Sunday, 15 March 2015

Nour El-Rifai | The Nubians

Photo © Nour El-Rifai - All Rights Reserved
The Nubians are a distinct ethnic grouping of people of southern Egypt and northern Sudan, settling along the banks of the Nile from Aswan. They have a long history dating back to dynastic Egypt, and  founded a dynasty that ruled Upper and Lower Egypt during the 8th century BCE. It is estimated that they number about 300,000.

For many years, many Nubians found employment in the wealthier households of the main Egyptian cities, where their work ethics, and honesty were highly valued. However, for many years after the building of dams and the High Dam in Aswan, many were marginalized and unsuccessful in their efforts to return to their original homeland.

That Nubian displacement began early in the 20th century, when a series of dams built by the British along the Nile engulfed swathes of Nubia and uprooted thousands of Nubian farmers and fishermen from the banks of the Nile.

Egypt's new constitution  pledges "to bring back the residents of Nubia to their original areas and develop them within a decade." Now, tens of thousands of Egyptian Nubians feel they might have their chance.

Nour El Rifai's The Nubians is a collection of photographs of Nubians who live on Seheil island  about 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of Aswan.

While Nour El Refai is a self-taught photographer, he also obtained a degree in architecture at Cairo University and is working as an Architectural photographer. His interest in travel made him explore documentary and cultural photography. He worked as a documentary photographer on stories and assignments in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, India, and Turkey. He taught architectural photography within the academic field in various Egyptian universities; and is currently teaching photography in many cultural and art centers.