Daniel-Dylan Böhmer

The Major Who Outflanked The War - How a British Officer is Giving Children in the Hindu Kush a Future

Daniel-Dylan Böhmer
Foto: Daniel-Dylan Böhmer

Daniel-Dylan Böhmer, born in 1975, has written for Spiegel Online, FAS, and Vanity Fair, and since 2009 he has been a foreign affairs editor at DIE WELT for the Middle East and Asia.

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The tribal areas on the Pakistani border with Afghanistan are among the most dangerous parts in the world. If there is one thing we don’t usually associate with this remote region, it’s hope. As recently as October 2012, the Taliban carried out an attack on a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl who was advocating education for girls.

And yet it is precisely here, in the power of education, that hope lies for 95-year-old Geoffrey Langlands. The British army major, who first came to the country during the Second World War and stayed there, and who to this day has porridge and Lipton tea for breakfast, runs a school in Chitral, an ancient principality high up in the mountains. Here he provides children with the education they need to live free, adult lives, and the local population protects him. Together they are trying to preserve a world from descending into war and terror as soon as the West withdraws its troops from the Hindu Kush in 2014.

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