TNB Night Owl – Bir Tawil

Nubian desert, photo by Bertramz

Bir Tawil is a stretch of desert between Egypt and Sudan. It measures about 795 square miles and is notable for being claimed by neither nation… and few others, either. It has no population, no noteworthy resources, and is generally considered worthless…. unless you want your own country.

There are significant problems with the potential nation; beyond the obvious problems of having no access to water or useful minerals, the neighbors are often at war and have a history of crossing borders during disputes.

Still, a handful of people have attempted to lay claim to the land. The stopping point, so far, is that the leadership of both neighboring countries must accede to the claim or there must be recognition from the United Nations. These efforts have been stymied by the failure of the potential new rulers to do more than visit the place and plant flags (or, in the case of an Indian claimant, a seed.)

The most prominent new ruler is Virginia native Jeremiah Heaton. He traveled to the area in 2014, planted his flag for the Kingdom of North Sudan, and declared it an autonomous country. He did this on his daughter’s seventh birthday, because she’d asked, at age six, if she could be a princess someday. If he ever gets official recognition, her answer will be “yes”. He’s set up a website for the nation, but he doesn’t currently live there.

Another claimant is Suyash Dixit, originally of and currently residing in India. He’s the one who traveled in 2017 to what he is calling the Kingdom of Dixit, planted a flag and a seed, and declared the nation his. The last official act on behalf of the potential country came in 2018 when he announced openings for their cricket team on Facebook.

Life wouldn’t be normal for the US and India without Russian interference, though, and shortly after Dixit declared his ownership, a Russian globetrotter, Dmitry Zhikharev, announced that he was the rightful ruler of the land that he calls The Kingdom of Middle Earth, having previously visited and claimed the property under the auspices of members of the Egyptian military. He selected the name of his new country so that Tolkien fans throughout the world could have their own nation.

It’s been two years, and there has yet to be movement for any of these three people to get recognition for their nations. Perhaps it will come after one of them gains so much as a single person for a population.

Question of the night: If you founded a new country, what would you name it?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.