Michael Akladios sat down with Lydia Yousief, founder and director of Elmahaba Center in Nashville, TN to discuss the vision and mission of the organization and the complementary roles of immigrant organizations such as Elmahaba and Egypt Migrations. After graduating with her master’s from the Center of Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago, Lydia returned to her hometown, Nashville, to support Arabic-speaking families in their pursuits of economic stability and cultural revival and founded Elmahaba Center in June 2019. She is an ethnographer and storyteller by training.

This is the second in a series of interviews with artists, academics, activists, and other prominent migrants of Egypt around the world. In this first of a lengthy two part discussion, Lydia and Michael confide their own migration stories and what inspired them to pursue this community-engaged work. We also learn about the kind of impact social services and historical preservation can have on our communities, surrounding ethno-religious groups, and host societies more generally.

Join us next week for the second part of this fascinating discussion, where Lydia and Michael will detail how their work has been received within and beyond their communities and the challenges and possibilities of serving and supporting Coptic and Egyptian migrants in the Americas.

Thank you for watching and stay tuned for more.


Egypt Migrations is always looking for people to contribute to our digital initiatives. Please contact team@egyptmigrations.com if you would like to join or support the organization.

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