In Darfur

An Account of the Sultanate and Its People, Volume One

320 pages

1 halftone, 2 figures (maps)

May, 2018

ISBN: 9781479876389

$40

Cloth

Add to Cart Available: 4/1/2018

Also available in

Authors

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.

All books by Muhammad al-Tunisi

Humphrey Davies is an award-winning translator of some twenty works of modern Arabic literature, among them Alaa Al-Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building, four novels by Elias Khoury, including Gate of the Sun, and Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq’s Leg over Leg. He has also made a critical edition, translation, and lexicon of the Ottoman-period Hazz al-quhuf bi-sharh qasid Abi Shaduf (Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded) by Yusuf al-Shirbini and compiled with a colleague an anthology entitled Al-‘ammiyyah al-misriyyah al-maktubah: mukhtarat min 1400 ila 2009 (Egyptian Colloquial Writing: selections from 1400 to 2009). He read Arabic at the University of Cambridge, received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and, previous to undertaking his first translation in 2003, worked for social development and research organizations in Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, and Sudan. He is affiliated with the American University in Cairo, where he lives.

All books by Humphrey Davies

R. S. O'Fahey is Professor Emeritus of History in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History, University of Bergen, Norway.

All books by R.S. O'Fahey

A merchant’s account of his travels through an independent African state 

Mu?ammad ibn ?Umar al-Tunisi (d. 1274 H/1857 AD) belonged to a family of Tunisian merchants trading with Egypt and what is now Sudan. Al-Tunisi was raised in Cairo and a graduate of al-Azhar. In 1803, at the age of fourteen, al-Tunisi set off for the Sultanate of Darfur, where his father had decamped ten years earlier. He followed the Forty Days Road, was reunited with his father, and eventually took over the management of the considerable estates granted to his father by the sultan of Darfur. In Darfur is al-Tunisi’s remarkable account of his ten-year sojourn in this independent state. 

In Volume One, al-Tunisi relates the history of his much-traveled family, his journey from Egypt to Darfur, and the reign of the noted sultan ?Abd al-Ra?man al-Rashid. In Darfur combines literature, history, ethnography, linguistics and travel adventure, and most unusually for its time, includes fifty-two illustrations, all drawn by the author. 

In Darfur
is a rare example of an Arab description of Africa on the eve of Western colonization and vividly evokes a world in which travel was untrammeled by bureaucracy, borders were fluid, and startling coincidences appear almost mundane.