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Notes on the Geography of Egypt: Skirting the Delta: Photo 86

world pictures Egypt: Skirting the Delta

We've jumped again, this time 35 miles to Alexandria or Al-Iskanderiyyah. The city was founded by you-know-who back in the 4th century B.C. as a replacement for the ancient and silt-prone harbors 100 miles to the east, near Damietta. Alexander's harbor was right here, in what is now open sea but which was then protected by dikes. The city's population grew to half a million in the first century B.C. but declined to 5,000 in 1800, when Mohamad Ali revived it. The population has risen to four million, and modern harbors lie to both the west and east, leaving the ancient harbor as a more or less scenic promenade.

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