SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Cairo

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world. Its metropolitan area, with a population of over 20 million, is the largest in Africa, the Arab world, the Middle East, the 15th-largest in the world. Cairo is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta, Cairo was founded in 969 AD by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC. 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 and organizations have regional headquarters in the city.

With a population of over 9 million spread over 3,085 square kilometers, Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. An additional 9.5 million inhabitants live in close proximity to the city. Cairo, like many other megacities, suffers from high levels of traffic; the Cairo Metro is one of the only two metro systems in Africa, ranks amongst the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, 43rd globally on Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index. Egyptians refer to Cairo as Maṣr, the Egyptian Arabic name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city's importance for the country, its official name al-Qāhirah means "the Vanquisher" or "the Conqueror" due to the fact that the planet Mars, an-Najm al-Qāhir, was rising at the time when the city was founded also in reference to the much awaited arrival of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu'izz who reached Cairo in 973 from Mahdia, the old Fatimid capital. The location of the ancient city of Heliopolis is the suburb of Ain Shams.

The are a few Coptic names of the city. Kashromi is attested as early as 1211 and is a calque which means "man breaker", akin to Arabic al-Qāhirah . Lioui or Elioui is another name, a corruption of Greek name of Heliopolis; some argue that Mistram or Nistram is another Coptic name for Cairo, although others think that it's rather a name of an Abbasid capital Al-Askar. Ⲕⲁϩⲓⲣⲏ is a popular modern rendering of an Arabic name which has a folk etymology "land of sun". Some argue that it was a name of an Egyptian settlement upon which Cairo was built, but it's rather doubtful as this name is not attested in any Hieroglyphic or Demotic source, although some researchers like Paul Casanova view it as a legit theory. Cairo is referred to as ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, which means Egypt in Coptic, the same way it's referred to in Egyptian Arabic. Sometimes the city is informally referred to as Kayro by people from Alexandria; the area around present-day Cairo Memphis, the old capital of Egypt, had long been a focal point of Ancient Egypt due to its strategic location just upstream from the Nile Delta.

However, the origins of the modern city are traced back to a series of settlements in the first millennium. Around the turn of the 4th century, as Memphis was continuing to decline in importance, the Romans established a fortress town along the east bank of the Nile; this fortress, known as Babylon, was the nucleus of the Roman and the Byzantine city and is the oldest structure in the city today. It is situated at the nucleus of the Coptic Orthodox community, which separated from the Roman and Byzantine churches in the late 4th century. Many of Cairo's oldest Coptic churches, including the Hanging Church, are located along the fortress walls in a section of the city known as Coptic Cairo. Following the Muslim conquest in 640 AD, the conqueror Amr ibn As settled to the north of the Babylon in an area that became known as al-Fustat. A tented camp Fustat became a permanent settlement and the first capital of Islamic Egypt. In 750, following the overthrow of the Umayyad caliphate by the Abbasids, the new rulers created their own settlement to the northeast of Fustat which became their capital.

This was known as al-Askar. A rebellion in 869 by Ahmad ibn Tulun led to the abandonment of Al Askar and the building of another settlement, which became the seat of government; this was al-Qatta ` closer to the river. Al Qatta'i was centred around a ceremonial mosque, now known as the Mosque of ibn Tulun. In 905, the Abbasids re-asserted control of the country and their governor returned to Fustat, razing al-Qatta'i to the ground. In 969, the Fatimids conquered Egypt from their base in Ifriqiya and a new fortified city northeast of Fustat was established, it took four years to build the city known as al-Manṣūriyyah, to serve as the new capital of the caliphate. During that time, the construction of the al-Azhar Mosque was commi

Battle of Lemnos (1913)

The Battle of Lemnos, fought on 18 January 1913, was a naval battle during the First Balkan War, which defeated the second and last attempt of the Ottoman Empire to break the Greek naval blockade of the Dardanelles and reclaim supremacy over the Aegean Sea from Greece. Following the loss of a number of Aegean Islands to Greece during the first phase of the war in 1912, its first defeat at the Battle of Elli, the Ottoman Navy sought to check Greek progress by destroying the Greek fleet docked at the port of Moudros, Lemnos. However, it faced the problem of countering the Greek flagship, the Georgios Averof, which had defeated them at Elli; the Ottomans developed the plan to slip a fast cruiser through the Greek patrols for a raiding mission in the Aegean, hoping to draw off some Greek ships even the Georgios Averof itself, in pursuit, leaving the remainder weakened for the Ottoman fleet to attack. Indeed, the cruiser Hamidiye evaded the Greek lookout ships on the night of 13/14 January 1913, sunk a Greek transport ship at Syros the next day bombarding the island's harbour.

This action caused concern in Athens, an order was sent to the Fleet, commanding it to "sail in pursuit". Admiral Kountouriotis refused to obey, suspecting an Ottoman trap, instead prepared for the inevitable exit of the Ottoman Fleet from the Dardanelles Straits. On the Ottoman side, efforts were made to uplift the morale of the crews, including the hoisting of the original banner of the great corsair and admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa on the flagship, Barbaros Hayreddin, named after him; the Greek fleet, led by Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis was composed of its 9,960 ton armored cruiser flagship Georgios Averof, the three old ironclad battleships Spetsai and Psara and seven destroyers, while the Ottoman flotilla, led by Captain Ramiz Bey included the pre-dreadnought battleships Barbaros Hayreddin, Turgut Reis and Mesûdiye and the cruiser Mecidiye, five destroyers. The battleship Âsâr-ı Tevfik did not participate in the battle. At 08:20 on the morning of January 5, the Greek patrols signalled that the Ottoman fleet had appeared.

At 09:45, the Greek fleet sailed from Moudros Bay. The two fleets met some 19.3 kilometers SE of Lemnos, sailing southeast in converging columns, with their flagships in front. The gunnery exchange commenced at 11:34; the Greek column turned left, further diminishing the distance. Soon after, the Mecidiye and the accompanying destroyers turned northeast towards the Dardanelles, followed by the Mesûdiye at 11:50, after it had suffered heavy damage from the combined fire of Hydra and Psara. At 11:54, a successful salvo from the Georgios Averof hit the Barbaros Hayreddin, destroying its middle tower, forcing it to withdraw towards the Dardanelles, along with the Turgut Reis at 12:00; as at Elli, the Georgios Averof commenced independent action, using its superior speed, maneuvering so that it could use the artillery of both its sides, to pursue the Ottoman ships, while the older battleships followed as fast as they could. The pursuit ended at 14:30, as the Ottoman ships were nearing the Dardanelles.

Throughout the battle, the Ottoman ships achieved an excellent rate of fire, firing about 800 shells, but with dismal accuracy. Only two hits were registered on the Georgios Averof, causing one injury and minor damages, while the other battleships escaped unscathed; the Ottoman ships suffered far more. Barbaros Hayreddin was hit by over 20 shells, which destroyed much of its artillery, suffered 32 dead and 45 wounded. Turgut Reis suffered a major leak and other minor damages from 17 hits, 9 dead and 49 wounded. Mesûdiye suffered several hits, but the main damage was caused by a 270mm shell which destroyed the central 150mm gun platform, caused 68 casualties. This, the final naval battle of the First Balkan War, forced the Ottoman Navy to retreat to its base within the Dardanelles, from which it did not venture for the rest of the war, thus ensuring the dominion of the Aegean Sea by Greece. For the Greeks, the withdrawal of the Ottoman fleet within the Dardanelles was confirmed by 1st Lieutenant Michael Moutoussis and Ensign Aristeidis Moraitinis on January 24, 1913.

They conducted a naval aviation mission, flying their Maurice Farman hydroplane over the Nagara naval base, where they spotted the enemy fleet. During their sortie, they drew a diagram of the positions of the Ottoman fleet, against which they dropped four bombs. Moutoussis and Moraitinis travelled over 180 kilometers and took 140 minutes to complete their mission, extensively reported in both the Greek and international press. Erickson, Edward J.. Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912–1913. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0275978885. Fotakis, Zisis. Greek naval strategy and policy, 1910–1919. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35014-3. Langensiepen, Bernd; the Ottoman Steam Navy, 1828–1923. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-610-8. Hall, Richard C.. The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War. Routledge. ISBN 9780415229463. Battle of Lemnos - Naval battle 1913

Lake Maracaibo

Lake Maracaibo is a large brackish tidal bay in Venezuela and an "inlet of the Caribbean Sea". It is sometimes considered a lake rather than a lagoon, it is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by Tablazo Strait, 5.5 kilometres wide at the northern end. It is fed by the largest being the Catatumbo. At 13,210 square kilometres it was once the largest lake in South America. Lake Maracaibo acts as a major shipping route to the ports of Cabimas; the surrounding Maracaibo Basin contains large reserves of crude oil, making the lake a major profit center for Venezuela. The basin holds a quarter of Venezuela's population. A dredged channel gives oceangoing vessels access to the bay; the 8.7-kilometre long General En Jefe Rafael Urdaneta Bridge, completed in 1962 and spans the bay's outlet, is one of the longest bridges in the world. The weather phenomenon known as the Catatumbo lightning at Lake Maracaibo produces more lightning than any other place on the planet; the villages of Barranquitas and San Luis, on the lake's western shore, have the highest concentration of Huntington's disease sufferers in the world.

The first known settlements on the bay were those of the Guajiros, who still are present in large numbers, but were re-settled in the western boundary area with Colombia. The first European to'discover' the bay was Alonso de Ojeda on August 24, 1499, on a voyage with Amerigo Vespucci. Legend has it that upon entering the lake, Ojeda's expedition found groups of indigenous huts, built over stilts on water, interconnected by boardwalks on stilts, with each other and with the lake shore; the stilt houses reminded Vespucci of the city of Venice, so he named the region "Venezuela," meaning "little Venice" in Spanish. The suffix -uela is used as a diminutive term. Although the Vespucci story remains the most popular and accepted version of the origin of the country's name, a different reason for the name comes up in the account of Martín Fernández de Enciso, a member of the Vespucci and Ojeda crew. In his work Summa de Geografía, he states that they found an indigenous population who called themselves the "Veneciuela," which suggests that the name "Venezuela" may have evolved from the native word.

The port town of Maracaibo was founded in 1529 on the western side. In July 1823, the bay was the site of the Battle of Lake Maracaibo, an important battle in the Venezuelan War of Independence. Oil production began in the surrounding basin in 1914, with wells drilled by Bataafsche Petroleum Maatschappij, a predecessor of Royal Dutch Shell. On April 6, 1964, at 11:45 pm, the tanker Esso Maracaibo, loaded with 236,000 barrels of crude oil, suffered a major electrical failure, so that control of steering was lost, thus it collided with pier #31 of the two-year-old General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge across the mouth of the lake. A 259 metres section of the bridge roadway fell into the water with a portion coming to rest across the tanker just a few feet from the ship's superstructure. No oil spill occurred, there were no deaths or serious injuries on the tanker. However, seven motorists and passengers in vehicles crossing the bridge were killed; some islands are of considerable size. They are used for commercial and recreational purposes.

The majority of the islands are located in the Almirante Padilla municipality, including: Zapara Island Toas Island San Carlos Island Isla de Providencia Isla de Pescadores Los Pájaros Island Maraca Island San Bernardo Island Sabaneta de Montiel Island As as 2000, Lake Maracaibo supported 20,000 fishermen. Several settlements built out on stilts over the lake – palafitos – still exist in the south and south-west, notably at Lagunetas. Due to the massive volume of oil removed in the Maracaibo Basin, some oil-producing areas adjacent to Lake Maracaibo have sunk, changing the geography of the region; the original concessions to oil companies purposefully assigned swamps and wetlands along the east border of the lakes for facilities. This required the oil companies to build dikes and drain the land in order to build their facilities, Dutch Shell takes credit for some of the most enduring dike systems. Since the nationalization of the oil industry in 1976, maintenance of the dike systems has fallen upon the Venezuelan government to protect sub-sea-level areas like Tía Juana and Bachaquero from encroachment by the waters.

Cumulative subsidence is as much as 5 metres, it continues at a rate of up to 20 centimetres per year at some locations inland and 5 cm/year along the coast. Due to the negligence of maintenance to the dike, many consider it to be a disaster in waiting, with the potential of an earthquake causing soil liquefaction and submerging a large population. A program of mitigative measures to address the seismic risk was begun in 1988. Ongoing maintenance and improvements to the dike will be needed, as it continues to subside by as much as 7 cm/year; as of June 18, 2004, a large portion of the surface of Lake Maracaibo is covered by duckweed Lemna. Although efforts to remove the plant have been underway, the plant – which can double its size ever