Sinai Peninsula

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The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai; Arabic: سيناءsīnā'a; Hebrew סיני) is a triangular peninsula in Egypt which is about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi). It lies between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa. In addition to its formal name, Egyptians also refer to it affectionately as the "Land of Fayrouz", based on the Ancient Egyptian "Dumafkat", which has the same meaning. The peninsula is divided into two Egyptian governorates, and has a population of approximately 1.3 million people.

The region has historically been the center of conflict between various political factions, based largely on its location. In addition to periods of direct rule by Egyptian governments (including the Ayyubids, the Mamluks, the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, and the modern Egyptian republic), it was like the rest of Egypt also occupied and controlled by the Ottoman Empire, and the United Kingdom which occupied Egypt from 1882 onwards. Israel occupied Sinai in the Suez Crisis of 1956, and secondly during the Six Day War of 1967. In the October War of 1973, it was the site of fierce fighting between Egyptian and Israeli forces. In 1982, after the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979, Israel withdrew from the entirety of Sinai. 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 regions in Abrahamic faiths.

Contents

Etymology

The name Sinai is derived from the Mount Sinai (Hebrew: ‎הר סיני, Har Sina) mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as the place of Divine revelation to the Israelites. Early Christian authors proposed the location of the mountain in the peninsula, and the mountain gave the name to the most accepted name in English today for the entire peninsula.

History

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