Gomaa to discuss best-selling Egyptian novel “Azazeel”

Dr. Sally Gomaa, associate professor in the Department of English and Communications, will discuss “The Uses of Geography in Yousef Ziedan’s Novel ‘Azazeel'” as part of the McKillop Library’s faculty lecture series. The talk will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 5 in the McKillop Library, Room 109.

Gomaa argues that descriptions of landscape in the best-selling Egyptian novel “Azazeel” reflect the narrator’s emotional state. As the narrator travels through the Middle East in the fifth century, he is able to invent multiple versions of himself and to explore different representations of God.

“Azazeel” follows a Coptic monk’s physical and spiritual journey from Egypt to Syria during a time of massive upheaval in the early church. Along the way, he encounters the devil, Azazeel, and the hardship of severe temptation. At times able to resist, while at others bending to the strengths of his desire, he learns that physical pleasure and spiritual enlightenment can be two sides of the same coin. “Azazeel” highlights how the history of our civilization has been warped by greed and avarice since its very beginnings and how one man’s beliefs are challenged not only by the malice of the devil, but by the corruption with the early church.

Gomaa holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Alexandria University, a master’s degree in writing from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a Ph.D. in English, rhetoric and composition from the University of Rhode Island.

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