Nubians should be granted their rights: Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya

Ahram Online , Monday 27 May 2013

Nubians should be helped to return to their ancestral lands in Upper Egypt, says senior leader of radical Islamist group

Nubians should be compensated for their sacrifices during the building of the Aswan High Dam, a member of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya's Shura Council said on Sunday.

Assem Abdel-Maged was speaking at a conference organised by the group in the Nubian village of Siala, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

“The government should give Nubians back their land if it is possible for them to live on it,” Abdel-Maged said.

The Islamist leader insisted Nubia is an integral part of Egypt, describing it as the country’s "southern gate."

Beginning in 1902, many Nubians were forced to leave their ancestral homelands south of Aswan in Upper Egypt to allow for the construction of the Aswan Reservoir.

The largest wave of migration took place between 1960 and 1963 when Egypt began building the Aswan High Dam during the presidency of Gamal Abdel-Nasser.

In March, a delegation from the southern Nubia region met with President Mohamed Morsi at the presidential palace to demand an end to their political and cultural marginalisation.

According to a statement issued by the presidency, the delegates demanded the repatriation of Nubian families who were involuntarily displaced during the last century.

President Morsi said he would urge the government to raise the issue with the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt's parliament, which is currently endowed with legislative authority.

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