Cairo: El-Felah Gazetesi Typ. 1894. Item #406
13, 11, 769 pp. (numbered in Eastern Arabic system). 28x19,5 cm. With eight lithographed plates (two folding) and three large folding lithographed maps at rear. Text in Ottoman Turkish, the book includes table of contents, errata pages, the panegyric by Ahmed Muhtar Pasha, and the title page. Period ink note in Turkish on the rear pastedown endpaper. Contemporary red half leather with black cloth boards and a faded paper label on the spine. Binding rubbed on extremities and weakened on hinges, plates and maps with minor tears, but overall a very good copy in very original condition.
First and only edition on this early description of the Ottoman controlled Northern Africa (Egypt and Sudan), authored by Ottoman historian and writer Mehmed Muhsin (d. Ca. 1906; known also as Bandirmali-Zade). He served as a state scribe in Egypt during the administration of Gazi Ahmet Mukhtar Pasha (1839-1919), and later in the Imperial Council of Ottoman Empire. A year before the publication of ‘‘Afrika delili’’ he issued another book about Egypt, this time specially dedicated to the Egyptian hieroglyph. ‘‘Afrika delili’’ is supplemented with a panegyric by Gazi Ahmet Mukhtar Pasha, Ottoman High Commissioner in Egypt (since 1885), who supported the publication.
The introduction starts with the ‘Basmala’ formula and Suleyman the Magnificent’s tughra. The epigraph says: ‘‘Ba’da ada’i ma vajba ‘aleina’’ (i.e. After this, there’s no debt on us). The illustrations include schemes of pyramid complexes, profiles showing the pyramids’ interiors (i.e. The pyramid of pharaoh Seti I), painted and stone cut scenes depicted on the walls of Egyptian and Nubian temples and pyramids; ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs with supplementary notes and explanations et al. The book is supplemented with three large folding maps comprising the complete picture of north-eastern Africa from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great African Lakes. First map shows Egypt with the course of the River Nile and adjacent shores of the Red and Mediterranean Seas (marking main cities and geographical objects, i.e. Minya, Asyut, Suez and Aqaba canals, the tropic of Cancer et al.); second map – the territories of modern Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea (outlining Blue and White Nile, showing the source of the Blue Nile in Lake Tana, marking Khartoum, Darfur province et al); third map – the territories ofmodern South Sudan, and Equatorial Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi); the map marks the source of the White Nile in Lake Victoria, shows other Great AfricanLakes (Lake Albert, Lake Edward, Lake Tanganyika and others), River Congo, the city of Magongo in Kenya, the tropic of Capricorn; the insert depicts the Gulf of Aden and Strait Bab-el-Mandeb.