Egypt: Destinations - Sinai

Sinai - The Past

Historically, Sinai is one of the most unusual places on Earth where the origins of most of the world's moral codes originate. Regardless of the controversy over whether Gebel Musa Ras es-Safsafeh is the true Mount Sinai from which the Ten Commandments were given to Moses, it surely happened in the Sinai.

Sinai's history stretches back to the Old Kingdom of Egypt, where Pharaohs are believed to have begun mining the area for Copper and Turquoise. Soon, they, and much of the known world would be traipsing across the wilderness area to battle each other. And these battles would extend even up to this modern day. Tutmosis III and Ramses the Great both used Sinai to attack to the east. Others, including the Persian Cambises, Alexander the Great, the Roman's of Antioch, and later, the Arabs and the Crusaders used the Sinai corridor to either take Egypt, or in the case of the Crusaders, fail to take Egypt. At various times, there have been many fortifications around the area to ward off attacks, such as Geziret Fara'un (Pharaoh's Island) and Qalaat Al-Gindi but also of Pharaonic Kings and modern day warriors.

But mostly Sinai is known to the world through religion. The Muslims, Christians and the Jewish are all bound to the history of the Old Testament. Here lies the book of Exodus, where Moses found the Burning bush, where he cast wood into a bitter spring on God's instructions to make the spring sweet and where he was provided with the Ten Commandments.To the Christians, it was the route that the Holy Family took on their journey into Egypt. And to the Muslims, it is an ancient route to and from Mecca.