Mina Adel Ibrahim


Forschungsprojekt: “Coptic Misfits: In the Shadows of Altars, Domes, and Street Protests”


10/2016 - Present
Doctoral Researcher (Social Sciences & Cultural Studies), Justus Liebig University- Giessen & The International Graduate Center for the Study of Culture (GCSC). Expected graduation: Fall 2022.
9/2014 - 6/2015
Master of Arts with Distinction (Sociology & Social Anthropology), Central European University (CEU), Hungary. Cumulative GPA: 3.88.
2/2010 - 2/2014
Bachelor of Arts with Highest Honors (Honors Political Science Program), The American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt. Cumulative GPA: 3.972. Dean’s List from Spring 2011 –Fall 2013.

Awards, Fellowships, and Grants

CEDEJ Centre d’études et de documentation économiques, juridiques et sociales (CEDEJ -USR 3123), December 2020, a Doctoral Fellowship for one month.

SFB/TRR 138 “Dynamics of Security”/University of Marburg, April 2020-March 2021, Writing-up Fellowship.

German Federal Government Excellence Initiative (DFG), October 2016- March 2020, Doctoral fellowship Arab Council for Social Sciences (ACSS), October 2019- February 2020, Grant for the project “An Oral History of the 2011 Egyptian Uprisings” in Cairo, Egypt.

Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life (IRCPL), October 2019, Grant to attend publication workshop in Oslo, Norway.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, September 2019, Grant to attend “An Arab Citizen” study program in Washington DC, United States.

Missions chrétiennes et Sociétés au Moyen-Orient (MisSMO), June and September 2019, Fellow in Two-Parts Summer School “Sources and methods for a study of the missionary phenomenon in the Middle East (end 19th century- the Present)”, Rome (June) and Cairo (September).

European Network for Islamic Studies (ENIS), March 2019, Fellow in Spring School: “Patronage and Clientalism in the Middle East” in Granada, Spain

Orient Institute Beirut (OIB)/Max Weber Foundation, January 2018 - December 2018, 12-month doctoral fellowship and residency at the German research center in Beirut, Lebanon.

French Institute for Oriental Archeology in Cairo (IFAO), March 2018- October 2018 Award for the production of an ethnographic film "El Gameyaa" in Cairo, Egypt.

Central European University (CEU) Full Fellowship, September 2014- June 2015, Graduate fellowship for Master’s degree in Budapest, Hungary.

German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), September 2011- January 2012, Undergraduate semester abroad at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (Institute of Political Science), Germany

Professional Experience

03/2021 - Present
Founder & Director, Shubra’s Archive for Research & Development (SARD), Cairo-Egypt (
9/2018 - Present
Project Coordinator and Senior Researcher, MENA Prison Forum, UMAM for Research and Documentation, and Institute for Foreign Relations (IFA) - Lebanon & Germany (
9/2015 - 5/2016
Post-Master Fellow and Teaching Assistant, Department of Sociology-AnthropologyEgyptology (SAE)- The American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt.

Voluntary Services for the Field

11/2021 - 5/2016
Editor, H-Egypt Network (

Book Chapters

With Gaétan du Roy) “Gīrah & ‘Ishrah: How do Muslims and Christians Live Together in Shubra?” in Neighborliness in Global Perspectives, Birgit Schäbler (ed.). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Press. Forthcoming: Autumn 2022/Winter 2023.

“(Un-)Hiding the Samaritan’s Sexuality: Insights from a Coptic Woman’s Journal” in Sex in the Middle East and North Africa, L.L. Wynn & Angel M. Foster (eds.). Tennessee: Vanderbilt University Press. In Press: July 2022.

“Drinking in Times of Change: The Haunting Presence of Alcohol in Egypt”, in Disputes on Alcohol in the Middle East and the Maghreb from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, Elife Biçer-Deveci & Phillipe Bourmaud (eds.), (2021), London: Palgrave, pp. 163-184.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“For the Sake of Marguirguis: Coptic Christian Charity as a Divine Community” (2020), Endowment Studies. Volume: 4, Issue: 1-2, pp. 66-91.

“The Invisible Life-Worlds of a Coptic Christian” (2019b), Middle East Topics & Arguments. Volume 13, pp. 89-94.

“A Minority at the Bar: Revisiting the Coptic Christian (In-) Visibility” (2019a), Social Compass. Volume: 66, Issue: 3, pp. 366-382.

“Modernity, Independence and the Feeding of the People: Disputing Nasser’s Economic Subsidies via the Spatial Organization Narrative,” The Chronicles. Summer 2014, Issue: 12, pp. 17-20.

Documentary/Ethnographic Films

(With Nehal Hussein) “El Gameyaa,” a short film funded by the French Institute for Oriental Archeology (IFAO), CairoEgypt. Released in October 2018.

Book Reviews

Review on Francesca Biancani: Sex Work in Colonial Egypt: Women, Modernity and the Global Economy. New York: Bloomsbury, 2018. In: Egypte/Monde Arabe, 23/2021.

“Doing Fieldwork in Revolutionary Times” [Review on: Mittermaier, Amira: Giving to God: Islamic Charity in Revolutionary Times. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2019.]”. In: KULT_Online, 60/2019.

Review on Guirguis, Laure: Copts and the Security State: Violence, Coercion, and Sectarianism in Contemporary Egypt. California: Stanford University Press, 2017. In: Asian Journal for Social Sciences, 2/2019.

“The (Non-)Orthodox Tradition, The (Non-)Orthodox Everydayness” (Review on Luehrmann, Sonja: Contemporary Orthodox Christian Spirituality in Practice. Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2018.]”. In: KULT_Online 56/2018

“Copts in the Context of Perfect Faith” [Review on: van Doorn-Harder, Nelly: Copts in Context: Negotiating Identity, Tradition, and Modernity. Columbia, South Carolina: University of South Carolina Press, 2017.]”. In: KULT_Online 54/2018.

“What is Missing from the Arab Spring?” [Review on: Bayat, Asef: Revolution without Revolutionaries. Making Sense of the Arab Spring. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2017.]”. In: KULT_Online 53/2018.

Working Papers, Blog Entries, Photo Essays, Journalistic Pieces, and Interviews

“SARD: The Story of a Research Center in Urban Cairo” (2021), SIAS Working Paper Series 32. Agnès Deboulet and Erina Iwasaki (eds.), Public Space, Public Sphere, and Publicness in the Middle East: Proceedings of the International Seminar held at Cairo, Egypt on March 8 & 9, 2020. pp. 31-38.

“Coptic Misfits”, an Interview with Coptic Canadian History Project”, January 2020:

“Crossings of Lord’s Paths: A review of Shady Lewis’s Novel about the Copts”, Daraj, May 2019.

“Christmas Misfits: Ethnographic Notes on the Coptic Waguihs”, Coptic Canadian History Project, December 2018.

"Thinking not about Copts but about Egypt”, Daraj. November 2018 (In Arabic):

“Copts of Egypt: The Church, the Coffeehouse, and the Prison”, Daraj, October 2018 (In Arabic):

“The Absence of Coptic Christians on the Rabaa Square”, Jadaliyya, August 2018. “On Coptic Associations and Parishes: Overlapping Routes to a Christian Space in Egypt” (3 Parts), Eshhad, July 2018, April 2019, and August 2019.

“Gathering for Shisha during Mary’s Time: Another Story of (Un)-Employed & (Un)-Faithful Copts”, a photo-essay published by the Coptic Canadian History Project. May 2018.

“Where did Shadiah Go: Other Stories about the Coptic Christian Space”, Daraj, May 2018:

“Emergency and the Taming of the Mulid”, Mada Masr. October 2017.

Papers and Presentations at Academic Conferences

“Bars, Casinos, and Porn Sites: In the Shadows of Altars, Domes, and Street Protests,” French Institute for Oriental Archeology in Cairo (IFAO) and Center for Coptic Studies (Alexandria University)- Cairo (February 17th, 2022).

“Trams, Parishes, and Language Schools: Class Struggles in Shubra,” Centre d’études et de documentation économiques, juridiques et sociales (CEDEJ -USR 3123) – Cairo (December 5th, 2021.

“Modes of Post-Prison Alienation and Estrangement in Egypt,” MENA Prison Forum & University of Cologne- Cologne, Germany. November 13th, 2020 (Online).

“Coptic Misfits of the Egyptian Prisons: A Theological, Political, and Social Inquiry,” University of Gießen & Collaborative Research Group (Dynamics of Security)- Gießen & Marburg, Germany. June 29th, 2020 (Online).

“SARD: The Story of a Research Center in Urban Cairo,” Centre d’études et de documentation économiques, juridiques et sociales (CEDEJ -USR 3123) – Cairo and Centre for Islamic Studies at Sophia University (SIAS) – Tokyo with the support of Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Cairo- Cairo, Egypt. March 8th, 2020 (Funded).

(With Gaétan du Roy) “Everyday Practices of Neighborliness in Urban Cairo,” Orient Institute Beirut & The American University in Cairo- Cairo, Egypt. December 14th, 2019 (Funded).

“Striving for Invisible Good Lives: Negotiating the Misfits of the Coptic Christian Tradition,” German Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology- University of Konstanz, Germany. October 1st, 2019 (Funded).

“My Church, My Association: A Constellation of Coptic Christian Charity”, Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) & Mainz University- Mainz, Germany. May 23rd, 2019 (Funded).

“Reciprocating with a Muslim: The Politics of Khidma among Coptic Christians in Egypt”, The European Network for Islamic Studies (ENIS) Spring School- Granada, Spain. March 18th, 2019 (Funded).

“Theologies of Blood and Fire: (Im-) Mobilizing Coptic Christians in a Violent Age”, Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia University IRCPL) and the Columbia Global Center- Amman, Jordan. March 3rd, 2019 (Funded).

“De-Victimizing Emancipation: The Afterlife of Coptic Christians’ Crisis”, Center for Near & Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS)/ Phillips University- Marburg, Germany. November 16th, 2018 (Funded).

“Minority Rights Activist? The Academic Study of Queer, Atheist, and Imprisoned Coptic Christian”, School of Sociology & Social Policy- University of Leeds- Leeds, United Kingdom. October 25th, 2018 (Funded).

“Imperfect Victims: Toward an Ethnographic Study of the Negated Copts”, School of Social Sciences, Sapienza University- Rome, Italy. September 14th, 2018.

“My Parish, My Coffeehouse: The Making of a Christian Space in Egypt”, The International Graduate Center for the Study of Culture (GCSC) / Justus Liebig University- Gießen, Germany. May 24th, 2018 (Funded).

“Coptic Youth: From Street Politics to Church Politics”, Middle East Studies Association (MESA)- Washington DC, Unites States. November 15th, 2017 (Funded).

“Negated Piety: Coptic Mulids as Khidma”, French Institute for Oriental Archeology in Cairo (IFAO) & the Catholic University in Louvain- Cairo, Egypt. September 12th, 2017 (Funded).

“Nodes of Piety & Politics: Coptic Youth Struggle for Existence”, Center for Religious Studies (CRS)/ Central European University (CEU)- Budapest- Hungary. July 1st, 2017.

(Co-)Organized Academic Conferences, Workshops, and Lectures

“Global Prisons and Prison Life” (Online-Workshop with Students from Universities Geneva, Marburg, and Cologne), November 2021.

“State Force, Prison, and Torture: The Afterlives of Political Imprisonment in the MENA” (Online Co-Organized Conference). MENA Prison Forum & University of Cologne (Institute of Oriental Studies), Cologne-Germany, November 2020.

“Toward Prison Studies for the Middle East” (Workshop). University of Giessen, Giessen-Germany, November 2020.

“Perspectives of (Ir-)Religiosity and Violence in Egypt” (Lecture). University of Giessen, Giessen-Germany, November 2020.

“Different Worlds? Ethnography, Religion, and Travelling Critique between Europe & MENA” (Co-organized Conference). Dutch-Flemish Institute in Cairo & University of Amsterdam, Cairo-Egypt, March 2019.

“Villains! Constructing Narratives of Evil” (Co-Organized Conference). University of Giessen, Giessen-Germany, February 2019.

“The Ruse of Perfection: Stories about Coptic Christians’ (In-) Visibility” (Lecture), Orient Institute Beirut (OIB), BeirutLebanon, June 2018,

“Conceptualizing Sacred Spaces: Perspectives from the Study of Culture” (Co-Organized Conference). University of Giessen, Giessen-Germany, May 2018.

“Heroes & Martyrs: Contested Figures between Agency & Victimhood” (Workshop). University of Giessen, GiessenGermany, May 2017.


“Ethnography and the Politics of Writing.” Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (CIILAS), Alexandria-Egypt, Fall 2021.

“Prison in the Middle East and North Africa: Histories, Cultures, and Practices” (Online Course). University of Marburg, Marburg-Germany, Summer Semester 2021.

“Villains, Misfits, and tricksters of the Middle East” Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts & Sciences (CILAS), Cairo-Egypt, Fall 2020,

“Anthropology of/from the Margins.” University of Marburg, Marburg-Germany, Winter Semester 2019-2020.

“Anthropology of the Middle East & North Africa.” University of Giessen, Giessen-Germany, Summer Semester 2019.

“Egyptian Piety from the Margins.” Cairo Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (CILAS), Cairo-Egypt, Spring Semester 2016

“Ethnographic Research Methods.” The American University in Cairo, Cairo-Egypt, Fall Semester 2015 (TA with Professor Hakem Rustom).


Chiara Burghard. “MENA Prisons in the Eyes of Western Cinema” Marburg University-Germany (BA Thesis)