Sinai desert: description, area, interesting facts

Sinai desert: description, area, interesting facts
Sinai desert: description, area, interesting facts

The Sinai Peninsula is considered the most important strategic part of the Egyptian state. It is given great importance in the history and culture of the world scale.

Location of the Sinai Peninsula (Et-Tih)

Sinai resembles a wedge shape that surrounds: the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. On the main part (Et-Tikh Plateau) of the Sinai Peninsula, a desert spread. The highest point of the desert is Mount St. Catherine (2637 m). To the east of the territory where the desert of the Sinai Peninsula is located, is the Negev desert.

Sinai desert

Natural and climatic characteristics of the peninsula

Sinai translates as "rocky". This name is also reflected in the character of the area. The Sinai desert is made up of endless sand, bizarre mountains, rocks, valleys, sinkholes and canyons.

sinai desert

Precipitation in this endless desert does not exceed 100 mm. They mainly seep through the sand, which is reflected in the small distance of groundwater from the surface (severalmeters).

The Sinai desert is part of the Arabian floristic region, which determines the nature of the local flora. The rocky plateau of Et-Tih is largely devoid of vegetation. Sometimes in the channels of the wadi one can find such plants as anabasis, jointed barnyard, prickly zilla.

On the western and northern parts of the Sinai Peninsula there are sandy ergs where you can find retam shrubs, aristides, oats. On the stone part of this territory, winged ephedra, hairy thymelea and wormwood are sometimes found. On the bottoms of the wadi grow acacias and tamarix, which forms a sweet juice. Lakes and swamps can be found among the endless sand massifs.

Sinai desert description

The fauna of the Sinai desert is represented by small rodents (they are called gerbils), which dig holes and unite in colonies. And also there are jerboas, an ordinary gazelle, a Nubian goat, a fennec fox and other animals. More recently, a large jackal was found here, which usually lives in northern Africa.

Birds here are represented mainly by the sparrow family. In the wadis, these are, for example, wheatears, larks, and desert sparrows. Chickens, crows, golden eagles and vultures are found in mountainous places.

The Sinai desert: a description of the environmental problem

Due to the huge tourist influx on the Sinai Peninsula, the rapid development of industry and the construction of cities, the ecology of Sinai is in serious danger: sea corals are dying in huge numbers. This is due to the fact that the temperature begins to criticallyrise, corals are clogged with sand. And sadly, the situation with the environment was affected by mass vandalism of tourists who break off “pieces of Egypt” – corals – as a souvenir. The authorities of the state have taken tough measures to prevent such actions on the part of travelers: a fine for damaging corals in the amount of $100 has been introduced.

Sinai Desert World War I

Sinai desert: first world fame

In history, Sinai has become world famous thanks to the Mount of Moses, which is of great importance for Christians. God came down to Moses and gave him the Ten Commandments. To this day, it is not known where this mountain of the same name is located. The Bible gives her various names. From the 4th century Mount Sinai is considered Mount Moses, near the base of which a monastery dedicated to St. Catherine was erected.

Traditions: yesterday and today

In the Egyptian state, the Sinai desert has long been especially revered, its history has deep roots. Numerous traditional rituals have been preserved to this day, in which even tourists can participate. But new ones have also appeared, for example, you can take part at night in climbing Mount Moses to meet the sunrise on its top. This ceremony appeared relatively recently. It is associated with the peak of the influx of tourists to Egypt. They get to the top of the mountain at night along a long path, when the sun's rays are not yet scorching, but descend in the morning along a short path. In the 17th century the Wallachian boyar Mihai Catacuzino even built a monastery in Russia called "Sinai", afterhe visited St. Catherine's Monastery.

Egyptians more than 5 thousand years ago mastered the territory of the Sinai Peninsula, where many monuments of various eras of historical significance have been preserved. A significant fact in the history of Sinai is that in 1979 a peace treaty was concluded between the Egyptian and Israeli states, according to which Sinai was returned to Egypt.

Interesting Sinai Facts

The Bedouin Mystery

For many, the Sinai desert is associated with a lifeless and dull area, where small oases occasionally come across. This is the usual representation of this territory in most people. Here, all living things are fighting for their right to exist. But here a curious paradox arises - if the average period of life in many countries is about sixty years, then the Bedouins living in the desert have eighty years. Thus, the Bedouin way of life was fully adapted to the desert environment. Only now there are no people who want to settle in a desert area.

area of ​​the sinai desert

Origin of names

For example, the term "oasis" comes from the Greek word Uasis, which, in turn, comes from the Egyptian word Uit, which refers to the name of several Egyptian settlements in the middle reaches of the Nile. That is, the term "oasis" the Egyptians designated a site located in the middle of the desert, which has favorable conditions for life.

With the interpretation of the desert, everything is clear - it is empty and is empty. This is where the question arises as to what this word means.Slavic origin, because it means an empty place. Then what was the name of the desert itself by the local population? The Arabs gave the desert a name that means a place where there is no one but Allah. And one saying among the Arabs says that the desert is the garden of God, from where he removed all the people in order to be alone with himself.

A little about the Bedouins of the Sinai desert

At the moment, the Bedouins also live in tents, which can be easily folded and loaded onto camels in order to continue to roam on the endless sands, since the area of ​​​​the Sinai desert allows this. According to recently updated data, its area is almost 61 thousand km2. From north to south, its length reaches 370 km, and from east to west it stretches for 210 km. Sometimes encountered permanent structures are referred to as "tourist infrastructure". And the Bedouins themselves are not averse to making money on travelers. Many of them even have a mobile phone, but they are not yet ready for a radical change in their lifestyle. The most important source of income for the Bedouin is, of course, camels, on which travelers can ride.

sinai desert history

Bedouins use desalinated sea water for drinking, which is not of very high quality. This led to the fact that recently they were almost the only indigenous inhabitants of this endless desert area. At the moment, in Sharm el-Sheikh, there are very few native citizens. It is mainly inhabited by residents of Cairo who came to work.

What attracts tourists to the Sinai desert?

Of course, people who are accustomed to forests, fields and rivers are attracted here by the exotic terrain of the desert, its mysterious oases. The Sinai desert is full of numerous mysteries that have yet to be solved. She has such beautiful places, saturated with bright colors, from which sometimes ripples in the eyes. Tourists do not put away their cameras for a second, because their eyes are presented with gorgeous landscapes. Along the way, they come across scattered Bedouin camps where they can ride camels. Of course, in some places the road is very dangerous, but this only makes the trip to the Sinai desert more colorful.

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