In his book, Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity, Samuel Tadros traces the story of Egypt’s Christians throughout the centuries until the present day. Rejecting the dominating narratives that have shaped the understanding of the Coptic predicament--their eternal persecution, from the Roman and Byzantine emperors to the rule of Islam, and the national unity discourse, he argues that the modern plight of Copts is inseparable from the crisis of modernity.

As Egypt's intellectuals and state modernizers attempted to answer the challenges posed by the discovery of the West's advancement, Copts were faced with a similar crisis with the onslaught of foreign missionaries and the challenge of modernizing their ancient church. Narrating the long history of the Copts, the book traces their banishment from the public sphere by consecutive regimes, even under Egypt's most liberal order. As turmoil continues in Egypt, the Coptic predicament persists as part of Egypt's quest for a place under the sun.

This event will be moderated by Tarek Masoud, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

About Samuel Tadros:

Samuel Tadros is a Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. He is a Contributor to the Hoover Institution’s Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order. Previously Tadros was a Professorial Lecturer at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. His current research focuses on Egyptian politics, Islamist movements, and the fate of religious minorities. He is the author of Motherland Lost: The Egyptian and Coptic Quest for Modernity.

Before joining Hudson in 2011, Tadros was a Senior Partner at the Egyptian Union of Liberal Youth, an organization that aims to spread the ideas of classical liberalism in Egypt. Born and raised in Egypt, he received an M.A. in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science from the American University in Cairo. He has studied at the Coptic Theological Seminary in Cairo. In 2007 he was chosen by the State Department for its first Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program in collaboration with Syracuse University's Maxwell School. Mr. Tadros’ articles have been published by the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Current Trends, World Affairs, and The Weekly Standard. He has frequently appeared on a variety of TV channels including Fox News, CNN, Sky News, Al Hurra, Al Jazeera, and WSJ Opinion.