Tag: Arabia

… distracted …

There are names of places that cause a kind of Sehnsucht, “longing” the dictionnaire says, but I think that the sich nach etwas sehnen, sich an einen anderen Platz wünschen, is not entirely translated with this word. Names of such places would be Tang(i)er (Ger., Eng., Reisebericht), Marrake(s)ch (Ger., Eng.), Casablanca (Ger., Eng.),  Byzanz (Ger., Eng., arte), Toledo (Ger., Eng.), Nowgorod (Ger., Eng.), Taklmakhan, Brazzaville (Ger., Eng.) + Kinshasha (Ger., Eng.), Surinam (Ger., Eng.), Buenos Aires (Ger., Eng.), Ballarat (Ger., Eng.), Kallgoorlie (Ger., Eng.), Mindanao (Ger., Eng.), Jakarta (Ger., Eng.), Kuala Lumpur (Ger., Eng.), Andaman (Ger., Eng.), INDIA, Muskat (Ger., Eng.), Mekka (Ger., Eng.), Bagdad (Ger., Eng.) … my  travel around the world. Besides “Andaman” and “Taklamakhan” all names of cities, and one continent.
Arm chair travelling.
Only thing I attended today was writing another application. It’s too hot to walk or run, bills trundled in, they’ll have to wait ’til next week. Mombasa is not on the list above, strange. In fact I was collecting links about LE SAPE when I got distracted by names of locations, Orte der Sehnsucht.

Snow, books, money

Looking at the snow and the seemingly dead fruit-trees I can see from here (mostly Pflaumenbäume, plums, but also cherry-, apple- and even pear-trees, which became rare I believe) my thoughts wandered to the bishop’s garden around the Residenz and finally to Prokop Mayer‘s three volume book Pomona Franconica (1776-1801) – I am sure that I mentioned it here before, but can not find where. The book was on display in an exhibition in the Residenz 2007, and after this event it was brought to Qatar, Sheik Saud al-Thani having bought it, among a lot of other things.
A Sheik is an elder, a head, as I understand from the wikipedia-article here, it is not a religiously based honour, but a strictly worldly grade.
A “Kalif” (Ger., Eng.) is the head of a caliphate, which is a theological based kind of state with the caliphs standing in a line directly leading to The Prophet. So their rule is based on the holy script, or on the closeness to The Prophet – if I understand it right.
The Emir is a high ranking sheik, a noble man, an emirate is based on the sword alone and not on a special binding to Mohamed, not on the Koran. “Emirate” should describe simply a form of worldly rule, similar to “Grafschaft” or “dukedom” (yes).
I am not into economics, but even I noticed that there were problems in Dubai (United Arab Emirates)  (read this, thank you A.)  and that the Burji Khalifa was renamed to honour the head of Qatar, who generously helped the leading responsibles in Dubai to avoid bankerott. But seriously, that is not what interests me.
While they built in Dubai the highest building of the world (why? – because it is possible! Yeah, THAT makes sense buddy!), in Doha, the capital of Qatar, one of the most interesting projects ever, is going on: The Museum of Islamic Art (here). One of the last projects of I.M.Pei, stuffed with anything the above mentioned sheik could lay his hands on in the last years: It must be THE treasure chamber of the 21st century.

I only wunder, how good their library is. 
I mean, there is always the Alexandrina

And the Sheik of Araby … where’s my Oud ?

Would someone be so gentle and let rain money on me so that I can go visit these places?

The Gulf

Today we hear “Basra” or “Baghdad” and immediately think of bombs ripping bodies apart, blood on dusty streets. The Gulf has an other peaceful history too.In the winter 1903/04 44-year old privateer Hermann Burchardt traveled the Arabian side of the Gulf and took photographs. He was based in Damascus. Five years later he will die in an accident in Yemen; I could not find a biography of the man. After his death his nephew in 1911 donated the plates to the Voelkerkundemuseum of Berlin, today Ethnologisches Museum Berlin. Finally the gift received the attention it deserves and an interesting book came into being:Nippa, Annegret; Herbstreuth, Peter (Hrsg.): Unterwegs am Golf – Along the Gulf. Von Basra bis Maskat – Photographien von Hermann Burchardt.[deutsch – englisch]. Berlin: Verlag Hans Schiler 2005. ISBN3-89930-070-x; 232 S., 90 Abb., 1 Karte; 58,00 EUR.

You can find the German recension here, and have a look on this site about a small exhibition of Burchardt’s work in Sanaa. On Qantara.de, a very interesting site dedicated to the dialogue between western and islamic world (please see that there is an English version too!) you can find another text about the referred book. I am sure it is worth to have a look at it!