Napoleon's conquest of Egypt in 1798 was the first contact between a Western power with imperial goals and an ancient regime of an African society. Sheik Al-Jabarti's chronicle is a unique combination of historical narration and reflection combined with daily observations about the atmosphere in Cairo and the mood among the local population. The book is an Arab view of a turning point in modern history. This expanded edition celebrates the 250th anniversary of Al-Jabarti's birth. The French view of these events is described by Napoleon's secretary; Edward W. Said, Columbia University, provides a stinging critique of French preoccupation with Egypt and the resulting cultural "Orientalism"; Robert Tignor (Princeton University) provides a scintillating introduction. An additional chapter by editor Shmuel Moreh examines the Arabic interpretation of Al-Jabarti's writings. Illustrated.