Nubia: Home Sweet Home

Fatma Emam's picture

This post is not about women as usual, it is about the right to house as stipulated in the UN Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural rights and the situation of housing in Egypt. I am writing this post as a feedback to a workshop of the housing rights, held by Hisham Mubark Center of legal advocacy; the workshop was organized to address the conditions of housing in natural catastrophes, like the current floods in Egypt in Sinai and Aswan.

We are facing huge problem of housing in Egypt, not only in the natural catastrophes, but also in the so called ordinary situations. This problem is multifaceted, it faces the ordinary Egyptian who can not afford the price of a reasonable apartment , the populations living in slums or the poverty margins surrounding Cairo and other cities, the populations who lost their houses because of natural disasters like people who are losing their houses now because of the floods in Sinai and Aswan or the populations who lost their housed because of mistake of government in dealing with the natural conditions or because of corruption like the collapse of the houses in Dowiqa hill or finally the population that displaced for developmental project like Nubians to build the High Dam to .

The main factor in all these miseries is governmental corruption or inadequate policies. In Nubia, we were frequently displaced with each rise to Aswan Dam, and then we were displaced in 1964 to Com ombo valley, which was called the valley of death. We lost almost everything the wealth, the houses, the ecological context and the cultural environment next to the Nile, leaving old Nubia meant the losses of home as the safe place in universe, Nubians are still struggling against the unjust governmental policies of compositions and resettling, they are also trying to preserve their culture to avoid its loss with all the other losses.

What makes me sad the in the Nubian displacement of 1964, the world UN agencies especially UNESCO cared for the temples, they cared for the rocks more than the human beings. The Nubians scarified their land by force and what did they get in return ???? a law was legislated for the Nubian case in 1964 to regulate the confiscation of their lands to be public property. This notorious law was not general as it should be; it was done to address the Nubian case in particular. It negated the Nubian rights to fair trial; it stated that if the Nubians wanted to oppose the decisions of displacements or compensations to a committee of two clerks and a judge, but justice was a dream that did not come true

Government unjust policies, international apathy for human beings and the societal silence all contributed to add to the pains of Nubians, others are sharing the same pains with different stories in Egypt, when and how to alleviate their pains is the main question.

(Posted at Brownie)

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