Printer friendly version
Preface to this home page
This home page was created in order to publish articles which could otherwise
not be published, or only in a different form - for example without
illustrations - , or which should be read by a broader audience then I could
have reached by publications in journals or books.
But in some cases also the contents asked for an independent publication,
because some things, especially personal experiences, which I would like to
share with some readers, will be seen as polemic and would not be accepted
in a scientific publication, however true they might be. This will concern
the long contribution about Cyprus, which I wrote during my stay in that island
from 1993 to 1997. Although the situation has changed a bit after that time,
events of that time are nevertheless interesting and knowing them will certainly
contribute to a better understanding of the situation in Cyprus.
There might be readers who are not interested in so many aspects of that
country, but would rather find an explanation for the chaotic situation of the
In this context I would like to draw attention to the chapter about the
University of Cyprus. Some explanations for the Greek Cypriot anarchy can be
Of course, living seven years in Denmark now, I could have written about
Denmark too, and a real lot. The only reason why I did not do this is lack of
time. The only time I wrote something was a readers letter to a Danish
newspaper. I had written about the unfriendliness of the Danish society,
racism and the greatest Danish specialty, chauvinism which is out of all
proportions. Yes, the liberal, progressive Denmark is nothing but a phantasy.
Or does anybody know another country where foreigners are allowed to get
married only at a later age than the aboriginals? A party leader (although
of a small party) could say without consequences, that Muslims should be
asked to leave the country within a fortnight, and if they don't, they should
be collected in concentration camps and Muslim women should be sold as slaves.
Most people don't take that serious, but understanding such racist outbrakes
of hatred as freedom of speech, demonstrates how little respect Danes have of
No-Danes. Much more serious is the case of the former interior minister who
wanted to deport asylum seekers who had come in conflict with the law to
little islands in the Baltic Sea and a prime minister who, in his infinite
arrogance, rejected categorically any discussion of the participation of
Denmark in the invasion of Irak, a country by which it was not attacked.
I could give an almost unlimited number of unpleasant experiences, ranging
from my wife (a bit darker, Mediterranean type) not being served when
shopping, until being told by one of my students that as a German I anyway
would not know much about democracy (in the context of a plebiscite
concerning the EURO).
I was confronted with Danish xenophobia almost from the first day of my
stay. I had rented a room in a private house. After some days the landlady
asked me, what my profession was and where I worked. When I answered that I
work at the university at the Department for Near Eastern Studies, she
starred at me in horror and said: "Oh, no, I do not want to know anything
about those people, I don´t want to know anything at all." At that time I
still hoped that this woman was only a crazy exception, but I had to learn
Let's leave it with this about Denmark. Perhaps there will be a book one day.
The ignorance about other countries is nothing that is special for Denmark,
although here the horizon is narrower than in most other societies (simply
because other countries are not worth paying any attention to them). A country
like Kirgistan/Kyrghystan/Kirgisien is widely unknown to most Europeans.
Also German journalists have their problems with such remote areas. Reading
recently in an article of a German daily that the Old inscriptions of the 8th
century in Central Asia were written in an old Kazakh dialect is a bit funny
for someone who knows that the Kazakh language developed some centuries later.
Hopefully the article about Kirghistan will bring a little bit more light into
this Central Asian darkness. We Europeans certainly need a bit more light
(not to mention the Americans who regard themselves traditionally as the center
of the universe), as Central Asia is a huge geographical area with certainly
a vivid and stimulating future. But such knowledge is also necessary for the
sake of mandkind in general and was once regarded as part of an ideal education,
before the " modernist" arrogant ignorant in his non existing global
village took over - and is taking over - also universities.
Preceding the articles some information about myself can be found. Looking
at them might give a bit of an explanation why I see things the way I see
them and why my publications reflect this way of seeing things.
We will start with an optic impression of an area which was once one of the
most remote places in Central Asia. The three photos were taken in 1967 in
Badakhshan/ North East Afghanistan by my old travel companion Jade Dearling.
The first one shows us crossing a river, pushing a Citroen 2CV through it.
The second one shows the author of these lines, standing at the grave of a
Muslim saint. The third one shows nomads crossing a river.
The last Uigurs in Ürümqi/Estern Turkestan