We hosted the inaugural Coptic Canadian History Project Conference in Spring 2016 at York University and launched the CCHP website soon after. Since then we have developed fruitful and fulfilling relationships with many scholars of Egypt and its Copts. We have also partnered with like-minded initiatives across Canada and the United States, including the Coptic Museum of Canada, Coptic Queer Stories and Hazine, to name a few. Our audience doubled annually since inception and continues to grow. With the support of friends, colleagues and collectives, we have hosted conferences, engaged contemporary debates on COVID-19, racism and anti-Blackness, and questions of gender and sexuality in immigrant communities. Aside from our regular publications, the CCHP has maintained partnerships with the Department of History and the Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections at York University to collect, preserve and provide access to archival documents on the Copts. We launched a digital exhibit on the first immigrant parish in Toronto and co-created multiple resource pages to disseminate and democratize access to knowledge. In four years, the CCHP has grown beyond our wildest dreams.
This is only the beginning. We’re rebranding! The Coptic Canadian History Project (CCHP) is changing its name to Egypt Migrations (EM). With the name change comes a new mission and a brand new look. The project will retain its emphasis on the Copts while expanding its lens to Egypt and its migrants, more broadly construed. We want to let go of the limitations of the past. The CCHP began as an academic public history project but has since grown far beyond its humble origins. We accept submissions from Copts and non-Copts all over the world and therefore must shed the “Canadian.” We engage with many disciplines and genres of writing and must shed the “History.” We will continue to center the Coptic experience but must seek out the interconnected histories of all migrants to and from Egypt. This is why Egypt Migrations will carry the project into the future.
We want to be inclusive. We will give voice to all scholars, immigrants and those who share our interests. We will preserve, empower and collaborate in sharing the stories of all Egyptians, any who once called Egypt home and all those first, second and third generation living transnationally. The project will retain its core pillars of hosting a blog, maintaining archival preservation, and creating resource lists on diverse topics. At the same time, it will expand by adding new content on our blog (broader public scholarship, contemporary debates and lifestyle sections), curating collections from any whose home was once Egypt, and listing resources in accessible and democratic ways to encourage virtual learning. We are also starting an Instagram page, moving to a more frequent publication schedule, and we will produce new digital initiatives through open-access resources.
These changes will take time to implement. On September 15th the website will be taken down for maintenance. However, we’re not going anywhere. The project team will remain active on social media, updating you as we prepare for our re-launch in November 2020.
We hope this simple overview will delight you as much as it does us. We’re excited by this trajectory and invite you to join us on this journey. We have grown with your support and encouragement over the years and look forward to the continued collaboration, engagement and dedication of our friends and colleagues all over the world.
If you have any questions or wish to contribute to the project, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With love and gratitude, Michael Akladios and Miray Philips