Muhammad al-Tunisi (1790-1857) belonged to a family of Tunisian merchants who traded with Egypt and what is now Sudan. Raised in Cairo, al-Tunisi spent ten years traveling through the Darfur Sultanate. On his return to Egypt, he played an important part in Muhammad Ali's modernization project, supervising the translation of veterinary and medical texts, producing original scientific works in Arabic, and editing the first printed editions of classical Arabic texts.