Uncovering the Nubian Identity

by Rana Tawfik

Featuring an interview with Nabra Nelson


“So who are the Nubians? Nubians, believed to be one of the earliest civilizations, are distinguished as an ethnolinguistic group who reside in both North Sudan and Egypt. Roughly, around 3-4 million Nubians are residing in Egypt. The Nubians have a distinct identity from the Egyptians in terms of culture and language. The Nubians became a focal point of discussion in the 1960s when their lands were seized by the Egyptian government as a means to use their lands to build the Aswan High Dam. Their lives have been disrupted by the move as they were forced to relocate to other parts of Aswan, Egypt, or abroad. Their cultural heritage and livelihoods, both of which were tied to their lands, were rattled by the displacement. Recently, they were brought back to the spotlight due to governmental efforts to compensate them for the loss of their lands.”