under a wall that separates the ring road from slum area Ezbet Khairallah, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The government argues that Cairo is already bursting at the seams and will grow to 40 million by 2050. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 28, 2018 photo, a man sits under a wall that separates the ring road from slum area Ezbet Khairallah, in Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The government argues that Cairo is already bursting at the seams and will grow to 40 million by 2050. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, people wait for the train to pass in Shubra, Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The new capital -- a proper name has yet to be found -- is the $45 billion brainchild of general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the biggest of the mega-projects he launched since taking office in 2014. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
In this Oct. 23, 2018 photo, people wait for the train to pass in Shubra, Cairo, Egypt. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to a new capital. The new capital — a proper name has yet to be found — is the $45 billion brainchild of general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the biggest of the mega-projects he launched since taking office in 2014. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 photo, shows the central park under construction, part of a planned 21-mile-long public park, in the New Administrative Capital, 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of Cairo, Egypt. The new capital -- a proper name has yet to be found -- is the $45 billion brainchild of general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the biggest of the mega-projects he launched since taking office in 2014. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 photo, shows the central park under construction, part of a planned 21-mile-long public park, in the New Administrative Capital, 45 kilometers (28 miles) east of Cairo, Egypt. The new capital — a proper name has yet to be found — is the $45 billion brainchild of general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the biggest of the mega-projects he launched since taking office in 2014. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Nov. 6, 2018 photo, shows a a pool inside a gated compound in Giza, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds with names like “La Verde” or “Vinci” in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. The new capital -- a proper name has yet to be found -- is the $45 billion brainchild of general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.  (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Nov. 6, 2018 photo, shows a a pool inside a gated compound in Giza, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds with names like “La Verde” or “Vinci” in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. The new capital — a proper name has yet to be found — is the $45 billion brainchild of general-turned-president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Oct. 27, 2018 photo, shows a general view inside a residential gated compound in New Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to the new capital 28 miles  to the east. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Oct. 27, 2018 photo, shows a general view inside a residential gated compound in New Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert miles from the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. A city of 20 million people that combines charm and squalor, Cairo may soon witness an exodus by some of its well-heeled residents, state employees and foreign embassies to the new capital 28 miles to the east. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Nov. 5, 2018 photo, shows the Nile River flowing through Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert 28 miles east of the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. The departures are expected to begin next year and, when in full swing, would be recorded as the latest contemporary flight from Cairo. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
This Nov. 5, 2018 photo, shows the Nile River flowing through Cairo, Egypt. Billboards across Cairo advertise luxury homes with “breathtaking” views in compounds in Egypt’s new capital, under construction in the desert 28 miles east of the Nile-side city that has been the seat of power for more than 1,000 years. The departures are expected to begin next year and, when in full swing, would be recorded as the latest contemporary flight from Cairo. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Critics call the new capital a vanity project, arguing its cost could have been better put to rebuilding the wrecked economy and refurbishing Cairo.

Source: The Associated Press

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