Opinions on Sinai Peninsula

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"Sinai" redirects here. For other uses, see Sinai (disambiguation).

The Sinai Peninsula or simply Sinai (/ˈsn/; Arabic: سيناءSīnāʼ ; Egyptian Arabic: سينا Sīna, IPA: [ˈsiːnæ]) is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about 60,000 km (23,000 sq mi) in area. It is situated 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, serving as a land bridge between two continents. The bulk of the peninsula is divided administratively into two of Egypt's 27 governorates (with three more straddling the Suez Canal area), and has a population of approximately 1,400,000 people. 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 Mafkat, or "land of the green minerals".

The Sinai Peninsula has remained a part of Egypt from the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt (c. 3100 BC) until the 21st century, with 2 brief exceptions during the 20th century. This comes in stark contrast to the region north of it, the Levant (present-day territories of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories), which, due largely to its strategic geopolitical location and evolutionary cultural convergences, has historically been the center of conflict between Egypt on the one hand, and one or the other of the states of ancient and medieval Mesopotamia and 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 (1517-1867) and the United Kingdom (1882-1956). Israel invaded and occupied Sinai during the Suez Crisis (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 of 1967. On 6 October 1973, Egypt launched the Yom Kippur War to retake the peninsula, which was the site of fierce fighting between Egyptian and Israeli forces. By 1982, as a result of the 1973 war and the ensuing Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979, Israel had withdrawn from all of the Sinai Peninsula except the contentious territory of Taba, which was returned after the ruling by a commission of arbitration in 1989.

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 Abrahamic faiths.


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