Saint Katherine: Peaks of Sinai
Saint Katherine is unique and includes sites of enormous cultural and religious significance but is also an area of great zoological importance. Standing at the cross-roads of three continents, the Sinai Peninsula shares natural elements of each and nowhere is this more evident than in the mountainous interior of southern Sinai. At once fascinating, rare and elusive, the wildlife of this region cannot fail to reward those who have the privilege to explore this very special area.” (Richard Hoath, 2000).
There are over 1000 plant species in the Sinai, and Sinai also harbours 33 out of the 61 endemic species. There is also a deep connection between flora and fauna, for example the sinai thyme has a close symbiotic relationship with the world’s smallest butterfly, the blue batton.
Sinai healers such as Ahmed Mansour, have been studying the flora of Sinai for centuries, passing down the knowledge from parent to child and allowing Sinai people to learn from nature’s pharamcy.
The program allows students to experience the wisdom of Sinai, and in particular the wisdom of Saint Katherine. Understanding the flora of these mountains and their medicinal properties, learning from the bedouins and their adaptations and finally exploring how ancient traders traveled through this area.