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I bought this book at an old book market in Cairo many years ago. I found reading it both instructive and entertaining. It gives a very good balance of favorable disposition and scientific rigor. The value of the book lies in the tone in which it is written. I suppose the author must be of Arab Christian descent. This position gives him privileged insight into the language and the culture as an Arab without the prejudice of being a Muslim writing about Islam and the Arabs.
This book is a treasure for those contemplating the idea of writing historical novels. Not only does it provide you with knowledge, but most importantly, with the feeling of living among the Arabs through the rise and fall of their many sultanates, emirates and Caliphates.
Yasser El Helw, November 15th, 2017

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