Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt had been named in honour of Fatima Az-Zahraa, the Prophet Muhammad’s daughter from whom the religious and political Fatimid Dynasty which dominated past North African and Middle Eastern empires claimed descent.
One of the world’s first universities founded in 970 AS, Al-Azhar is also the only one to survive as a modern university in the Arabic world, with secular subjects added to its curriculum in 1961, while at the same time remaining a centre providing guidance and interpretation of the Qur'an and Islamic law. The University is considered by the majority of Sunni Muslims to be the chief centre of Islamic learning and Arabic literature, its scholars recognised as the highest scholars of the Muslim world. In addition, the University oversees a national network of schools of approximately two million students in over 4,000 Egyptian teaching institutions.
Taxis are the most popular form of transport in Cairo. It is customary for the male passenger to sit in the front of the taxi with the driver and for the female passenger to be seated in the back. Haggling over the fare is quite common and expected.
The University’s library is considered in Egypt to be only second in significance to the Egyptian National Library and Archives. In May 2005 the “Al-Azhar Online Project” was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in partnership with the Dubai IT Information Enterprise IT Education Project (ITEP) to publish online the Library’s entire collection of rare manuscripts, comprising of around seven million pages.