Aiming to revive the Nubian language and promote its distinguished heritage and culture, Momen Taloush, a software programmer, released the first Nubian application, Nubi, that was downloaded by thousands of mobile users all over Egypt.
“The whole thing started when I realized that a big number of Nubian people, especially those who live in Cairo and Alexandria, are not aware of their own culture and cannot speak their mother tongue,” Taloush said.
As a Nubian programmer, he decided to make use of his expertise and use new technology to preserve the Nubian culture and convey it to Egyptians from different backgrounds. Since, most young people are addicted to using their mobile phones, the application was adjusted to Android devices and another version for iOS will be released soon.
“On this application, you can find an easy way to write and read Nubian language with Arabic translation. You can also listen to Nubian songs and read books written by leading Nubian writers in PDF format. You can find some popular Nubian proverbs and acquire more knowledge about the Nubian history and civilization,” he added.
“The Nubian language depended mainly on sounds as it was inherited from one generation to another through family members who used to pay a lot of attention to teach their children how to pronounce Nubian words fluently. In 1997, the prominent author Mokhtar Khalil decided to protect the language by using the old Latin words to create an equivalent linguistic record of the Nubian phonetics. Writing the Nubian language was a great revolution that helped protect the Nubian heritage that was on the verge of extinction. However, it is not enough.
“This project is self-funded. We don’t receive any financial support from any institution. However, we have some plans to improve the application and increase its popularity such as promoting the Nubian handicrafts and marketing the products of the simple Nubian women, encouraging the domestic tourism in Aswan and Nubia by providing information about the temples, restaurants, hotels and natural sites,” he explained.
The application that was launched on the 20th of February managed to attract about 9000 users who used to leave some encouraging comments. “We were surprised that the children loved the Nubian Avatars on the application and interacted with them. We need to teach them that Nubia is not just about coloured houses and kind people, it is a grand history and a great civilization that deserves to be told over and over,” he concluded.