NORTH SINAI — “April 25, the anniversary of Sinai’s liberation. One of the days that I hate most in life.” These are the words Sinai activist Ahmed al-Ghoul posted to his Facebook page to expressed his deep-felt anger about the transformation of the anniversary “of the liberation of the Sinai Peninsula from Israeli occupation” into a big lie, as he put it. From Ghoul's perspective, the government and media use the anniversary as an opportunity to disseminate fictitious figures involving billions of Egyptian pounds and yearly statements on the supposed development of the Sinai.
The population of Sinai is less than 500,000, which is less than 1% of the Egyptian population. Its inhabitants live on about 6% of Egypt’s land mass — the peninsula is three times the size of the Nile Delta region. Sinai suffers from marginalization and poverty as a result of neglect by the central government. According to the Social Fund for Development's 2013 poverty map, poverty afflicts more than 45% of its inhabitants.