Wadi Feiran

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Wâdy Feirân. The rock supposed to have been struck by Moses is in the right-hand forground. The Arabs call it Hesy el Khattatin (NYPL b10607452-80755).jpg
WEBSTER(1830) 2.210 Wadi Feiran

Wadi Feiran is Sinai's largest and widest wadi (valley or dry riverbed). It rises from the mountains around Saint Catherine's Monastery, at 2500 m above sea level.[1] It is important because according to Hebrew Scriptures' Rephidim, Moses struck a rock, creating a spring to provide people with drinking water.[2]

Wadi Feiran is an 81-mile (130 km) wadi on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Its upper reaches, around the Jebel Musa, are known as the Wadi el-Sheikh.[3] It empties into the Red Sea's Gulf of Suez 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Abu Zenima.[1]

Ptolemy identified the area as the site of Paran.[4] The nearby hill is the Tell Feiran.

Feiran Oasis[edit]

The Feiran Oasis, formerly known as El Hesweh, runs about 3 miles (4.8 km) of the length of the wadi, 28 miles (45 km) above its mouth.[4]

Bedouins of Sinai[edit]

The Bedouins, nomadic people who lived in goat tents[5] but now live in stone huts, traditionally offer their hospitality to guests at Wadi Feiran and the Feiran Oasis, near Mount Sinai. The Bedouins are generally honored to offer hospitality to travelers. They may offer tea, coffee and, as recently as 2003, may have felt obligated to slaughter an animal for their guest(s).[6] Werner Braun, a journalistic photographer, photographed the Bedouins at Wadi Ferian.[7][6]

Travel guides, however, advise visitors not to wear out their welcome, reporting that Bedouin hosts believe a reasonable stay is three days: the first day is for greeting, the second day is for eating, and the third day is for speaking. By the fourth morning, the visitor who is not on his way out is as unwelcome "as the spotted snake".[6][8]

Pilgrims and interested tourists come here and to nearby Saint Catherine's Monastery. For a time, a monk from Saint Catherine's also maintained a small church and farmstead at Wadi Feiran.[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Zahran, M.A.; Willis, A.J. (March 14, 2013). The Vegetation of Egypt. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 285. ISBN 9789401580663. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  2. ^ Berrett & al. (1996), p. 315.
  3. ^ Berrett & al. (1996), p. 315–16.
  4. ^ a b c Berrett & al. (1996), p. 316.
  5. ^ a b "Wadi Feiran". Bedawi. Archived from the original on 14 January 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  6. ^ a b c March, Michael (1996). Guide to Egypt. Davidson Titles. p. 27. ISBN 1-884756-42-5.
  7. ^ "Photographers / Werner Braun". Photography in Jerusalem in memory of Tsadok Bassan. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  8. ^ Richardson, Dan (2003). Egypt. Rough Guides. p. 735. ISBN 9781843530503. Retrieved 6 November 2016. as welcome as the spotted snake.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°43′07″N 33°37′13″E / 28.7187°N 33.6202°E / 28.7187; 33.6202