Diving into the future
I am Noumeri Nasr, and this is my story… I am from Nubia, this is in Aswan. Since I have been diving, I live in Hurghada. Hurghada is in the north of Qena and it is approximately 300 km north of Qena, which is 500 km north of Aswan, approximately. Hurghada started with the diving industry, and now is famous for diving. I am proud to say I am the first Nubian diver, or let me say, the first Nubian instructor. I grew up in Aswan, in the river Nile. We are a big family – we are eleven – six sisters, three brothers and my parents. When we were children, we used to swim in the Nile, but we never thought about diving really. That’s why, at that time, there was not much of Nubian divers. Actually, I was working in a hotel as a waiter. I have seen thousands of foreigners; they come to spend a lot of money to do scuba diving. I wanted to discover that, to try it once. Since this day, I am addicted. And I am lucky. In the Nile, there was no diving. It was just swimming, kids playing in river Nile. In my first water dive, it was scary, because I have always lived above the water, I mean, swimming and kids things. But, since I put my mask on, it was a surprise for me. A wonderful surprise. In the summer holiday, I was working in Alexandria to help my family. After I tried diving, and became an open water diver and a dive master, a lot has changed. I had more income. Enough income for me and my family; I am proud of myself. And also, the people, all the people I have been teaching diving to, when I see the smile on their faces, it is great. I never thought that someone could come and say ”thank you for teaching me that”. My family in the beginning did not understand my love for diving. My mom, she was very afraid for me. She feels safe when she sees me above the water but when I am down, she misses me. She can’t see where I am, and she doesn’t have the knowledge to follow the bubbles…she thinks she lost her son. The first time she was really like ”my son has survived”. And from this day on, she trusts me. She knows it is not that difficult. If Noumeri can do it, anybody else can. There is so much to see under water. We know the fish because we eat them. I teach my students to see the fish differently, not just for eating. It is better to show them something they never have thought of or never tried before; and I will be so proud to show them those things. Today almost all my family works in tourism. My younger brothers are divers as well; they are diving instructors. I have three kids: Marwa, Yehia and Luqman. Marwa is already a good swimmer. When she was six months old I put her in the water and she was for a couple of seconds underwater. Yehia, for sure will become a diver, like my teacher Yehia. That is why I put Yehia to my son. Luqman is only three months old, but of course he has the blood of a diver. I will never be able to thank enough my teacher, Yehia Safwat. Actually, I met him after I was a dive master, but really not understanding what diving, or safety diving, meant. But after I met him, he really taught me how to be safe and make people around me safe. Right now, I am a master school trainer. I was planning to make more, but unfortunately, after January 2011, the political problems stopped me continuing my education. But I keep going. I study a lot. I have a lot of knowledge about diving. And I hope tourism can come back to Egypt, and I make more money. And I would then do my courses, for sure. And after that, I would call my diving center the ‘Nubian Diving Centre’. My friends around me, they are also very proud. That’s why there are a lot of friends that have already certified as professional divers. Today, I think that more than 600 Nubians are diving, and they are diving professionally. I am sure there are thousands of guys that want to do it and I think that after they have seen me, they believe it is not this dangerous. I wish, and I dream, that after the revolution things will end and tourists will be back again to Egypt and that I can get back to my life again, I mean, diving.