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From Lviv to Granada, by way of Pakistan

In 2008, the UN offices in Vienna renamed their entrance plaza Muhammad Asad Platz.
There are in-person and virtual tours of the UN facilities and grounds, which feature a lot of sculpture and art donated by member nations.

Who was this Muhammad Asad and why was he memorialized there at the UN in Vienna?
Asad died in 1992 and is buried a few minutes walk past the Alhambra in Granada, in a small Muslim cemetery next to the Catholic cemetery -- you can see it on Google maps, and visit his grave marker (although you might need to step over the enclosure, reports say the gate is usually locked)’s+(+Scholar+)+Grave/@37.1694091,-3.5748047,19z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0xd71fcb8cf3ee6e7:0xe9a7e1b5e4127395!2sPl.+Nueva,+18010+Granada,+Spain!3b1!8m2!3d37.1767291!4d-3.5959164!3m4!1s0x0:0x378caa83ed437a74!8m2!3d37.1687365!4d-3.5740204

(There is also a memorial to Republican victims of Franco along the same road, so it's worth the hike up the hill)

Asad was born in what is now Lviv in Ukraine (described in Cameron Hewitt's blog posts) in July of 1900, when it was still under Austro-Hungary and known as Lemberg, or, to its large Jewish population, as Lvov. He was born Leopold Weiss, descendant of a long line of rabbis, and had a formal religious education that he ran away from at 14 to try and join the Austrian army during WWI.

In his 20s, Weiss traveled throughout the Middle East and converted to Islam, changing his name to Muhammad Asad, but his involvement in politics there got him the nickname Leopold of Arabia, in jokey reference to T.E. Lawrence.

He became so involved in British India that he was a key figure in the independence movement and in the founding of Pakistan, and he served as Pakistan's first minister to the United Nations.

That's only partially why this boy from Ukraine has a square named for him in Vienna -- his major contributions (and why I'm posting this under Recommended Books) were as a linguist and translator. His translation into English of the Quran is considered the most important of its kind in the 20th century --
"The Message Of The Quran"

and his autobiography, telling of his adventures in the Middle East, was an early milestone in western literature about Arabia --

I wanted to post this as an example of how history and literature make travel come alive, because there have been several threads here on the Forum recently about how reading up on a place beforehand improves your experience of it when you travel there. The life of Muhammad Asad ties together much of the 20th century in Europe and Asia in ways that make visiting Granada and Vienna and Lviv (not to mention Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and Germany) richer.