Python: What is the string representation of a bytes object really and how to get back the bytes object?

I got some text encoded to bytes using utf-8 encoding. When processing this text I incautiously used str() to make it a Unicode string because I assumed this would automatically decode the bytes object with the right encoding. This, however, is not the case. For example:

a = "عجائب"
a_bytes = a.encode(encoding="utf-8")
b = str(a_bytes)


b = "b'\\xd8\\xb9\\xd8\\xac\\xd8\\xa7\\xd8\\xa6\\xd8\\xa8'"

which is not what I expected.
According to the docs

If neither encoding nor errors is given, str(object) returns type(object).__str__(object), […].

So my question is: What is the implemented string representation of a bytes object in Python and can I recreate my original Unicode string from it in general?

>Solution :

It gives you a string containing the string representation of a bytes object:

>>> a = "عجائب"
>>> a_bytes = a.encode(encoding="utf-8")
>>> a_bytes
>>> str(a_bytes)

Meaning, you have a valid literal representing a bytes. You can parse that literal again to an actual bytes using ast.literal_eval:

>>> import ast
>>> ast.literal_eval(str(a_bytes))

This is again the same as a_bytes. You can properly decode those to a str again, either using .decode, or by using the encoding parameter of str:

>>> str(a_bytes, 'utf-8')
>>> a_bytes.decode('utf-8')

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