Middlebury College Associate Professor of History Febe Armanios appeared on the CBS news show “60 Minutes” in a story about Egypt’s Coptic Christians that aired Dec. 15. Armanios is an expert on Coptic Christians, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities. Representing 10 percent of Egypt’s population, the Copts, as they are known, have long been persecuted in a country with a Muslim majority. The story illustrates the increasing opposition and violence the Copts face in a politically unstable Egypt.
In the “60 Minutes” segment, Armanios accompanies reporter Bob Simon to some of the Coptic Christian churches in Cairo and elsewhere, providing commentary on their religious significance. When asked by Simon if the Copts are upset about the lack of awareness of Egypt's role in the Christian story, Armanios responds, “I think they would be eager to share their stories. They want to share this story with the world.”
Armanios teaches courses on the history, politics, religion, and culture of the Middle East; women in Islam; and Islam and human rights. In addition to Coptic Christians, her research interests include Muslim-Christian relations, and women and gender in the Middle East. She is the author of Coptic Christianity in Ottoman Egypt (Oxford University Press, 2011).