BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE
Chances are if you were to watch a television program, movie or read an illustrated book on Egypt, you are probably more likely to see an image of a white European than a black African, but despite that ancient historical omission by western media corporations or even most American school textbooks, there are millions of them.
They are the Nubian people of southern Egypt and northern Sudan, the the descendants of the ancient people who ruled the powerful Kingdom of Kush ( also referred to as the Nubian Dynasty), of the central nile Valley. At their height the black Pharoahs of Nubia conquered and ruled over ancient Egypt from 760 BC to 656 BC from their capital of Meroe, in Sudan.
The modern day Nubians still live in the lands of southern Egypt and northern Sudan, the lands their regal ancestors once dominated. Despite centuries of Arabization they still hold on to their Nubian language, despite speaking Arabic and they still have managed to maintain many of their traditional customs, despite being muslims.
But despite all that great history and culture, the Nubians of Egypt are still a marginalized people in their own land, like blacks in the Americas. Thousands of Nubians were forced to relocate from the land their people lived in for thousands of years when the Aswan Dam was created in the 1960s and even now they also are forced to deal with harsh racism by mainstream Arab Egyptians, and a disproportionate amount of Nubian-Egyptians are forced to work in menial jobs, and in Cairo is filled with impoverished Nubians communities, who are often forced to take shelter on rooftops.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON MODERN NUBIANS IN EGYPT: