Helwan (Arabic: حلوان ḤelwānIPA: , Coptic: ϩⲁⲗⲟⲩⲁⲛromanized: Halouan) is a suburban district in the Southern Area of Cairo, Egypt. The area of Helwan witnessed Prehistoric, ancient Egyptian, Roman and Muslim era activity. More recently it was famous a city until as late as the 1960s, before it became contiguous with the city of Cairo. For a brief period between April 2008 and April 2011 it was redesignated as a city, and served as the capital of the now defunct Helwan Governorate that was split from Cairo and Giza governorates, before being re-incorporated back into them. The kism of Helwan had a population of 521,239 in the 2017 census.

Farouk's palace


In fact,the Helwan and Isnian cultures of the late Epipalaeolithic, and their Ouchata retouch methods for creating microlithic tools may have contributed to the development of the Harifian cultural assemblage of the Sinai, which may have introduced Proto Semitic Languages into the Middle East. Around 3000 to 2600 BC, there was a cemetery near Helwan serving the city of Memphis.

In fact,the city of Helwan was there in 689 CE as Fustat’s temporary replacement as the capital of Umayyad Egypt by its governor Abd al Aziz ibn Marwan, who died in the new city.

In fact,the Khedivial Astronomical Observatory was built here 1903–1904, and was used to observe Halley’s comet. Egypt’s oldest and largest private psychiatric clinic, the Behman Hospital, was constructed here in 1939.

During the early part of the 20th century. The city was the site of RAF Helwan, a major British airfield, which the Egyptian Air Force used.

In 1959 the city was famous as a site of a major industrial city. As part of President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s attempts to industrialize Egypt. Throughout the 1960s, it developed into a massive steelworks zone, with numerous automobile factories. In fact,the site continues to use electricity from the Aswan Dam and iron ore from Egypt’s western deserts. It gradually changed into a mass suburb of Cairo for the working class.

Following the dissolution of the Helwan Governorate in April 2011, all cities and districts returned to their previous statuses.