David Tresilian's Articles

A new translation of memoirs by the 18th-century Syrian traveller Hanna Diyab casts fresh light on well-known tales from the Arabian Nights, writes David Tresilian

A new exhibition draws attention to the use of papyrus as a writing material in ancient Egypt, arguing that it was the country’s single greatest invention, while a slightly older one brings together recent titles in French on the Arab Maghreb, writes David Tresilian

A major Paris exhibition is commemorating the bicentenary of the death of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, including his campaigns in Egypt and the Middle East.

Two colonial memoirs by middle-ranking officials offer contrasting insights into how the British occupying administration once operated in Egypt, writes David Tresilian in an occasional series on books by visitors to Egypt

A new book reconstructs the history of the entertainment industry in Cairo in the 1920s and 1930s through the eyes of the women involved

A Paris exhibition is marking the destruction of the giant statues of the Buddha at Bamiyan in Afghanistan by Taliban forces 20 years ago

A new biography of the late Palestinian-American writer and academic aims to connect the public with the private man

Egyptian writer Iman Mersal was awarded this year’s Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Literature at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi in May.

This year’s Arab History Days at the Institut du Monde arabe in Paris focused on the themes of commerce and travel in Arab civilisation, writes David Tresilian

A new Paris exhibition underlines Egypt’s role as the home of the Arab world’s most famous female singers

The long history of writing about Egypt from the outside includes some lesser-known ancient visitors

Writing about Egypt from the outside goes all the way back to ancient times and often provides valuable insights into the country

The memoirs of British colonial officials can contain intriguing information about life in early twentieth-century Egypt

A new translation of a nineteenth-century Arabic travel narrative allows today’s readers to learn more about early modern Darfur

Nicholas Saunders, Desert Insurgency: Archaeology, T E Lawrence, and the Arab Revolt, Oxford (UK): Oxford University Press, 2020, pp369

Nineteenth-century Egypt was a magnet for Victorian letter-writers, with some leaving important evidence of life in the country behind

A collection of stories by the late Egyptian writer Yusuf Idris is reaching wider audiences in English translation

British author Toby Wilkinson presents a rogues gallery of early Egyptologists in his new book A World Beneath the Sands

A new biography is bringing a new generation of readers closer to celebrated French orientalist Louis Massignon

Two intriguing new volumes have been added to the Library of Arabic Literature of classical Arabic literary works in English translation

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