Rex Ingram, one of the major directors in American silent cinema, helmed this sweeping drama about Jamil Abdullah Azarn (Ramon Novarro), a hot-blooded Bedouin outcast from his family after he disobeys his father and stages a raid on an oasis during an Islamic holy feast. With nowhere to go, Jamil travels to Turkey, where he takes a job as a guide. He soon falls in love with Mary Hilbert (Alice Terry), the daughter of a team of Christian missionaries. When Jamil learns of a government plot to wipe out the city's Christian population, Jamil leaps into action to stop the killing, with the aid of a band of Bedouins. Jamil's bravery and compassion prevent the pointless slaughter and regain him the admiration of his father. Ingram, a stickler for realism, shot portions of The Arab on location in Algiers, using native Bedouins as extras.
by Mark Deming synopsis