Edgar Knobloch is uniquely qualified for this work. A graduate in Law and Economics, he has studied the History of the Middle East and Arabic, speaks fluent Russian, dabbled in Turkish and Persian and in more than 30 journeys has visited all Middle Eastern countries from the Yemen to Xinjiang, as well as Russia. His works include, among others, The Art of Central Asia, Beyond the Oxus, Monuments of Central Asia, Archaeology and Art of Afghanistan. He has also made translations of several medieval travelogues, including those of Carpini, Rubruck, and Clavijo. Knobloch lives in France.