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Beni Suef
Arabic: banī suwayf

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Beni Suef

Coptic church in Beni Suef, Egypt
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A HREF="coptic_c.htm">Coptic church in Beni Suef, Egypt.

City in central Egypt with 200,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), on the western bank of the Nile. It is the capital of Beni Suef governorate with 2.3 million inhabitants (2005 estimate) and an area of 1,321 km².
Beni Suef is the capital of a poor region with high unemployment. It suffers from being both too near and too far from Cairo. It is too far to operate as a suburb of the capital, and too near to have the vitality of an important regional centre. Much of the economy of the governorate is therefore based on agriculture, but there are some industries as well. Foremost among these are 5 cement factories and some installations for textile manufacturing. There is also some quarrying of alabaster marble on the other side of the Nile.
Beni Suef is well-connected to other urban centres of Egypt, located right on the Nile, by road, rail and river boats. Fayoum, another governorate capital, is only 35 km northwest, Cairo 120 km north and Minya 126 km south.
The old great mosque of Bahr contains a shrine which is locally venerated.

22nd and 21st centuries BCE: The city of Herakleopolis, 15 km west (at the modern village of Ihnasya al-Madina), is the capital of Lower and Middle Egypt, ruled by the kings of the 9th and 10th Dynasties.
Around 950 BCE: Libyan nobles of the region unite all of Egypt under their rule, forming the 22nd Dynasty. They would relocate to the existing capital of Lower Egypt, Tanis.

By Tore Kjeilen