Questioning my identity

Fatma Emam's picture

I was brought up in a Nubian family, living in the internal displacement destination in the Egyptian capital Cairo, in a family house. I am educated in Egyptian civil schools.

When I was young, I used to sing Nubian songs in all our social gatherings, I never understood Nubian Fadika language, I was just repeating the lyrics, then I was subject to Arab Islamic oriented education, with emphasis on learning foreign languages.

The Egyptian education impose a unitary vision of the Egyptian identity, glorifying the past Pharaonic history with total ignoring to the parallel civilization , the Nubian civilization and on the other hand emphasizing Egypt as a Muslim country, excluding all the other faiths in Egypt.

Frankly I was a good product of the assimilation system, I speak Arabic as my native tongue and I acknowledge only one dimensioned identity which being an Egyptian and nothing else was celebrated or noticed . my parents did not exert efforts on asserting my Nubian identity, the whole idea of being a Nubian for me was minimized in the family relations and the culture was only  manifested in the art and music only.

However in my endeavor to discover myself, I came across questions about what labels we are using to identify ourselves and do we really belong to our claimed labels or not. I started questioning years of imposed knowledge and practices, I started to connect myself to my roots, by the help of some of dearest persons like Mozn and others . I am still in the process of discovering what hats I am wearing and how is identify myself.

The idea of this post came to me during my visit to Jackson, Mississippi , I discovered the bond between me as African Origin person and the African Americans, this visit reaffirmed my belief in the unity of the African nations and that our struggle for our rights is the same with different manifestation .
I chose the traditional Nubian dancing and I do not feel it is cheesy as I used to do.

(Posted at Brownie)

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