Tuesday, April 17, 2012

on that part of the universe : Nubia

the Nubian issue in Egypt raises many questions, the race, class,  democracy, citizenship and Human Rights.
Nubians in Egypt suffered for long time from racism, alienation and neglection  for their basic rights. Sadly the Nubian issue is not on the political agenda of almost all the political fictions in Egypt, we might hear of Nubian issue only, because of the demographic mass of Nubian voters, which was crystal clear the presidential race after the revolution.
One of the main obstacles of Nubians are facing while fighting for rights, is the ignorance of the public opinion about their cause, that the " ordinary" Egyptian associate Nubia with the folkloric dancing and music and they deny the pain which prevails in the Nubian history.
Nubia is a civilization which governed Egypt in its 25th dynasty and the history of Nubia and Egypt was a serious of  struggle for domination.  Nubia was independent from Egypt, till 1820 when Mohamed Ali invaded Nubia , before Mohmed Ali, Nubians fought many Egyptian rulers like el Salah el Dine el Ayoubi and el Zaher Baberas.  Nubians suffered from the cruelty of many Egyptian rulers, like the rest of the Egyptian population, they suffered from unreasonable taxes and servitude.  
In 1898 one of the most important landmarks of the region politics took place, the Mahdia revolution in Sudan, which the Nubians support and they were massacred in Toushky battle. And that's why the Fadika Nubians women wear black in commemoration of its martyrs. And then the British occupation divided Nubia, to the north Egyptian Nubia and to the South Sudanese Nubia … like many African ethnicities divided by the lines of borders drawen by the colonizer  .
Then the pain started Egyptian Nubian were forced to be displaced 4 times in starting 1902, 1912, 1932 and the last in 1964. We lost the land, heritage , culture, the environment and the future .  Nubians were exiled to Kom ombo Valley which was named by the locals near by the valley of death. And the suffering was manifested in the nursery tomb where the bones of the young children who could not survive the new harsh environment.
Then Nubians faced harsh discrimination and racism when they inhabited the cities, and they worked in the low profile jobs and they still constitute a stereotype which attack Nubians.
Although Nubians proved in many times that they belong to Egypt and they are willing to sacrifice for  a better tomorrow , but Egypt as a government neglected Nubians and as a population discriminated against them.
One might ask what are the demands of Nubians now? Full citizenship , where their history is celebrated and taught in schools as part of Egyptian history, going back to the land around the lake, naming the lake Nubia lake and having a say in the development plans in their region.
Nubia is not a homeland we live in, it is an identity, and cause we live for .      


Ines said...

What a sad situation, it is simply infuriating. Egypt would simply not be Egypt today without Nubia. As an essential part of egyptian history and identity past and present, Nubia should be recognized fully...

We are in an epoch where building a supranational phantasmagoria (a hegemonic "Umma Arabiya" like dreamed by Nasser, with a similar standardized citizen from Machrek to Maghreb) is more important than valuing the local identities (Nubian, Amazigh, Kurdish, Arabian Beduin, etc). Really sad..

nubianomad said...

It is heart breaking to see this issue go under the radar for so long. One minor comment, and it was probably a small oversight,now South Sudan has become a different country and Nubians of Sudan reside in the northern part of the country on the border with Egypt. They too have faced similar plights. Sudanese government has has equally disenfranchised many groups who are not close to the sphere of Khartoum. Luckily strong community bonds have helped the Nubians but the Sudanese government has been particularly harsh on groups from the west (in Darfur) and East as well as new border regions with South Sudan.

Keep spreading the word about this conflict. It needs attention too.