Mina Ibrahim is a research associate at the Centre for Conflict Studies at Marburg University. He is an anthropologist and archivist from Cairo, Egypt, interested in linking ethnographic fieldwork with (absent) paper archives and oral history. Both his master’s thesis concluded in 2015 and doctoral dissertation defended in 2022 studied Coptic Christian minority in Egypt and led to his first book. He looked into the aftermath of the brutal crackdown on street activism in Egypt following the 2011 uprisings, carrying out fieldwork at socially and theologically negated spaces where the lives, relationships, and practices of his interlocutors do not fit into existing, mainstream human rights, activist, and victimhood narratives.
Coupled with his academic work, and after his own experience with the Egyptian security sector, he turned to prison and incarceration as a political and cultural phenomenon and joined the MENA Prison Forum (MPF). From September 2018 and for more than 5 years, he was the project coordinator and later the program manager of the platform that addresses cultures and histories of detention, torture, and trauma in the MENA region and across its borders. The project's central theme revolves around the political significance of prisons, particularly their role in political incarceration, within the cultural, identity, and future perspectives of Arab countries, Iran, and Turkey. Much of the focus is on the psychological and social effects of imprisonment, central are always the victims of violence and how they can creatively and artistically present their grievances while living in their home countries or in diaspora/exile.
In October 2022, Mina Ibrahim joined the Centre for Conflict Studies at Marburg University as a research associate to study human rights consciousness among Syrian refugees in Germany as part of the “Human Rights Crimes, Norms Entrepreneurs, and the Implementation of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction in Germany”. This is one of the ten subprojects of the DFG research group Human Rights Discourse in Migration Societies (MeDiMi), which is headed by the Professorship of Public Law and European Law at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen. His work is broadly concerned with tracing and analysing the gaps and intersections between the recent trials of members of the Syrian regime in Germany, on one hand, and the everyday, vernacular meanings and understandings of justice, accountability, and human rights among Syrians who escaped their country following the 2011 uprisings and its brutal aftermath, on the other hand. By following life stories of members of the Syrian community in Germany since their childhood until their arrival to Germany, his project seeks to situate his interlocutors’ experiences with the Syrian carceral dictatorship in home, city, and migrant routes.
Selected publications on the subjects of the research network
(forthcoming) Abolishing Al-sijn in Syria. Differentiating Carceral Systems in Times of Transitional Justice, Social Justice (with Jaber Baker).
(forthcoming) Beyond the Courtrooms: Syrian Diasporic Struggles towards Vernacular Pursuit of Justice (with Maria Hartmann).
(2022) Identity, Marginalization, Activism, and Victimhood in Egypt. Misfits in the Coptic Christian Community, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. [Dissertation]
(2022) (Un-)Hiding the Samaritan’s Sexuality. Insights from a Coptic Woman’s Journal, in: Wynn, L.L./Foster, Angel M. (eds.) Sex in the Middle East and North Africa, Tennessee: Vanderbilt Univer-sity Press, 251–268.
(2019) A Minority at the Bar. Revisiting the Coptic Christian (In-) Visibility, Social Compass, 66(3), 366–382.