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Sinai ignored in Egypt development plans

Egypt celebrated the liberation of Sinai from Israeli occupation on April 25, but Sinai locals, who feel neglected by the central government, have little to cheer about.
Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak waves from his room during a celebration by his supporters of the 32nd anniversary of the liberation of Sinai in front of Maadi military hospital on the outskirts of Cairo April 25, 2014. Mubarak under house arrest in the hospital faces retrial for charges of complicity in the killings of protesters during the 2011 Egyptian uprising. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh  (EGYPT - Tags: ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3MNVK
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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.

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