The name originates from the chief city of the governorate, originally known in Sahidic Coptic as Tmoone and in Bohairic as Thmonē, meaning “the residence”, in reference to a monastery formerly in the area. The name may also originate from the city's name in Egyptian Men'at Khufu.
According to population estimates from 2015 the majority of residents in the governorate live in rural areas, with an urbanization rate of only 18.9%. Out of an estimated 5,156,702 people residing in the governorate, 4,183,284 people live in rural areas as opposed to only 973,418 in urban areas.
The capital of Minya governorate is the city of Minya. The governorate is one of the most highly populated governorates of Upper Egypt. It contains nine cities; 3,375 villages; and 10,875 hamlets, within the following nine boroughs, from north to south:
The following cities are located in this governorate:Abu Qurqas
Minya (Men'at Khufu)
Little is known today about Minya Governorate compared to its great wealth of important archaeological sites. Its remarkable history, including Ancient Egyptian, Hellenistic, Roman and Arab periods, has not yet received the full attention of scholars.
Dehnet, Fraser Tombs, Sharuna, and Zawyet el-Maiyitin comprise monuments dating back to the Old Kingdom.
The village of Bani Hasan al Shurruq houses 390 rock-cut decorated tombs and chapels from the Middle Kingdom (2000–1580 BC, especially the sixteenth dynasty). The Speos Artemidos is nearby, and hosts temples built by Queen Hatshepsut.
Akhetaten was built by Pharaoh Akhenaten and dedicated to the god Aten. Akhenaten lived there in isolation with his beautiful wife, Nefertiti, and daughters, devoting himself to the monotheistic religion that he preached. The glorious remains of the palaces, temples and tombs still exist today.
Other significant archaeological sites in the governorate of Minya include Deir Abu Hinis, Deir el-Bersha, El-Sheikh Sa'id, and Tuna el-Gebel.
El Ashmunein (Hermopolis Magna) was the capital of the region during this period. It was the main center of worship of the god Thoth. Today, the ruins of a Greek temple, similar to the Parthenon, can be still found.
The tomb and chapel of Petosiris are found near the modern village of Tuna el-Gebel.
Antinopolis was built in 130 A.D. by the Roman emperor Hadrian in memory of his favorite cup-bearer Antinous.
The Monastery of the Virgin Mary at Gebel el-Teir is an important Christian site near the city of Samalut. Its church was built by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, in 328, on one of the sites where the Holy Family is believed to have stayed during its Flight into Egypt.
Oxyrhynchus was an important administrative center during the Hellenistic Period, and remains an important archaeological source for papyri from the Byzantine Egypt.
Maghagha hosts the mosque of the famous Muslim Zayid ibn al Mugharah.
Today, Minya governorate has the highest concentration of Coptic Christians of 50% of the total population. There are also a number of active monasteries in the region.
In 1981, the Basic Village Service Program (BVS) of USAID, had several water, and road projects, going on in several markazes in the Minya Governorate. In 2013, The United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security helped farmers in Minya by doing consultation work with them and taking soil samples.
The national holiday of the Minya governorate is on 18 March. It commemorates those who were executed by the British at Deir Mawas on 18 March 1919.
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 Matahra, east of the Nile
Heavy industrial zone - Wadi el Sararyah
Minya Governorate is an important agricultural and industrial region. Among its principal crops are sugarcane, cotton, beans, soybeans, garlic, onions, vegetables of various sorts, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, and grapes. Among the leading local industries are food processing (especially sugar and the drying and grinding of onions), spinning and weaving of cotton, perfumes, oils and fats, cement-making, quarrying (especially limestone), and brick-making.Akhetaten (Amarna)
Dehenet (Akoris or Tihna el-Gebel)
Ansena (Antinopolis or Sheikh Ibada)
Hebenu (Kom el-Ahmar)
Khmun (Hermopolis Magna or el-Ashmunein)
Per Medjed (Oxyrhynchus or el-Bahnasa)
Sharuna (el-Kom el-Ahmar Sawaris)
Speos Artemidos (Istabl Antar)
Monastery of Saint Fana, near Mallawi
Abdel Hakim Amer, military general
Akhenaten, Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty
Hakim, folkloric singer
Hoda Shaarawi, female activist
Khufu, second Pharaoh of the Fourth dynasty
Louis Awad, writer and intellectual
Maria al-Qibtiyya, wife of Muhammad
Sanaa Gamil, actress
Suzanne Mubarak, the first lady of Egypt
Taha Hussein, writer and intellectual
Mervat Amin, artist
Ahmed Hassan, leader of Egyptian Football Team
Total area: 32,279 km².
Percentage to total area of Egypt: 3.2%.
Population: around 4.2 million
Population density: 115 people/km²
Percentage to the whole population of Egypt: 5.1%
Population growth rate:
Minya Governorate administrative divisions: 9 localities, 57 local administrative units, 346 small villages, and 1.429 tiny villages.