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Kurban Said is a pseudonym for Essad Bey, which is a pseudonym for Lev Nussimbaum. Nussimbaum was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1905 (or in Kiev, Ukraine), in a rich Jewish family. As the Soviets conquered Azerbaijan, Nussimbaum fled to Berlin, Germany, where he converted to Islam. As Essad Bey, he was a striking and eccentric figure in Berlins high society. He was the author of semi-scientific orientalistic books, as well as adventurous novels about himself, set in Middle Eastern settings. Apart from the pseudonym Essad Bey, he used the name Kurban Said.
Nussimbaum died in 1942.
The Orientalist by Tom Reiss is a biography of Nussimbaum, and explains his choices of other names.
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