ISABELLE EBERHARDT (1877–1904) was a Swiss writer and explorer. Having harboured a deep interest in North Africa as a child and adolescent, Eberhardt relocated to Algeria in May 1897.
To fit in, she dressed as a man and converted to Islam, eventually adopting the name Si Mahmoud Saadi. Her unorthodox behaviour made her a social pariah from both the European settlers in Algeria and the French administration, who thought her a spy and tried to have her assassinated.
In 1901 she was ordered to leave Algeria by the administration, although she was allowed to return the following year after she married her long-time partner Slimane Ehnni, an Algerian soldier. In 1904 she was killed in a flash flood in Aïn Sefra at the age of 27. The majority of her writings, which found critical acclaim, were not published until after her death.