At a symposium held in Cairo on Sunday, Nubian activists declared that Nubians had the right to some 700,000 acres of land around Lake Nasser in southern Egypt as opposed to the mere 3500 acres allotted them by the government.
"We don’t want to be reduced to some quaint, folkloric community," said prominent Nubian author Haggag Oddoul.
According to Nubian activist Tareq Agha, the government has already wasted some LE3 million on the construction of housing units in the Karkar Valley, most of which remain vacant. "The government should have built them in the Amal Valley next to the lake," said Agha.
Former coordinator of the pro-democracy Kefaya protest movement George Isaac accused certain businessmen of attempting to exploit the Nubian land allotment issue to their own benefit. "We need to have cultural diversity in Egyptian society," he said.
Journalist Farida el-Naqqash, for her part, said that longstanding Nubian demands should be met. "They have contributed to Egyptian civilization," she said of the Nubians.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.