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Transcript of Abai Kunanbaev
Abay (Ibrahim) Qunanbayuli (Kazakh: Абай (Ибраһим) Құнанбайұлы)
(August 10, 1845 – July 6, 1904)
Kazakh writer, poet, lyricist, social philosopher. Born in Kazakhstan in Semey province, Abai Kunanbaev was educated at home and then sent to a medressa where he learned Arabic and Persian and became acquainted with Eastern literature and poetry. In Semey he actively participated in the city's intellectual life, studied Russian and Western classics by Pushkin, Goethe, and Byron and translated many of them for the first time into Kazakh.
Abai devoted many of his works to the violence of Kazakh labour rights e.g."Oh my Kazakh! My poor people!". Number of works were devoted to youth: "Our children", "Only youth - happy flower of life". And a real treasure is his poems expressing his feelings and love to the nature of his land: "Autumn", "Winter“, “Fall” and etc.
As a gifted interpreter Abai gave Kazakh people to enjoy the pearls of russian classic literature. During 15 years he translated more than 50 works of russian writers like Pushkin, Lermontov, Krylov etc. Abai's literary legacy also includes a number of ballads dedicated to eastern and western themes. Among these fictional pieces like "Mas'ud" (1887) and "Alexander"
Kunanbaev's works were influenced by his belief in human reason. He was attracted to Western Enlightenment thinking and wove criticism of Kazakh culture into his works, most notably in his collection of poems called Qarasozder (often translated as the Book of Words).
Despite the fact that many years have passed, several generations have changed since Abai times, “Book of Words” is actual today as never before, it is our reference point in life. This book includes different topics – Kazakhstan history, love for fatherland, culture, people's psychology and philosophy of life.
In his amazing Book of Words the poet expressed his reflections over a period of years, his searching and discoveries, anxiety and despair, sorrows and joy of revelations, anger and humility. His Book of Words is a deeply meaningful way to truth. The poet tirelessly reminds that humans have the greatest value in the world, and that they should be beautiful and harmoniously perfect. Their souls should also be beautiful, as should their mind, body and feelings. Understanding of the real world and the personal responsibility of everyone in the world – this is what the great poet worked for his art and life. Abai explains that the world is eternal, united and harmonious. Discord, anguish, even death cannot destroy the harmony, for they are natural.
The great poet of the steppe, not understood by his own people, remained alone, face to face with God. All his powers were dedicated to the enlightenment of his people, but the people only appreciated the enchanting melodies of his songs, and did not comprehend the deep essence of his thoughts, did not follow his wise advice.
That was the beginning and the end of the tragedy of Abai. He is buried near his wintering in Zhidebai valley, not far from Chingiz mountains.
He is beautiful and great in his eternal yearning for the truth