Nubian activist Seham Othman – Women and Memory Nubian activist Seham Othman – Women and Memory

Woman to run in General Nubian Union for the first time

Sat, May. 6, 2017
CAIRO – 5 May 2017: Nubian activist Seham Othman will run in the elections of the General Nubian Union (GNU) in hopes to preside over it after some board members failed to secure a ban on the candidacy of women during the April General Assembly.

“The Nubian issue demands rights, citizenship and preservation of the identity. I am involved in it because I believe in redress, and the encouraging of other Nubian men and women to be active citizens,” Othman said in a profile published by Nazra for Feminist Studies on Wednesday.

The GNU left a recommendation on its website stating that women not run for the position, but the ban was rejected by its General Assembly after strong lobbying by its female members, according to Nazra.

In 2012, Othman, 29, was the first woman ever to be elected as a deputy head of the GNU. She has been an active member of the GNU since it was established in 2011, and is now in charge of its Planning Committee.

She began her activism in 2008 in the Student Union of The Faculty of Education at the South Valley University, and cofounded the feminist NGO Ganoubia Hurra (Free Southerner) in 2015.

Nubians have long struggled to reside on the banks of the River Nile after their ancestors’ land was inundated by Lake Nasser, which was created by the Aswan High Dam between 1958 and 1970. They were resettled in Aswan, but away from the Nile, and the project forced many of them to migrate to the north, mostly Cairo and Alexandria, in pursuit of earning a decent living.
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