Hanna Diyab was long known only from brief mentions in the diary of Antoine Galland, but the discovery of Diyab's manuscript autobiography in 1993 dramatically expanded knowledge about his life. It chronicles his travels from Syria to France, and confirms that he met Galland and told him the tale of "Aladdin". Contemporary historians consider Diyab to have been the original author of "Aladdin" and believe the tale to have been partly inspired by Diyab's own life, as his records of his adolescent adventures during his journey from Syria to France show parallels with "Aladdin". For example, Diyab recorded that during his journey he met the French traveller Paul Lucas, who claimed to have magical powers and enticed Diyab to assist him on his treasure-hunting expeditions with an empty promise of offering him a position at the French court. During their first tomb-raiding expedition together, Diyab discovered both a ring and a lamp; the story of a poor boy whose life is transformed by the discovery of a lamp parallels that of Diyab's life. His account of the wonders of Versailles, when he first arrived there, also parallels the descriptions of palaces and princesses in "Aladdin". He also expressed sympathy for people who were impoverished, persecuted, and socially marginalised, such as his description of the poor in a famine-stricken Paris during the winter of 1708-1709.