The Arab “discovery” of Orientalism in the nineteenth century generated both fascination with and contestation of European scholarship on Islam and Arabic language and literature. For instance, in Takhlīs˙ al-ibrīz fī talkhīs˙ Bārīz (An Imam in Paris) (1834), Rifāʿa al-T˙aht˙āwī (d. 1873) relates his encounter with Silvestre de Sacy (d. 1838), 1 heaping praise on this scholar at the École des Langues Orientales and founder of Journal Asiatique. 2 Working under the supervision of Edmé-François Jomard (d. 1862), the editor of Description de l’Egypte, al-T˙aht˙āwī expresses great admiration for de Sacy’s knowledge of Arabic language and literature, and quotes in Takhlīs˙ parts of his translation and commentary on al-H˙arīrī’s Maqāmāt. 3 By way of comparison, al-T˙aht˙āwī states that this eminent scholar’s erudition and prestige are such that they lead the reader to imagine what al-Farābī (d. 950) was like in his day. al-T˙aht˙āwī illustrates this through an anecdote about al-Farābī’s first visit to Sayf al-Dawla al-H˙amadānī’s (r. 944–967) court in Aleppo, during which he bewildered attendees with his knowledge, language mastery, and musical genius. By conjuring up al-Farābī in his discussion of de Sacy, al-T˙aht˙āwī reclaims a tradition of Arab-Islamic learning that produces wonder and fascination as well, and to which he, an al-Azhar scholar, is heir.