Summary of the History of the Arabs


Louis-Amélie Sédillot was a French astronomer and orientalist, son of Jean-Jacques Sédillot, who influenced the boy toward pursuing these same interests. Sédillot the younger translated and published Arabic astronomical works. Khulasat Tarikh al-‘Arab (Summary of the history of the Arabs) is a translation and adaption by ‘Ali Mubārak Pasha of Louis-Amélie Sédillot’s Histoire des Arabes. Mubārak is revered as the father of modern education in Egypt. Born in a rural village in the Nile delta, he rebelled at the quality of his early schooling. After more unsuccessful years of schooling in Cairo, he eventually was chosen for education in military sciences in Cairo and in France. He returned to Egypt after several years to practice as a civil engineer and later as overseer of the reform of Egypt’s rudimentary school system. He is also credited with founding the National Library and Archives of Egypt. The rank of basha (pasha) was awarded by Egyptian monarchs. It denoted the highest rank in civil administration or recognition of extraordinary accomplishment in public service. The designation did not imply nobility, nor was it hereditary, except as applied to men of the dynasty of Muḥammad ʻAlī Pasha. Khulasat Tarikh al-‘Arab is an outline of Arab history with a table of contents, introduction by Mubarak, and index. It begins with the geography of Arabia and Arab history before the Prophet Muhammad, and proceeds to cover Arab customs and the achievements of Arab civilization until the Napoleonic invasion of 1798. It was printed at the Muḥammad Mustafa Press in Cairo in 1892.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Muḥammad Musṭafā Press, Cairo


Title in Original Language

خلاصة تاريخ العرب

Type of Item

Physical Description

298 pages ; 25 centimeters


  1. Gilbert Delanoue, “’Ali Mubarak,” in Moralistes et Politiques Musulmans dans L’Egypte du XIXe Siecle (Cairo: Institut Francais d’Archeologie Orientale du Caire, 1982).
  2. J. Heyworth-Dunne, An Introduction to the History of Education in Modern Egypt (London: Luzac, 1938).

Last updated: July 21, 2014