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Egypt: The Sinai Peninsula

Egypt: The Sinai Peninsula

On this blog we’ve talked and will still talk a lot in general terms and broad brushes about destinations, but today we’ll take a more focused look on the Sinai Peninsula, just to see how it goes.

You might’ve heard of the Sinai peninsula from ancient texts, the region having been something of a place of refuge for thousands of years with prophets, nomads, conqueror and pilgrims leaving their footprints in the ever-shifting desert sands.

The region is a historical crossroads, having had a major impact on the area at large since at least the Pharaonic Era, when it fuelled massive building campaigns thanks to its deposits of turquoise, gold and copper. Being a link between Asia and Africa, the region has always been of tremendous strategic value to any regional empire builders.

The Sinai then played host as the ‘great and terrible wilderness’ for the Israelites and then under Roman rule it was used as shelter by Christians escaping persecution, and somewhat later, as part of the Islamic Caliphate, the peninsula was part of one of the primary pilgrimage routes to Mecca.

And that’s a gross understatement of the historical importance that the region has had throughout the millennia, but we couldn’t mention it at all, since a bit of framing is always required.

Nowadays, the region is mostly inhabited by Bedouins, who still live very closely to how their ancestors did, in traditional tents made of woven goat hair and sheep wool, loyal to their sheikhs. Hospitality and loyalty are essential customs for desert survival, and they are considered paramount amongst the Bedouin.

They have a very advanced understanding of their surroundings and you can see this in their daily life – the use of water is carefully regulated and any vegetation is carefully conserved – there’s a Bedouin adage that says: “Killing a tree is like killing a soul’.

Even if the place can only truly be explored on foot with the aid of such a tribe of nomads, our worldwide car hire services can still come in very handy when you have to go back to modern civilization.