Nile Lands

The Nile is the world's longest river, the lifeblood of one of the first great civilisations and the route that brought Europeans into the heart of Africa.

Over four programmes, Zeinab Badawi visits the countries through which the Nile flows to explore how the river has shaped their different cultural identities and helped to form perceptions of Africa in the Western imagination.

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0101Ethiopia20050809

The Nile is the world's longest river, the lifeblood of one of the first great civilisations and the route that brought Europeans into the heart of Africa.

Over four programmes, Zeinab Badawi visits the countries through which the Nile flows to explore how the river has shaped their different cultural identities and helped to form perceptions of Africa in the Western imagination.

Zeinab's journey starts at the source of the Blue Nile where the river seeps out of Ethiopia's Mount Gish at the Sekala Spring.

Ethiopian tradition connects the river to the country's ancient Christian heritage: it is a river in the Garden of Eden, which gave refuge to the Virgin Mary on her flight from Egypt and brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum.

0102Uganda20050810

For centuries, the source of the White Nile was a mystery.

The ancients thought it rose in the heart of Africa and there was talk of the Mountains of the Moon.

Even as late as the first half of the 19th Century, no-one was sure.

It was a British explorer, John Hanning Speke, who claimed to have settled the issue in 1862 when he saw a huge river leaving the then unnamed Lake Victoria in Uganda.

Zeinab considers what led to this claim and what Ugandans made of the discovery.

0103Sudan20050811

Zeinab Badawi's journey along the Nile reaches the land of her birth, Sudan, where the Blue Nile and the White Nile meet and flow north together to the Mediterranean.

It's been called the 'corridor to Africa', and over the centuries the Nile has brought many visitors into Sudan - the Emperor Nero sent two centurions south along it to discover the riches of Central Africa.

They failed - and for the best part of 2000 years the great swamp barrier of the Sudd has separated the southern reaches of Sudan from the north.

This programme explores the currents of culture and identity that flow through the vast land of swamps and deserts.

0104 LASTEgypt20050812

In a programme which encompasses the Nilometers of the Pharaohs and Nasser's high dam at Aswan, Zeinab Badawi considers how Egyptians ancient and modern have tried to tame the river and the silt-rich annual flood it brings from the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean.

As she discovers, their world-view has been coloured by the knowledge that the river is a source of life, but also of death.

SF01Ethiopia20040912

The Nile is the world's longest river, the lifeblood of one of the first great civilisations and the route which brought Europeans into the heart of Africa.

Over four programmes, Zeinab Badawi visits the countries through which the Nile flows to explore how the river has shaped their different cultural identities and helped to form perceptions of Africa in the Western imagination.

Zeinab's journey starts at the source of the Blue Nile where the river seeps out of Ethiopia's Mount Gish at the Sekala Spring.

Ethiopian tradition connects the river to the country's ancient Christian heritage: it is a river in the Garden of Eden, which gave refuge to the Virgin Mary on her flight from Egypt and brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum.

SF02Uganda20040919

Zeinab Badawi continues her cultural journey through the countries connected by the Nile, exploring how the river has shaped their identities and helped to form perceptions of Africa in the Western imagination.

For centuries the source of the White Nile was a mystery.

The ancients thought it rose in the heart of Africa and there was talk of the "Mountains of the Moon".

Even as late as the first half of the nineteenth century no one was sure.

It was a British explorer, John Hanning Speke, who claimed to have settled the issue in 1862 when he saw a huge river leaving the then unnamed Lake Victoria in Uganda.

Zeinab Badawi considers what led to this claim and what Ugandans then and now made of the discovery.

SF03Sudan20040926

Zeinab Badawi continues her cultural journey through the countries connected by the Nile, exploring how the river has shaped their identities and helped to form perceptions of Africa in the Western imagination.

This week Zeinab's journey along the Nile reaches the land of her birth, Sudan, where the Blue Nile and the White Nile meet and flow north together to the Mediterranean.

It's been called the 'corridor to Africa ', and over the centuries the Nile has brought many visitors into Sudan - the Emperor Nero sent two centurions south along it to discover the riches of Central Africa.

They failed - and for the best part of 2000 years the great swamp barrier of the Sudd has separated the southern reaches of Sudan from the north.

This programme explores the currents of culture and identity that flow through the vast land of swamps and deserts.

SF04 LAST20041003

Last of four programmes in which Zeinab Badawi visits the countries through which the Nile flows to explore how the river has shaped their cultural identities.