Sorry if this topic was addressed lately. Mods, please act as you see fit.
As you are aware, the latest round of talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in Kinshasa have failed and things aren't looking too pretty. There have been ongoing border skirmishes between Sudan and Ethiopia for a while, but this seems to be happening on the sidelines of the show where GERD is the main performance.
In the last 10 days, Egypt's President has spoken on two occasions about the issue, each time upping his tone and using clearer words, saying pretty much that Egypt has always preferred the path of peace and negotiations but the Nile is untouchable. In the Egyptian media and general online chatter, Ethiopia is completely demonized, and many people, including public intellectuals, artists and prominent figures, are calling for an attack on the dam site. These calls for war aren't from the usual military-minded Sisi loyalist; this time the matter has taken center national stage. I know that because I am writing these words from Cairo. This is becoming more critical every day with the second phase of the dam filling scheduled in about 80 days.
I wish to discuss the following points if anyone is interested. Bear in mind that I ask these questions based on the assumption that the dam really does cause the damage claimed by Egypt. I put the following points to discussion from a geopolitical perspective, and not a moral or ethical one. None of the following is to be understood as an attack on any Ethiopian person or encouraging violence against Ethiopia or Ethiopians in any way.
Thought it might be interesting
According to a survey from 2017 Muslims were 97% of the population.
According to a survey from 2020 Muslims were 90,7% of the population.
The surveys are from two different entities but the decline could be very much a reality. Interesting to see 1% of Unaffiliated in 2020 maybe also thanks to the removal of death penalty for apostasy.
It never ceases to amaze me how rampant the issue of colourism is in Sudanese culture. Whenever there is a new addition to the family, be that a baby or a relative's new parter the first thing that is immediately commented on is the colour of their skin.
Light skinned babies are heavily favoured and fetishized and are considered cute merely because of their light skin. We are often encouraged to marry those who look less African/more Arab with lighter skin and straighter hair with eurocentric facial features.
I also find it so irritating when Sudanese people claim Egyptian/other arab identity in an attempt to climb the social ladder or to be viewed more favourably by others. "My grandma was actually Turkish/Egyptian" etc. It's so toxic!
I know this issue is not exclusive to Sudan but I really hope this self-hatred does not continue in future generations
§1 Due to its proximity to the Arabian peninsula, Islam has been present in Sudan since the days of the Rashidun. After the death of Muhammad, the Arabs, motivated by their new faith and exploiting the weakness of the Byzantines and Sasanians, overran half of the known world, building an empire from Spain to the Indus River. Byzantine Egypt was invaded in 639 and largely conquered by 641, when Alexandria fell. When Lower Egypt was pacified the Muslims pushed south, into Upper Egypt, where they met a new enemy: the Nubians.
§2 The Nubians were recent converts to Christianity and were organized into the kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alwa. Makuria had most likely annexed Nobatia by the early 7th century. The sources are somewhat vague and post-date the events by centuries, but it appears that the Makurian Nubians had exploited the Byzantine weakness and pushed into parts of Upper Egypt. Here, they now faced the Muslims, whom they engaged in a guerilla war that lasted until the early 650s. Until 652 the Arabs had conquered Aswan, the southernmost point of Egypt. The current governor of Egypt, Abdallah ibn Abi Sarh, raised a large army and intended to conquer Dongola, the Makurian capital. However, Dongola was one of the most formidaly defended castles on the African continent and the Arabs proved unable to conquer it. This was the first decisive setback of the Islamic expansion.
§3 Abdallah and the Makurian king, whom the Arab sources call Qalidurut, agreed to a treaty, the baqt. Initially a ceasefire, it turned to a non-aggression pact where both parties also agreed to an annual exchange of goods like slaves, wheat, lentils or clothing. In 20th century histiography this treaty has been interpreted as a submission of Makuria to the Muslims, but this was not the case and the exchange of goods was of equal value. The Nubians also agreed to treat Muslims in their domains well, while the Muslims agree to do the same with Nubians in Egypt. The baqt, although sometimes interrupted by mutual raids, would last in this form until the 13th century and enabled one of the most peaceful borders of the Islamic empire.
§4 It would not take long until Muslim merchants entered Sudan. According to some Islamic sources, they quickly established the ports of Aydhab and Badi at the Red Sea coast, although they remained largely irrelevant until the 9th century. Merchants also entered Nubia, as attested by Arabic tombstones which appear as early as the 9th cent... keep reading on reddit ➡