About Jurji Zaidan

Introductory Summary

The Conquest of Andalusia | The Battle of Poitiers | The Caliph's Sister

The Caliph's Heirs | Saladin and the Assassins

About the Novel | The Historical Context | The Translator | Study Guide

About the Translator

Professor William Granara from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University translated this novel. He is Professor of the Practice of Arabic on the Gordon Gray Endowment and Director of Modern Language Programs at Harvard. He teaches Arabic language and literature and directs the Arabic language program at Harvard University. He studied Arabic at Georgetown University and received his PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the former executive director of the Center for Arabic Study at the American University in Cairo and the former director of the Arabic Field School of the U.S. Department of State in Tunis, Tunisia. He writes on cross-cultural encounters between Islam and Christendom throughout the Middle Ages. In addition, he lectures and writes on contemporary Arabic literature and has published translations of Egyptian and North African fiction. His work on literary criticism focuses on post-colonialism and cross cultural poetics.

Professor Granara, a noted scholar and teacher of Arab literature and experienced translator of many Arab literary works, has also prepared a Study Guide for students.



Opera on the Life of Jurji Zaidan
(in Arabic) attended by the
President of Egypt

Prelude with Speeches of Literary Figures


Jurji Zaidan and his Family

Centennial Celebrations
of Dar-al-Hilal