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Who are Nubians?

Nubians are a group of people from a region called Nubia, which is located along the Nile River extending from Aswan, Egypt to Khartoum, Sudan. Lower Nubia is located between the First and Second Cataracts (modern-day southern Egypt and northern Sudan) and Upper Nubia is located between the Second and Sixth Cataracts of the Nile (modern-day Sudan).

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A Brief History

Nubians originate from the early inhabitants of the central Nile valley. The Nile has always been a significant part of life for the Nubian people. The Nubian region is where some of the greatest and earliest ancient African civilizations were developed, most notably the Kerma culture, Kingdom of Kush, and the Kingdom of Meroe. An estimated population of 3-5 million Nubians in Egypt exist today, but there has been no real account of how many Nubians there are globally. Modern Nubia is divided into three groups, each distinguished by its own Nubian dialect, though they do all share similar socio-political and cultural patterns. Nubians have a vibrant and rich culture, known for their colorful and distinctive architecture, traditional music and folktales, and great hospitality. 

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In the twentieth century, Nubians were displaced in four major waves. After the construction of a series of dams, the region was destroyed by extreme flooding. The Aswan High Dam, built in 1960, was responsible for the destruction of approximately 45 Nubian villages, in addition to hundreds of years of history. Nubians resettled in large numbers as a result of the flooding. Over half of the Nubian population was forcibly relocated to inadequate Nubian settlements, while many more migrated to larger cities in Egypt/Sudan in search of a new way of life and a new source of income.

Old Nubia was full of lush greenery, fertile lands and the Nile supported the Nubian way of life, opposed to the new Nubian villages in the desert. The Nubian people were promised the right to return, but still, this has not occurred.  The Nubian language and culture is at risk of disappearing at alarming rates since the tragic demise of the traditional Nubian way of life. The legacy of the displacement still negatively impacts the Nubian people today. 


Still, Nubia is rising and there are more efforts than ever to preserve the Nubian language, history, and culture. Youth are at the forefront of these movements and are taking the initiative to educate themselves and raise awareness on the Nubian heritage and culture.

NubiYouth is committed to supporting these initiatives and acting as a catalyst to help in the preservation of the Nubian heritage, in addition to amplifying the efforts of the numerous groups working in the same direction.

We believe that by helping our youth members in better understanding their history and culture, they will develop a stronger sense of self and be more confident in who they are and the rich legacy from which they originate.

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Donate to NubiYouth

All donations are used to help us continue to respond to immediate needs while providing Nubian youth with supportive learning environments and critical connections to their community.

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