CAIRO: Egypt is an African state as well as Arab, and Nubian, Amazigh, and Beja are local languages to be preserved as well as Arabic – these are some of the suggestions of Nubia representatives to the Foundational Principles of the State sub-committee of the 50-member panel entrusted with amending Egypt’s constitution, Youm7 reported today.
Nubia is a territory in southern Egypt and northern Sudan whose inhabitants speak Nubian as well as Arabic. Amazigh is a language spoken in the Siwa Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert, and Beja is a language spoken by inhabitants of the southern coast of the Red Sea in the far east of Egypt.
Nubian representatives also called for criminalizing discrimination on the basis of color, race, religion, or origin, and for enshrining Nubians’ right of return in the Egyptian constitution.
Several Nubian villages lie under what is now Lake Nasser. Their inhabitants were forcibly resettled north of Aswan on the west bank of the Nile in the 1970s as preparations began for the man-made lake. Ever since, Nubians have claimed that they were not appropriately compensated and were resettled in areas that they did not agree upon.
They also called for enshrining the state’s commitment to sustainably and equitably develop all regions of the republic with the consultation of the people of each region, so as to take into account different demographic characteristics.
Reporting by NOURA ALY, NERMEEN ABDEL-ZAHER, NOURA FAKHRY