The present lot represents a traditional house in Talkha, on the West bank of the Damietta branch of the Nile, in the fertile Delta region. Across the river from Talkha, is the city of Mansourah where Saïd started his career as a lawyer and was appointed assistant prosecutor at the Mixed Courts where the official language was French. This judiciary institution had been founded in October 1875 by the Khedive Isma'il Pacha in an attempt to bring European-based legal order to foreign investment in Egypt, and hence to facilitate Westernisation and foreign trade in Egypt. Saïd's cosmopolitan background and education, attending prestigious schools, obtaining a French Law degree and travelling several times to Europe, meant that he was fluent in Arabic, English and French. Through his legal functions and his aristocratic environment, Saïd was bound to meet some of the many foreigners that had flocked to Egypt in the early twentieth century, such as the Swedish Baron of Nordenskjöld, to whom this painting was dedicated. In Maisons arabes à Talkha, Saïd appears to have produced an image that visually resonates the authentic Egyptian urban landscape of Mansourah's surroundings as the gift he offered to his foreign friend. Saïd painted several other works recording his memories and impressions from his trips to Mansourah and Talkha, amongst which the small landscape of a village that Christie's Dubai sold in October 2013, here illustrated as a comparative image.