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Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt’s Wilderness

Sinai’s allure is legendary. Its spectacular landscapes, thriving flora and fauna, and unique history, the store of centuries, have long held sway in the imagination of millions. The high mountains and wadis of the peninsula’s south provide the fertile soil that feeds some of Egypt’s highest diversity of plants, while foxes, vipers, lizards, and tortoises are just some of the animals that make their home in the north, which is characterized by lagoons and vast dunes of soft sand.

Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt’s Wilderness transports us to the haunting grandeur of this peninsula with 150 breathtaking full-color photographs. These discerning photographs were taken during 160 km hikes, and field trips. These visual stories illustrate the blood-red mountains, animals in natural repose and habitat, solitary trees and flowers, and fugitive strips of water, conveying stark beauty and enormous vulnerability, an abundance of life yet utter, devastating peace.

Photo selection from the Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt’s Wilderness

Wildlife biologist and photographer Dr.Omar Attum has been conducting wildlife research and surveys in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula since 1998. He fell in love with the “surreal views” of Sinai at the age of sixteen. “Sinai is such a history book full of life lessons,” says Dr. Omar. “It is obvious how the environment has shaped the culture of people who live there and there are numerous lessons of what happens to society when they overuse their resources and the climate changes, and how wildlife has adapted to survive in Sinai.” In this Skype interview, Attum shares some of his vivid experiences in Sinai and conveys his passion of this remote endangered natural sanctuary.

Sinai: Landscape and Nature in Egypt’s Wilderness displayed at The American University in Cairo Library

This is what others have had to say about the book,

"This is a fascinating book that reveals more of the magic of Sinai through new and alternative perspectives, never explored before. The author's love of nature, his keen artistic vision and infatuation with the Sinai are all reflected in the enormous effort made to capture this rich visual documentary and bring it to the public to share and appreciate."—Sherif Baha El Din, Nature Conservation Egypt "Biologist Omar Attum's photograph's reveal the extraordinary beauty of nature in the Middle East. His pictures are stunning and surprising. This book will change the perceptions of anyone who has the opportunity to peruse its pages. Omar has the rare gift of combining expert knowledge with an artistic eye."—Pam Spaulding, award-winning photojournalist "The 150 beautifully composed photographs . . . shape this desert into a picturesque, enchanting landscape. Through this book you can stay in your own home, while enjoying Egypt's Sinai Desert without the harsh elements!"—Georgina Lockwood, Africa Geographic.

Read more:

By Dr. Omar Attum

Article and photos: ©Omar Attum. All rights reserved.

About the author:

I earned my PhD from the University of Louisville, in which I lived in Egypt for over a year to conduct field work on which species would survive desertification. Afterwards, I was employed by the Zoological Society of London to study the populations of reintroduced gazelles in Saudi Arabia. I also lived in Jordan for two years with my wife and daughters as a Fulbright fellow to study the conservation issues of large mammals in arid environments, the biodiversity value of cultural landscapes, and the dynamics of Red Sea reef fish communities. I was recently an ACOR-CAORC fellow and studied the biodiversity value of archaeological sites in Jordan.


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