Wadi Feiran Oasis (Pearl of the Sinai) - Sinai Desert

Wadi Feiran Oasis (Pearl of the Sinai) -  Sinai Desert

Mixing history and nature, Wadi Feiran, is not only one of the longest in Sinai as it covers quite a distance from the Gulf of Suez all the way to the Saint Catherine Monastery, is one of the most historically renowned Wadis, as it’s full of Biblical monuments and sites.

Starting off wide and with a relatively smooth terrain, it evolves into a rough rocky uphill climb. First stop, a boulder the Bedouins call Hesi el Khattatin (Spring Hidden by the Scribes) - a name referring to Moses and Aaron - is linked to a local myth claiming that this was the very rock Moses struck with his stick and opened a spring of fresh water for his people (see Exodus 17).

Whilst traveling through Sinai to get to the Saint Catherine Monastery, pilgrims using the Wadi Feiran route used to stop for an overnight stay at the oases of Khessuah and Feiran.

If you take the journey of Exodus into consideration, the Oasis of Feiran is believed to be the true site where Hebrews camped and fought with the Amalecites. The Hebrews won the battle thanks to General Joshua, while Moses prayed for them on a nearby mount - Gebel Tahuna according to many.

Few places are as steeped in Biblical mystery as the great Wadi Feiran-the Sinai's largest wadi and one of it's most archeologically important stretches of terrain. It was here, according to locals, scholars, and legend, that Moses struck a rock with his staff, bringing forth a spring so his people could drink.

Feiran is also the site of Rafadim, the fabled oasis where the Hebrews camped and battled the Amelecites. For the pilgrims and believers who have been coming to this wadi for centuries, a journey through Feiran is to pass through an entire chapter of the Old Testament itself, Exodus 17.

Given such prominence in the Old Testament, it is no surprise that Feiran is littered with the ruins of dozens of ancient churches; some dating back to 4th century AD, when Feiran began to develop into a major religious center for monks and pilgrims, many on their way to Mt. Sinai and St. Catherine Monastery further east.
Wadi Feiran Oasis (Pearl of the Sinai) -  Sinai Desert
The Wadi's chief religious sites are the rock from which Moses drew water, which convention places at the western entrance to the oasis, and Mount Tahoun, which Moses supposedly used as an observation point to view the battle with the Amelecites. Atop the mountain is an ancient cross, and the ruins of a small church dating back to the 4th century. As captivating as the Wadi's biblical lore are its natural spectacles. Chief among these is the Oasis of Feiran, the largest oasis in all of Sinai. The heart of the oasis is a spectacular and luxuriant sprawl of palms that stretches over four kilometers in length, the reason why Feiran is called the "Pearl of Sinai." Along the edges of the oasis and the wadi are the dramatic, often sheer cliffs of the wadi wall, which contribute to the valley's secretive and paradisiacal atmosphere.

The Wadi Feiran is a beautiful four kilometer area surrounded by palms, vines and trees and is the Southern Sinai's largest oasis, often called the "Pearl of the Sinai". A little of everything is cultivated here, from corn to barley, wheat to tamarisks, but the main harvest is still dates.

Among the other important sites of the area are the archeological digs near Gebel Meharret which have uncovered a number of churches as well as the ruins of the city of Feiran, which was once an important center where many priests have lived, within the city and its surrounds.

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Galt El Azraq - Wadi Feiran, Sinai Desert

Last Updated on Friday 14th January 2011