Thursday, May 15, 2014

50 years on diverting the River #Nile and the Displacement of #Nubia

Last May 14th marked the 50th anniversary of diverting the river Nile in Egypt during the Construction of the Aswan high dam in 1964. It also marks the 50th anniversary of the 2nd biggest displacement of Nubians in Egypt. It was an important day where Egyptian President Nasser and Soviet Leader Khrushchev pushed the button and the Nile river’s course was diverted for the first since thousands of years.
Nasser and Khrushchev from 50 years ago in Aswan. 
Here is a rare video in colors showing that celebration from 50 years ago,just mute the annoying song.

Of course if you know our history well , you would know that Nasser went to the Eastern camp and got technical and financial help from the Soviet Union after the West and the World Bank refused to fund. You know the history.
Last Monday I attended at Ahram Institution a celebration to honor the Russian and Egyptian engineers who participated in constructing of the High Dam.

Among those who attended the celebration the children of late President Gamal Nasser , Russian Ambassador in Cairo , Ahram CEO Ahmed El-Siyad El-Naggar , former minister of housing Hasab Allah El-Kafrawy and none other than the Egyptian journalism and politics’ old fox Mohamed Hassanein Heikal himself.

It was a nice thing to see the old Russian engineers after all those years in Cairo. Four of them only came as part of delegation from the Russian faculties of engineering. Of course there were old Egyptian engineers too.
Of course the photos are not that good because they were taken by mobile phone.

Amazingly the media covered the anniversary without mentioning as usual the dark side of this diversion process a.k.a the Displacement of Egyptian Nubians. The construction of dam led to the biggest displacement of Egyptians in the modern history.

Not only people were displaced but also monuments like Abu Simbel temple 'its transfer started this year as well" and Temple of Debod which Nasser gave to Spain "Oh yes a whole temple was given to another country".
The first displacement of Nubians happened during the construction of Aswan’s lower dam if I am not mistaken.
The high Dam is still there and it helped Egypt indeed during tough times but up till the Nubians did not return back to their land or were compensated. There is a land that enough for everybody at Lake Nasser , this land should be allocated to the Nubians we had enough from broken promises.
By the way neither Hamdeen Sabahi nor Abdel Fattah El-Sisi spoke about the Nubians or their right to return back aside from the usual photo sessions with delegations from Nubian leaderships and that’s it.
To be honest I heard Sabahi speaking about land reclamation around Nasser lake.
Anyhow if you want to see high quality photos about the High Dam in Aswan then you can see this set.


  1. Very good report.Have only two remarks:Not sure that Nasser gave away a pharaonic temple to Spain?!Unesco assisted with Intl.expertise to displace the temples.
    My 2nd remark is that Hamdeen Sabahi promised to give the Nubians lands on Nasser's lake's borders to settle and cultivate it. @amrazim2808

  2. This is the first thorn in your relations with Sudan and the Nile Basin States.

    What's the point of living in the past and celebrating relics?

    The dam caused the displacement of Sudanese Nubians and harmed Sudan and the Sudanese whilst it benefited Egypt.

    No wonder the rest of the Nile Riparians distrust Egypt.

    Personally I cant wait to celebrate the inauguration of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

    Myself and all the Sudanese.


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