Geographical Location and Population
Qalyubiya Governorate is located on the East region of the Nile River, near the head of the Delta. It’s part of Greater Cairo which includes Cairo, Giza and Qalyubiya. Regarding the special location of the governorate, it is considered the meeting point of the main transport lines between the northern governorates. The total area is estimated as 100.09 square kilometers. The estimated number of population in Qalyubiya Governorate is 4 million people.
As Qalyubiya Governorate has a very distinguished location, it played a very important role in the political and cultural life in Egypt since Pharaohs ages.
The capital city Banha was built on the western part of ancient “Athribis”, the capital of the tenth Nome (province) of Lower Egypt in about 1500 BC, which contained different remains from Pharaohs and Roman ages. The site has never been systematically investigated by archaeologists.
Over the years, peasants digging in the area have uncovered a large hoard of silver. About 20 km (12 mi) southwest of Banha is Tall al Yahudiya, the site of Leontopolis, famed for its glazed tiles in ancient times.
Downtown Banha is famous for the first fully-owned Egyptian apothecary which was founded in 1907 by Dr. Ahmed M. El Nayeb. The significance of this Pharmacy is due that in the late 19th century and early 20th century, almost all pharmacies were owned by foreigners-mainly from the Greek minority.
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Along with religious cultures and literature, nearly every city in Qalyubiya has a folk arts group. These groups include young people from schools and universities as well as other talented persons which participate in local and international festivals. Arts include folk music, folk arts, traditional dances and hand crafts.
In the field of safeguarding these folk arts, Qalyubiya Governorate organizes competitions between these groups in folk arts and folk instruments, Qalyubiya Governorate also chooses the best members of these groups to participate in competitions on the local and international levels. It also organizes folk arts festivals in the National Day of the Governorate, October celebrations and Ramadan.
In the field of safeguarding of the hand crafts Qalyubiya Governorate promoted the efforts of one of the greatest engineers in Egypt, Hassan Fathi, to establish his new model of houses in El Kanater Al-Khairia as he built a house made of natural materials from the surrounding environment. This house is divided into sections of hand crafts such as clay, pots, mats and hand-made carpets and furniture. It includes also studios for painters and sculptures. Each of these sections is provided with the important equipments. To safeguard these hand crafts, some of the specialist artists train young boys and girls on these crafts at Hassan Fathi’s Palace. Schools in Qalyubiya Governorate organize visits for their students to this palace. Qalyubiya Governorate establishes fairs for the hand crafts artists to show their products.