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How's About Brat: Meet Egypt's Newest Royal

What was the best birthday present you ever got as a kid? Well, whatever it was, it's gonna look like junk compared to what this father did for his daughter's seventh birthday...

In a recent display of awesome fathering skills, one US superdad decided to fulfill his daughter's life-long wish of becoming a princess by laying claim to an unclaimed territory along the Egyptian-Sudanese border. (So really, if it should belong to anyone, it should be one of the Egyptian – self-proclaimed – princesses in the CairoScene office.)

The land, called Bi'r Tawil, was essentially left ownerless following a colonial-era border dispute. When Jeremiah Heaton's six-year old daughter asked him if she'd one day be a princess, and he told her yes, yes she would, he started researching online for unclaimed land the world over and stumbled upon Bi'r Tawil.

The big-hearted Dad claims he first got permission from Egypt (what? How did that happen? Sisi, explain please) to trek through the land, which has a population of all of zero humans, and on his daughter's sixth birthday, he returned, planted a blue flag with four stars, and proclaimed it The Kingdom of North Sudan. As one does. Obviously. Ummm, hello Dad of the Year award? For our sixth birthday we probably got a Barbie doll or our parents tossed some Play-Doh our way or something.

You know, in our youth, we too imagined we'd one day be princesses, and our dads too, humoured this notion, and called us 'princess' and bought us plastic tiaras and whatnot. But our royal status didn’t come with an actual kingdom. If you'd just done a little research DAD! We could have been ruling over our own land right now…

Heaton doesn’t technically own the land now though – planting a homemade flag on a plot of land does not a kingdom make, though he argues that that's exactly how several other countries were historically claimed. He can't have actual political control of the land without the legal recognition of other countries, the UN, and other groups. But he remains undeterred, saying, "I do intend to pursue formal recognition with African nations." Yeah, OK buddy, good luck with that.

Heaton was chockfull of love for our nation though, saying “I cannot stress how kind and generous the Egyptian people are." Awww! He's also got big plans for his newly acquired kingdom, starting with an official letterhead (who could argue with the legitimacy of a letterhead!?) and he hopes to turn it into "an agricultural hub for the area."

If only our fathers had been a little more diligent with our birthday presents… But you know what Jeremiah Heaton? This is what they call enabling. His daughter's going to have a massive princess complex one day and he'll rue the day he decided to get her own damn kingdom. She already sleeps on her own custom-made castle bed…


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