Today we talk about From Feast to Famine, a book by Hanna Butros published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Hanna Butros to get to know him better, if there was a particular moment of his life that led him to the writing of his book From Feast to Famine, as well as what characteristics his readers should have to appreciate his story.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- Is there a particular moment in your life that led you to the writing of your book? What was that?
In December 2001 my wife and I went to Luxor for a one-week vacation. Around ten o’clock one morning we went for a walk. An elegantly dressed young man came towards us; he introduced himself and then he grabbed my arm and started kissing my hand. I disengaged my hand. He looked at my wife and seeing that she was a foreigner, my wife is a Belgian blond, he made a long discourse in English.“My grandfather was a poor peasant working for your husband’s grandfather, Boulos Hanna Pasha. My father was educated in the school he built and the Pasha helped my father, who had shown an aptitude for learning, to pursue his secondary education in Luxor. Upon my father’s graduation he become a public functionaryy in the city of Luxor. Thanks to the Pasha’s generosity I was able, upon my school graduation, to have a university education in Cairo. I now work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo.” Upon our retirement two years later, my wife encouraged me to write a story based on my family’s history and I decided to write the novel FROM FEAST TO FAMINE.
- What characteristics your audience should have to appreciate your book?
The audience of this book will include those interested in the history of the populist leader, Nasser of Egypt. The laws issued by Nasser during his 17-year tenure (1952 – 1970), which included the Land Reform Laws, Free Education, and creating industries in the suburbs of Cairo have all backfired. he Land Reform Law/Free Education .. etc killed Egyptian agriculture and encouraged most of the peasant populations to migrate to Cairo/Alexandria. Nasser destroyed all the institutions of the country including a parliamentary system with a limited tenure of government, opposition parties, free press and replaced it with a military dictatorship that lasted over 60 years. The sad thing is that there has been three generations of Egyptians who have known nothing else. He killed small businesses and created an inflated government bureaucracy which debased the stature of government functionaries. Instead of trying to improve things in Egypt, Nasser has spent the wealth and resources of the country in trying to create an Arab Empire ruled by him. He has plotted the coups d’etats in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen creating some of the monsters that have ruled the Arab world. The audience also include the thousands of Egyptian Jews who were kicked out of the country after the 1956 Suez War. Many of them come from families who had lived in Egypt for generations. Many have settled in France and who now still talk about how much they miss the good old days in Pre-Nasser Egypt.
- What is the message you wanted to convey with your story?
One of the most touching scenes in the book is the Miracle of Zeitun. The Six-Day War defeat has left Egyptians with a feeling of despair and humiliation and these people are finding solace in these apparitions, it gives them a ray of hope that things will improve. The fact that thousands of people from all religions and walks of life are willing to stand in the street for hours every night in the belief that the Virgin Mary cares about them in these difficult times, is in itself a miracle. It gives hope for those who have had nothing but despair.
- How would you describe your writing style?
My writing style is simple, maybe a little old fashioned.
- Are you working on a new writing project?
Yes. I’m in the process of writing a new novel. SAROFINE AND CHÉRUBIN.
Europe Books thanks the author Hanna Butros once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book From Feast to Famine. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish that this book intrigues you and provides you with food for thought to reflect upon!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy this intriguing reading!