Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir is an excavator from Cairo, called “the best digger in Egypt”. He is a longtime friend of Indiana Jones and they went on many adventures together. When he isn’t exploring, he’s spending time with his wife and nine children.
In 1935, Indiana Jones travelled to the Lost Delta of India where he uncovered the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. With assistance from the Jungle Navigation Company, Indiana established the Lost Delta Archaeological Expedition to excavate the temple. On the June 4th of that year, Sallah sent Indiana a map of the temple which his brother-in-law had obtained from the black-market. Sallah later travelled to India to assist in the excavations meanwhile the hype surrounding the event was buzzing resulting in a tourist influx.
Around the time that he travelled to the temple, Indiana went missing within the ruins while searching for the legendary, "Jewel of Power" which was the supposed source of power for the temple's goddess Mara. To receive funds for the expedition, Sallah established the company, "Sallah Tours" to conduct tours of the temple. For assistance in this endeavour, Sallah reached out to Jones' ally and family-friend Trader Sam to drum up attention for the company, even sending Sam a map of the temple. Around 1936 of these jeep tours through the temple managed to locate Indiana and escape Mara's wrath together.
Later in 1936, Sallah used his knowledge in Egyptology to help Indy locate the Ark of the Covenant, using the medallion he brought with him. He reunited with Indy years later to help him and his father locate the Holy Grail. At some unknown point following this, Sallah expanded, "Sallah Tours" to not only the Lost Delta but also to the Amazon basin of South America.
Appearances and allusions
An animatronic of Sallah appeared in The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, carrying the Ark of the Covenant in a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark
Sallah is briefly alluded to in this attraction with a note at Indiana Jones' research station mentioning that he should have Sallah cross-reference artifacts from the Temple of the Crystal Skull with a Bagdad resource.
To help pay for its excavation, Sallah set up a tour of the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, allowing visitors to come and see it for themselves. After Indiana went missing, Marcus Brody told Sallah to keep the tours going, in hope that one of them would find him.
He appeared in the pre-show reel show, giving the safety instructions. His voice was heard over the ride vehicle’s radio, speaking to guests at the very beginning and end of the ride. Letters to Sallah from Indy, Marcus Brody, and Abner Ravenwood can be found scattered throughout the queue.
Sallah gave a map of the Temple of the Forbidden Eye to Trader Sam, which is on display in the Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland. A note from Sallah to Sam is pinned to it, reading the following:
Sam my friend,
I thought that some of your guests might be interested in our tours of the temple. Riches, youth, even visions of the future await them.
P.S. I shall return on Tuesday to pick up the map. Must return it before Indy knows it's 'missing.' But wanted you to see it.
A luggage tag from Sallah’s tours can be found, as well - going from the Lost Delta Region to the Amazon Basin. During the holiday season, a Christmas stocking for Sallah is hung up in Sam's bar.
- In Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull, Sallah is replaced by an original character named Paco.
- It is possible that the name, "Sallah Tours" is an allusion to the Disney attraction Star Tours which is also based on LucasFilm properties.
- Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir on the Indiana Jones Wiki