A delegation from Egypt’s southern Nubia region on Monday met with President Mohamed Morsi at the presidential palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis district to demand an end to the political and cultural marginalisation that they suffered under Egypt’s former regime.
According to a subsequent statement issued by the presidency, delegation members demanded the repatriation of Nubian families who were involuntarily displaced during the last century.
Beginning in 1902, many Nubians were forced to leave their ancestral homelands south of Aswan in Upper Egypt to allow construction of the Aswan Reservoir.
The largest wave of migration came between 1960 and 1963, however, when Egypt began building the Aswan High Dam during the presidency of Gamal Abdel-Nasser.
The Nubian delegation that visited Morsi also reportedly demanded the development of local infrastructure in their respective villages, while also calling for the empowerment of Nubian women by encouraging their entry into Egyptian political life.
President Morsi, for his part, said he would urge the government to raise the issues discussed at Monday’s meeting with the Shura Council, the upper house of Egypt’s parliament currently endowed with legislative authority.