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Nubia: The Cultural Legacy of A Political Struggle

Nubia or Al Nuba – Land of authentic Egyptian culture and natural beauty. A short visit to the Nubian village, near Aswan, would leave you weighed with a rich taste of culture, history, and heritage.

The heritage of Nubia presents itself in all forms of life starting from the houses, food, music, family gathering and social dynamics in addition to the beautiful Nubian art. Anakato or Gharb Soheil is one of the most famous Nubian villages in Aswan, as well as Heisa Island, among many others. Anakato is a colorful vivid house and it functions as a guesthouse for visitors. Bright blue colors mixed with yellow patterns and green paintings decorate the locals’ houses inside-out. The guesthouses overlook the Nile, which represents a source of life. They take care of its cleanliness as it symbolizes pureness.

Sail Boat – River Nile, Nuba, Aswan.

Women of Nubia are significant individuals in shaping its culture. Women are referred to as girls and they are respected individuals who are associated with being delicate. Nubians associate sweetness with girls. For example, if you would like to order a light tea you say Shay Banaty or ‘Girlish Tea’ as an indication for its lightness and sweetness.

There are two Nubian languages called Kenzi, which is widely spoken in Gharb Soheil, and there is Fjeky. Mohamed Mounir, a prominent Nubian Egyptian singer, is an iconic feature of Nubia. Born in Nubia, the people take pride in celebrating his talent in his village of origin. Shops and Bazaars are named after his songs or his own name El King. Wherever you walk, you can hear Mounir’s Egyptian songs playing. Most of the Nubian songs feature the Nubian forced migration crisis during which locals had to leave their homeland during the High Dam construction. Mounir dedicated multiple songs redressing the Nubians’ migration plight, such as Aba Yasa and Al Madina among many others.

Nubian Decoration

Arts have played an important role in documenting the early 1960s compulsory migration events during which Nubians have been forced to leave their homes, during the Aswan high dam construction. The celebration of life through the vibrant music and colors carries a life-loving spirit that speaks for the Nubian people.

The Nubian lifestyle carries a long-line history that goes back to the ancient Egyptians which is available in details in the Nubian Museum in Aswan. This museum includes ancient monuments, accessories, caravan houses, a list of Nubian kings and queens and even their migration story in simplified pictures and captions. The museum exposes the Christian and Islamic phases that the Nubians had survived throughout history, in addition to the ancient Egyptian pharaonic phase as mentioned. Nubians take pride in their origins, language, culture, and history featured in an authentic lifestyle.

About Ola El-Wassify (30 Articles)
A word-nerd hearted person who is madly in love with English linguistics, literature, psychology, and cycling. Was raised in Cairo, physically speaking, but her heart belongs to different countries and cultures. Addicted to various kinds of music, such as Jazz, Pop, Metal, Rock, Country, Ray and Nubian music. Her soul is intertwined with dancing, Sufism, and typewriters. Writing is her passion! Poetry is her favorite, yet she gets absorbed into short-stories and novels as well. She believes we are all the sum of the books we read, the movies we watch, and the music we listen to, and that is why she loves writing. When you write and someone loves your words, you become an essential part of their memories.

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