In 1798, Napoleon lands his army in Egypt, defeats the Mameluke warlords (the remnants of Ottoman rule), and goes on to Cairo. Three brothers, who are Egyptian patriots, chafe under Mameluke rule and reject the prospect of French domination. On the beaches of Egypt young Ali and his brother Yehia see the arrival of Bonaparte’s fleet. The French have come to liberate the Egyptians from the Mameluke yoke. After a hard-fought fight before the pyramids (from which the French emerge victors) the soldiers of the republic join in friendship with the Egyptians of Cairo. This is particularly true of General Caffarelli, Bonaparte’s friend from the days of the Italian campaign. Ali and Yehia are not far behind.