My Faith & Fate

By Magdy Stephan



Title:              My Faith and Fate: An Immigrant Story

Author:         Magdy Stephan


It was over 10 years ago that I met Magdy - my first client as a biographer in palliative care. The indelible imprint he left is still felt many years after his death.

One can't help but be changed in doing this work. During my first home-visit with Magdy I was struck by his depth of gratitude for the many and various blessings in his life. As I glimpsed his rich inner world I found that my own was naturally transformed in the process, setting me on a path I did not yet fully understand.

In the short time spent together I knew him to be a deeply spiritual man, open with not only his struggles but the lessons yielded, forever the teacher with an intimate awareness of love and compassion in his life. In helping him complete his story I developed my own awareness of the preciousness and possibilities of life that spurred me on to travel Europe (an ambition I had been putting off for several years) and then later set up the charity Beyond Words.

After many years since working with Magdy on his memoir I still feel the impression he made on me, through the simple, yet profound way that he thanked me - someone who he barely knew. To be reminded of our brief time together warms me with the same gratitude for this work I felt all those years ago.

I hope my designs and new additions from family have enhanced what is a brilliant story, and that Magdy would be proud of the outcome. Over 10 years since his death, I hope that his many friends, colleagues, family and future generations will continue to be inspired by his life, now and into the future.

My thanks go to the Stephan family, for the opportunity to help, and the special invitation back into Magdy's life as biographer. Another honour and privilege many, many years later.

~Francis Icasiano


Matter of Life Services provided:


Publication Details:

  • First edition published in August 2007 by Magdy Stephan, life story audio-recorded, transcribed, edited and formatted by Francis Icasiano as volunteer biographer for Eastern Palliative Care. 
  • Art therapy reflections by Magdy Stephan, August 2007.
  • Second edition published in July 2018 by Francis Icasiano, Matter of Life, in partnership with the Stephan family
  • Foreword by Joe Stephan and back cover blurb by Violette Stephan, July 2018

Design Elements:

  • Book layout and design, book front/back cover and spine by Francis Icasiano, Matter of Life
  • 180 pages, 46 photo single spread images

Production Details:

  • Two cover versions produced in Adobe Indesign and Photoshop: Hardcover image wrap, 20x25 cm, white end sheet, standard trade paper (colour), matte finish


Joe Stephan with the memoir of his late father, Magdy Stephan.

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