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Pages: 388
Language: English
ISBN 9791220126823

SKU: 9791220126823 Categories: , Tag:

From Feast to Famine tells the story of three generations of the Wahba family, a wealthy Coptic family. The saga begins in Egypt at the turn of the 20th century and follows the twists and turns of the lives of Amin Wahba, his only son Farid, and his three grandchildren, Boulos, Mary and Joseph. In the span of these three generations, tragic events will happen that will change the fate of the Wahba family, as it intertwines with those of a world at war and a country in turmoil. Two World Wars, the Revolution of July 1952, the 1956 Suez War, and the Six-Day War of 1967 will take their toll on Egypt and the members of the Wahba family, until the apparition of the Virgin Mary in the Church of Zeitun will provide solace to a Nation in mourning.

Egyptian IT specialist immigrated to America after the Six-Day War of 1967, Butros Hanna went on to have a successful career and a fulfilling life in the United States as an engineer and manager in the telecommunications industry, working in his field both in American and European branches of many large US companies. In January 2003, after a two-year assignment in Brussels, he retired from his latest job to start a whole new career as a writer, beginning his path towards publication. From Feast to Famine collects some of the many stories written by the author in almost a decade.

2 reviews for FROM FEAST TO FAMINE – Butros Hanna

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alice Homan

    . 4.0 out of 5 stars Where Is Egypt Going?, February 24, 2011
    By The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers ( and – See all my reviews
    This review is from: From Feast to Famine (Kindle Edition)
    FROM FEAST TO FAMINE by Butros Hanna tells the story of Egypt and how it went from being a prosperous country or its citizens, to being a country where there was considerable poverty. It tells the story of Amin Wahba Pasha and his children and how they survived the changes in the regime. Amin Wahba Pasha had one son, Farid, who married Jeanette, a wealthy woman. He had always been interested in politics and became a senator, but the revolution of 1952 changed everything. Nasser came to power and socialism began to take over the country. People who had good paying jobs previously, were overtaken by the government and their pay was reduced considerably. They also had to give up the land they owned and sometimes, even their houses.

    Nasser wanted to get rid of the British rule and he did. Then the Six Days War led by the Israelis and the Egyptian Air Force was decimated but Nasser held on anyway. The people became poorer and the tourists no longer came to the country. Also, the foreigners who had been living there began to leave the country. Will Egypt ever get back to where it was?

    There are several romances in the book and the story about the Wahba family was well developed and so it was easy to see why they did the things they did. The story was fascinating from the beginning to the end. Those pages just kept turning as I held my breath, waiting to see what could happen next. It was truly a fascinating story that just wouldn’t let me put it down.

    Reviewed by Alice Holman
    of The RAWSISTAZ(tm) Reviewers

  2. 4 out of 5


    It is a well-written work which encapsulates the lives of upper-class Egyptians from the early 1920’s through the military coup in the early 1950’s which saw Nasser’s installation as dictator, and beyond. It traces the tumultous political history of Egypt through revolution, land reform and war. From Feast to Famine is an account of Egyptian history told through the saga of the Wahba family, as the ever-changing politics of Egypt throughout the 20th century test the family’s perseverance as their fortunes, materially and otherwise, dwindle. The narrative centers around the life of the Wahba family patriarch, Farid, from his marriage to Jeannette, and through the lives of his children, with special emphasis placed on Yousef (otherwise known as Joseph), who is the protagonist of the second half of the book.

    Besides the immensely interesting history, Hanna provides cultural insight as well, detailing Coptic as well as Muslim traditions. For those interested in history and exploring foreign cultures from a personal perspective, From Feast to Famine is a good fit. Each chapter explores different members of the Wahba family, using anecdotes or vignettes to document the lives of the Wahba family, rather than strictly obeying chronological order. While this makes the story a bit more complicated to follow, as the chapters tend to overlap each other with respect to chronology, I don’t see how the book could have been written any other way. The shorter vignettes also make the book a very enjoyable read, far preferable and far more insightful than reading a dry, impersonal history of 20th century Egypt.

    It was clear that the narrator had mixed emotions regarding the Europeanizaton of Egypt. Rather than regarding Europeanized Egyptians with disdain, the narrator employed gentle mockery over sententious reproach. “He was an Old Victorian, as those who had been to Victoria College liked to call themselves in their relentless effort to imitate British customs

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