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el Arish

Skyline of Arish, 1916
Governadorat de Sinai-Sinai del nord.png
Egypt relief location map.jpg
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el Arish
Location within Egypt
Coordinates: 31°07′55″N33°48′12″E / 31.132072°N 33.803376°E / 31.132072; 33.803376 Coordinates: 31°07′55″N33°48′12″E / 31.132072°N 33.803376°E / 31.132072; 33.803376
CountryFlag of Egypt.svg  Egypt
Governorate North Sinai
32 m (105 ft)
Time zone UTC+2 (EET)
Area code(s) (+20) 68

Arish or el Arīsh (Arabic : العريشal-ʿArīš Egyptian Arabic pronunciation:  [elʕæˈɾiːʃ] , Coptic : ϩⲣⲓⲛⲟⲕⲟⲣⲟⲩⲣⲁHrinokorura) is the capital and largest city (with 164,830 inhabitants as of 2012) of the Egyptian governorate of North Sinai, as well as the largest city on the entire Sinai Peninsula, lying on the Mediterranean coast of the Sinai peninsula, 344 kilometers (214 mi) northeast of Cairo. It borders the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Coptic language Latest stage of the Egyptian language

Coptic, or Coptic Egyptian, is the latest stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt until at least the 17th century as an official language. Egyptian began to be written in the Coptic alphabet, an adaptation of the Greek alphabet with the addition of six or seven signs from Demotic to represent Egyptian sounds the Greek language did not have, in the 1st century AD.

Governorates of Egypt

For administrative purposes, Egypt is divided into twenty-seven governorates. Egyptian governorates are the top tier of the country's jurisdiction hierarchy. A governorate is administered by a governor, who is appointed by the President of Egypt and serves at the president's discretion. Most governorates have a population density of more than one thousand per km², while the three largest have a population density of less than two per km².

North Sinai Governorate Governorate in Egypt

North Sinai Governorate is one of the governorates of Egypt. It is located in the north-eastern part of the country, and encompasses the northern half of the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered in the north by the Mediterranean Sea, in the south by South Sinai Governorate, in the west by Port Said, Ismailia, and Suez Governorates, and in the east by the Gaza Strip and Israel. Its capital is the city of El Arish. A governorate is administered by a governor, who is appointed by the President of Egypt and serves at the president's discretion.


Arish is distinguished by its clear blue water, widespread fruitful palmy wood on its coast, and its soft white sand. It has a marina, and many luxury hotels. The city also has some of the faculties of Suez Canal University.

Marina A dock or basin with moorings and facilities for yachts and small boats

A marina is a dock or basin with moorings and supplies for yachts and small boats. A marina differs from a port in that a marina does not handle large passenger ships or cargo from freighters.

The Suez Canal University is an Egyptian university serving the Suez Canal area, having its faculties divided among the Suez Canal governorates. It was established in 1964. It is notable for its non-classic research. It has 48 faculties with a total number of students reaching 21,325.

Arish is by a big wadi, the Wadi Al Arish, which receives flash flood water from much of north and central Sinai. The Azzaraniq national park is on the eastern side of Arish. [1]

Wadi River valley, especially a dry (ephemeral) riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain

Wadi, alternatively wād, is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley. In some instances, it may refer to a dry (ephemeral) riverbed that contains water only when heavy rain occurs.

Flash flood rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas

A flash flood is a rapid flooding of low-lying areas: washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a severe thunderstorm, hurricane, tropical storm, or meltwater from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields. Flash floods may occur after the collapse of a natural ice or debris dam, or a human structure such as a man-made dam, as occurred before the Johnstown Flood of 1889. Flash floods are distinguished from regular floods by having a timescale of fewer than six hours between rainfall and the onset of flooding. The water that is temporarily available is often used by plants with rapid germination and short growth cycles and by specially adapted animal life.


Australian Light Horse camp beside the seaside at Arish, 1915-18 13pdr6cwtAAgunsElArishWWI.jpeg
Australian Light Horse camp beside the seaside at Arish, 1915–18
Staff of von Kressenstein at Arish, 1916 Staff of von Kressenstein at El Arish, 1916.JPG
Staff of von Kressenstein at Arish, 1916
El Arish airfield, World War II. El Arish airfield.jpg
El Arish airfield, World War II.

The city grew around a Bedouin settlement near the ancient Ptolemaic outpost of Rhinocorura. In the Middle Ages, pilgrims misidentified the site as the Sukkot of the Bible. ʻArīsh means "palm huts" in Modern Standard Arabic.

Bedouin group of Arab nomads who have historically inhabited the Arabian and Syrian Deserts

The Bedouin or Bedu are a grouping of nomadic Arab people who have historically inhabited the desert regions in North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and the Levant. The English word bedouin comes from the Arabic badawī, which means "desert dweller", and is traditionally contrasted with ḥāḍir, the term for sedentary people. Bedouin territory stretches from the vast deserts of North Africa to the rocky sands of the Middle East. They are traditionally divided into tribes, or clans, and share a common culture of herding camels and goats. The vast majority of Bedouin adhere to Islam.

Ptolemaic dynasty Macedonian Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt

The Ptolemaic dynasty, sometimes also known as the Lagids or Lagidae, was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Rhinocorura or Rhinocolura was the name of a region and associated town and rivers lying between Ancient Egypt and the Land of Israel. The name may refer explicitly to:

New fortifications were constructed at the original site by the Ottoman Empire in 1560. During the Napoleonic Wars, the French laid siege to the fort, which fell after 11 days on February 19, 1799. During World War I, the fort was destroyed by British bombers. It was later the location of the 45th Stationary Hospital which treated casualties of the Palestine campaign. The remains of those who died there were later moved to Kantara Cemetery.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, also historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Napoleonic Wars Series of early 19th century European wars

The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, proposed Arish as a Jewish homeland since neither the Sultan nor the Kaiser supported settlement in Palestine. In 1903, Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary, agreed to consider Arish, and Herzl commissioned the lawyer David Lloyd George a charter draft, but his application was turned down once an expedition, led by Leopold Kessler had returned and submitted a detailed report to Herzl, which outlined a proposal to divert some of the Nile waters to the area for the purpose of settlement. [2]

Theodor Herzl Austro-Hungarian journalist and writer

Theodor Herzl was an Austro-Hungarian journalist, playwright, political activist, and writer who was the father of modern political Zionism. Herzl formed the Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish immigration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state. Though he died before its establishment, he is known as the father of the State of Israel.

Zionism Movement that supports the creation of a Jewish homeland

Zionism is the national movement of the Jewish people that supports the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the territory defined as the historic Land of Israel. Modern Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in Central and Eastern Europe as a national revival movement, both in reaction to newer waves of antisemitism and as an imitative response to other nationalist movements. Soon after this, most leaders of the movement associated the main goal with creating the desired state in Palestine, then an area controlled by the Ottoman Empire.

There were several proposals for a Jewish state in the course of Jewish history between the destruction of ancient Israel and the founding of the modern State of Israel. While some of those have come into existence, others were never implemented. The Jewish national homeland usually refers to the State of Israel or the Land of Israel, depending on political and religious beliefs. Jews and their supporters, as well as their detractors and anti-Semites have put forth plans for Jewish states.

El Arish Military Cemetery was built in 1919 marked the dead of the First World War. It was designed by Sir Robert Lorimer. [3]

On December 8, 1958, an air battle occurred between Egyptian and Israeli air forces over Arish. [4]

Arish was under military occupation by Israel briefly in 1956 and again from 1967 to 1979. It was returned to Egypt in 1979 after the signing of the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty.

On 24 November 2017, 305 people were killed in a bomb and gun attack at the al-Rawda mosque near Arish. [5] [6]


Arish is in the northern Sinai Peninsula and is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip. [7]

Arish is the closest larger settlement to Lake Bardawil.


The city is served by el Arish International Airport. The construction of the northern coast highway in Egypt (North Sinai part) was expected to be finished by 2008 linking El-Qantarah at the Suez Canal in the west to the Gaza Strip border passing by Arish. The railway line from Cairo is also under re-construction and it recently reached the "Ser and Qawarir zone" west of Arish. This route was formerly part of the Palestine Railways built during World War I and World War II to connect Egypt with Turkey. The railway was cut during the formation of Israel. The North Sinai is a milestone for the Egyptian government planners to redistribute the high-density population in the Nile Delta, and it is expected that by accomplishing the transportation and irrigation projects, three million Egyptians will settle in North Sinai.[ citation needed ]


Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert (BWh), although prevailing Mediterranean winds moderate its temperatures, typical to the rest of the northern coast of Egypt.

The highest record temperature was 45 °C (113 °F), recorded on May 29, 2003, while the lowest record temperature was −6 °C (21 °F), recorded on January 8, 1994. [8]

Climate data for Arish
Record high °C (°F)30.5
Average high °C (°F)18.8
Daily mean °C (°F)12.6
Average low °C (°F)7.6
Record low °C (°F)1.6
Average precipitation mm (inches)28
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)71707167686870717372707270
Source #1: NOAA [9]
Source #2: Climate Charts [10]

See also

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Rafah City in Rafah Governorate

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El Qantara, Egypt Place in Ismailia, Egypt

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Northern coast of Egypt

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Auja al-Hafir

Auja al-Hafir, was an ancient road junction close to water wells in the western Negev and eastern Sinai. It was the traditional grazing land of the 'Azazme tribe. The border crossing between Egypt and Ottoman/British Palestine, about 60 km (37 mi) south of Gaza, was situated there. Today it is the site of Nitzana and the Ktzi'ot military base in the Southern District of Israel.

An-Nekhel Fortress

The Fortress of an-Nekhel is a Ksar (castle) located in the Nekhel Municipality of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. It holds a strategic location at the exact center of the peninsula. Excavations at the site have revealed remains dating from Ancient Egypt. It has historically been an important stop and staging ground for Muslim pilgrims undertaking the Hajj or Umra, holy Muslim pilgrimages.

Rafah, Egypt Place in North Sinai, Egypt

Rafah or Egyptian Rafah is an important city in North Sinai and Egypt's eastern border with the Gaza Strip. It is the capital of Rafah center in North Sinai Governorate, and is situated on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Egypt.

Sheikh Zuweid Place in North Sinai, Egypt

Sheikh Zuweid is a Bedouin town in the North Sinai Governorate of Egypt near the border with the Gaza Strip. It is situated between the cities of Arish and Rafah and is 334 kilometers northeast of Cairo. It has a population of around 60,000 as of 2015.

October 2014 Sinai attacks

On 24 October 2014, ISIL militants launched two attacks on Egyptian army positions in the Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 33 security personnel. This was one of the deadliest assaults on the Egyptian military in decades.

Bir al-Abd in North Sinai, Egypt

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  2. Jerusalem: The Biography , page 380–381, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2011. ISBN   978-0-297-85265-0
  3. Dictionary of Scottish Architects: Robert Lorimer
  4. until return
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  10. "El Arish, Egypt: Climate, Global Warming, and Daylight Charts and Data". Climate Charts. Retrieved 8 July 2013.