Monofeya Governorate is one of the Egyptian Governorates in which history and geography played an important role in shaping its discriminative identity. The name "Monofeya" is derived from "Monof" City. It was an ancient Egyptian city called "Bernob" meaning "The House of Gold" because there were many gold mines then its Coptic name became "Banofees". After the Islamic conquest to Egypt, the letter "B" was converted to "M" in Arabic, therefore it has become "Manofees". On the course of successive generations, it has been called "Monof" in slang as an abbreviation for the name of "Manofees". Monof has been the capital of Monofeya Province since the Islamic conquest until 1826 A.D. After that Muhammad Ali Pasha moved out the capital of the Directorate (Mudiriyya in Arabic) from Monof to Shebeen Al-Koum City because of its strategic position among the other directorates.
In Ancient Egyptian:
It was called "Neet Shama'" meaning the Southern Neet, its capital was "Barzaq'" its place now is "Zawyet Razeen" in Monof Markaz, it was the fourth region in the Ancient Egyptian Province.
Some of its famous cities at that time are Al-Batanoon "Ann Tanan" in Shebeen Al-Koum Markaz, Mustai "Moot" in Quweisna Markaz, and Koum Al-Kalba "Brant" near Meleeg, pertaining Shebeen Al-Koum Markaz.
In the Byzantine Age:
Monofeya was divided into two main Administrative Regions: the first was called "Konio" it was located between Damietta (Dumyat) branch of the Nile and the Sea of Shebeen Al-Koum; the other one was called "Twa" it was located on the west of the Delta branch of Rosetta (Rashid).
In the Fatimid Period:
It was divided into four Marakez (pl. of Markaz)
· "Twa": it contained the land between the Delta branch of Rashid and Al-Bagouriyya Canal
· "Upper Monof": it’s now known as "Qalti Al-Kubra"
· "Lower Monof": it was located between Shebeen Al-Koum Sea and Al-Bagourriya, it's now known as "Monof".
In the Mameluke Period:
In the beginning of the fourteenth century, the Victorious King Muhammad Ibn-Qalawuun unified Upper and Lower Monof under the name Monofeya in 1310. The newborn Monofeya consisted of (Upper Monof, Lower Monof and Quweisna Island).
It remained so until the end of the eighteenth century. The area of Monofeya Directorate in that time was about 203 000 feddans and a number of 137 towns.
In Modern Time:
· In 1826, Muhammad Ali Pasha moved out the Directorate Capital from Monof to Shebeen Al-Koum because of its centric position.
· In the earlier time of the modern Egyptian State, the Directorate was divided into five Marakez (literally Centers, Sing. Markaz) (Shebeen Al-Koum, Monof, Ashmoon, Quweisna, and Tala). The whole area was about 380 000 km2 and the number of its towns were 312 because it had annexed some areas from neighboring Directorates especially Al-Gharbiyya.
· Monofeya Directorate was annexed to Al-Gharbiyya Directorate twice under the name of Rawdat Al-Bahrain (Paradise of the Tow Seas) ; the first time under the reign of Said Pasha from 1855 to 1863, the second time under the reign of Ismail Pasha for only a year (from 1886 to 1887). In 1887 Monofeya became independent from Al-Gharbiyya.
· In 1942 Al-Shuhada Markaz was established by combining some parts from Shebeen Al-Koum and Tala.
· In 1947 Al-Bagour Markaz was established by combining some parts and villages from Monof, Ashmoon, Quweisna and Shebeen Al-Koum.
· In 1955 five villages were taken out of Tala to Tanta Markaz and another seven villages were taken to Kafr Az-Zayyat Markaz.
· Al-Shuhada Markaz was given that name as there were a lot of martyrs (shuhada' in Arabic) leaders and soldiers during the Islamic conquest in Egypt.
· In 1960 Berket As-Sab' Markaz was established by some villages out of these Marakez; Quweisna, Tala, and Shebeen Al-Koum.
· In 1975 the village of Sirs Al-Layyan was transformed to become a City after its separation from Monof Markaz.
· In 1991 Sadat City was annexed to Monofeya Governorate as a desert hinterland after separating it from Al-Beheira Governorate.
Monofeya Governorate lies in the middle and south of Nile Delta between Damietta (Dumyat) and Rosetta (Rashid) branches. It borders Al-Gharbiyya Governorate to the north, Giza to the south, Al-Qalubiyya to the southeast and Al-Beheira to the west. It's shaped like an upside-down triangle. It extends to the west of Rosetta Delta branch to take Sadat Markaz till the Cairo-Alexandria highway.
It covers an area of 2.760.3 km2, and the populated area is 1.584,2 km2 with a ratio of 57.4% out of the whole area. The population of the Governorate is 3.365.057 est.1/1/2006, 80% of them live in villages, the rest 20% live in urban areas.
Monofeya Governorate is divided into 9 Administrative Marakez and the city of Sirs Al-Layyan, in addition to 70 Village Local Units (pl. Wahadat Mahaliyya) consisting of 315 villages and 898 minor villages (kafr & Ezba)