Ibrahim to Discuss Egypt's Coptic Christians in Guest Lecture Tonight

Vivian Ibrahim, associate professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the Croft Institute for International Studies at the University of Mississippi.
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Vivian Ibrahim, associate professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the Croft Institute for International Studies at the University of Mississippi.

Vivian Ibrahim, associate professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at the Croft Institute for International Studies at the University of Mississippi, will give a lecture titled "Awlad al-Balad or Minority: Revisiting the 'Coptic Question.'" The lecture will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, in Gearhart Hall Room 26 on the University of Arkansas campus. It is free and open to the public.

Copts, an ethnoreligious group indigenous to North Africa, are the largest Christian denomination and religious minority in the country of Egypt, as well as the largest Christian population in the Middle East and North Africa.

What is the Coptic Question and how has it been shaped in the twentieth century? Are Copts awlad al-balad (literally "sons of the country") and therefore part of the fabric of the nation, or should we view persecution and discrimination against the community as evidence of their minority status? In this talk, Ibrahim will argue for a more complex reading of the Copts in Egypt's contemporary history and emphasize the role of Coptic agency as a vehicle of change.

Ibrahim is a historian of the modern Middle East who specializes in religion, ethnicity, politics and nationalism in 19th and 20th century Egypt. She holds a Ph.D. in history of the Middle East from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and has taught at several universities in the United Kingdom. Ibrahim is author of The Copts of Egypt: Between Modernisation and Identity (IB Tauris 2011). Her current book project is called Détente Shows: Tutankhamun and the Global Cold War.

This lecture is presented by the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, the Department of History, the Religious Studies Program, and the International and Global Studies Program at the University of Arkansas.

Learn more about the event on its Facebook page.

Contacts

Nani Verzon, project/program specialist
Middle East Studies Program
479-575-2175, hverzon@uark.edu

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