Sharqia Governorate is the 3rd most populous of the governorates of Egypt, located in the northern part of the country. Its capital is the city of Zagazig.
Location of Sharqia Governorate
Al Sharqia governorate lies in the northeastern part of Egypt. Ismailia borders the governorate to its east, El Qalyoubiya governorate to its south, El Manzala Lake in the north and El Daqahila in the west. The governorate consists of several administrative centres, towns, and cities. The Al Sharqia governorate is well connected by rail and road to other provinces, making it easily accessible to most parts of the country.
Bilbeis is the former capital of Sharqia. A section of the governorate once was part of the Qalyubia Governorate. There is a strong agriculture industry, poultry and fish farming in Sharqia.
The poverty rate is more than 60% in this governorate, but recently some social safety networks have been provided financial assistance and job opportunities. The funding has been coordinated by the country’s Ministry of Finance and with help from international organizations.
The governorate is divided into the following municipal divisions for administrative purposes, with a total estimated population as of July 2017 of 7,192,355. There is a markaz and a kism with the same name.
According to population estimates, in 2015, most residents in the governorate lived in rural areas, with an urbanization rate of only 23.1%. Out of an estimated 6,485,412 people residing in the governorate in 2015, 4,987,707 lived in rural areas, and 1,497,705 lived in urban areas.
The historical importance of Al Sharqia
Throughout the history of Egypt, the Sharqia governorate has been seen as the eastern gate of Egypt, where invaders could break into the country. Sharqia was consolidated into El Dakahila governorate with its capital at Belbeis City in the Middle Ages to unify defensive capabilities. In 1315, however, Sharqia again became a separate governorate. The capital of Sharqia changed from Belbeis City to El Zagazig city during the 19th century.
According to the Governing Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), the governorate is home to two industrial zones. They are located in New Salhia and the 10th of Ramadan.
- El-Said Badawi, sociolinguist
- Mohamed Morsi, former President of Egypt
- Ahmed Shafik, former Prime Minister of Egypt and Presidential Candidate for Egyptian presidential election, 2012
- Abaza family is the most prominent family in Sharqia and Egypt’s largest family of Circassian origin.
- Ahmed Subhy Mansour, founder of the Quranist movement
- Abdel Halim Hafez, popular singer and actor
- Miral al-Tahawy, award-winning Bedouin novelist
- Yusuf Abu Rayya, award-winning novelist
- Husayn Fawzi Al Najjar, political historian and Islamic scholar
- Magdi Yacoub, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute
- Sama El Masry, actress, belly dancer, and activist
- Ahmed Fouad Negm, Egyptian vernacular poet
- Rushdy Abaza, actor
- Fekry Pasha Abaza, journalist and political activist
- Ahmed ‘Urabi, the leader of the 1881 nationalist uprising against the British
- Hamada Helal, Egyptian singer
- Emad Moteab, Egyptian footballer
- Ahmed el-Mansy, an Egyptian officer who was killed in clashes with terrorists in North Sinai