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Opinion: Nubia for the Egyptians
Published in The Egyptian Gazette on 26 - 09 - 2011

CAIRO – We do not know what Prime Minister Essam Sharaf promised the Nubians. But we expect that these pledges will restore calm and stability across the nation. In other words, we hope that these pledges won't deepen the divisions in the country.
We came across miscellaneous reports about the Premier's meeting with Nubians in the local press. For example, Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that the Cabinet's acknowledgement of Nubian grievances saved Aswan from a terrible catastrophe.
Al-Akhbar reported that hundreds of people belonging to the Alliance of Arab Tribes had gathered in the Aswan Sporting Club (next to the Dorat el-Nil Park where Nubians staged their sit-in). The Alliance members sent a sharp warning to the Nubian protesters and asked them to leave and reopen the local councils and Government buildings.
The warning carried the threat of using force, unless the Nubians complied with the deadline.
Al-Akhbar also reported that the Nubians were preparing legal proceedings against the Governor of Aswan, Moustafa el-Sayed, for his allegedly miscalculated statement about the Nubians' right to return to their former homes on the edge of Lake Nasser.
Nubians had taken part in the million-person demonstration on September 9 and told TV channels that all Aswan citizens, including Nubians, had the right to live near Lake Nasser. It goes without saying that every Egyptian has the unequivocal right to live anywhere he likes in his country.
All the same, I want to voice my concern over the wish to live on the edge of Lake Nasser. I hope that the Lake's surroundings will be declared a nature reserve and protected from future pollution.
Let's go back to A1-Akhbar and see how its correspondent covered the Nubian reaction to the Cabinet's statement in connection with their problems.
On September 13, the paper wrote: “The Premier's decision, allowing Nubians to return to their former villages, led to a state of euphoria in Aswan. Young Nubians held processions in the streets; they danced to Nubian music and songs. They also promised to end their sit-in and clear Government buildings. Nubian business people pledged to finance maintenance and repair of damaged buildings.
Taking into consideration that the Government buildings in Aswan were closed during the sit-in, there is one question: will the new security measures, announced by the SCAF, be applied to these acts? What about the State's sovereignty and authority, particularly considering that Nubian protesters reportedly contacted the Interior Minister's then assistant for Aswan, General Ahmed Dif Sakr, to hand over the governorate building in the presence of its security chief and a committee led by Aswan's secretary general? Young Nubians had broken the locks and chains protecting the building, the financial department and the computer laboratory.
I'm deeply worried that our beloved country has descended into anarchy and lawlessness. Or is it true that we live in a post-revolution Egypt, which is striving to deepen the law's supremacy? Or do we live in an occupied country and its occupiers only stopped when the Government gave in to their demands? Has the Government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf ignominiously compromised the sovereignty of the State? Why are lawbreakers and anarchists allowed to escape with impunity?
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