Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian poet Fatima Naoot, which aired on Rotana Egypt on August 4, 2013:
Fatima Naout: When I learned Egypt's true history – not the false history they teach you at school – I began writing "Egypt," rather than "the Arab Republic of Egypt." They tell you that this goes against Islam. In what way? When Persia was conquered by the Muslims, it remained Persia. They kept their language and their identity. They were not changed by the Arabs. Does that make them infidels? Countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey – all the countries that became Muslim – kept their [ethnic] identity.
Interviewer: I agree with this logic, but the terms you use are offensive.
Fatima Naout: What terms? Saying that [Arabic] is not our language?
Interviewer: Who introduced the Arabic language into Egypt?
Fatima Naout: The Arabs.
Interviewer: What brought those Arabs here?
Fatima Naout: The Islamic conquest.
Interviewer: So what you are, in fact, saying is that the Arabic language, which was brought to Egypt by the Islamic conquest, is the language of invaders and occupiers.
Fatima Naout: Absolutely.
Interviewer: So the Islamic conquest...
Fatima Naout: It was an invasion, not a conquest.
Do you know how our language was changed? We used to speak the Coptic language.
Interviewer: I am not saying that the language didn't change...
Fatima Naout: It was changed by force!
Interviewer: Are you demanding that the word "Arab" be removed from the title "Arab Republic of Egypt"?
Fatima Naout: Yes. Moreover, my son Mazen, throughout his school years, would write "the Egyptian Republic." He told me that he would flunk geography because of it, and I said to him: You might flunk geography, but you will succeed in history.