When the prepositions "a" (to) or "de" (of or from) come before the definite article "el" , they combine with it to form a contraction: a+el= al / de + el = del. However, if "el" is a capitalized part of a name, it does not contract to al when used with a. For example: Fuimos de vacaciones a El Cairo - We went on a holiday to Cairo. / Mi compañera es de El Salvador - My colleague is from El Salvador. Moreover, remember the difference between el and él. The pronoun (él) does have a written accent and means “he". This pronoun is never contracted.