"Mother of the world" – Egyptians and Sudanese fight over who has contributed most to world culture

31 March 2017

Digital Content

Egyptians and Sudanese are rowing online over which country holds more pride in its history.

During a recent visit to Sudan, the Qatari emir's mother Sheikha Moza bint Nasser allegedly described Sudan as "mother of the world" or "'umm al-dunya", an expression commonly used in Arabic to refer to Egypt as one of the oldest civilisations of the world.

Images were also shared on social media showing Sheikha Moza standing by the Meroë Pyramids in Sudan - as part of a Qatari initiative to promote archaeological heritage there - accompanied by quotes which read: "Sudan is the mother of the world".

And Egyptians online did not take to this lightly.

Both they and Sudanese Twitter users argued on Twitter using the Arabic hashtags #Pyramids_of_Sudan, #Sudan_mother_of_the_world, and #Sudan_is_the_origin_of_civilisation.

One Egyptian tweeted that the pyramids in Sudan were "built by old Egyptians when Sudan was under Egyptian rule".

"This is a Qatari-Turkish plot to make Egypt kneel to Sudan," another added.

But a Sudanese user who shared an image of Sudanese pyramids said that Egypt had "stolen its history" from his country.

And another highlighted the significance of the ancient Kingdom of Kush, present-day Sudan, under which Nubians conquered Egypt and created their own dynasty.

The two countries have moved to contain the row, with their foreign ministers issuing a joint statement rejecting attempts to harm bilateral ties.

By the UGC and Social News team; Additional reporting by BBC Monitoring and BBC Monitoring in Cairo