Egyptian Nubians to launch first-ever political party

Ahram Online, Thursday 21 Feb 2013

'Nubian Nile Party' won't be based on ethnicity, says spokesman, but will put Nubian issues at top of agenda

Nubian Village
Nubian village alongside the river Nile (Photo: reuters)

Adel Moussa, spokesman for Egypt's as-yet-unlicensed Nubian Nile Party, stated on Thursday that "a lot of progress" had been made regarding the establishment of the Nubian party, which, he stressed, would "bring great value to Egypt's political scene."

Moussa said that founding members currently in the process of collecting citizens' signatures throughout the country in support of the nascent party's establishment.

According to regulations governing the establishment of political parties, 1000 citizens' signatures are required to found any new official party.

Moussa explained that the new Nubian Nile Party would put Nubian issues at the top of its agenda, along with other pressing national issues.

"We [Egypt's large Nubian community] have deep roots in Egypt," he said. "We reject those who question our Egyptian identity and commitment to Egypt."

Moussa went on to stress that the presence of a Nubian party would prevent other Egyptian political parties from exploiting Nubian issues for their own advantage.

He also explained that the new party would not be based on ethnicity, stressing that it would be open to Egyptians of all ethnicities and political currents without discrimination.

He added, however, that it had a specific vision for the Nubian community, which is estimated at roughly 3 million out of Egypt's total national population of 87 million.

Egyptian Nubians have long complained of neglect and marginalisation by the central government in Cairo.

Following construction of the Aswan High Dam by president Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1960s, some 50,000 Nubians in 44 villages were forced to resettle north of Aswan, in the Kom Ombo and Essna areas.

Ever since, Nubians have complained that they were never compensated by the state for the lands they lost and to which many hope to return someday.

Last year, Nubian activists complained about the lack of Nubian representation on Egypt's constituent assembly, which drafted the country's new constitution. 

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