This is the first in a series of articles highlighting the work of University of Minnesota students associated with the Center. Our first student Miray Philips, was recently awarded Bernard and Fern Badzin Fellow in Genocide and Holocaust Studies for the 2016-2017 Academic Year.
Miray was born in Egypt, raised in Kuwait, and moved to Michigan to pursue a college education. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a BS in Psychology and Sociology. She then moved to Minnesota to begin her PhD in Sociology, with a focus on violence, collective memory, and the Middle East and North Africa. She is broadly interested in the experiences of ethnic and religious minority groups within the Middle East and North Africa, specifically as it pertains to persecution, discrimination and violence.
Miray Philips’s current research is focused on understanding how the Coptic Christian community in Egypt and the diaspora makes sense of their present day experiences in light of a long history of suffering and persecution, and in turn how that history informs their present-day experiences. While Copts in Egypt face persecution and discrimination at the hands of the state and civil society, Copts in Kuwait are at the difficult intersection of being a religious minority and also expats. Copts in the US, however, experience relative privilege in a predominantly Christian country. During the fellowship year she will be completing course work and interviewing Copts in Egypt, Kuwait and the US.