File photo: Protestors in Luxor (Photo: Ahram Online)
The Egyptian government on Wednesday ruled that Nubian Egyptians were the legal owners of the homes they had inhabited since their forced migration from Upper Egypt’s Lake Nasser region early last century upon construction of the Aswan Low Dam.
At a Wednesday Cabinet meeting, the government of Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri decided to grant Egyptian Nubians parcels of land ranging in size from 350 to 1000 square metres.
Since the 18-day uprising against ousted president Mubarak, Nubians have renewed their calls for the right to return to and own land around Lake Nasser in compensation for the loss of their land in the 1960s following the construction of the Aswan High Dam.
In September 2011, protesters torched Aswan's governorate's offices and blocked the Corniche along the Nile before beginning a sit-in in front of the offices, venting their anger at then prime minister Essam Sharaf for making what they felt were empty promises.
In 1902, residents of Nubian villages in the area were forced to evacuate the area to escape increased flooding.
The building of the Aswan High Dam during the era of late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser had an even more deleterious impact on Egypt’s Nubian community, leading to the forced evacuation of 44 Nubian villages in the late 1960s.