The Sinai Peninsula might stand at the fringes of the Egyptian state, but it has often been the location of some of the country and the region's transformative events. That is happening again. What occurs in the Sinai in the coming weeks and months will help answer many questions about Egypt’s future, including its relationship with Israel and Hamas, and the relative power of the Muslim Brotherhood and the military in the post-Mubarak era.
The triangle of land on the shores of the Red Sea at the meeting point of Africa and Asia forms both the border and a buffer zone between Egypt and Israel. Sinai was at the heart of the last war between Egypt and Israel in 1973, and it was at the center of their 1979 peace agreement, when Israel agreed to return the peninsula it captured in the 1967 war back to Egyptian control in exchange for peace. Sinai is also a crucial source of international tourism revenue for Egypt as well as where its politically charged border with Gaza lies.
Once again, Sinai, the small northeastern corner of the country, stands at the center of Egypt's future.