Sallah is a hefty, bearded Egyptian excavator. He lives in Cairo and is a close friend of Indiana Jones. He is a dedicated family man with a wife named Fayah and nine children, all of whom seem to have a fondness for Indy (at one point, they all surround him to save him from a group of Nazis who have their guns drawn on him).
Sallah is depicted as being jovial, good-natured and occasionally cowardly (when seeing the numerous asps inside the room that houses the Ark of the Covenant, he suggests to Indy "You go first"), although Sallah does not suffer from a fear of snakes as Indy does.
He seems to be extremely strong, although he is apparently unaware of his enormous strength (at one point, he gives Indy a bear hug, causing him a great deal of discomfort, probably because Indy had just been shot in the arm). He has a strong baritone voice and seems to have an affinity for Gilbert and Sullivan. He is often seen singing tunes from H.M.S. Pinafore when he is in a good mood. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, he is mostly seen wearing a turban (perhaps to blend in with the other diggers working for the Nazis) and in The Last Crusade, he is seen wearing a fez.