Egypt's Nubian Minority Revives Dream of Return to Homeland

(AP) Hamza Hendawi - Siham Othman, 30, was born decades after her grandparents were forced to evacuate from their homes on the banks of the Nile River along with tens of thousands of their fellow Nubians. Osman and a young generation of Nubian activists have revived the cause of their people. They are trying to preserve Nubians' unique culture and identity and are campaigning for a return to their traditional lands. Yet the government of President Sissi has shown little tolerance for dissent and Osman is among 50 Nubian activists on trial for participating in protests. Nubians are an ancient ethnic group that, since Pharaonic times, lived along the Nile in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Darker skinned than most Egyptians, they have a distinct culture and a language unrelated to Arabic. Some 3.5 to 5 million of Egypt's 90 million people are estimated to be Nubians. When Egypt built the Aswan High Dam, the government moved 55,000 out of their homes in 1963-4 as the creation of Lake Nasser flooded the Nubians' homeland.

2018-07-19 00:00:00

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