Dozens of Nubians, frustrated by lack of progress in ongoing resettlement negotiations with Egypt's post-revolution governments, stage demonstration before Shura Council in Cairo
In front of a long line of Central Security Forces eyeing them from behind thick barbed wire, they stand in a circle, their arms wrapped around each other's backs, and they dance to the rhythm of a song only they can understand.
More than a hundred Nubians gathered on Saturday in front of Egypt's Shura Council building to protest what they call "the deliberate and continued marginalisation" of their nation, which, they say, "represents the origin of Egypt."
"If Egypt is the mother of the world, then Nubia is Egypt's mother," Abd El-Moneim Abd El-Wahab of Al-Madiq Nubian Association said, modifying the familiar saying.
Abd El-Wahab, an old man sitting in the shade in a galabiya (traditional dress), is demanding, like many men and women at the protest, a resettlement law that would relocate the 44 Nubian villages on the banks of Lake Nasser, which they insist on calling by its original name: 'Lake Nubia.'
Starting in 1902, Nubians had to leave their lands south of Aswan in Upper Egypt so the government might build its Aswan Reservoir. The largest wave of migration came in 1960-1963, when Egypt started building the Aswan High Dam under Gamal Abdel Nasser's presidency.
"We want our lands and homes back," women from the Nubian village of Al-Seyalla, who did not want to disclose their names, said.
Several Nubian groups drafted a 40-article resettlement plan that they had presented to Egypt's first post-revolution parliament (since dissolved by military order).