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The governorate of Sinai falls under several eco-zones covering both North and South Sinai. These are the Mountains and Wadis of South Sinai, Central and North Sinai, Mediterranean Marine Habitats, Mediterranean Wetlands, and Red Sea Littoral Habitats. It is important to note that the Sinai is one of Egypt’s coldest areas in light of its high altitudes and mountainous regions.
The Sinai Peninsula is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the South. The peninsula is administratively divided into the North Sinai and the South Sinai governorates. A popular tourist destination, Sinai is home to some of Egypt’s most beautiful beaches and coral reefs as well as several historic sites of religious importance such as Mount Sinai and St. Catherine’s Monastery.
The Sinai Peninsula is inhabited by a large number of tribes, many of which are Bedouin tribes with origins from the Arabian Peninsula. These Bedouin and non-Bedouin tribes include the Aleigat and the Sawalha tribes living in the area between the Suez and Al-Tor, the Muzeina tribe in the area between St. Catherine and the Gulf of Suez as well as the area extending from Al-Tor to Sharm El-Sheikh and Noweiba, the Tarabin tribe north of Noweiba, and the Gebeliyya and Uzbeliya tribes in the mountains of St. Catherine. In Northern Sinai in particular, the main tribes include the Bedouin tribes of Tarabin, Beni Hassan, Ouild Saieed, Huwaitat, Hamada, and Gararsja, in addition to the Araysha tribes of Syrian origin, and the Masrawi tribes of Upper Egyptian origin.
For years, the Bedouin tribes of the Sinai were ignored by the capital and received little attention in terms of economic and development assistance. Many of them work either in the tourism industry or in trade.
The women of the Sinai are characterized by a rather conservative nature. The vast majority of them have received little or no formal education. As a result of their geographical and cultural proximity to the Arabian Peninsula, much of their culture, mannerisms, poetry and music are similar to that of the countries of the Arabian Gulf.
Sinai is home to a large number of unique and distinct crafts. These include embroidery, wool weaving, tasseling, beading, and the use of floor looms for wool weaving. The craftspeople in the Sinai create a wide range of products including pillows, bedcovers, and embroidered and beaded cloth products.