Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nubia, the forgotten land

18th of April marks the departure of the last Nubian from the ancestors land. Today is the day to remember Nubia and shed a light on a heritage we should cherish and promote. I have heard a lot about how Nubians are generous and kind, but I never imagined that they are actually that generous and kind. I went of last year to Aswan, to attend a cultural festival "Characters of Egypt". I returned with more exciting and everlasting memories of couple of days spent in a small Nubian village in Aswan. I discovered a lot during this short trip, friendship, kindness, hope, patriotism, loyalty...
Nubians had to leave their lands for the sake of Egypt. They were fighting since that time for the right to return back near their homelands. The places where they were relocated are not comparable to the place where they used to live. They owned lands overlooking the Nile, their houses built on their own style. The new place were they are supposed to live is in the desert and houses so crowded. I was lucky to stay in a village which was more or less Nubian but not many Nubians were as much lucky as those who live in Gharb Seheil.
Did you know that the Nile is their entire life? They live in islands, they go from one island to another, they are like fishes in water. The Nile flows in their heart. It's the Nile that expelled them from their land, yet it's the Nile that they adore.

Nubian Numbers
It's a pity that the Nubian language is about to extinct. No one talks it except the elderly as the new generations don't really learn it. We never learnt at school about Nubian tradition or culture although it's very rich, as if they never existed. I met a teacher in a small school, in his 40's, he could only write me few numbers in Nubian and couldn't remember all, and those numbers were only what he knows to write. I was discussing with him why there are no classes to teach Nubian to people.  

If you just get to know one Nubian, he will treat you as if you are old time friends, I befriended a couple met at the lodge where I was staying, the following day they introduced me and other friends to a Nubian guy, on the 3rd guy this guy invited all of us to lunch, may i say to a feast, in his in-laws. And what i mean by a feast not just  one or 2 things to eat, it was a table full of delicious courses. I was so impressed as it was hard to believe that there are people who treat like that. This is a generosity I never encountered before in my life.

Hammu, another Nubian, who was working in the lodge, was of great help. He was treating us as friends not guests, opening his heart to us, make us discover the beauty and serenity of the place. He took us on an early boat trip to watch the sunrise on the Nile, he invited us to his grandparents house where he was raised. One of the traditions I discovered there is that the the newly wed couple live with the bride's parents for a couple of years till their first born kid. During that time they prepare their own house. When they go to their new house, the elderly kid lives with his grandparents. That's why the family ties are very important to them, it goes across the generations.
Although those working in Abou Simbel, suffered from the lack of tourists post-revolution, they were so happy that the revolution happened and really believed in it. I am not sure if they do still have the same opinion up till now, but really, Nubians suffered a lot in the last decades, and they deserve more than what they have.

The beauty of nature

Nubia, is certainly a piece of heart, where you have a peace of mind. I wished I knew about it earlier. I wish I can know more. 
Certainly I would return back, to discover more and more about the beauty of Nubia which lies in the hearts of Nubians.

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