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Osman, Efendi [formerly William Thomson] (b. before 1800, d. 1835), guide to travellers in Egypt, was originally William Thomson, a native of Scotland. Details of his life, gleaned from passing remarks by the many travellers who knew him in Cairo, are scant and occasionally contradictory. This sometimes leads to confusion, as with ...


Philby, Harry St John Bridger (1885–1960), explorer and Arabist, was born at St John's, Badulla, Ceylon, on 3 April 1885, the second son of Harry Montagu Philby (d. 1913), a coffee planter, and his wife, Queenie (1864–1950), known as May, daughter of ...


Maker: Harry St John Bridger Philby

Harry St John Bridger Philby (1885–1960) self-portrait, 1917–18 The Royal Geographical Society, London


Selim Aga (c. 1826–1875), freed slave, autobiographer, and explorer, was born in the Muslim kingdom of Taquali, in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, about 1826. The son of a prosperous farmer, he was destined to inherit the family property, but about the age of nine or ten, while tending his father's sheep, he was captured by raiding Arab slavers. After much ill-treatment and being sold to various masters he was transported over ...