Asyut Governorate is one of the 28 governorates of Egypt. The capital of this governorate carries the same name, Assiut. Likewise, the metropolis of Asyut is the largest town in Upper Egypt, stretching across a section of the Nile River.
Location of Assiut Governorate
It lies on the western bank of the Nile, about 234 miles south of Cairo, the capital city. El Minya Governorate borders it from the north and Sohag from the south.
The name of Asyut is derived from early Egyptian Zawty (Z3JW.TJ), late Egyptian Səyáwt into Coptic Syowt. An A letter was added to the name Syowt to become Asyut or Assiut.
The ancient Egyptians established the city of Assiut on the Nile River, and its name at that time was Siut, which is derived from the word (Sawt), which means the guard in the ancient Egyptian language. The Viceroy inhabited the thirteenth region. In the era of the Greeks, Egypt comprised the Delta, Middle Egypt and Upper Egypt. Asyut was the capital of one of these divisions, as it was the capital of the Northern Division in the era of the Romans. In the period of Muhammad Ali, Egypt consisted of seven states, one of which included Girga and Asyut and was named half of the first tribal face. Its capital is Asyut.
Overview of Assiut Governorate
The rate of poverty is more than 60% in this governorate. However, some social safety networks have recently provided financial assistance and job opportunities. The funding has been coordinated by the country’s Ministry of Finance and with help from international organizations.
Assiut Role in Ancient History
The history of Assiut began in the Pharaonic era, when Assiut joined Thebes, the capital of the country, in its struggle against the Hyksos.
And when Egypt was subjected to Greek rule, and after it, the Ptolemaic, the country’s regime (Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt) continued to be maintained.
In the Roman era, the Romans directed their attention to the northern regions, which led to their prosperity and the backwardness of the cities of Upper Egypt.
And when Christianity entered Egypt, the Romans did not welcome it, and persecution led to the displacement of Christianity to relatively empty areas.
With Egypt subject to Arab rule, many of its people converted to Islam. During the Mamluk era, the famous traveller Ibn Battuta visited Assiut and said that it was a prestigious city, and its markets were lovely.
Assiut governorate is considered one of the oldest governorates in Egypt, and it gained its importance in ancient Egypt. Reasons are its central location between the regions of Pharaonic Egypt and for being an important centre for trade caravans heading to oases in the Western Desert and the beginning of the Darb Al-Arba’een road that reaches Darfur in Sudan.
Assiut Governorate, with its current administrative borders, included five central regions:
- The fourteenth district, “Qus”, and its current location is the city of Al-Qusiyah and its goddess Hathor.
- The thirteenth district, “Sawt”, and its current location is the city of Assiut and its idol, Aub Wawat.
- The twelfth district, “Bar’anti”, and its current location is the eastern bank of Assiut and its god Horus.
- The eleventh district, “Sheshotep”, and its present location is the village of Shutb and its god Horus.
- The tenth district is “Wadjet“, and its current place is Al-Badari and her idol Aub Wawat.
The emblem of Assiut Governorate includes its symbol: the Asyut Aqueduct in brown, the eagle of Salah El-Din in yellow, a symbol of strength, and the olive branch, a symbol of peace in green.
National Day of the Prefecture
Assiut Governorate celebrates its National Day on April 18 of each year. The celebration of this date is due to the memory of the Bani Uday revolution, which is located on the edge of the Western Desert of Manfalut Center and the road leading to the New Valley.
The day of April 18, 1799, was memorable in the history of Assiut. The revolution of Bani Uday against the French took place under the leadership of Sheikh Hassan al-Khatib. More than three thousand people were under his leadership, Sheikh Hassan al-Khatib, Sheikh Muhammad al-Maghrabi and Sheikh Abu al-Dawy. In addition, 450 Egyptian Bedouins and 300 Mamluks joined them. At that time, the Bani Uday people sent groups of them to the Nile to attack the French ships. General Dafoe marched to them with his soldiers, intending to seize Bani Uday, and when he reached it, he found all the people carrying weapons.
The people were brave in receiving the attacks of the French army. So the two teams clashed in a fierce battle on the roads of Bani Uday and its houses that the people fortified and made as semi-fortresses. During this battle, the village became a flame of fire. And by this means, the French succeeded in entering Bani Uday after it became ashes.
The people of the village of Bani Uday recorded their names in letters of light in the record of heroes, so no family did not have one or more martyrs in this battle.
Hence, the celebration of the Assiut Governorate on April 18 of each year was a sincere expression of loyalty, appreciation and reverence for the people of the village of Bani Uday, who stood against the forces of oppression and colonialism.
The governorate is divided into municipal divisions with a total estimated population as of July 2017 of 4,407,335. Sometimes, a Markaz and a Qism appear as a shared name. In the case of the Asyut governorate, there is one new city, three Aqsam and eleven Marakiz.
- Abu Tig
- El Badari
- El Fath
- And El Ghanayem
- El Qusiya
- Asyut 1
- And Asyut 2
- New Asyut
- New City
- Sahel Selim
- Besides, Sodfa
According to population estimates from 2015, most residents in this province live in rural areas, with an urbanization rate of only 26.5%. Out of an estimated 4,245,215 people residing in the governorate, 3,119,112 live in rural instead of 1,126,103 in urban areas.
Asyut governorate has over 4 million people, with a significant Coptic presence. In 1914, it had the second-largest proportion of Copts in Egypt, making up 20.7%. However, they now make up 32%, while the remaining are Sunni Muslims. Evangelical (Protestant) religions had significant growth in some districts of Asyut. As evidence, in 1907, census data, that half of the citizens of a village were counted as Protestant Copts. Muslims and Christians have lived together in Assiut, and there have been clashes at times. In July 2013, many Christians took to the streets to protest Muslim extremism in Asyut. Whether Christian or Muslim, Asyut is home to a very conservative society. In October 2016, Upper Egypt’s first beauty pageant, which was to be held in Asyut, had to be cancelled due to death threats and security issues.
- Abu Tig
- El Badari
- El Ghanayem
- El Quseyya
- Sahel Selim
- Besides, Sodfa
According to the Egyptian Governing Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), in affiliation with the Ministry of Investment (MOI), the following industrial zones are located in this governorate:
- Al Awamer Abnoub
- Al Zarabi in Abu Tig
- And Al Safa (Beni Ghaleb)
- Sahel Selim
- Besides, New Asyut
Projects and programs
The National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP) involves the construction of infrastructure for new. It also consists in expanding and improving existing waste treatment, landfills, and recycling facilities. In 2016, Switzerland committed to funding a solid waste management program in Asyut, a project with the Egyptian Ministry of Environment that will conclude in 2021.
Ancient quarries are an essential feature of Asyut. There are about 500 rock-cut tombs and limestone quarries all around Asyut. The governorate of Asyut includes the Ancient Egyptian tombs of Meir. Also, it comprises the town of Durunka, a pilgrimage site for many Copts who come to visit a monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
- Deir El Gabrawi
- Also, Meir
- Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed, Egyptian nationalist.
- al-Suyuti, a Sunni Muslim theologian who died in 1505.
- Akhnoukh Fanous, political activist.
- Coluthus, 5th-century Greek poet.
- Ester Fanous, female activist
- Farghali Abdel Hafiz.
- Gamal Abdel Nasser, Second President of Egypt.
- Hafez Ibrahim, poet born in Dairut, Asyut.
- Ismail al-Qabbani.
- Louis Gris.
- Melitius of Lycopolis, founder of the Melitians.
- Mustafa Lutfi al-Manfaluti.
- Mohamed Ahmed Farghali Pasha.
- Mohamed Mustagab.
- Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
- Besides, Samir Ghanem, comedian, singer, and entertainer.