Obsessed with tourism, culture, and the Koryean language, this Nubian star mixed all her passions together to showcase and promote the Nubian culture to the world. Twenty-six-year-old Nourhan Eldemerdash graduated from the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management. She’s currently a tour guide, and an honorary reporter for the Korean official news website, and is soon launching a new video series to spread awareness about the Nubian culture.
Before she graduated from high school, she discovered her admiration to the Koreyan language and kept teaching it to herself by repeating the lines of their TV series. She later enrolled in the Korean Culture Center in Cairo, which offered language courses for free. “When I first heard it, I fell in love with the pronunciation and phonetics of the language. I was only eighteen then, but I really wanted to learn it,” Nourhan says.
She didn’t know then that it was the Korean language that will help open doors for her. It all started when she won the first place in the Korean language speaking contest in 2018, and travelled to Korea for eight days to represent Egypt.
“ As a tour guide I know it’s very rare to meet Korean tourists in Egypt. As soon as I learned that I’m travelling, I started to prepare some Egyptian gifts and souvenirs to promote the Egyptian culture and tourism,” Nourhan adds.
The Egyptian souvenirs were just the cherry on top of Nourhan’s promotional plan. The dedicated tour guide also prepared to answer their questions about ancient Egyptian history in Korean, even though she had only passed four levels of the language. Leaving her best for last, she intentionally wore the Egyptian Pharaonic dress and the traditional Nubian dress, called Gergar, to attract more people to know about Egypt’s monuments, weather, society, history, and more. Such a brilliant and committed tour guide we have here.
Witnessing people’s lack of information about the Nubian culture, Nourhan took it on herself to launch a series of videos on her YouTube channel –subtitled in English and Korean– to tell people more about their society. “Some people don’t even know that Luxor and Aswan are totally different cities. There’s a lot to say about Nuba, and that’s my target for this year,” she says.
Her series will feature the Nubian society’s daily-life activities from baking bread, going to fields, and ceremonies, to how they built up their Nubian society.
Nourhan expresses that she indirectly witnesses some racist comments, but blamed it on the media for portraying Nubian women in a specific frame. “They usually talk about us as if we’re nothing more than henna and some Nubian products.”
Yet, the Nuba’s Neferati or queen as they call her in Aswan, is calling for all Nubian women to embrace their roots and impress the world. “There’s no need to change our lifestyle and pretend like we are modern girls living in Cairo. Say it proudly: I’m a Nubian, Aswani, countryside girl –and look at what you’ll reach,” she states. Nourhan referred to the history of women’s great positions in the Nubian society since ancient times, called Kendaka or the strong queen. Women of Nuba now have a great impact everywhere, and that’s what the ambitious Nuba Queen is aiming for.
Wait for the launch of Nourhan’s series through her YouTube Channel Nour Eldemerdash by the end of July, and let her know what you think!