About Jurji Zaidan

Early life

Works and Contributions

The Journalist | The Novelist | The Historian | The Linguist | The Educator of Society


The Novelist

Zaidan may be best remembered today as one of the pioneers in the composition of historical novels within the modern Arabic literary tradition and in their serialization in magazines. The twenty-two historical novels he wrote are popular to this day – they were regularly reprinted every decade or so since they were first serialized and more than one hundred translations of these novels have been made into many different languages including Persian, Turkish/Ottoman, Javanese, Uighur, Azeri, Urdu, French,  Spanish, and others. The novels cover an extensive period of Arab history, from the rise of Islam in the seventh century until the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th. The particular manners, lifestyles, beliefs and social mores of those periods, as well as political events, provided the context within which Zaidan weaved adventure and romance, deception and excitement. They were therefore as much “historical” as “novels” reminiscent of the historical novels of Alexandre Dumas in France and Sir Walter Scott in Britain, though Jurji Zaidan’s novels more closely reflect actual historical events and developments.


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