Displacement of Nubians from there own Homeland.. Daniel Williams, reports via Bloomberg News

Nubian Boys Playing in the NileNubian on the Shore of the Nile

A very good profile from Bloomberg today

about a displaced people within their own country. Similar to the Kurds in Iraq,

The Nubians of Egypt have had to leave their traditional villages along the Nile. Some of the displacement is caused by floods, while some is due to reservoirs that the government builds and plans to build upon.
Daniel Williams of Bloomberg news tells us about the Nubian people and their efforts to preserve their own kind.

Singing songs and chatting in an ancient language, hundreds of cheerful Nubian travelers gathered at Alexandria’s railway station for a long pilgrimage to a lost homeland.

Exiles in their own country, they journeyed 18 hours to celebrate a Muslim holiday in southern Egypt’s Nile valley, a region their ancestors once dominated from a loose confederation of villages along the river banks.

In 1964, their shoreline was inundated when the Aswan High Dam created Lake Nasser, the world’s largest reservoir. Now the Egyptian government has floated plans to develop and populate land surrounding the lake — without reserving space for Nubians. Activists in the ethnic minority say no fair: They want terrain set aside for new villages so their brethren can live again on the Nile, returning from a northern Egypt diaspora and arid settlements established 44 years ago for displaced families.

“The settlements are false Nubia,” said Haggag Oddoul, an author who has become an outspoken advocate for resettlement. “To restore our character and community, we need to be rerooted. We need to return.”

Nubians ruled Egypt in pharaonic times, their armies having ousted Libyan invaders…

They speak their own, non-Arabic language and sing their “Songs to Drum beats”….

The river was their economic lifeblood and fountain of memory, identity and lore.

Central to old beliefs, it held the spirits of angels and holy men.

Nubians, now numbering about 3 million of Egypt’s 73 million people,

have been leaving their stretch of the Nile valley for more than a century

some because of poverty, some because of efforts to tame the river’s annual floods.

The first dam near Aswan was built in 1902; subsequent ones obliterated settlements further and further south until all of Egyptian Nubia was under water.

Khabairi Gamal, 70, unfurled a hand-drawn map of old Nubia for holiday visitors earlier this month in Aniba, one of the transplanted villages.

Young Nubians are forgetting their past, he said, turning to Islam. Fathi, 23, and asking where he was from originally…

“Well,” Fathi stammered with a smile….

“Go home and ask about your grandfather….

Ask about it!”     stormed Gamal, the village leader. “And do you know Nubian ?”

“A few ”  “Learn it,” Gamal ordered. “You see, we have to move back. Otherwise, there will be no Nubia and no Nubians.”

Nubian Boys Gather

Nubians live in the Upper Nile region.

When the Condominium Agreementof 1899″ fixed the boundary between Egypt and Sudan,

Lower Nubians found themselves “under direct Egyptian rule” and politically “separated” from their kin to the south.

This arbitrary frontier divides the Nobiin-speaking group more or less equally between Egypt and Sudan. Close ties of culture, language and family continue to unite the people north and south of the border, and until the evacuation of 1964 that accompanied the building of the Aswan High Dam there was continual visiting back and forth between them.

Egyptian Nubia is part of the Governorate of Aswan which also includes a populous area whose inhabitants are not Nubian.

As a result, Nubians have found themselves a minority within their native province.


Historical context

Although Egypt remained the stronger power for most of its dynastic period, it did not destroy its southern neighbour, Nubia;

nor did Nubia, in spite of its adoption of Egyptian gods and ideas of kingship, completely succumb to its neighbour’s ways.

The Nubian city of Meroe was sited on the banks of the Nile about 200 kilometres north of present-day Khartoum, growing rich from control of trade on the Nile until the fourth century CE. Its wealth gave rise to elite patronage of art work such as pottery and shield rings, worn on the forehead, a practice that Nubians continue today. The incorporation of Egypt into the Byzantine Empire brought Christianity to the Nile region. Coptic Christianity spread to Nubia, where a Christian kingdom existed from the sixth to the fourteenth centuries.

At the end of this period Nubia adopted Islam, 700 years later than the north of Egypt, and many of its large churches were converted into mosques.

Rural Nubians have been neglected and exploited for much of the twentieth century. From about 1910 until their final destruction in the 1960s, the villages of Egyptian Nubia were populated chiefly by women, children and older people; most able-bodied men were forced to migrate to find work. For the sake of increased agricultural production downstream, their land has been destroyed piecemeal by the building of successive dams at Aswan without any effort to gain their consent. Over a period of 70 years about 60 per cent of Egyptian Nubia territory has been destroyed or rendered unfit for habitation, and roughly half the surviving Nubian-speaking people have been obliged to find new homes.

Some attempt has been made to compensate Nubians for the loss of their farms and date groves and create new livelihoods for them, but development south of Aswan has failed to keep pace with the rest of the country. For thousands of years ‘Nubian’ and ‘slave’ were virtually synonymous in the Egyptian mind; although this prejudice has lessened in the modern era, Nubians are still largely excluded from Egyptian national life.

Nubians convened a ‘First Nubian Congress’ in October 2002, and petitioned the government for greater compensation for their lost land.

Current issues

Nubians remain bitter over the loss of their land to the dam projects without adequate compensation.

While the dams were designed to serve Egypt’s development needs ,Nubians complain that the government continues to neglect their needs…

(Map below of dates the African countries gained independent soveriegnity) Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria ,Sudan, Ghana etc..

Geo Map of African Independence dates

To World Wide :

The International Appeal to Rescue Nubia And to stop Building the Kajbar Dam

Halfa First! Kajbar Next!!
Nubia Drowns and Dies of Thirst!!!

Date: May 12, 2007

Nubian Guard

The United Nations Secretary General
• United Nations programs and Specialized Agencies:
• International Labor Organization (ILO)
• UN High Commission for Human Rights (UNHCHR)
• World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
• United Nations Economic Development Program (UNDP)
• United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
• United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
• United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
• World Tourism Organization (WTO)
• World Health Organization (WHO)
• United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)
• United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
• International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
• The African Union (AU)
• The International Rivers Network
• The Arab League.

We, the signatories on the this appeal, individuals and organizations, call upon the United Nations, its specialized agencies, governments of free nations, human rights organizations, academicians, scholars, and the international community

at large to heed to this urgent appeal and rush to the rescue of Nubia from the eminent destruction and devastation by the proposed Kajbar Dam at the Third Cataract on the River Nile which will inundate one of the most precious and invaluable archaeological sites of the world.

The international community is urged to exert all possible pressures on the government of Sudan to “Stop” building dams in the Nubian lands without the consent of the Nubians and put an end to decades of intentional marginalization, isolation, cultural and ethnic cleansing which has been practiced by the consecutive governments of Sudan in collaboration with the Egyptian government against Nubians, their culture and heritage.

The Nubians have never recovered yet from the devastation of the High Dam of Egypt to their lands and properties in early sixties of last century.

The governments of Sudan and Egypt have jointly and intentionally implemented series of destructive policies to dismantle the Nubian society and assimilate the indigenous people of Nubia into Arabic culture through well organized programs of cultural cleansing, acculturation and indoctrination.

It is our believe that the international community has a legal and moral obligation towards preserving and protecting the Nubians as one of the indigenous people of the world, their heritage and culture from the excessive and intentional process of Arabization and cultural cleansing.

Governments of Sudan and Egypt have signed the Four Freedoms Agreement (the freedom to move, live, work and own.)

on April 5, 2004 and the officials of the two governments expressed their desire to bring millions of Egyptian farmers to the Nubian lands of Argeen without the knowledge and consent of Nubians.

On the other hand the government of Sudan has issued a presidential decree last year to confiscate the Nubian lands in Wadi Halfa municipality.

Governments of Sudan and Egypt “prohibi”t usage of the Nubian” language” in their educational curricula and apply disguised and discriminatory measures to deny Nubians from holding sensitive and key governmental positions unless they master

Arabic “language” and get affiliated with the ruling elites and culturally assimilated to the dominant Arabic culture as a precondition for holding senior positions. The systematic depopulation of the Nubians from their lands and gradual replacement of Nubians by non-Nubians is intended to destroy the strongly knitted social fabric of Nubian society and disrupt the long lived harmony and demographic homogeneity of the Nubians, one of the oldest indigenous and distinctive cultural groups in Africa.

Nubians as “indigenous people” are entitled to get international protection according to the international laws protecting the indigenous people, their cultures and heritage.

Last March, the Nubians saw the Sudanese government bringing Chinese workers and equipments being brought to the site of

Kajbar Dam and the Nubian organizations and associations organized a big demonstration to protest the building of Kajbar Dam without their consent. They expressed their opposition to the dam and demand immediate removal of equipments from the site. The governor of the Northern Province promised the angry protesters but he reneged and even began to put obstacles to the committees opposing the Kajbar Dam. When the Nubians protested again, the security forces at the Kajbar Dam site used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the peaceful demonstration injuring several people.

During the last few weeks the state authorities deployed more security forces to the site of the Dam and the governor announced that the government will conduct feasibility studies only to decide whether to proceed in building the dam or stop it. The government is trying to fool the people and continue building the dam and force the Nubians to accept the dam as a reality and a status quo matter like what they did at Meroe Dam and to the people affected by the dam.

Nubian Children in Village

We call upon the international community to:

• Take every necessary steps to move expediently to stop forthwith the building of Kajbar Dam and any dam in the heartland of Nubia and extend every possible help Nubians are entitled to,by the international laws to get their share

in “power and wealth” as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in Naivasha, Kenya between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People Liberation Army/Movement and the agreements signed in Abuja and Asmara between the government of Sudan and the Darfur rebels and the East Front rebels.

• Protect and enable the Indigenous people of Nubia to have the right and freedom to use their ancestral lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, and their right to maintain, control, protect and develop their language, cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions

• Make sure that the Nubians who suffered from forcible relocations for the purpose of building the High Dam of Aswan, the biggest man made dam in the history in their lands be compensated for their sufferings during the last four decades and that they shall not be forcibly removed again from their lands or territories and that no relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous people of Nubia.

• Insure the right of the indigenous people of Nubia to revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, languages, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures.

• Enable the right of the indigenous people of Nubia to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.

• Enable the Indigenous people of Nubia who are divided by international borders between Sudan and Egypt, to maintain and develop contacts, relations and cooperation, including activities for spiritual, cultural, political, economic and social purposes, with their own members as well as other peoples across borders.

• Insure the right of the Indigenous people of Nubia to have free access to public media or establish their own media in their own languages and to have access to all forms of non-indigenous media without discrimination.

The Nubians, their organizations and association inside Sudan and around the world were asked to organize demonstrations on May 21st, 2007 inside Sudan and in front of Sudanese and

Chinese embassies and UN offices worldwide to express their unequivocal opposition to Kajbar Dam and any future plans to build dams in the Nubian lands and spread the word through the international media to expose to the world the hidden war against Nubians and the conspiracy to wipe out Nubia from the map of the world..

Nuraddin Abdulmannan
Secretary General
The Rescue Nubia and Kajbar Dam Resistance Committee – US chapter.
151 Danbury Street SW
Washington, DC 20032
Tel. (240)441-6993

Date: May 14, 2007



and Sudan’s Dafur Crisis




ቢልልይ ጋምበላ


6 Responses to “Displacement of Nubians from there own Homeland.. Daniel Williams, reports via Bloomberg News”

  1. Awesome!!!

    I am always happy to support other blogs that are substantive and germane to my field of interest.

    I really appreciate your comment and your visit to my blog.

    I am going to add your site as a link on my blog and I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Be well. Shalom. Asante sana!



    • ብልልይ ። ግምብለ (Billy Gambela) Says:

      Shalom ስሃሎም Shalom ስሃሎም ,

      Thanks for the support as well, I will definitely be in touch and Re-Visiting your Blog…..

      I will post your link as well....

      Thanks again for stopping by...

      ብልልይ ። ግምብለ

  2. Why the growth of a population i.e. Arab Muslims in Egypt makes its Ancient Minorities pay the price?

    Why depopulations, deportations, settlements and resettlements of Minorities in Arab[ic] countries

    That started a century ago— are being neglected at the International community?

    What global key decisions makers, organizations and watchers are waiting for ?

    When are they going to take strict and severe actions, against respective regime violations of Humanity and Human Rights?

    Why backwardness, corruption, bitterness and insane money are controlling the World ?

    Isn’t high time to shout at Arab world “ENOUGH” when the very Essence of the people Existence is at Threat?

    Contrary to their Arabic languagemy Arabic native language speaks my soul: Love, developement and Peace.

    • ብልልይ ። ግምብለ (Billy Gambela) Says:

      Thanks for your concerns and comments.

      The Passionate words you speak, will spread to the Ears of Our Brothers and Sisters

      This is a problem that has truly gone too far and too long..

  3. more actions now

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