The SINAI PENINSULA or simply SINAI (/ˈsaɪnaɪ/ ; Arabic : سيناء _Sīnāʼ _; Egyptian Arabic : سينا _Sīna_, IPA: ; Hebrew : סיני _Sinai_) is a peninsula in Egypt , situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, serving as a land bridge between Asia and Africa . It is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia. Sinai has a land area of about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) and a population of approximately 1,400,000 people. The bulk of the peninsula is divided administratively into two of Egypt's 27 governorates (with three more straddling the Suez Canal area).
Peninsula has been a part of
Egypt from the First Dynasty
Egypt (c. 3100 BC). This comes in stark contrast to the
region north of it, the
Levant (present-day territories of
Today, Sinai has become a tourist destination due to its natural setting, rich coral reefs , and biblical history. Mount Sinai is one of the most religiously significant places in the Abrahamic faiths .
* 1 Name
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Climate
* 3 History
* 3.1 Ancient
* 3.2 Assyrian Period
* 3.3 Achaemenid Persian Period
* 3.4 Hellenistic Period
* 3.5 Roman and Byzantine Periods
* 3.6 Early
* 3.7 Ayyubid Period
* 3.8 Mamluk and Ottoman Periods
* 3.9 British control
* 3.10 Wars with
* 4 Demographics * 5 Economy * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links
_ Mount Sinai (Gabal Musa_)
The name _Sinai_ may have been derived from the ancient moon-god Sin or from the Hebrew word _Seneh_ (Hebrew : סֶ֫נֶּה _Senneh_) The peninsula acquired the name due to the assumption that a mountain near Saint Catherine\'s Monastery is the Biblical Mount Sinai . However this assumption is contested.
In addition to its formal name, Egyptians also refer to it as _Arḍ ul-Fairūz_ (أرض الفيروز "the land of turquoise "). The ancient Egyptians called it _Ta Mefkat_, or "land of turquoise".
Sinai is triangular in shape, with northern shore lying on the southern Mediterranean Sea , and southwest and southeast shores on Gulf of Suez and Gulf of Aqaba of the Red Sea . It is linked to the African continent by the Isthmus of Suez , 125 kilometres (78 mi) wide strip of land, containing the Suez Canal . The eastern isthmus, linking it to the Asian mainland, is around 200 kilometres (120 mi) wide. The peninsula's eastern shore separates the Arabian plate from the African plate .
The southernmost tip is the Ras Muhammad National Park .
Most of the Sinai Peninsula is divided among the two governorates of Egypt : South Sinai (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 (el-Sewais) is on the southern end of the Suez Canal, Ismailia (el-Isma'ileyyah) in the centre, and Port Said in the north.
The largest city of Sinai is Arish , capital of the North Sinai, with around 160,000 residents. Other larger settlements include Sharm el-Sheikh and El-Tor , on the southern coast. Inland Sinai is arid, mountainous and sparsely populated, the largest settlements being Saint Catherine and Nekhel .
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 −16 °C (3 °F).
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SINAI PENINSULA IN HIEROGLYPHS
Biau _Bj3w_ " Mining country"
Sinai was called _Mafkat_ or "country of turquoise" by the ancient Egyptians From the time of the First Dynasty or before, the Egyptians mined turquoise in Sinai at two locations, now called by their Egyptian Arabic names Wadi Magharah and Serabit El Khadim . 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 .
ACHAEMENID PERSIAN PERIOD
At the end of the time of Darius I , the Great (521–486 BCE) Sinai was part of the Persian province of Abar-Nahra , which means "beyond the river .
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 Ahmose, to battle at Pelusium. The Egyptians lost and retired to Memphis; the city fell to the Iranian control and the Pharaoh was carried off in captivity to Susa in mainland Iran.
ROMAN AND BYZANTINE PERIODS
St. Catherine\'s Monastery is the oldest working Christian monastery in the world and the most popular tourist attraction on the peninsula.
After the death of the last 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 Sinai Peninsula became part of the Roman province of Arabia Petraea .
Saint Catherine\'s Monastery on the foot of 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.
EARLY MUSLIM PERIOD
During the Crusades it was under control of Fatimid Caliphate . Later, 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.
MAMLUK AND OTTOMAN PERIODS
The peninsula was governed as part of Egypt under the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt from 1260 until 1517, when the Ottoman Sultan, Selim the Grim , defeated the Egyptians at the Battles of Marj Dabiq and al-Raydaniyya, and incorporated Egypt into the Ottoman Empire. From then until 1906, Sinai was administered by the Ottoman provincial government of the _ Pashalik _ of Egypt, even following the establishment of the Muhammad Ali Dynasty 's rule over the rest of Egypt in 1805. The wilderness of Sinai, 1862
In 1906, the Ottoman Porte formally transferred administration of Sinai to the Egyptian government, which essentially meant that it fell under the control of the United Kingdom , who had occupied and largely controlled Egypt since 1882. The border imposed by the British runs in an almost straight line from Rafah on the Mediterranean shore to Taba on the Gulf of Aqaba . This line has served as the eastern border of Egypt ever since.
WARS WITH ISRAEL (1948, 56, 67, 67–70, 73)
Canadian and Panamanian UNEF UN peacekeepers in Sinai, 1974
At the beginning of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War , Egyptian forces entered the former British Mandate of Palestine from Sinai to support Palestinian and other Arab forces against the newly declared State of Israel. For a period during the war, Israeli forces entered the north-eastern corner of Sinai. With the exception of Palestine's Gaza Strip , which came under the administration of the All-Palestine Government , the western frontier of the former Mandate of Palestine became the Egyptian–Israeli frontier under the 1949 Armistice Agreement . In 1958, the Gaza Strip came under direct Egyptian military administration, though it was governed separately from Sinai, and was never annexed by Egypt. The Egyptian government maintained that Egyptian administration would be terminated upon the end of the conflict with Israel.
In 1956, Egypt nationalised the Suez Canal, a waterway marking the boundary between Egyptian territory in Africa and the Sinai Peninsula. Thereafter, 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 . Subsequently, in what is known in Egypt as the Tripartite Aggression, Israeli forces, aided by Britain, and France (which sought to reverse the nationalisation and regain control over the Suez Canal), invaded Sinai and occupied much of the peninsula within a few days. Several months later 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.
Egypt reinforced its military presence in Sinai and on 16
May ordered the UNEF out of Sinai with immediate effect.
U Thant eventually complied and ordered the
withdrawal without Security Council authorisation. In the course of
Six-Day War that broke out shortly thereafter,
Following the Israeli conquest of Sinai,
Egypt launched the War of
Attrition (1967–70) aimed at forcing
On 6 October 1973,
Egypt commenced Operation Badr to retake the
Syria launched a simultaneous operation to retake the
Golan Heights, thereby beginning the
Yom Kippur War (known in
the _October War_). Egyptian engineering forces built pontoon bridges
to cross the Suez Canal, and stormed the
Bar-Lev Line , Israel's
defensive line along the canal. Though the Egyptians maintained
control of most of the east bank of the Canal, in the later stages of
the war, the
Israeli military crossed the southern section of Canal,
cutting off the Egyptian 3rd Army, and occupied a section of the west
bank. The war ended following a mutually agreed-upon ceasefire. After
the war, as part of the subsequent Sinai Disengagement Agreements ,
1979 PEACE TREATY WITH ISRAEL AND AFTERMATH
RECENT SECURITY ISSUES
In recent years, Sinai has been the site of several terror attacks against 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 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.
Two young Bedouins making bread in the desert
The two governorates of North and South Sinai and 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 , Ismailia and Suez 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.
Population of Sinai has largely consisted of desert-dwelling Bedouins with their colourful traditional costumes and significant culture. Large numbers of Egyptians from the Nile Valley and 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.
Since the Israeli–Egyptian peace treaty, Sinai's scenic spots
(including coral reefs offshore) and religious structures have become
important to the tourism industry. The most popular tourist
destination in Sinai are
Mount Sinai (_Jabal Musa_) and St
Monastery , which is considered to be the oldest working
Christian monastery in the world, and the beach resorts of Sharm
Nuweiba and Taba . Most tourists arrive at Sharm
el-Sheikh International Airport , through Eilat,
* ^ "Definition of Sinai". The Free Dictionary. Retrieved
* ^ "Define Sinayi". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2014-05-03.
* ^ "Sinai
Peninsula (peninsula, Egypt) - Britannica Online
Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
* ^ "Sinai, Mount". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 14 January
* ^ See Biblical
Mount Sinai for a fuller discussion.
* ^ "Étude de la turquoise : de ses traitements et imitations",
thesis by Claire Salanne, Université de Nantes, 2009.
* ^ Homberg, Catherine and Martina Bachmann, _Evolution of the
Levant Margin and Western Arabia Platform Since the Mesozoic,_ The
Geological Society of London, 2010, p 65 ISBN 978-1862393066
* ^ _A_ _B_ Ned Greenwood (1 January 2010). _The Sinai: A Physical
Geography_. University of Texas Press. pp. 4–. ISBN
* ^ _A_ _B_ The translation "mining country" is not certain, see
also Rainer Hannig: _Großes Handwörterbuch Ägyptisch-Deutsch :
(2800 - 950 v. Chr.)_. p. 1135.
* ^ Joseph Davidovits and Ralph Davidovits (2007). "Why Djoser's
blue Egyptian faience tiles are not blue? Manufacturing Djoser's
faience tiles at temperatures as low as 250 °C?". In Jean Claude
Goyon, Christine Cardin. _Proceedings of the ninth International
Congress of Egyptologists_ (PDF). 1. Louvain/Paris/Dudley. p. 375.
* ^ Iranchamber
* ^ Schürer, Emil; Millar, Fergus; Vermes, Geza (26 March 2015).
_The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ:_.
Bloomsbury Academic. p. 583. ISBN 978-0-567-50161-5 .
* ^ Taylor, Jane: _Petra And the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans_.
I. B. Tauris 2001, ISBN 1860645089 , p. 73-74 (_online copy_, p. 73,
Google Books )
* ^ Rogan, Eugene L. and Avi Shlaim, eds. _The War for Palestine:
Rewriting the History of 1948_. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge UP ,
p. 99, 2007
* ^ Shlaim, Avi (2001).
* Gardner, Ann. "At Home in South Sinai". _Nomadic Peoples_ 2000. Vol. 4, Iss. 2; pp. 48–67. Detailed account of Bedouin women * H. J. L. Beadnell (May 1926). "Central Sinai". _Geographical Journal_. 67 (5): 385–398. JSTOR 1782203 . doi :10.2307/1782203 . * C. W. Wilson (1873). "Recent Surveys in Sinai and Palestine". _Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London_. 43: 206–240. JSTOR 1798627 . doi :10.2307/1798627 . * Jacobs, Jessica (2006). "Tourist Places and Negotiating Modernity: European Women and Romance Tourism in the Sinai". In Minca, Claudio; Oakes, Tim. _Travels in Paradox: Remapping Tourism_. Rowman & Littlefield . ISBN 978-0-7425-2876-5 . Retrieved 7 January 2010. * Teague, Matthew; Moyer, Matt (March 2009). "The Sinai\'s Separate Peace". _ National Geographic Magazine _. Washington, D.C. : National Geographic Society . 215 (3): 99–121. ISSN 0027-9358 . Retrieved 7 January 2010. * Jarvis, C.S. ,_Yesterday and To-day in Sinai_ (Edinburgh/London: W. Blackwood ;background:none transparent;border:none;-moz-box-shadow:none;-webkit-box-shadow:none;box-shadow:none;">v
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Geography of Asia
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States with limited recognition
* Abkhazia * Nagorno-Karabakh * Northern Cyprus * Palestine * South Ossetia * Taiwan
Dependencies and other territories
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* v * t * e
People and things in the Quran
GOD IN ISLAM (ALLAH )
* Names of God found in the Quran
* Iblīs/Devil * Shaitan/Satan * Ifrit (and Marid ) * Qareen
IN HEAVEN (JANNAH)
IN HELL (JAHANNAM)
Prophets and apostles (messengers) of God
* Ādam/Adam * Alyasa\'/Elisha * Ayyub/Job * Dawud/David * Dhul-Kifl/Ezekiel? * Harun/Aaron * Hud/Eber? * Ibrahim/Abraham (Khalilullah) * Idris/Enoch? * Ilyas/Elijah * Imran/Joachim (father of Maryam) * Isa/Jesus * Isḥaq/Isaac
* Dhabih Ullah
* Lut/Lot * Muhammad or Ahmad /Paraclete * Musa/Moses (Kalimullah) * Nuh/Noah * Saleh/Shelah? * Shuaib/Jethro * Sulayman/Solomon * Uzair/Ezra? * Yahya/John the Baptist * Yaqub/Jacob (Israel) * Yunus/Jonah (Dhul-Nun, Sahib al-Hut) * Yūsuf/Joseph * Zakariya/Zechariah
* Ermia/Jeremiah * Samuel * Yusha\' ibn Nūn/Joshua
Good people (before Islam)
* Asiyah bint Muzahim /Bithiah? (wife of Fir\'aun) * Asif ibn Barkhiya * Bilquis (Queen of Saba/Sheba) * Believer of Fir\'aun Family (Hizbil/Hizqil ibn Sabura) * Beniamin/Benjamin * Habib the Carpenter (believer of Ya-Sin) * Kaleb/Caleb * Khidr * Magicians of Fir\'aun * Simon Cephas/Simon Peter
Other people (before Islam)
* Āzar (uncle of Ibrahim) * Fir\'aun/Pharaoh * Haman * Jalut/Goliath * Qarun/Korah * Sāmiri
* Abraha * Bal\'am/Balaam * Barṣīṣā * Nebuchadnezzar II * Nimrod * Potiphar (Al-Aziz) * Shaddad * Simeon (son of Ya\'qub) * Slayers of Saleh\'s she-camel (Qaddar ibn Salif and Musda\' ibn Dahr ) * Valid ibn Rayyan (king of Egypt in the account of Yūsuf) * Zuleika (wife of al-Aziz)
Mentioned people (after inception of Islam)
Relatives of prophets
Specified good relatives
* Daughters of Lut/Lot (Ritha, Za\'ura, et al.) * Elizabeth or \'Ishā\' (wife of Zakariya) * Habil/Abel (son of Adam) * Hawwa\'/Eve (wife of Adam) * Kulthum/Miriam (sister of Musa) * Saffurah/ Zipporah (wife of Musa) and Layya (Saffura\'s sister) * Sarah (wife of Ibrahim, mother of Isḥaq) * Yukabed/Jochebed (mother of Musa)
Non-specified good relatives
* Abiona/Amtelai daughter of Karnebo (mother of Ibrahim) * Bathsheba (wife of Dawud) * Muhammad\'s wives * Daughters of Muhammad * Hājar/Hagar (wife of Ibrahim, mother of Isma\'il) * Hannah/Anne daughter of Faquz (mother of Maryam) * Imran/Amram (father of Musa) * Lamech (father of Nuh) * Rāhil/ Rachel (wife of Ya\'qub) * Rahma/ Dinah (wife of Ayyub) * Shamkha bint Anush/Betenos (mother of Nuh) * Son of Luqman
* Brothers of Yūsuf * Children of Ayyub * Dead son of Sulaiman * Qabil/Cain? * Tārah/Terah (father of Ibrahim) * Umm Jamil (wife of Abu Lahab) * Wali\'ah or Wa\'ilah/Waala? (wife of Nuh) * Walihah or Wahilah (wife of Lut) * Yam or Kan\'an (son of Nuh)
GROUPS AND TRIBES
Tribes and ethnicities
* \'Ād (people of Hud) * Arabs and Ajam * Children of Israel/ Israelites * Companions of the Rass * People of Saba\'/ Sheba * People of Shu\'aib (people of Madyan and people of Aykah/Wood ) * People of Tubba\' * Quraysh * Romans * Thamud (people of Saleh, companions of Hijr) * Ya\'juj and Ma\'juj/Gog and Magog
* Christian apostles
* Disciples of Jesus
* Companions of Noah\'s Ark * Companions of Sabbath (Aşḥāb al-Sabt) * Companions of the Cave/Seven Sleepers and Companions of al-Raqaim * Companions of the Elephant * People of al-Ukhdūd * People of the City (People of Ya-Sin) * People of the Burned Garden (Aşḥāb al-Jannah) * Ulu\'l azm prophets
LOCATIONS, ENTITIES AND EVENTS
* Ahqāf * Al-Aqsa Mosque * Arafat and Mash\'ar al-Harām * Bābil / Babylon * Badr * Door of Hittah * Hijr/Hegra * Holy Land (Palestine and Levant ) * Hunayn * Iram * Ka\'bah/ Kaaba (Bayt al-Harām/Sacred House, Bayt al-\'Atīq/Ancient House) * Madyan/ Midian * Madinah/ Medina (formerly Yathrib ) * Majma\' al-Bahrain * Makkah/ Mecca (Umm al-Qura, Balad al-Amin , Bakkah ) * Maqām Ibrahim * Masjid al-Dirar * Masjid al-Haram * Mount Judi * Mu\'tafikat (Sodom) * Rass * Saba\'/ Sheba * Al-Safa and Al-Marwah * Tur Sinā\' / Mount Sinai and Jabal al-Tur * Egypt * Valley of Tuwa
* Ayla * Barrier of Dhul-Qarnayn * Bayt al-Muqaddas and \'Ariha * Black Stone (Al-Ḥajar al-Aswad) and Al-Hijr of Isma\'il * Canaan * Cave of Hira and Cave of Thawr * Cave of Seven Sleepers * Dār al-Nadwa * Hudaybiyyah * Jordan River * Ma\'rib Dam * Masjid al-Nabawi (Prophet\'s Mosque) * Mesopotamia * Nile River * Nineveh * Palestine River * Paradise of Shaddad * Quba Mosque * Sinai Desert and Tīh Desert * Ta\'if
Non-human physical entities
Mentioned idols (cult images)
* Battle of Badr * Battle of Hunayn * Battle of Khaybar * Battle of Tabouk * Battle of the Trench (Battle of the Confederates) * Battle of Uhud * Conquest of Mecca * Hadith of the pond of Khumm * Incident of Ifk * Layla al-Mabit * Mubahala * The