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Dividing the NileEgypt's Economic Nationalists in the Sudan 1918-56$
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David E. Mills

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166389

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166389.001.0001

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The ‘Natural’ Unity of the Nile Valley

The ‘Natural’ Unity of the Nile Valley

(p.11) 1 The ‘Natural’ Unity of the Nile Valley
Dividing the Nile

David E. Mills

American University in Cairo Press

Chapter one examines the geography, religious milieu, prior history, educational developments, and various cultural bonds of the Nile Valley, essentially those characteristics which Egyptians believed argued for the existence of a single nation. These attributes of the Nile Valley did favor unification, but the British, Sudanese, or others desirous of an independent Sudan could also use these qualities for their case. For instance, the Nile River seemingly binds Sudanese and Egyptian regions, but cataracts have also traditionally divided the valley. Islam provides a modicum of religious uniformity, yet the prevalence of certain Sufi orders in the Sudan provides religious distinctiveness for the south. In the end, this chapter argues that historical and cultural commonalities did not definitively support the unity of the Nile Valley, necessitating that Egyptians strengthen economic bonds in pursuing their nationalist objective.

Keywords:   Nile Valley, Cultural bonds, Islam, Sufi orders, Educational development, Geography

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