Moving from Egypt to the U.S. as a Coptic Christian (Mariam Wahba)

Dru interviews Mariam Wahba, a Coptic Christian born in Egypt who immigrated to the U.S. as a child. They discuss the multiple facets of her identity and experience, including how being a Coptic Christian shaped everything from her interactions with Muslim Egyptians to how she now celebrates holidays in the U.S. She also describes some of the distinctives of Coptic Christianity, in contrast with Western Christianity, and explores the tension between cultural assimilation and retaining one’s native identity as an immigrant.

Mariam Wahba is the Associate Directory of Advocacy at the Philos Project. A graduate from Fordham University, she works in the areas of Middle Eastern foreign policy, religious freedom, and Israeli-Arab relations. She co-hosts the podcast Americanish.

Show notes:

  • 0:00 Moving to the United States
  • 3:11 Egyptian and Coptic Christian identity
  • 7:50 Growing up in Islamic Egypt
  • 11:00 Ethnic and religious identity
  • 12:20 Moving to the west
  • 16:30 Cultural assimilation and retaining identity
  • 18:56 Coptic Christianity
  • 23:47 Confession, intercession, and priesthood
  • 25:51 The Coptic church calendar
  • 30:04 Persecuted Christianity versus cultural Christianity
  • 34:19 The most important part of being Egyptian

Show notes by Micah Long

Image created by Rubner Durais

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