Dr. Michael Akladios

Founder and Executive Director

Michael earned his PhD in History from York University. An historian of North American Immigration and Ethnicity, his research primarily focuses on Egypt’s migrants and the global Middle East during the Cold War. His first book project is entitled Ordinary Copts: Ecumenism, Activism, and Belonging in North American Cities, 1954-1992. Michael is a lecturer at University of Toronto, Mississauga. He details the historical trajectory of Coptic diasporic activism in a forthcoming chapter in Dalia Abdelhady and Ramy Aly eds., The Routledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Diasporas (Routledge, 2021). You can follow him on twitter @michaelakladios.

Leila Zonouzi

Editor and Outreach Specialist

Leila is a PhD Candidate in Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation research is a comparative diasporic study between Iran, Egypt, and Turkey, where she argues that the events following social movements that occurred in the 2010s in her case countries have caused a new wave of mass-migration from the MENA region to the Global North. You can follow her on twitter @Leilazon.

Christin El-kholy

Social Media Manager

Christin is a bibliophile and journalism student from Scarborough, Canada who left Cairo as a baby. This relationship to “home” has lead to a lifelong investigation of diasporic identity, and a passionate interest in the ways in which a city is storied from the inside—and out. When she’s not embarking on a dérive (probably in pursuit of a donut), she’s likely convincing a friend to use the public library. You can follow her on twitter @Chrysographer.

Ahmed A. Ahmed


Ahmed is an incoming freshman at the University of Pennsylvania planning on double majoring in International Relations and Middle Eastern studies. His academic interests include post-colonial studies, revolutionary history, and global politics. Ahmed, who is Egyptian, has lived in Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.