© National Geographic Society/Robert F. Sisson

Saint Catherine’s monastery, dwarfed by the shade-blackened slope of Jebel Musa, the traditional site of Mt. Sinai. A faint track leads from the 1,400-year-old monastery to the vast open plain called El Raha. On this plain, tradition says, the Children of Israel camped while Moses communed with God on the mountain. The distant cluster of white tents in the plain belongs to Egyptian soldiers who were stationed in Sinai in 1964 when this photograph was taken.