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The Sinai Peninsula, or simply Sinai (now usually ) (, ), is a
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is usually understood to be continuous, though ...

peninsula
in
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identif ...

Egypt
, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is between the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the ...
to the north and the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northe ...

Red Sea
to the south, and is a
land bridge Image:Pm-map.png, upright=1.3, The Isthmus of Panama is a land bridge whose appearance 3 million years ago allowed the Great American Interchange In biogeography, a land bridge is an isthmus or wider land connection between otherwise separate are ...
between Asia and Africa. Sinai has a land area of about (6 percent of Egypt's total area) and a population of approximately 600,000 people. Administratively, the vast majority of the area of the Sinai Peninsula is divided into two
governorates A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governor. As English-speaking nations tend to call regions administered by governors either State (administrative division), states or provinces, the term ''governorate'' i ...

governorates
: the
South Sinai Governorate South Sinai Governorate ( ar, محافظة جنوب سيناء ') is the least populated governorates of Egypt, governorate of Egypt. It is located in the east of the country, encompassing the southern half of the Sinai Peninsula. Saint Catherine' ...
and the
North Sinai Governorate North Sinai Governorate ( ar, محافظة شمال سيناء ') is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is located in the north-eastern part of the country, and encompasses the northern half of the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered in the north by ...
. Three other governorates span the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. The canal is part of the Silk ...
, crossing into African Egypt:
Suez Governorate Suez Governorate ( ar, محافظة السويس ) is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is located in the north-eastern part of the country and is coterminous with the city of Suez. It is situated north of the Gulf of Suez. Municipal divisions ...
on the southern end of the Suez Canal,
Ismailia Governorate Ismailia Governorate is one of the Canal Zone governorates of Egypt. Located in the northeastern part of the country, its capital is the city of Ismailia. It was named after Isma'il Pasha, Ismail Pasha, who as Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, oversaw the ...
in the center, and
Port Said Governorate Port Said Governorate is one of the Canal Zone governorates of Egypt For administrative purposes, Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northea ...
in the north. In the classical era the region was known as
Arabia Petraea Arabia Petraea or Petrea, also known as Rome's Arabian Province ( la, Provincia Arabia; ar, العربية البترائية; grc, ἐπαρχία Πετραίας Αραβίας) or simply Arabia, was a frontier province A province is almo ...

Arabia Petraea
. The peninsula acquired the name Sinai in modern times due to the assumption that a mountain near
Saint Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine's Monastery ( ar, دير القدّيسة كاترين; grc-gre, Μονὴ τῆς Ἁγίας Αἰκατερίνης), officially Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai ( ell, Ιερά Μονή του Θεοβαδίστ ...

Saint Catherine's Monastery
is the
Biblical Mount Sinai In the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafari and others. It appears in the form of an antholo ...
.
Mount Sinai ar, جَبَل مُوْسَى, Jabal Mūsā syc, ܛܘܪܐ ܕܣܝܢܝ , coordinates = , photo = Mount Moses.jpg , photo_caption = The summit of Mount Sinai , photo_size = , elevation_m = 2,285 , elevation_ref = , location = South Sinai ...

Mount Sinai
is one of the most religiously significant places in the
Abrahamic faiths The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic people, Semitic-originated religions that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Israelites and the worship of ...
. The Sinai Peninsula has been a part of Egypt from the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt ( BC). This comes in stark contrast to the region north of it, the
Levant The Levant () is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the G ...

Levant
(present-day territories of
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a country in ...

Syria
,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is located between Syria to Lebanon–Syria border, the north and east and Israel to Blue Line ...

Lebanon
,
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It in ...

Jordan
,
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
and
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
), which, due largely to its strategic geopolitical location and cultural convergences, has historically been the center of conflict between Egypt and various states of
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
and
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while be ...

Asia Minor
. In periods of foreign occupation, the Sinai was, like the rest of Egypt, also occupied and controlled by foreign empires, in more recent history the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th a ...
( 1517–1867) and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
( 1882–1956). Israel invaded and occupied Sinai during the
Suez Crisis The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli war, also called the Tripartite Aggression ( ar, العدوان الثلاثي, Al-ʿUdwān aṯ-Ṯulāṯiyy) in the Arab world and the Sinai War in Israel,Also known as the Suez War or 1956 War; ...
(known in Egypt as the ''Tripartite Aggression'' due to the simultaneous coordinated attack by the UK, France and Israel) of 1956, and during the
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel ...
of 1967. On 6 October 1973, Egypt launched the Yom Kippur War to retake the peninsula, which was unsuccessful. In 1982, as a result of the of 1979, Israel withdrew from all of the Sinai Peninsula except the contentious territory of Taba, which was returned after a ruling by a commission of arbitration in 1989. Today, Sinai has become a
tourist destination A tourist attraction is a place of interest where tourists visit, typically for its inherent or an exhibited natural or cultural value, historical significance, natural or built beauty, offering leisure and amusement. Types Places of natural b ...
due to its natural setting, rich
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from ston ...

coral reef
s, and biblical history.


Name


Ancient Egypt

Because the Sinai peninsula was the main region where mining of turquoise was carried out in Ancient Egypt, it was called ''Biau'' (the "Mining Country") and ''Khetiu Mafkat'' ("Ladders of
Turquoise Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, duct ...

Turquoise
") by the ancient Egyptians.


"Sinai" a modern Christian name

Roland de Vaux Roland Guérin de Vaux (17 December 1903 – 10 September 1971) was a French Dominican priest who led the Catholic team that initially worked on the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was the director of the Ecole Biblique, a French Catholic Theological ...

Roland de Vaux
writes that the peninsula acquired the name Sinai in modern times due to the Christian assumption that a mountain near
Saint Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine's Monastery ( ar, دير القدّيسة كاترين; grc-gre, Μονὴ τῆς Ἁγίας Αἰκατερίνης), officially Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai ( ell, Ιερά Μονή του Θεοβαδίστ ...

Saint Catherine's Monastery
is the
Biblical Mount Sinai In the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafari and others. It appears in the form of an antholo ...
.


"Sinai": ancient religious roots?

This assumption is contested (see
Biblical Mount Sinai In the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafari and others. It appears in the form of an antholo ...
for a fuller discussion). The name ''Sinai'' ( he, סִינַי, syc, ܣܝܢܝ) may have been derived from the ancient Mesopotamian moon-god
Sin In a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places, prophecy, prophecies, ...
. The moon-deity Sin is associated with the area, and the
ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word t ...
moon-god
Thoth Thoth (; from grc-koi, Θώθ ', borrowed from cop, Ⲑⲱⲟⲩⲧ, the reflex of egy, ḏḥwtj " eis like the Ibis") is an ancient Egyptian deity Ancient Egyptian deities are the gods A deity or god is a supernatural being consider ...

Thoth
is also associated with Sin and his worship was widespread throughout the south tip of the Sinai Peninsula. ''
The Jewish Encyclopedia ''The Jewish Encyclopedia: A Descriptive Record of the History, Religion, Literature, and Customs of the Jewish People from the Earliest Times to the Present Day'' is an English-language encyclopedia containing over 15,000 articles on the ...
''(1901-0906) quotes a Rabbinic source, the 8th or 9th-century
Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer (Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer, Aramaic Aramaic ( Classical Syriac: ''Arāmāyā''; Old Aramaic: ; Imperial Aramaic: ; square script ) is a language that originated among the Arameans The Arameans (Old Aramaic language, ...
, which derives the name from the
biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew language, Hebrew, a language in the Canaanite languages, Canaanite branch of Semitic languages, Semitic languages, spoken b ...
word ''seneh'' ( he, סֶ֫נֶּה), a word only known from two occurrances in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ketuvim. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, with a fe ...

Hebrew Bible
, in both cases referring to the
burning bush The burning bush is an object described by as being located on Mount Horeb. According to the narrative, the bush was on fire, but was not consumed by the flames, hence the name. In the biblical narrative, the burning bush is the location at wh ...
. Rabbi Eliezer opines that Mount Horeb only received the name Sinai after God appeared to Moses in the shape of a burning bush.


Arabic name

Its modern
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
name is ' (
Egyptian Arabic Egyptian Arabic, locally known as Colloquial Egyptian ( ar, العامية المصرية, ), or simply ''Masri'' (), is the spoken vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people tha ...
'; ). The modern Arabic is an adoption of the biblical name, the 19th-century Arabic designation of Sinai was ''Jebel el-Tūr'', which the name of the mountain is derived from a small town called El-Tor (formerly called "Tur Sinai"), which this name comes from the Arabic term for the mountain where the prophet
Moses Moses he, מֹשֶׁה, ''Mōše''; also known as Moshe Rabbenu ( he, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ "Moshe our Teacher"); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, ''Mūše''; ar, موسى '; el, Mωϋσῆς, ' () is considered the most important prophet in Judaism ...

Moses
received the from God, thus this mountain is designated as "''Jabal Aṭ-Ṭūr'' (
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
: جبل الطّور)", and the town is also the capital of the
South Sinai Governorate South Sinai Governorate ( ar, محافظة جنوب سيناء ') is the least populated governorates of Egypt, governorate of Egypt. It is located in the east of the country, encompassing the southern half of the Sinai Peninsula. Saint Catherine' ...
of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identif ...

Egypt
. As another Arabic word for "mass of very high land going up to a peak - mountain" is ''"Ṭūr".'' In addition to its formal name,
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinen ...
also refer to it as ' ( 'the land of
turquoise Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, duct ...

turquoise
'). The
ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word t ...
s called it ''t3 mfk3.t'', or 'land of turquoise' (see above).


English pronunciation

In
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
, the name is now usually pronounced . The traditional pronunciation is or .


Geography

Sinai is triangular in shape, with its northern shore lying on the southern
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the ...
, and its southwest and southeast shores on the
Gulf of Suez 282px, Northernmost part of Gulf of Suez with town Suez on the map of 1856 The Gulf of Suez ( ar, خليج السويس, khalīǧ as-suwais; formerly , ', "Sea of Calm") is a gulf A gulf is a large inlet from the ocean into the landmass, t ...
and the
Gulf of Aqaba The Gulf of Aqaba ( ar, خَلِيجُ ٱلْعَقَبَةِ, Khalīj al-ʿAqabah) or Gulf of Eilat ( he, מפרץ אילת, Mifrátz Eilát) is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea, east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian ...

Gulf of Aqaba
of the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر, translit=al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar; or ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northe ...

Red Sea
. It is linked to the African continent by the
Isthmus of Suez The Isthmus of Suez is the 75-mile-wide (125-km) strip of land
, wide strip of land, containing the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. The canal is part of the Silk ...
. The eastern isthmus, linking it to the Asian mainland, is around wide. The peninsula's eastern shore separates the
Arabian plate The Arabian Plate is a minor tectonic plate in the northern and eastern hemispheres. It is one of three continental plates (along with the African and Indian plates) that have been moving northward in recent geological history and collidin ...
from the
African plate The African Plate is a major tectonic plate straddling the Equator The Earth's equator is an imaginary planetary line that is about long in circumference. The equator divides the planet into the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisph ...
. The southernmost tip is the
Ras Muhammad National Park Ras Mohammad ( arz, راس محمد ', ; ar, رأس محمد ') is a national park in Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Afr ...
. Most of the Sinai Peninsula is divided among the two
governorates of Egypt For administrative purposes, Egypt is divided into twenty-seven governorates ( '; ; genitive case#Arabic, genitive case: ' ; plural: '). Egyptian governorates are the top tier of the country's jurisdiction hierarchy. A governorate is administere ...

governorates of Egypt
:
South Sinai South Sinai Governorate ( ar, محافظة جنوب سيناء ') is the least populated governorate A governorate is an administrative division of a country. It is headed by a governor. As English-speaking nations tend to call regions administ ...
(Ganub Sina) and North Sinai (Shamal Sina). Together, they comprise around 60,000 square kilometres (23,000 sq mi) and have a population (January 2013) of 597,000. Three more governates span the Suez Canal, crossing into African Egypt:
Suez Suez ( ar, السويس '; ) is a seaport city (population of about 750,000 ) in north-eastern Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries lo ...
(el-Sewais) is on the southern end of the Suez Canal,
Ismailia Ismailia ( ar, الإسماعيلية ', ) is a city in north-eastern Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Wester ...
(el-Isma'ileyyah) in the centre, and
Port Said Port Said ( ar, بورسعيد, Būrsaʿīd, ) is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal. With an approximate population of 603,787 (2010), it is the List of citie ...
in the north. The largest city of Sinai is
Arish ʻArish or el-ʻArīsh ( ar, العريش ' , ''Hrinokorura'') is the capital and largest city (with 164,830 inhabitants ) of the North Sinai Governorate of Egypt, as well as the largest city on the entire Sinai Peninsula, lying on the Medit ...

Arish
, capital of the North Sinai, with around 160,000 residents. Other larger settlements include
Sharm el-Sheikh Sharm el-Sheikh ( ar, شرم الشيخ, ) is an Egyptian city on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. Its population is approximately 73,000 . Sharm El Sheikh is the administ ...
and El-Tor, on the southern coast. Inland Sinai is arid (effectively a desert), mountainous and sparsely populated, the largest settlements being Saint Catherine and
Nekhel Nekhel ( ar, نِخِل  ; also spelled and pronounced ''Nakhl '' ) is the capital of Nekhel Municipality of North Sinai Governorate North Sinai Governorate ( ar, محافظة شمال سيناء ') is one of the governorates of Egypt ...
.


Climate

Sinai is one of the coldest provinces in Egypt because of its high altitudes and mountainous topographies. Winter temperatures in some of Sinai's cities and towns reach .


History


Chalcolithic

A cave with paintings of people and animals was discovered about north of
Mount Catherine Mount Catherine ( ar, جبل كاثرين), locally known as Gabal Katrîne, is the highest mountain in Egypt. It is located near the city of Saint Catherine, Egypt, Saint Catherine in the South Sinai Governorate. The name is derived from the C ...

Mount Catherine
in January 2020, dates back to the
Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

Chalcolithic
Period, circa 5th–4th millennium BCE.


Ancient Egypt

From the time of the First Dynasty or before, the Egyptians mined
turquoise Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, duct ...

turquoise
in Sinai at two locations, now called by their
Egyptian Arabic Egyptian Arabic, locally known as Colloquial Egyptian ( ar, العامية المصرية, ), or simply ''Masri'' (), is the spoken vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people tha ...
names Wadi Magharah and . The mines were worked intermittently and on a seasonal basis for thousands of years. Modern attempts to exploit the deposits have been unprofitable. These may be the first historically attested mines. The fortress
Tjaru Tjaru ( egy, ṯꜣrw) was an ancient Egyptian fortress on the ''Way of Horus'' or ''Horus military road'', the major road leading out of Egypt into Canaan. It was known in Greek as Selē ( grc, Σελη), in Latin as Sile or Sele, and in Coptic a ...
in western Sinai was a place of banishment for Egyptian criminals. The Way of Horus connected it across northern Sinai with ancient
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
.


The Exodus according to Islamic sources

These accounts are according solely to
Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling o ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , edi ...
sources. Witnessed in the year 1800 BC with the arrival of the father of the prophets, prophet Ibrahīm (the
Biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic ...

Abraham
) to Egypt during the occupation of the
Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''wikt:ḥqꜣ, ḥqꜣ(w)-wikt:ḫꜣst, ḫꜣswt'', Egyptological pronunciation: ''hekau khasut'', "ruler(s) of foreign lands"; grc, Ὑκσώς, ) is a term which, in modern Egyptology, designates the kin ...
, and he married an Egyptian slave girl named (
biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
Hagar Hagar ( he, הָגָר, ''Hāgār'', of uncertain origin; ar, هَاجَر ''Hājar''; gr, Ἁγάρ, ''Hagár''; la, Agar) is a biblical figure. According to the Book of Genesis, she was an Ancient Egypt, Egyptian slave, a handmaiden of Sara ...

Hagar
) from
Pelusium Pelusium ( ar, الفرما; cop, Ⲡⲉⲣⲉⲙⲟⲩⲛ and Ⲡⲉⲣⲉⲙⲟⲩⲏ or Ⲥⲓⲛ; Tell el-Farama) was an important city in the eastern extremes of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egyp ...
(modern-day northern
QantaraQanater (plural of Qantara, the Arabic word for bridge) may refer to: Places Algeria *El Kantara *El Kantara District Egypt * El Qantara, Egypt, a city on both sides of the Suez Canal Giza Governorate *Manshiyat al Qanater Qalyubia Governorate * ...
), and gave birth to prophet Isma'īl (the
biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
Ishmael Ishmael ''Ismaḗl''; Classical/Qur'anic Arabic: إِسْمَٰعِيْل; Modern Standard Arabic: إِسْمَاعِيْل ''ʾIsmāʿīl''; la, Ismael was the first son of Abraham, the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, and the Anci ...
). Isma'īl then grew up at
Mecca Mecca, officially Makkah al-Mukarramah ( ) and commonly shortened to Makkah ( ),Quran 48:22 ' () is a city and administrative center of the Mecca Province of Saudi Arabia, and the Holiest sites in Islam, holiest city in Islam. It is inland ...

Mecca
(in today's
Saudi Arabia (''Shahada The ''Shahada'' ( ar, ٱلشَّهَادَةُ ' , "the testimony"), also spelled Shahadah, is an Islamic oath, one of the Five Pillars of Islam and part of the Adhan. It reads: "I bear witness that none deserves worship e ...

Saudi Arabia
) and from which his descendants are the
Adnanite ) , type = Qedarite The Qedarite Kingdom, or Qedar ( ar, مملكة قيدار, Mamlakat Qaydar, also known as Qedarites), was a largely nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without ...

Adnanite
Arabs The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, ISO 233: , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world. In modern usage the term refers ...

Arabs
(from the Islamic patriarch and ancestor
Adnan Adnan ( ar, عدنان, ‘adnān) is the traditional ancestor of the Adnanite ) , type = Qedarite, Ishmaelite , image = Image:Adnanites.PNG , image_size = , alt = , caption = A family tree depicting branches of the Ad ...

Adnan
) - who is then one of the ancestors directly linked to the
Islamic Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling o ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , edi ...
prophet
Muhammad Muhammad ibn AbdullahHe is referred to by many appellations, including Messenger of Allah, The Prophet Muhammad, Allah's Apostle, Last Prophet of Islam, and others; there are also many variant spellings of Muhammad, such as Mohamet, Mohammed, ...

Muhammad
. In the year 1213 BC, the children of (
biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State ...

Jacob
) left Egypt during the era of the Pharaoh of Egypt, where prophet Musa (
biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
Moses Moses he, מֹשֶׁה, ''Mōše''; also known as Moshe Rabbenu ( he, מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ "Moshe our Teacher"); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, ''Mūše''; ar, موسى '; el, Mωϋσῆς, ' () is considered the most important prophet in Judaism ...

Moses
), walked to ''Madyan'' (
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
: مَدْيَن‎,
biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek ...
Midian grc-gre, Μαδιάμ, Madiam he, מִדְיָן, Mīḏyān , image_skyline = File:%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%86.jpg , caption = Above: Shuaib Caves in Al-Bada'a, Tabuk Region, region of Tabuk, Saudi Arabia , Tabuk in northwestern Saudi Arabia ...

Midian
) - the home of his wife and her family, which is the current southernmost point of the Sinai Peninsula - and some believe that it is located on the western coast of the
Gulf of Aqaba The Gulf of Aqaba ( ar, خَلِيجُ ٱلْعَقَبَةِ, Khalīj al-ʿAqabah) or Gulf of Eilat ( he, מפרץ אילת, Mifrátz Eilát) is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea, east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian ...

Gulf of Aqaba
in the area between Taba and
Dahab Dahab ( arz, دهب, , "gold") is a small Egyptian town on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, approximately northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh. Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, Dahab is now considered to be one of Egypt's most trea ...

Dahab
. When Moses walked in this direction, where there is currently between both mountains, later known as (
Mount Sinai ar, جَبَل مُوْسَى, Jabal Mūsā syc, ܛܘܪܐ ܕܣܝܢܝ , coordinates = , photo = Mount Moses.jpg , photo_caption = The summit of Mount Sinai , photo_size = , elevation_m = 2,285 , elevation_ref = , location = South Sinai ...

Mount Sinai
) and ''Jabal al-Munājāh'' (جبل المناجاة, in Arabic "''Munājāh''" implies an exclamatory address to absent person or to inanimate object - "confidential talk"), it is said that Moses received the commandments and laws (the
Ten Commandments The Ten Commandments ( he, עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדִּבְּרוֹת, ''Aseret ha'Dibrot''), also known as the Decalogue, are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship that play a fundamental role in Judaism and Christia ...

Ten Commandments
) of the Jewish religion (
Judaism Judaism is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of de ...
). The people of Moses did not respond to his desire to enter the
promised land The Promised Land ( he, הארץ המובטחת, translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:litter ...
(
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
), so
Allah Allah (; ar, الله, translit=Allāh, ) is the Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in coll ...

Allah
's (God's) wrath fell upon them and Allah forbade them to enter it for forty years, letting them wander across Sinai. Musa and his brother, Harun (
Aaron Aaron ''′aharon'', ar, هارون, Hārūn, Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its popul ...

Aaron
) died in Sinai during the wandering period, with Aaron dying first and being buried at a mountain called ''Jabal Hūd'' (جبل هود; see biblical
Mount Hor Mount Hor (Hebrew language, Hebrew: , ''Hor Ha-Har'') is the name given in the Old Testament to two distinct mountains. One borders the land of Edom in the area south of the Dead Sea, and the other is by the Mediterranean Sea at the Northern borde ...
); then Moses died and was buried in a red dune, at a place close to the land of Palestine, but it is not known where.


Achaemenid Persian Period

At the end of the time of
Darius I Darius I ( peo, 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁, translit=Dārayava(h)uš; New Persian: ; ; c. 550 – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was the third Persian King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, ...
, the Great (521–486 BCE) Sinai was part of the
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

Persian
province of Abar-Nahra, which means 'beyond the river [Euphrates]'. Cambyses II, Cambyses successfully managed the crossing of the hostile Sinai Desert, traditionally Egypt's first and strongest line of defence, and brought the Egyptians under Psamtik III, son and successor of Amasis II, Ahmose, to Battle of Pelusium (525 BC), battle at Pelusium. The Egyptians lost and retired to Memphis, Egypt, Memphis; the city fell to the Persian control and the Pharaoh was carried off in captivity to Susa in Persia.


Roman and Byzantine Periods

Rhinocorura (Ancient Greek language, Greek for "Rhinectomy, Cut-off Noses") and the eponymous region around it were used by Ptolemaid Egypt as a place of banishment for criminals, today known as
Arish ʻArish or el-ʻArīsh ( ar, العريش ' , ''Hrinokorura'') is the capital and largest city (with 164,830 inhabitants ) of the North Sinai Governorate of Egypt, as well as the largest city on the entire Sinai Peninsula, lying on the Medit ...

Arish
. After the death of the last Nabatean Kingdom, Nabatean king, Rabbel II Soter, in 106, the Roman emperor Trajan faced practically no resistance and conquered the kingdom on 22 March 106. With this conquest, the Roman Empire went on to control all shores of the
Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa, and on the ...
. The Sinai Peninsula became part of the Roman province of
Arabia Petraea Arabia Petraea or Petrea, also known as Rome's Arabian Province ( la, Provincia Arabia; ar, العربية البترائية; grc, ἐπαρχία Πετραίας Αραβίας) or simply Arabia, was a frontier province A province is almo ...

Arabia Petraea
.Taylor, Jane (2001). ''Petra And the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans''. I. B. Tauris, , p. 73-74 ()
Saint Catherine's Monastery Saint Catherine's Monastery ( ar, دير القدّيسة كاترين; grc-gre, Μονὴ τῆς Ἁγίας Αἰκατερίνης), officially Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai ( ell, Ιερά Μονή του Θεοβαδίστ ...

Saint Catherine's Monastery
on the foot of
Mount Sinai ar, جَبَل مُوْسَى, Jabal Mūsā syc, ܛܘܪܐ ܕܣܝܢܝ , coordinates = , photo = Mount Moses.jpg , photo_caption = The summit of Mount Sinai , photo_size = , elevation_m = 2,285 , elevation_ref = , location = South Sinai ...

Mount Sinai
was constructed by order of the Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565. Most of the Sinai Peninsula became part of the province of Palaestina Salutaris in the 6th century.


Ayyubid Period

During the Crusades it was under the control of Fatimid Caliphate. Later, Sultan Saladin abolished the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt and took this region under his control too. It was the military route from Cairo to Damascus during the Crusades. And in order to secure this route, he built a citadel on the Pharaoh's Island, island of Pharaoh (near present Taba) known by his name 'Salah El-Din castle, Saladin's Citadel'.


Mamluk and Ottoman Periods

The peninsula was governed as part of Egypt under the Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt from 1260 until 1517, when the Ottoman Sultan, Selim I, Selim the Grim, defeated the Egyptians at the Battle of Marj Dabiq, Battles of Marj Dabiq and Battle of Ridaniya, al-Raydaniyya, and Ottoman–Mamluk War (1516–1517), incorporated Egypt into the Ottoman Empire. From then until 1906, Sinai was administered by the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman provincial government of the Pashalik of Egypt, ''Pashalik'' of Egypt, even following the establishment of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty's rule over the rest of Egypt in 1805.


British control

In 1906, the Ottoman Porte formally transferred administration of Sinai to the Khedivate of Egypt, which essentially meant that it fell under the control of the British Empire, who had History of Egypt under the British, occupied and largely controlled Egypt since the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War. The border imposed by the British runs in an almost straight line from Rafah on the Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean shore to Taba (Egypt), Taba on the
Gulf of Aqaba The Gulf of Aqaba ( ar, خَلِيجُ ٱلْعَقَبَةِ, Khalīj al-ʿAqabah) or Gulf of Eilat ( he, מפרץ אילת, Mifrátz Eilát) is a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea, east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian ...

Gulf of Aqaba
. This line has served as the eastern border of Egypt ever since.


Israeli invasions and occupation

In 1956, Egypt nationalised the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. The canal is part of the Silk ...
, a waterway marking the boundary between Egyptian territory in Africa and the Sinai Peninsula. Thereafter, Israel, Israeli ships were prohibited from using the Canal, owing to the state of war between the two states. Egypt also prohibited ships from using Egyptian territorial waters on the eastern side of the peninsula to travel to and from Israel, effectively imposing a blockade on the Israeli port of Eilat. In October 1956, in what is known in Egypt as the Suez Crisis, Tripartite Aggression, Israel Defense Forces troops, aided by the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
and French Fourth Republic, France (which sought to reverse the nationalization and regain control over the Suez Canal), invaded Sinai and occupied much of the peninsula within a few days. In March 1957, Israel withdrew its forces from Sinai, following strong pressure from the United States and the Soviet Union. Thereafter, the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) was stationed in Sinai to prevent any further conflict in the Sinai. On 16 May 1967, Egypt ordered the UNEF out of Sinai and reoccupied it militarily. Secretary-General U Thant eventually complied and ordered the withdrawal without Security Council authorisation. In the course of the
Six-Day War The Six-Day War (; ar, النكسة, translit=an-Naksah, lit=The Setback or ), also known as the June War, the 1967 Arab–Israeli War or the Third Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 5 to 10 June 1967 between Israel ...
that broke out shortly thereafter, Israel occupied the entire Israeli occupation of the Sinai Peninsula, Sinai Peninsula, and Gaza Strip from Egypt, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, West Bank (including East Jerusalem) from
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It in ...

Jordan
(which Jordanian annexation of the West Bank, Jordan had controlled since 1949), and the Golan Heights from
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a country in ...

Syria
. The Suez Canal, the east bank of which was now occupied by Israel, was closed. Israel commenced efforts at large scale Israeli settlement in the Sinai Peninsula. Following the Israeli conquest of Sinai, Egypt launched the War of Attrition (1967–70) aimed at forcing Israel to withdraw from the Sinai. The war saw protracted conflict in the Suez Canal Zone, ranging from limited to large-scale combat. Israeli shelling of the cities of Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez on the west bank of the canal, led to high civilian casualties (including the virtual destruction of Suez), and contributed to the flight of 700,000 Egyptian internal refugees. Ultimately, the war concluded in 1970 with no change in the front line. On 6 October 1973, Egypt commenced Operation Badr (1973), Operation Badr to retake the Sinai, while Syria launched a simultaneous operation to retake the Golan Heights, thereby beginning the Yom Kippur War (known in Egypt and much of Europe as the ''October War''). Egyptian engineering forces built Pontoon bridge, pontoon bridges to cross the Suez Canal, and stormed the Bar-Lev Line, Israel's defensive line along the Suez Canal's east bank. Though the Egyptians maintained control of most of the east bank of the Suez Canal, in the later stages of the war, the Israeli military crossed the southern section of the Suez Canal, cutting off the Third Army (Egypt), Egyptian 3rd Army, and occupied a section of the Suez Canal's west bank. The war ended following a mutually agreed-upon ceasefire. After the war, as part of the subsequent Sinai Interim Agreement, Sinai Disengagement Agreements, Israel withdrew from immediate proximity with the Suez Canal, with Egypt agreeing to permit passage of Israeli ships. The canal was reopened in 1975, with President Anwar Sadat leading the first convoy through the canal aboard an Egyptian Navy destroyer.


1979–1982 Israeli withdrawal

In 1979, Egypt and Israel signed a Egypt–Israel peace treaty, peace treaty in which Israel agreed to withdraw from the entirety of the Sinai Peninsula. Israel subsequently withdrew in several stages, ending in 1982. The Israeli pull-out involved dismantling almost all Israeli settlements, including the settlement of Yamit in north-eastern Sinai. The exception was that the coastal city of
Sharm el-Sheikh Sharm el-Sheikh ( ar, شرم الشيخ, ) is an Egyptian city on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. Its population is approximately 73,000 . Sharm El Sheikh is the administ ...
(which the Israelis had founded as Ofira during their occupation of the Sinai Peninsula) was not dismantled. The Treaty allows monitoring of Sinai by the Multinational Force and Observers, and limits the number of Egyptian military forces in the peninsula.


Sinai peacekeeping zones

Article 2 of Annex I of the Peace Treaty called for the Sinai Peninsula to be divided into zones. Within these zones, Egypt and Israel were permitted varying degrees of military buildup: * Zone A: Between the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez and dividing Africa and Asia. The canal is part of the Silk ...
and Line A. Egypt is permitted a mechanized infantry division with a total of 22,000 troops in Zone A. * Zone B: Between Line A and Line B. Egypt is permitted four border security battalions to support the civilian police in Zone B. * Zone C: Between Line B and the Egypt–Israel border. Only the MFO and the Egyptian civilian police are permitted within Zone C. * Zone D: Between the Egypt–Israel border and Line D. Israel is permitted four infantry battalions in Zone D.


Early 21st century security issues

Since the early 2000s, Sinai has been the site of several Terrorism in Egypt, terror attacks against Tourism in Egypt, tourists, the majority of whom are Egyptian. Investigations have shown that these were mainly motivated by a resentment of the poverty faced by many Bedouin in the area. Attacking the tourist industry was viewed as a method of damaging the industry so that the government would pay more attention to their situation. (See 2004 Sinai bombings, 2005 Sharm El Sheikh bombings and 2006 Dahab bombings). Since the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, unrest has become more prevalent in the area including the 2012 Egyptian-Israeli border attack in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed by militants. (See Sinai insurgency.) Also on the rise are Refugee kidnappings in Sinai, kidnappings of refugees. According to Meron Estifanos, Eritrean refugees are often kidnapped by Bedouin in the northern Sinai, tortured, raped, and only released after receiving a large ransom. Under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, el-Sisi, Egypt has implemented a rigorous policy of controlling the Gaza–Egypt border, border to the Gaza Strip, including the dismantling of tunnels between Gaza and Sinai.


Demographics

The two governorates of North and South Sinai have a total population of 597,000 (January 2013). This figure rises to 1,400,000 by including Western Sinai, the parts of the
Port Said Port Said ( ar, بورسعيد, Būrsaʿīd, ) is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal. With an approximate population of 603,787 (2010), it is the List of citie ...
,
Ismailia Ismailia ( ar, الإسماعيلية ', ) is a city in north-eastern Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Wester ...
and
Suez Suez ( ar, السويس '; ) is a seaport city (population of about 750,000 ) in north-eastern Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries lo ...
Governorates lying east of the Suez Canal. Port Said alone has a population of roughly 500,000 people (January 2013). Portions of the populations of Ismailia and Suez live in west Sinai, while the rest live on the western side of the Suez Canal. The population of Sinai has largely consisted of desert-dwelling Bedouins with their colourful traditional costumes and significant culture.Leonard, William R. and Michael H. Crawford, ''The Human Biology of Pastoral Populations,'' Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 67 Large numbers of Egyptians from the Nile Valley and Nile Delta, Delta moved to the area to work in tourism, but development adversely affected the native Bedouin population. In order to help alleviate their problems, various NGOs began to operate in the region, including the Makhad Trust, a UK charity that assists the Bedouin in developing a sustainable income while protecting Sinai's natural environment, heritage and culture.


Economy

Since the Israeli–Egyptian peace treaty, Sinai's scenic spots (including
coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology), polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from ston ...

coral reef
s offshore) and religious structures have become important to the tourism industry. The most popular tourist destination in Sinai are
Mount Sinai ar, جَبَل مُوْسَى, Jabal Mūsā syc, ܛܘܪܐ ܕܣܝܢܝ , coordinates = , photo = Mount Moses.jpg , photo_caption = The summit of Mount Sinai , photo_size = , elevation_m = 2,285 , elevation_ref = , location = South Sinai ...

Mount Sinai
(''Jabal Musa'') and Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai, St Catherine's Monastery, which is considered to be the oldest working Christian monastery in the world, and the beach resorts of
Sharm el-Sheikh Sharm el-Sheikh ( ar, شرم الشيخ, ) is an Egyptian city on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, in South Sinai Governorate, on the coastal strip along the Red Sea. Its population is approximately 73,000 . Sharm El Sheikh is the administ ...
,
Dahab Dahab ( arz, دهب, , "gold") is a small Egyptian town on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, approximately northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh. Formerly a Bedouin fishing village, Dahab is now considered to be one of Egypt's most trea ...

Dahab
, Nuweiba and Taba. Most tourists arrive at Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport, through Eilat, Israel and the Taba Border Crossing, by road from Cairo or by ferry from Aqaba in Jordan. Cactus, Cacti - especially cactus pears - are grown in Sinai. They are a crop of the Columbian Exchange. Cactus hedges - both intentionally planted and wild garden escapes - formed an important part of defensible positions during the Sinai and Palestine campaign of World War I. Some unfamiliar soldiers even tried eating them, to negative result. Dromedary herding is important here. ''Trypanosoma evansi'' is a constant concern and is transmitted by several vector (epidemiology), vectors. Although ticks have not been proven to be among them, Mahmoud and Gray 1980 and El-Kady 1998 experimentally demonstrate survival of ''T. evansi'' in camel ticks of the ''Hyalomma'' for several hours in the real bio-climatic conditions of Sinai.


See also

* Operation Eagle * Multinational Force and Observers * Negev Bedouin * South Sinai regional development programme


Manmade structures

* Nawamis


Natural places

* Desert of Paran * Mitla Pass * Um Adawi Granites


Wildlife

* Sinai leopard


References


Further reading

* Gardner, Ann. "At Home in South Sinai". ''Nomadic Peoples'' 2000. Vol. 4, Iss. 2; pp. 48–67. Detailed account of Bedouin women * * * * * Claude Scudamore Jarvis, Jarvis, C.S.,''Yesterday and To-day in Sinai'' (Edinburgh/London: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1931).
New terrorist challenges in the Sinai peninsula, prominent jihadists organisations
Strategic Impact (52), issue: 3 / 2014, pp. 39–47


External links


Guide to Sinai, covering background information on history, flora, fauna, desert, Bedouin, safaris and geology of Sinai

Sinai Local Magazine


''The Independent'', 15 March 2008.
Sinai in ancient Egypt

Broadcasting videos from Sinai



IRIN humanitarian news: EU grant to tackle rural poverty in South Sinai

Sinai trekking and safari: route maps and photo archive
{{Authority control Sinai Peninsula, Peninsulas of Asia Peninsulas of Egypt Geography of Western Asia Landforms of the Middle East Landforms of Western Asia North Sinai Governorate South Sinai Governorate Hebrew Bible regions Arab–Israeli conflict History of the Middle East Landforms of the Red Sea Suez Canal Western Asia Demilitarized zones