As in recent centures the Nubian language was carried on orally, modern Nubian literature only started in the second half of the last century, when some writers started writing novels about Nubian life and ancient stories. After the displacement due to the creation of the artificial lake Nasser, most novels described the desperate living conditions many Nubians experienced in their new desert environment or in large towns, forced to doing menal jobs - often under degrading conditions, and their nostalgy for the beautiful anchestral lands and the dignified and peaceful life in Old Nubia.
Several Nubian writers arose and wrote many novels, mainly describing directly or indirectly the injustice many Nubians suffered, which sometimes put them in a precarious condition towards the authorities, or about the beauty and purity of their original homeland. However, the lack of interest of the publishers, libratists, press and media together with the lack of financial means of the authors often limited the divulgation of their work. Many books fell out of stock and could not be re-printed; that's why it is difficult to find these gripping stories today.
This is also why inspiration and passion for writing has declined among the younger Nubian population, and many students interested in literature prefer to research social topics or tend towards poetry and music, although they would be very talented. if they decide to write books. Within a population that invokes and preciously preserves its ancient memories, stories and tales, which elderly Nubians used to tell their children, friends and neighbors sitting under the trees in the evening, there must be countless subjects to write about... Nubian art and language have recovered, we hope that Nubian literature will also experience its own rebirth.
Mohammed Khalil Qasim (1912-1978) was an extraordinary Nubian writer and Nubian rights activist, who spent 15 years of his life in prison. He is the author of Al Shamandura (The Buoy), published in 1968 shortly before his death. The book describing the life in a Nubian village drowned in 1933 arose consciousness within the Nubian community, and encouraged many later Nubian writers.
Idris Ali (1970-2010) was another outstanding Nubian author. He wrote six novels and three short story collections, including "Dongola" and "Below the Poverty Line", which were also published in English. The main subject of his books was the loss of Nubian land and villages caused by the Aswan High Dam.
Haggag Oddoul is a son of parents who emigrated from their native village to Alexandria. After having worked as construction worker and served in the Egyptian Army, he started writing several novels, that brought him Egyptian literature awards, and actively contributes to contemporary Nubian's efforts to save and preserve the Nubian language and heritage.
Yahya Mukhtar was born in Old Nubia in 1936. After he moved to Cairo with his family, he graduated from the Faculty of Arts from the Department of Journalism. However, he preferred to write novels instead of working in journalism, as he choses his expressions and his use of language with great care. In 1992 he received the State Prize of Encouragement for his collection of stories, "Bride of the Nile".
Hassan Nur was a student of the great Nubian writer Haggag Oddul, who teached him much about fictional writing. In several of his books, Hassan Nur as well describes the injustice done to the Nubians by their displacement from their lands of origin, and shares the concern about the dwindling knowledge of Nubians outside their villages about their language and heritages. He won high appreciation during his participation in the Cairo Story Club competition.
Ibrahim Shaarawy 1928 - 2016, is called the "Sheikh of the Writers of Nubia". He was a very active poet and writer, participating in literary forums and publications, and co-founded the Child Culture Association in Cairo. Ibrahim Shaarawy published many books, some of them for children. As grandson of the famous Nubian narrator "Zainab Koutoud", he published 15 of her tales in Nubian language, that were later translated into Arabic.
عصير الكتب│الأديب حجاج أدول يتحدث عن أهمية الأدب النوبي
Juice of Books│The writer Hajjaj Adul talks about the importance of Nubian literature