Dr. Michael Akladios

Founder and Executive Director

Michael earned his PhD in History from York University. An historian of Diaspora, Migration, and Ethnicity, his research primarily focuses on Egypt’s migrants in North America and the global Middle East during the Cold War. His first book project is entitled Ordinary Copts: Ecumenism, Activism, and Belonging in Cold War North American Cities. Michael is a lecturer in History at the University of Toronto. He details the historical trajectory of Coptic diasporic activism in the newly released Dalia Abdelhady and Ramy Aly eds., The Routledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Diasporas (Routledge, 2022). 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.

Diogo Bercito

Georgetown X Egypt Migrations Fellow

Diogo is a Brazilian journalist and researcher. He worked for over ten years with the leading Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo. As a foreign correspondent, he lived in Jerusalem and Cairo. Diogo holds an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in History there. His dissertation focuses on early-twentieth-century Syrian-Lebanese migration to Brazil. 

Amira Elwakil

Oral History Intern

Amira is an Egyptian participatory educator, independent researcher and curator of @archivingheliopolis on Instagram through which she documents the district of Heliopolis, Cairo. She holds an MA in Gender Studies from SOAS, University of London, and her academic interests include the intersection of gender and migration, particularly in relation to Egypt and its diasporas. She is also interested in observations on the urban condition, including in London, UK where she currently lives, as well as reflections on space and identity.

Marie Tuffery

Oral History Intern

Marie holds a master’s degree in International Development, she is an Arabist and fascinated by the societies of the Arab world. She works to support cultural, artistic, and intellectual dialogues between the two sides of the Mediterranean Sea, and she is currently studying the artistic circulations in the region.

Sophie Frankford

Oral History Intern

Sophie recently completed a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Oxford. Her dissertation, based on ethnographic research with musicians in Cairo, focused on Egyptian shaʿbi music and its relationship to class and the production of urban space. More broadly she is interested in the role music and popular culture play in migrant stories and identities.

Stephanie Amin

Writing Intern

Stephanie is an Egyptian researcher and aspiring filmmaker. She holds a master’s degree in political sociology from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her research interests focus on gender and its intersection with religion and class in contemporary Egypt.

Amira Elmasry

Writing Intern

Amira studied Economics and Political Science at Alexandria University. She lives in Alexandria and has been working in the development field for three years in areas related to Gender, Refugees and Migrants, and Education. Amira aims to promote a culture of dialogue, the value of acceptance of others, and peaceful coexistence through her initiative “OHANA” which educates refugee and Egyptian children about peace and non-violent communication.