CAIRO – 11 October 2019: St. Catherine Airport received Friday delegations participating in the Interfaith Forum, hosted in the South Sinai city with sites holy to the three Abrahamic religions.
The forum, titled “Here we Pray Together” in its fifth edition, sends a message of religious tolerance to humanity from St. Catherine, said Ministry of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy.
Interfaith Forum participants arrive at St. Catherine Airport – Egypt Today
The airport and the road therefrom to the city have been renovated, and much of the work required to develop and secure St. Catherine Valley and St. Catherine Monastery has been accomplished. A passage of 1.6 kilometer was paved with natural stones leading to the ancient monastery.
St. Catherine Monastery – CC via Wikimedia Commons
It is believed that Prophet Moses received the Ten Commandments in the city, specifically on Mount Moses, also known as Mount Sinai, at whose foot lies the monastery.
At a 2.285-meter elevation, the mountain is hiked for sport and religious reasons. It is usually hiked at night in 1.5 to 4 hours so sunrise could be seen illuminating the reddish peaks and valleys below the second highest mountain in Egypt. If climbed in the winter, the mountain tops would be covered in snow. The mountain is a relatively easy hike.
Other peaks in the mountainous St. Catherine are more challenging and way less commercialized, such as Umm Shumar, which also prides itself in beautiful views at the peak. The Red Mountain is a moderate hike with beautiful views on the way to the top.
St. Catherine City is a natural reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Area. It boasts the Nubian ibex, rock hyraxes, migrating birds and hundreds of naturally grown medicinal plants. Some tourists take days-long walks from St. Catherine to Sharm el-Sheikh or el-Tur cities with Bedouin guides to see splendid rock formations and small streams floating down boulders in the heart of the desert in and after the rain season in places such as Wadi Esla and Wadi Te’la.