With the Arab conquest in 20 AH/641 AD, Caliph Omar ibn al-Khattab wanted a new capital for Egypt, refusing Alexandria, the former capital city during the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods (332 BC–641 AD). Fustat, or al-Fustat, was founded by general ‘Amr ibn al-‘As a year later, making it Egypt’s first Islamic capital.
The city got its name from the word fustat, meaning “tent”, after the camp set up by the army of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As in the future location of the new capital. Al-Fustat’s very first building was the mosque of Amr ibn al-‘As, which is also known as al-‘Ateeq "the Old (Mosque)”, which was built on the site of the tent in which most of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad gathered.
Today, al-Fustat is a part of the Old Cairo District. It is one of the most deep-rooted places in Greater Cairo, as it contains many archaeological sites, such as the Synagogue of Ben E'zra, more than seven old churches, the Mosque of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, the excavated remains of the old city of al-Fustat, the Nilometer on al-Rhoda island, the palace of al-Manesterley, and Mohammad Ali Palace in al-Manyal.