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Mullah Nasruddin
The Wise Fool 1

Audiobook with Anatolian music
Text: Kathleen Göbel
Concept: Dieter L. Göbel
Music: Conservatory for Turkish Music
Speaker: Megan Gay, Dieter L. Göbel, Robin Merrill

978-3938123-04-1 (CD)
€ 14,80


The figure and reputation of Nasruddin are well known in Turkey and, indeed, many parts of Central Asia. Nasruddin has always been the universal uncle; sometimes a wise man, sometimes a fool. He is everyman in the sense that he finds himself in so many and varied situations, some of them of his own making, that show every strength and weakness of human character. He belongs to us all, rich. poor, urban or town dweller and reflects many facets of human reaction to the most complex or unusual situations. His stories all contain a lesson, however comical or seemingly stupidly he may seem to behave. His stories, for young and old, have a fascination and a humor that is kind, gentle and thoughtful.


Stories of Goha or Mulla Nasruddin, who is a human being of the world, are not necessarily written for children; They are beautiful anecdotes carrying a human character and go beyond a certain historical period, since they deal with issues such as social injustice, selfishness, narrow-mindedness,  cowardliness, ignorance etc. These stories still entertain and mesmerize with their acute observations about human nature from all walks of life from beggar to king, politician to clergy, and scholar to merchant. Stories of Mulla Nasrudin highlight an obvious truth which is usually taken for granted and then show an unexpected angle which makes us examine our assumptions afresh. Thus, his influence continued over the years, striking a chord in the popular consciousness.
It is generally accepted that he was born in a Turkish village in 1208 and died around 1284, but this legendry figure is available in many literatures of the world. His Stories are so famous in our Arabic public memory giving an ever living example that human experiences are similar every where, and human values are a common heritage of the whole world. This CD is for sure a genuine contribution for young generations for entertainment, joy and knowledge.

The Ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic in Germany
Dr. Hussein Omran

The Author

As author, publisher and translator of an impressing number of books from the Middle-East Kathleen Göbel is a renowned capacity of its culture and literature. Based upon her studies in German philology, aesthetics, psychology and oriental studies over many years she travelled through the Middle-East, Asia and South-America.  In Anatolia she met Nasruddin for the first time 1972. Since that time she kept and fostered that contact and collected his stories and wise jokes through all the years. So she gave the idea to this audio-book, arranged and adapted these old traditional stories to this new media.

The actors

Megan Gay

Megan was born and grew up in New Zealand where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in English and German Literature. After studying drama in London she moved to Berlin, where she works in both theatre and film, including international co-productions. She is also a voice artist, with a work range from documentaries and news for Deutsche Welle TV to plays. Listen to her as Nasruddin´s wife and the female narrator.

Robin Merrill

His career began on stage in the original West End cast of the hit musical “Evita” in London. In 1979 he joined the Pasadena Roof Orchestra as the lead singer and spent the next ten years on the road touring all major cities in Europe. In 1989 he moved to Berlin to take up the post of the chief reporter on BFBS Radio, presenting the daily breakfast show. For Deutsche Welle TV he presents a show on culture and lifestyle. Besides he is speaker for documentaries, image films and sings with his own big band, The Savoy Dance Orchestra. Here he talks to you as Nasruddin.


Dieter L. Göbel, the humanistically educated visionary started his career as a banker. After he studied electronics in the USA, he changed into sales and marketing. Almost two decades he worked successfully in the computer industry, being responsible for all of Europe a substantial period. Another roughly twenty years he left conspicuous marks as a manager in different branches of industries. This man of the economy always had a red thread of creativity drawing throughout his career. So he is known in the world of art and culture. He also has his own TV-production. Here you get to know him as producer, director and narrator.


Love to music made Nuri Karademirli and his wife Halime convert some old garages during 1988 in Berlin-Kreuzberg to establish the today renowned Conservatory for Turkish Music with classrooms, a sound-studio, rooms for rehearsal, a workshop to manufacture instruments, offices and a cafeteria. Experienced music instructors teach violin, piano as well as oriental instruments like Ud, Saz and Kanun as well as Turkish and classical singing techniques. The Turkish, Arabic and German speaking students and chorus members are from all different ages and social levels. Furthermore Nuri Karademirli is an internationally asked musician who feels at home with his orchestras in renowned concert-halls like the Berlin Philharmony and many others.

1. Yaylalar (Saz, Darbuka, voice)
Chapter  one tells us about Nasruddin’s everyday life and his adventures at home, on the street, under way, in the tea-house, with friends as with strangers. The music accompanies him here with a song from Erzurum Yaylalar, which means “plateau” and tells us about the everyday life of a spoon merchant in a village on a remote plateau, who tries to impress the neighbour’s girl with whom he fell in love with and how he induces her to a rendezvous.

2. Baga gel (Darbuka, Saz, Garmon, voice)
In chapter two we meet Nasruddin at work, accompanied by an Anatolian song from Erzurum. A song, people sing working on the fields: Come to the vineyard, come to the fields!

3. Oyalida Yazma Basinda (Darbuka, Saz, Kanun, Bass, voice)
A fine and filigree embroidery on her head is the popular Anatolian song from chapter three , in which we come to know Nasruddin’s wife. The song coming from the region of Ankara fits to his wife who mostly is described as slender and delicate, and with an Anatolian headpiece. It tells us about nice embroideries on foulards, that are worn as headpieces on pecial occasions.

4. Cecen kizi (instrumental)
Chechen Girl – an instrumental in Makam Huseyni, one of the oldest Makams in the Turkish music. Known in  Central Asia , Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Anatolia is this cheerful piece of dance music as one of the oldest of folklore music.

5. Yasam kavgasi (Saz solo)
Heavily earned money has been composed by the young Saz player Özgür for chapter  five in which Nasruddin is labouring with the money. Özgür sometimes makes the strings of his Saz sound like jingling coins, then like  beady raindrops – both being longed for “blessing from above”.

6. Bir topan ekmek (Saz solo)
“A slice of bread”  is the music of chapter six, called Nasruddin at dinner. The Saz player Haydar composed a piece of music that expresses in a musical way contentment and satiation after a good meal.

7. Hayvanlarin dansi (Saz Solo)
The animal’s dance is a kind of meditative music, that takes us through woods  and over fields. During this encounter with nature Özgür even did not forget the merry picking of the hens and the leisurely trotting of the donkeys.

8. Sehnaz longa (instrumental)
A classical Turkish instrumental music in Maqam Sehnaz that in spite of being very traditional, appears quite modern.

9. Segah pesrev ( instrumental )
Classical Turkish music in Makam Segah which is in similar form relatively known in Azerbaijan and Persia as well. Segah is the third tone in Turkish music. A beautiful piece of music, reflecting a calm and peaceful mood.

10. Tutam yar (instrumental)
“Let me hold you tight, my love” -  to conclude, a quite special classical
Turkish piece of music, performed with 10 Baglama (long necked lutes),
2 Ud (short necked lutes), 4 Darbuka (drums), 1 Mey (shepherd’s flute) and 1 Ney (reed pipe).

Peacock Buchhandel und Verlag
Kersten Göbel + Kathleen Göbel GbR