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Copts in Michigan

Eliot Dickinson

Publication Year: 2008

The Copts, or Egyptian Christians, are a relatively small and tight-knit ethno-religious group, numbering perhaps three thousand people and living mostly in the Detroit metropolitan area. Since they began immigrating to Michigan in the mid-1960s, their community has grown exponentially.
     Granted exceptional access to the Coptic community, Eliot Dickinson provides the first in- depth profile of this unique and remarkably successful immigrant group. Drawing on personal interviews to infuse the book with warmth and depth. Copts in Michigan offers readers a compelling view into this vibrant community.

Published by: Michigan State University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-9


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pp. ix-x

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pp. 1-2

A drive from the concrete jungle of downtown Detroit, through the harrowing rush of oncoming traffic and the sound and fury of the sprawling metropolis, to the affluent northern suburb of Troy, where St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church is located, presents a study in marked contrasts. ...

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Who Are the Copts?

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pp. 3-10

One oft-cited theory is that the word “Copt” is derived from the name of the ancient Egyptian capital city of Hikaptah, which literally meant “house of the spirit of Ptah” in the language of the pharaohs.3 It is thought that the Greeks phonetically corrupted the city’s name into Aigyptios, their word for the inhabitants of Egypt.4 ...

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Historical Legacy

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pp. 11-18

Ancient Egypt holds a special place in the modern imagination, which is informed by schoolroom history lessons, films, and visits to museums filled with Egyptian artifacts. One is reminded, perhaps, of the ancient Egyptian dynasties in the Nile River Valley, of mummies, hieroglyphs, the sphinx, and the pharaohs ...

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Forced Migration

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pp. 19-22

In 1963 Edward Wakin noted the emerging Coptic emigration from Egypt: “The attachment of Copts to their Egyptian homeland is dramatized in the small-scale diaspora of the young, the educated, and the qualified who have begun to leave Egypt. They leave with reluctance, talking not of greener pastures elsewhere but of closed doors at home. ...

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Immigrating to Michigan

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pp. 23-32

The Coptic community in North America and in the state of Michigan has come a long way in a rather short period of time. Indeed, it has grown exponentially since the 1960s. The first identifiable, yet relatively small, wave of Coptic immigrants arrived in the United States after implementation of the 1965 Immigration Act. ...

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The Coptic Community

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pp. 33-44

Despite being an oppressed minority in Egypt, Copts have traditionally been prominent among the major professions, such as engineering, medicine, law, and education. Since it was the skilled and educated who were most easily able to emigrate from Egypt from the late 1960s onward, the Coptic community in Michigan is generally an educated lot. ...

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An Evolving Identity

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pp. 45-48

The terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, had a perceptible impact on the Copts in Michigan. In the year following the attacks on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, the attitudes and behavior of some Americans toward people of Middle Eastern descent did, in fact, change. ...

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pp. 49-50

When European crusaders began journeying to the Holy Land in the eleventh century A.D. to wage war against Islam, it led to increased persecution of the Christian minorities in the Middle East—including the Copts in Egypt. An astounding parallel can be seen today, in a new millennium, resulting from the American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. ...

Appendix 1. An Interview with Father Mina Essak

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pp. 51-58

Appendix 2. An Interview with Father Maximus Habib

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pp. 59-64

Appendix 3. Ethiopian Coptic Christians

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pp. 65-68

Appendix 4. Coptic Recipes

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pp. 69-72

Appendix 5. Coptic Ethnic Organizations

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pp. 73-74


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pp. 75-82

For Further Reference

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pp. 83-86


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pp. 87-92

E-ISBN-13: 9780870139093
E-ISBN-10: 0870139096
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870138249
Print-ISBN-10: 0870138243

Page Count: 102
Publication Year: 2008