One of New Cyprus Magazine’s readers, Roland Andersson, has contacted us to tip us off about two books you can order if you are interested in reading about Swedes who joined the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus from 1964 onwards (the books are in Swedish). The books recommended are called “with the UN in Cyprus 1964-74” and “UN in Cyprus – Swedish peace operations 1964-93“.
Roland himself has lived and worked in Cyprus as a guide between the years 1972-1974. Below Roland tells us about his relationship to Cyprus and how he came to start the publishing company Fredsbaskerförlaget:
On October 8, 1972, I arrived to Cyprus to substitute as a guide for two weeks in Famagusta for the Swedish tour operator TRIVSELRESOR (Well-being Travel).
Two weeks became nearly two years, as I shortly after became a permanent worker as a site manager on the island. In the summer of 1974 our operations in Famagusta ceased and in connection with the evacuation of my guests, during the invasion, I became familiar with, and in cooperation, with the Swedish UN battalion outside Famagusta.
Back home in Sweden in the autumn of 1974, I was unemployed as a “tourist worker”. In November came a request from the UN if I wanted to go down to the UN battalion in Sinai, Egypt, to serve as a Travel Officer – ie arranging holiday trips for the battalion. I accepted the offer and got a good insight into how a UN battalion works. This was 1974-75.
Around the turn of the year 2000, I came in contact with Fredsbaskrarna Sverige (Peace Berets Sweden), an association that brings together UN veterans under its banner. Friendship, nostalgia and relief work is their business idea. They even have a membership magazine, Fredsbaskern. I was a graphic designer and in charge of the printing of the newspaper for eight years. Periodically, I was also their editor.
Doing this newspaper work, I came in contact with many UN veterans, who in one way or another had a relationship with books about peacekeeping. After having produced a book about the Suez crisis of 1956, I decided to set up a publishing house, for I knew that several publications/books would show up in connection with my newspaper commitment.
This way came my publishing company came to life. It has now been ten years since its inception.
I ran excursions, including to the delightful picturesque Kyrenia. I remember a restaurant in the harbour called Ambrosia, where I had lunch with my guests. We also made a visit to a blind man named Klitos. He had a small wine shop. There we got a taste of the fine wines that the region produced. We also purchased an occasional small demijohn of wine of the timid Klitos.