Being Nubian: Tales of a Nubian in America
An evening of story-sharing with Nubian scholar and artist Mona Sherif-Nelson
This event is a chance to meet Faddjja Nubian scholar and artist Mona Mohi Eddin Sherif Nelson, who has lived through the ups and downs of moving from her ancestral village to big cities around the world, before ending up in the U.S. Mona will share stories from her perspective as a Nubian who lived before and after the mass displacement of the Nubian-Egyptian people in the 1960s by the construction of the Aswan High Dam. She will illuminate her learnings throughout her migration story across the globe. Her stories explore culture clashes and connections living as a Nubian in the U.S. To her, living with a set of cultural morals of an ancient area in this age is like living in two different worlds. Mona Sherif Nelson will open up about how she finds herself as a Nubian in this world.
The cultural presentation will include information about ancient and modern Nubia. Learn about the ancient Nubian language that is still spoken today, modern rituals that blend Pharaonic and Muslim religious practices, and a hub for arts and culture in the African continent since the dawn of civilization. You will learn about Nubian culture through firsthand experiences, and you will leave with an understanding of various elements of cultural preservation of indigenous and diasporic cultures.
Mona will present cultural information about the Nubian people and share a telling of a folktale that she grew up with in the village of Abu Simbel. Folk stories are a way for the Nubians to understand, appreciate and enhance their culture and heritage. Mona will shear some of those stories and argue the importance of those stories in our life even in the U.S. She will share a traditional folkloric story passed down to her through matriarchal oral tradition, and you will join Mona in learning how the Fadija Nubians dance, to celebrate together the continued preservation and sharing of this unique and beautiful region. This event is chance to embrace the Nubian culture, heritage, music, art, and dance, and ask questions to a proud American Nubian.
Featuring a mini-gallery of photos from Nubia, taken by Mona Sherif-Nelson’s husband, Michael Nelson, professional photojournalist and co-founder of the Nubian Foundation.
In partnership with Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, Dunya Productions and the Nubian Foundation for Preserving a Cultural Heritage, and their production of Nubian Stories by Nabra Nelson and Mona Sherif-Nelson, playing March 11-23. Learn more and purchase tickets here: https://dunyaproductions.square.site/upcoming
About the Speaker
Mona Mohi Eddin Hassan Sherif Ali Ahmed Dawood Khalil Debbabea Kakea, also known as Mona Sherif-Nelson, is the founder of the Nubian Foundation and the daughter and the heir of Nubia’s cultural leader Mohi Eddin Sherif. She is the daughter of the Faddija Choosen One, the son of the Faras Chief, the granddaughter of Fatma Yassin Abu Baker the " Spiritual One", the mother of Shamseddiin and Nabrashaa, and the wife of Michael Nelson. She is a Faddija Nubian from the village of Abu Simbel. A pioneer, she is one of the first generation of Nubians to immigrant to Cairo after the construction of the High Dam and the second in her clan to marry a non-Nubian, after the marriage of her great great grandmother Ashrunnda (Nerfertari) to Ramses II. She spent a lifetime studying and documenting Fadijja Nubian culture. Mrs. Nelson worked as an Arabic Language Instructor in the International Language Institute (ILI) of Cairo, Egypt and in the Royal Army Institute of Buckingham Palace in the UK. Mrs. Nelson is a member of the Garden Society in Los Angeles, the Nubian Club and the Nubian Preservation Society in Egypt, and the Nubian Document Center in London. Mona is a native-born Nubian-Egyptian and is steeped in Nubian culture. She believes it is her responsibility to keep this vibrant, inspiring culture alive and to share it with people in America and everywhere.
About the Nubian Foundation
The Nubian Foundation for Preserving a Cultural Heritage is committed to preserving, spreading awareness, and fostering appreciation of Nubian culture, arts, and history. We do this by preserving Nubian cultural artifacts digitally and physically; financially supporting Nubian artists, individuals, and organizations through donations, commissions, and grants; and making Nubian arts and culture accessible to diverse populations globally in myriad forms.
Tickets (sliding scale): $5 discounted ticket, $10 general admission, $20 supporter ticket
Ticket proceeds are split between the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, the Nubian Foundation, and Dunya Productions.