One after the other, cracking the bones of the spine. The nearly toothless man doesn’t need a sponge to scrub the Dirt into little sausages out of my soggy skin. His hands are roughened by decades in the warm, humid vapor such as a wire brush. In his lap, it smells like urine, in the corners of the ceiling and spread of mold. With the relaxing Massage in the Hammam in the port of Hamburg, where I – wegdämmere wrapped in rose-scented foam and the ample bosom of the Turkish masseuse, slowly, what is happening in Tunis, to do nothing.

Hammam has made the idea of the Orient is broken

Little to inspire the imagination about the Orient, certainly as much as a sensual Massage in a toasty-warm Hammam. On a warm stone, resting rippling everyday life and forget the Worries, and feel like in 1001 night. The Hammam has made our idea of the Orient as messed up as the new year’s eve night in Cologne, to the suddenly, only to “Nafris” and a young North African men, the grapschend and slobbering on the German women. When it comes to the Arab world, there seems to be only Extreme. And this is extremely dangerous. Because THE Orient exists only in our imagination.

Simon Kremer: A little Lost in the middle East

Simon Kremer explored the forests of the homeland of mad, and later the deserts of the Arab world. Has retained his naivety until today, and had played, therefore, almost time for the Syrian military team football. It is, therefore, also changes in the Arab robe through the Saxon Switzerland ran. Shortly after that Pegida was founded. Now lives with his wife and daughter in Tunisia and travels as a Journalist through the Middle East. Had to find on the football field and in the delivery room, that you can quickly feel very foreign.

And to publish in the books of Karl May, the is travelled in the Orient, as he, in 1881, starting his first books on “the desert and the Harem”, the “wild Kurdistan” or the “Land of Albania”. Perhaps Karl May is so guilty of this romantic image. Perhaps, also, of the Saxon Duke August the Strong, of starting more than 100 years before, an immense collection of Turkish fashion and Oriental weapons in the “Türckische Cammer” to accumulate in Dresden, even a herd of camels, he is said to have imported, and for the wedding of his son, he made sweeping canopy tents on the Dresdner banks of the Elbe building. Interesting, by the way, just in Saxony – Karl May lived in his “Villa Shatterhand” Yes, not far from Dresden, in Radebeul – the fascination for the Orient was so great. But only at the margins.

Perhaps Peter Scholl-Latour is to blame, in its reports, the order of the Orient, mostly in long conversations and tea ceremonies around a campfire in the desert of tribal leaders was discussed. As the magazine “Zenith” had asked some time ago, the German-speaking middle East journalists in their section “Scholl-Latour’s heirs”, among other things, “that he, the Orient is that smell?”, there was of mint – and rose-scented, there was little for the speech. Rather, the Arab world smells for journalists today, after the car exhaust gases (Cairo), trash crisis (Beirut), desert dust with sea (Tripoli) and burnt fish (Baghdad). And only in the fewest places, so, as you think that it would smell in the Orient: Namely, rose water, Jasmine, cardamom and grilled Kebab.

nervous breakdown in Istanbul

Karl May – his doubters in Spite of – as 57-year-old and already a successful author in 1899, in fact, his first and only trip to the Orient. Istanbul – faced with the reality that does not fit at all with the idea of his books – he suffers a nervous breakdown.

But the romantic Orient image has solidified in Germany. The wars of the Newspapers were far away, and if you looked up in the evening of the bombed-out inner city of Fallujah, and of the days look out the window, looked up, and then the world stood still.

Who is to blame for the stereotype?

Maybe the tour operators are to blame for it, the offer in the Hotels in Marrakech and Hammamet, “the original camel tours” through the heaped sand dunes behind the Hotel and in the evening “exotic belly dance” courses for the bellies, the more likely the hotel buffet is really in the Public. My mother was a woman who loved in her only holiday in Turkey, the Act, and every foreign food tasted, collected in the 90s for the war in Kosovo displaced families of sweater and curtains, and at the same time it mocked, “all the asylum-seekers” rushed to the Laundry baskets and each other, “the curtains of the Windows” stole. The were located and brought on the next day but our favorite toy yet again in the old Sauerland Inn, where “asylum seekers” without heating but with a belling stag pictures on the walls.

“,” Orient there is not a

Maybe the Tunisians and the Moroccans themselves are to blame for this image, if you sell on the beach and in the narrow Souks of the old towns cheap scarves with skull glitter leather wrap belt pattern and with umgarnendem charm on a small sale or a small Turtelei hope.

it’s True that there is “the Orient” and perhaps never has been. True of the older Syrian man from al-Hawash, the I in the shared taxi with an overland journey to learn and for me to know, as I sleep on the verge of standing in the rain under the open sky, the key of his house in the Hand pressed, and goes with his family to the neighbors. True, both of the young Tunisians, of the German well-Known in the small streets of La Marsa, suddenly, the Breasts grab.

Reporter legend Scholl-Latour

“the Last of the journalistic world explainer” is dead


True, the young men in the cafes, the rant after the “Arab spring” on the governments and on subsidies and financial assistance to wait, while you are flicking the plastic coffee Cup in the gutter. True, the young woman from Saudi Arabia, fleeing from the oppression of their family abroad, and the death of fear, it should be brought back. True, the young students in Damascus, the pack of gloves and buckets and through the littered the river Barada Wade (which is, unfortunately, exactly like the local Damascene beer) and the waste collection, to do something against the pollution of some other. True, the young woman from Riyadh, working in a Co-Working Space plan, in which young Saudis shared their Startups and with the question of how that was so, in a gemit’s working sex office, dumbfounded, responds: we are doing This for the past six years, this is normal.

men disappear in the next room

True, every experience and encounter for themselves. This is exhausting and may explain the nervous breakdown of Karl May. After the Hammam visit in Tunis I get because of my neck pain a few days later from the doctor, a cervical collar was prescribed for you. But the next Time in a Hammam, it looks quite different. It’s just that again and again men to the second disappear with towels suspended the next room, which is a bit irritating.