He was a statesman, teacher, poet and historian. He was a Maronite Catholic and hailed from a prominent family well known for their pioneering contributions to the Arab renaissance of the late 19th century known as the Nahda.
A nephew of Butrus al-Bustani, he was famous for translating Homer's Iliad into Arabic, introducing its poetic style into the Arabic language. His political front saw him as the minister of finance in the last Ottoman government before its collapse.
- Evans, Jonathan; Fernandez, Fruela (2018-04-19). The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics. Routledge. ISBN 9781317219484.