In 1905, the Jesuit scholar Antûn Rabbât discovered the writings of Elias al-Mûsili in a Jacobite diocese in Aleppo, Syria. Al-Mûsili, a seventeenth-century Arab and a priest of the Chaldean Church, traveled widely across colonial Spanish America, becoming the first person to visit the Americas from Baghdad. Rabbât transcribed into Arabic and published those portions relating to al-Mûsili’s travels. Acclaimed Middle Eastern historian Farah is the first to make these writings available in English translation.
Caesar E. Farah was professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic history at the University of Minnesota. He authored numerous books including Islam, The Sultan’s Yemen: Nineteenth-Century Challenge to Ottoman Rule, and Arabs and Ottomans: A Checkered Relationship.