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Sinai the Great and Terrible Wilderness
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This isolated, strategic, and very beautiful triangle of land poised between Africa and Asia – an ancient and modern battlefield, holy ground of three world religions, new focus for oil fields and diplomacy – was in biblical times “that great and terrible wilderness,” and still today the Sinai’s harsh mountains and unforgiving desert remain a mystery. Burton Bernstein took four trips through the Sinai, and in this eye-opening report on its past and present we experience with him the discovery of its people and places: the wandering Bedouins for whom the Sinai is home, the Israelis who governed it between the Six-Day War and the peace treaty of 1979, the Greek Orthodox monks who preside over the treasures of St. Catherine’s Monastery, the cheerful Texans who have manned the early-warning listening posts of the Sinai Field Mission. Mr. Bernstein’s historical, cultural, and sociological reportage, and his up-to-the-minute accounts of the Sinai’s political status vis-à-vis Egypt and Israel, reveal why it has been so bitterly contested through five millennia of history.