As Egypt Builds New Capital, What Becomes of Cairo?
Cairo, Egypt's capital, is one of the largest cities in Africa and one of the best known in the world.
For more than 1,000 years, it has stood on the banks of the Nile River, the longest in the world. The Pyramids of Giza sit close to the city's southwestern edge.
Among the city's tall structures are over 400 historic buildings from the times of the Roman, Arab and Ottoman empires.
The city's center was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. The city's Tahrir Square later became known as the birthplace of the Arab Spring movement.
Across Cairo, there are large signs telling its 20 million people of new homes being built in the desert 45 kilometers away.
Often, the signs are in Cairo's overcrowded neighborhoods, with poorly built homes and dirt roads filled with untreated human waste. The signs are ways to suggest that government employees, foreign embassies and rich people will soon leave Cairo for a new capital city in the desert.
The New Administrative Capital, which still does not have an official name, is the idea of former army general President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi. It is the biggest of several huge projects. Others include new roads, housing projects and the expansion of the Suez Canal.
Egyptian officials often compare the projects built under al-Sissi to monuments like the Giza Pyramids.
Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly said, "History will do justice to this generation of Egyptians and our grandsons will remember its achievement."
But critics call the new capital a vanity project for al-Sissi. They say the money could have been used to help the economy and to rebuild Cairo.
Hassan Nafaa teaches political science at Cairo University. He said, "Maybe al-Sissi wants to go down in history as the leader who built the new capital, but if Egyptians don't see an improvement in their living conditions and services, he will be remembered as the president who destroyed what is left of the middle class."
The government argues that Cairo is too crowded and will grow to 40 million people by 2050. The new city is being built on 69,000 hectares, about two times the size of Cairo, at a cost of $45 billion.
The project began in 2016. The first of the expected 6.5 million residents are to move there next year. The city will hold the offices of the president, the Cabinet, parliament and the ministries.
City planners promise to build public parks, an airport, an opera house, sports structures and 20 skyscrapers, including Africa's highest, at 345 meters.
Madbouly denied that the new capital will only bring wealthy people. However, the smallest apartment, about 120 square meters, in the new city, is expected to cost about $73,000. That price is out of reach for a mid-level government official who makes about $4,800 a year.
No one knows how the new capital will affect Cairo. Many government buildings in the city are large homes taken by the socialist governments in the 1950s and 60s.
Some fear that the empty buildings will fall into disrepair or be torn down.
Sameh Abdallah Alayli is an urban planning expert. He said the building of the new capital should be halted.
He wrote in the Al-Shorouk newspaper, "Historical Cairo must remain the political capital of Egypt."
I'm Mario Ritter Jr.
1.close to 靠近；挨着
I was close to tears with frustration, but I held back.
2.fall into 落入
It's a trap too many people fall into.
3.turn down 关小；调低
He kept turning the central heating down.
4.the middle class 中产阶级
I grew up on the lower end of the middle class.
5.He said, "Maybe al-Sissi wants to go down in history as the leader who built the new capital.
go down in history 载入史册
This song will go down in history forever as long as the earth exists.
The fact of the matter is Assad will go down in history as a brutal tyrant.
6.That price is out of reach for a mid-level government official who makes about $4,800 a year.
out of reach 遥不可及；联系不上
You have to set goals that are almost out of reach.
We'd telephone to mary, but she's out of reach.
1000多年来，它一直矗立在世界最长河流——尼罗河岸边 。吉萨金字塔坐落在该市的西南边缘 。
1979年，这座城市的中心被联合国教科文组织（UNESCO）列为世界遗产 。开罗解放广场后来成为“阿拉伯之春”运动的诞生地 。
通常情况下，这些标志牌都位于开罗拥挤不堪的社区，那里的房屋破落，道路也是满目污秽 。这些迹象表明，政府人员、外国大使馆和富人将很快离开开罗，迁往沙漠中的新首都 。
新的行政首都是现任总统阿卜杜勒·法塔赫·塞西（前陆军总参谋长）的构想，目前新首都还没有命名 。这是几个大型项目中规模最大的一个 。其他项目包括修建新公路、住房和扩建苏伊士运河 。
但批评者指责，新首都纯属塞西的“形象工程” 。他们表示，这些资金本可以用来提振经济、重建开罗 。
哈桑·纳法（Hassan Nafaa）在开罗大学教政治学 。他说：“也许塞西想借新首都建设领导人的身份名垂史册，但如果埃及人的生活条件和服务没有得到改善，那么他将成为摧毁仅存的中产阶级阶层的总统而遗臭万年 。”
埃及政府认为，开罗人口密度太大，到2050年这里的人口将增至4000万 。新首都占地6.9万公顷，面积约为开罗的两倍，耗资450亿美元 。
该项目始于2016年 。预计明年将有650万居民迁居到此 。该市将成为总统、内阁、议会和各政府部门的所在地 。
城市规划人员承诺，将在345米高的地方修建公园、机场、歌剧院、体育场馆和20座摩天大楼，其中包括非洲最高的摩天大楼 。马德布里否认新首都专为富人建造 。不过，新首都最小的公寓约120平方米，预计售价约7.3万美元 。对于一个年收入约4800美元的中层政府官员来说，这个价格也“高不可攀” 。
没人知道新首都会对开罗造成什么影响 。这座城市的许多政府大楼都是20世纪五六十年代被社会主义政府修建的大型住宅 。
沙学文·阿卜杜拉·阿莱利是一位城市规划专家 。他指出，应该停止建设新首都 。