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 | Afterword | Study Guide

The Afterword

Professor Cooperson writes: “Zaidan’s enormous influence does not of course mean that he got the history right. Arguably, he did not even try to get it right, at least not in his novels. History proper was the subject of a separate work, The History of Islamic Civilization. Therefore, one should not read The Caliph’s Heirs, or any other Zaidan novel, in the hope of discovering what really happened. But the novels do tell us something about what Zaidan and other historians of his day thought the past was like. Moreover, their power as novels, especially for readers who already know something about the periods he is writing about, has much to do with their manipulation of the scenes, events, and figures supplied by the Arabic sources. For that reason, it is worth looking briefly at what modern historians have to say about the period Zaidan writes about in this novel.”


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