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ECCSS Teacher Contributes to Published Reference Book

Pam Allegretto-DiiulioA new reference book titled Middle East in Focus: Egypt has recently been published by ABC CLIO and edited by Mona Russell, an associate professor of modern Middle East history at East Carolina University. One of the seven contributors to this reference book is Dr. Pamela Allegretto-Diiulio, who teaches for both Argosy University and the Advanced Placement English courses at Elk County Catholic High School. She wrote the entire chapter on Egyptian literature. In the process of writing this chapter, which began in 2009 with several trips to Cairo, Egypt, Dr. Pamela had interviewed Egyptian authors and publishers in an attempt to gather a cross section of literature representative of various genres, demographics, and time frames. Her research includes writers in poetry and fiction, respected writers of the past, the women’s role in Egyptian life and literature, latest trends and writers, literary journals and magazines, authors in exile, and the literary blogosphere and online presence along with a review of new wave publishers and bookshops that contribute to the Egyptian landscape. One of the more famous Egyptian authors that Dr. Pamela met and interviewed is Alaa al-Aswany who is a dentist-turned-writer. In his The Yacoubian Building, he exposed the exploitation of the weaker segments of society while addressing corruption in its most venomous lens: politics, religion, and corporate wealth. Dr. al-Aswany was educated in Chicago and has also written a novel titled Chicago. Many authors and publishers were personally interviewed for this chapter on Egyptian literature. Dr. Pamela’s first book was published in 2007 which analyzed the major works of Naguib Mahfouz, the only Arab to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature (1988).