Sharq Gallery’s photography exhibition, Mother Egypt / Golden Nubia: the World of the Nile from the Mediterranean to the Sahara documents the cultural and Islamic heritage of these two countries—regions which were rivals and enemies for millennia. After the initial spread of Islam across North Africa, the Christian kingdoms of Nubia resisted Islam for some seven centuries. It was not until the fourteenth that Egyptians succeed in successfully carrying Islam, along with the language of the Koran, up the Nile and converting the Nubians. Since that time, Islam can be considered a major factor that helped both to pacify the longtime enmity of two separate cultures and to unify them under a single belief system.
The exhibition, which coincides with the tenth year anniversary for Sharq, is guest curated by Nubia-born Mona Sherif Nelson, who a holds master’s degree in art from Heiwan University in Egypt. She has hand-selected photos of mosques, traditional homes, and people taking part in the Islamic rituals or varied cultural practices of Nubia and Egypt.
The images were photographed from the late 1980s-mid 2000s by her Tunisian-born husband, Michael Nelson, who worked as a news photographer covering events across the Middle East during the three decades while couple lived in Cairo.
Image credit: Michael Nelson