In an attempt to understand the Egyptian state's approach in handling diversity and inclusion in education and offer insights on possible improvements of the current social studies and history textbooks, the study explores the said and the unsaid about Nubian histories, culture, and struggles. The study deals with the representation of Nubians in two periods, the ancient dynastic period and the contemporary period. In the study, I started by a review of literature that helps in situating the analysis into historical, socio-cultural, and political contexts that are an integral part of conducting a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). I followed this by a spatial quantitative analysis to contextualize the representation of Ancient Nubians vis-a-vis other Ancient civilizations represented in the textbooks. Then I moved to an in-depth qualitative analysis to understand how power dynamics might shape discourses about Nubians in Egyptian education. In the study I employed Fairclough's (2003) CDA tools to get insights into the discourses around Nubians in selected Egyptian social studies, history, and geography textbooks for the school year 2015/2016, coupled with van Leeuwen's (2008) tools for analyzing legitimation in discourse and analyzing visual images. The study results show that the representation of Nubians, especially, in discussing the ancient Nubians in textbooks almost always appears within the discourses of power over Nubians. The dominant discourses include the discourse of superiority and othering, while legitimating power over Nubians for economic and security reasons. On the other hand, the discourses around contemporary Nubians are more inclusive and can be considered as attempts to positively represent Nubians through "mentioning" their culture, histories, and displacement "problem"; however these attempts are rather superficial and do not capture the complexity of the Nubian case.


International & Comparative Education Department

Degree Name

MA in International & Comparative Education

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2017

First Advisor

Zaalouk, Malak

Committee Member 1

Megahed, Nagwa

Committee Member 2

Hozayin, Russanne


124 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my advisor Prof. Malak Zaalouk for her encouragement, guidance and support. I have been very lucky to have a supervisor who believed in me and cared about my work. I would also like to thank my readers Dr. Nagwa Megahed and Dr. Russanne Hozayin for their valuable comments on this thesis, and for the support they have given me throughout my journey at GSE. I would like to acknowledge researchers who have been very generous with me and who have offered me valuable recommendations. In particular, I would like to thank Ehab Abdou, whose research work has been an inspiration for me and who has been very helpful in providing support whenever I needed it, Lubna Adel who helped me find my analysis tools, and Farida Makar who have recommended valuable readings that helped me with my work. I must express my gratitude to my Mother and my brothers for all their support and encouragement. I am also very grateful for all the love and support that I have received from my family and friends throughout this journey.