Pascal Sébah was a photographer catering to tourist markets during the last several decades of the Ottoman Empire (1299–1922). Pascal was a Catholic, the son of a Syrian father and an Armenian mother. He and his son, Jean Pascal, photographed extensively throughout the empire’s multinational borders, especially in Cairo and their home in Constantinople.
Little is known about the history of the album these images are from, but it also includes photos by European photographers, ranging from ancient Egyptian architecture to staged portraits of Indigenous people posing with objects from their proposed professions. By marketing these images, sometimes with French captions, the Sébahs profited off orientalist stereotypes of this expansive region. The album was probably assembled for personal use by a tourist or collector.