This study revisits the well-documented history of the translation of sciences into the Arabic language, starting with Muhammad Ali in Egypt, in an attempt to present a new reading and interpretation of the “politics of translation”. Referring to the influences and intentions that encase the process of translation, the politics of translation is what makes the context in which the translation takes place pivotal. Inherent to this is the specific context in which a text emerges and to which the translation comes as a response, as well as the form and type of response, which is affected, in turn, by the translator’s ideology and his or her epistemological and social formation. The degree of congruence between what is intended by the translator and what actually materializes, both in terms of the intended audience of the translation and its relation to the original text, is also of significance. In his pursuit to investigate the fate of the translation of sciences in Arab culture, Deeb explores the conditions of intellectual production during Muhammad Ali’s time in terms of the amount and type of translations produced under his rule. He also investigates, in detail, the structure and evolution of the “translation system” of that era, focusing on what became of the translation of sciences after Ali, fates that were determined by the cultural, political, and socio-economic features of translation, not by translation in the technical sense.