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Birgit Biehl, born in 1944 in the former East Prussia, and currently living in Krefeld, Germany, holds a Ph.D. in Germanic Studies and makes her living as a secondary education teacher. Her poetry has won national awards. She wrote her book, Splitter im Sand [Fragments in the Sand], after a yearlong backpacking trip through African and Middle Eastern countries in 1999 and 2000. It reflects her interest in Islamic studies and was published in spring 2001; the second edition appeared in 2004.