About the novel ‘Sultan Beibars’ of the famous screenwriter and publicist Yermek Tursunov
The novel of the famous screenwriter and publicist Yermek Tursunov is dedicated to Sultan Beibars, an outstanding ruler and commander of the East, whose roots were originally from a Qazaq tribe ‘Qipchaq’. The tribe inhabited the territory of Western Qazaqstan.
Little Mahutbek became a witness to the attack of enemies on his village, before his eyes they killed his father and local inhabitants. He managed to escape death, but he was captured, sold into slavery in a distant country. By the will of fate his name was inscribed in the history of this country in gold letters. He had severe trials in his life, he overcame betrayal of friends, loss of loved ones. He was deprived of his past and could not see good prospects for the future. But the only thing the enemy could not take away was his spirit of freedom, which allowed him to survive and from an ordinary slave to get to the top of the Ruling power, bringing with himself prosperity, wisdom and development for the country and its people.
Sultan Beibars established a huge and one of the wealthiest empire, which included the territories of Palestine, Libya, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Turkey. The Mamluks' empire, created by him, never suffered defeat. Sultan Beibars was recognized by the Arab world as a saint, since he saved Islam from enslavement. The Arab East could at some point turn out to be Buddhist or Catholic. But this did not happen largely due to the military genius of Beibars. It was he who stopped the Mongols, and later - the Crusaders, who went to Jerusalem to free the Holy Sepulcher.
In Egypt, the Mamluks were the soldiers whom the Egyptian traveling salesmen bought in Italy's slave markets and were being transported to do service for them. Sons of the Great Steppe or as it was called at that time Desht -i Qipchaq in Islamic sources were particularly prized. Everyone knew that there were no better soldiers and riders in the world than nomads. They received an austere military upbringing and were converted to Islam. The word ‘mamluk’ means in Arabic language ‘property’. But Beibars managed to change the original derogatory meaning of the word ‘mamluk’ by his actions and achievements. Since the time of Sultan Beibars, the Mamluks have become a powerful knightly military caste and some of them even were rules of the country.
Mamluks’ power in Egypt, North Africa and the Levant lasted from 1250 to 1517.
In the novel, the hero appears before the reader in various hypostases. A beloved son of the valiant leader of the Qipchaq nomadic tribe; a weak-willed slave, biding his time; an obedient disciple, who comprehends Eastern wisdom; true believer, who came to ‘a new God’ and dedicated his life to serve Him; a noble warrior and a defender of the Sultan; a ruler and a conqueror; a patron and a cleric, who spread and strengthened Islam throughout the territory of ruled by him land.
Becoming the leader of a country without being born in it, Beibars all his life dreamed to return to his homeland. Spoken language of the Mamluks army were Turkic languages. When submitting the command, the troops used the ancient Qazaq instrument, which is called a ‘kobyz’. The Mamluk troops used to live in traditional Qazaq jurts in campaigns.
About acts of bravery of Sultan Beibars, a former slave many legends were composed. One of them tells how the Sultan once inbreathed the odor of wormwood, heard the forgotten native word from childhood, and he more strongly than ever wished to get back to his homeland. Beibars decided to leave the throne and to return to the land of his ancestors, to the native Qipchaq steppes, but on his way to home he died in the territory of Syria. The body of the Sultan is buried in the mausoleum named after him in Damascus, which exists by today.
Yermek Tursunov says that he was interested in Sultan Beibars personality since he was a student at the University, as a result later he wrote the novel ‘Mamluk’.
He believes that Sultan Beibars is quite comparable in scale to Genghis Khan, to Napoleon, and to Alexander the Great.
A legendary figure, which personality is studied very little. Beibars in Egypt, for example, a canonized figure, he is an icon. They never tell Beibars, but call him ‘the father of victory’, ‘the king of kings’, ‘a defender of the faith, because he stopped not only the Crusaders, but also the Mongols, defended Jerusalem, which was the capital of the Arab world’, says the author of the book.
The writer described the scenes of battles very colorfully. The novel has a dynamic plot, it describes military exploits, grandiose battles, fateful deeds, bright characters, an exotic environment.
The novel contains elements of adventure and that’s why it would be of interest primarily to young readers or readers who like reading adventure books. The book has already been published in Russian and Arabic languages. The author promised, that very soon the English version of the book will be available for English-speaking readers.
About a remarkable work of an outstanding Qazaq writer Saken Zhunusov ‘A House in the Steppe’
A novel ‘A House in the Steppe’ of a famous Qazaq writer Saken Zhunusov is the writer’s response to the Virgin Lands Campaign, realized in Qazaqstan and the collectivization of the 1930s.
In a novel ‘A House in the Steppe’ we see a skepticism of the main hero to the external world and its rejection by him.
The writer constructed the story on the basis of real historical events took place in one of a tseliny sovkhoz (a State farm) of the Northern Qazaqstan. According to the author, virgin lands development unveils its specific problems. The scale of problems is so wide, they start from economical sphere and penetrate into the spiritual, moral nature of man.
‘Along with heroic labor I tried to show in it a collapse of a private property, its last symbol in a waste-land of Great Nomads – a lonely house’ – wrote the author.
The writer shows in an image of antihero Karasay, how the human personality collapses. A moneymaker and speculator cut off from the world in a bastel-house. All his corrupt desires were aimed at an iron chest, hidden in a cot.
For example, in a thirst for savings he lost his elder son – Zhalel, he bothered his younger son, whose name is Khalel, to go to school, making him speculate. He made a homeless child Dik (Tursun) his hand inviting him once to his house.
With her pretended interest Agashka Yapishkina fell beyond customs and traditions of local people and people who worked on virgin lands development. Appeared at random on tselina she ‘turned out to be a useful person’ for Karasay. Because of her Karasay’s wife Zhamish left him after 30 years of ‘a voluntary solitude in this deserted house’.
A way of life of another heroine of the novel Raikhan Sultanova counters view of Karasay and Agashka. She is a unique woman of the Great Steppe, whose rough life made her strong and brave. She is a symbol of strength of spirit.
The novel is based on ideas of tolerance and humanity. For example, after the death of Raikhan’s father a care about the girl takes on his shoulders Kurgerey (Grigory), relations between Khalel and Tamara are unselfish, unity of opinion characterizes Morgun and Raikhan.
About the Author
Saken Zhunusov was born in a large family in a village under a name Kyzyltu, situated in Kokshetau region in 1934.
He graduated from the Philological Faculty of Qazaq State University in 1955 and worked as a teacher at a secondary school of his native village. Having completed postgraduate studies, he worked as a senior teacher in higher educational institutions of Almaty and Qostanay.
He acted as a literary employee at the magazine ‘Pioneer’, an Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper ‘Qazaq adebieti’, a Head of the Literary Department of the Qazaq Academic Drama Theater named after Mukhtar Auezov, a Director of the Qazaqstani branch of the Literary Fund of the USSR, a Secretary of the Writers' Union of Qazaqstan.
He completed courses of Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow. For a long time Saken Zhunusov worked as an anchorman of the programs ‘Kesh zharyқ’ (‘Good evening’) and ‘Cinema. Time. Contemporary.’.
Saken Zhunusov in a modern Qazaq literuature is one of the most outstanding writer among writers of older generation. For half a century of his creative activity, he enriched Qazaq literature with four novels, dozens of plays and a lot of stories. He is an author of more than a hundred studies and critical articles on the problems of literature and theater.
Saken Zhunusov was engaged in journalism. His articles amaze with their truly intellectual, patriotic ideas and thoughts. His style of writing impresses the reader with original manner devoid of stereotypes and ‘explosiveness’ in his texts. He possessed such qualities as courage and uncompromising.
His publications about time and about himself were published as a separate book under a title ‘Saken-sery is talking about the people, the people are talking about Saken-sery’. The book contains his reflections on the past and future of the people, the fate of Homeland, language, culture, national mentality of Qazaq people.
Concerning a role of history in his works the writer noted: ‘A person who has no memory, no history, no spiritual biography, is doomed to spiritual poverty and is not able to succeed in modern environments.’
Saken Zhunusov's works are interesting not only because they reflected the problems of the life of the nomadic people, he dreamed of spiritual revival of the individuality, which, in his opinion, is possible only through self-knowledge and upbringing of the sense of responsibility of each person for the future of the nation and country on the whole.
The motto of the writer's life and creative activity was the truth. He was deeply convinced that only the truth and universal values can unite people and lead to a new path of development. As a writer Saken Zhunusov enriched literature with new themes, ideas, conflicts, plots and images.
Saken Zhunusov's drama is widely known in the country. His plays ‘A Tragedy of Azhar’, ‘Wounded Flowers’, ‘A Crossword’, ‘Prisoners’, ‘Leaders and Their Shadows’, ‘Spilled Blood’ and others have been staged for decades on the stages of the theaters of Qazaqstan. He is the author of about twenty plays.
Saken Zhunusov is a laureate of the State Prize for the play ‘An Equinox’, as well as the laureate of the ‘Astana-Baitere’" Prize for the play ‘Ablai Khan’ and ‘Criminals’.
He achieved significant success in a literary translation. In particular, he translated into Qazaq language the works of Leo Tolstoy, Oles Honchar, Stefan Zweig, and also: ‘Fiesco’s conspiracy at Genoa’ by the German classic Friedrich Schiller, ‘The Old Man and Death’ by Tatar playwright Tufan Minullin, ‘The End of the World 2000’ by the Russian author Igor Vovnyanko.
That Bird’s Name is Freedom by a young, far-promising Qazaq poet Duisenali Alimakyn
Dear our readers,
‘Adebiet portal’ with great pleasure cooperates with talented and far-promising writers and poets from Qazaqstan, who writes in English and for this purpose we created a project under a title ‘Literature for pleasure’.
Hereby we propose to our readers’ attention a small piece of art, written by a young, far-promising Qazaq poet Duisenali Alimakyn, who writes a post-modern poetry.
We hope that you will be pleasantly surprised to discover his poetry.
Duisenali Alimakyn, born in 1989, a poet, translator, works at the Institute of Linguistics named after A.Baitursynuly. Author of the poem collection «The November Birds song».
The sun and moon
The sun asked «where's the moon's house?»
The moon asked «where's the sun's rays?»
The sun asked «who will sing the song of freedom?»
The moon asked « what is higher than mountain, than pure dignity?»
The sun asked « does innocent hearts burn in the fire?»
The moon asked « will the sun shine after the storm?»
I couldn’t answer the questions of the sun.
I couldn’t answer the questions of the moon.
I can teach them poems and songs.
I can tell them what I saw and
What I learned along the way.
I can try to tell them what is precious.
Yes, what is precious?
I should to know that.
They say I am the youngest poet on the Earth.
There is a great question in my heart
What is precious?
This Earth is ours
This garden we must tend.
These people we love.
This is a poem that came to me from the Stone Age Era
Known it the heavens and the Earth, the seas.
This is a poem that came to me from the sounds
Of the liberty song of freedom
Known it heroes who holding golden color spears
And the hoof horses.
So, the sky and the earth also constantly sing
And the birds.
That song name is Heartfelt.
That bird's name is Freedom.
When I left my homeland
The mountains hugged me；
The roads made me go for a long trip
The rivers hurry to the west
Old mum waved with tears…
My mother stood up and did not say anything,
The steppe symphony revived in my ears,
The Dombyra* sound heard from the
The black dog smelled my leg；
And the black horse tied on the sill.
While lightning made a game on the sky,
And dreams waved hands from a distance
Song for steppe written in my heart
When I left my homeland.
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
If not day, year?
If not here, where?
If not rain, what?
If not way, rock.
If not flower, thorn
If not fair, lie.
If not morning, night
If not dark, light.
If not hate, like
If not death, life.
If not sky, earth
If not winter, autumn
If not birds, clouds
If not theater, prison.
We will meet
That will happen
That might happen.
I will send you my heart-letters
I will have you thousands of kisses.
That will happen
That might happen.
I will give you a present that is made of clouds
I will write your name on my soul.
That will happen
That might happen.
The world is living in dark days
Black flowers full of streets are sad.
Black horse flying on my horizon
Owner is my soul and heart.
The voice of my heart – World`s breath
That voice came to night sky.
Black flowers hair of centuries footsteps
Black horse is – dancing shadow.
That shadow was on that side of my window.
GIVE ME A THOUSAND KISSES
I'm jealous without a cause,
But that is my heart's wish.
My handgrip brings
A lot of scented roses
Honey, give me a thousand kisses.
If you give me a thousand kisses
It would be a glowing to my darkening world.
Have you felt that my tears
Are my life's juices?
Because you've tightened my hand holding
Your shining world
My one and only image
As the master hand shooting at us
Your voice became my heart's hymn.
My soul’s song to forever more.
MISSING YOU IS MY DESTINY
She came back to say goodbye
The soul of spring, in the heart of Winter.
Accompanied by a dirt road,
I went along with nostalgia.
Moderated by a skinny soul.
Only one hope left,
Accompanied by a poem.
Grief set on fire,
Burned everyone left away from home.
I took the next truck
The fate of going along.
I call the mornings,
As they bring long days.
Losing the dream,
It's nostalgia imprisoned.
Are those truthful things
A tribute of stone to embrace my city?
The poem is a silver smile,
A heart quake in shuddered structure.
Passion doesn't matter,
When one night is pretending to be
A whole month.
Depth is a black eye sea
When a star falls.
Please, don't say
That I can't go too far.
I'm flying off your shiny sky.
But never mind,
I won't fall apart.
'My name is Kozha' is the book that awakens children in us
In Qazaq literature there is an author whose children's stories are read and reread by several generations of adults and children. The book, which made the name of Berdibek Sokpakbaev popular is called 'My name is Kozha'.
'What was experienced as a child would never be forgotten. Impressions never go away, never cool down. They keep warm like a heat under ash. Just blow the cinder and you see a flare-up!' - used to say Berdibek Sokpakbaev.
The writer's childhood was not easy. Berdibek Sokpakbaev was born in 1924 in one of the mountain villages of the Narynkol district of the Alma-Ata region. The boy grew up in a poor family. At the age of eight he lost his mother. His mother's death became a chronic source of pain for the rest of his life.
The first years of his life Berdibek Sokpakbaev described in details in a book 'Balalyq shaqqa sayahat' ('A Journey to Childhood'), which was published in 1960. But, nevertheless writer's childhood memories reflected in all the books of the author. Despite all trials in his life, little Berdibek was noted for his curiosity and abilities.
Love for knowledge and reading was imparted to the boy by his elder brother Satylgan, who later died in the Second World War.
The hero of the story 'My name is Kozha' is a dreamer and a naughty boy. He falls into the most improbable situations, but he overcomes them successfully thanks not only to his cleverness, but also to a kind, compassionate heart, loyalty to friendship. These features of the main charachter evoke readers' sympathy towards him.
Due to the fact that the main character of the book behaves disobediently, the writer could not find a publishing house for a long time, which would agree to publish it. A big reason for this was that at that time it was believed that such heroes can only be negative, and the children should be educated on the basis of exceptionally positive characters. Berdibek Sokpakbaev clearly proved that the hero of the book must have the right to make mistakes, he must go through trials, and only in this case he is able to become a human personality.
Berdibek Sokpakbaev's heroes, particularly Kozha, are autobiographical. But the works of a talented Qazaq writer are devoid of edification, which was peculiar for Soviet children's literature. There is no such thing as 'preaching' in his works.
Berdibek Sokpakbaev's heroes are alive, rebellious and amazing as magical world of childhood. Growing up, we forget a sense of wondrous, joyful discovery about the Universe, and only a few lucky people know how to preserve in their hearts children's impressionability and spontaneity.
Berdibek Sokpakbaev was such a talented child. He said that when he was a child, he was one of those few fidgets, who usually never went to class until the last bell rang. It was impossible for him to sit for a long time somewhere outside the lessons.
The remarkable book 'My name is Kozha' was published by the publishing house 'Children's Literature' in 1957 and became widely read and popular among readers very quickly.
The heroes of Sokpakbaev's novel grow up in difficult post-war times. But how nuch light and joy, spontaniety are there in their characters?! Kozha takes hard his mother's emotional pain. He grows up without father, at the same time he has conflicts both with schoolmates, and with teachers. He is a creative being, poet. But he never gives up and strongly believes in a bright future.
The main topic of the story is the theme of growing up. Before our eyes, a mischief Kozha becomes different, he honestly tries to change for the better, for first time in his life he realizes what responsibility falls on his shoulders. It is a responsibility for his mother and grandmother, a responsibility for himself and his future.
Perhaps the events taking place in the life of Kozha can not be called special and his adventures are devoid of any heroism. The fate of Kozha is the fate of thousands and thousands of boys and girls of his age, who today became an older generation. But behind the realities of the old times one can find the same experiences and thoughts that are typical for today's Qazaqstani and worldwide teenagers.
Even being alive Berdibek Sokpakbaev became a classic of Qazaq literature. His books were published in large editions, they were readily read in libraries. The writer also created plays and screenplays. On the basis of his novels 'My name is Kozha' and 'A Journey to Childhood' were produced feature films. The film 'My name is Kozha' was released in 1963. In 1967, it was awarded a prize at the International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Cannes. This film has become one of the most beloved films in the country.
Masterfully written story 'My name is Kozha', based on the life and realities of the people's life of that era, is full of light sadness and good humor. This is a unique book that awakens in readers their best feelings.
Children’s books may have an exceptionally driving effect on us, they shape and give an insight on a lot of things surrounding us, thanks to them we get to know what is bad and what is good, we start to understand our inner world and outside world. Sometimes an effect that easily achieved by children's book can not be achieved by adult books. Children's books are the first pieces of art that we ever come across.
The book 'My name is Kozha' was published in English in 2015 within the framework of the project 'We are Qazaq people', realized by the Qazaq Pen Club to introduce for wide auditorium of readers Qazaq writers' works.
The book is translated into English by the famous American translator Catherine Fitzpatrick, and published in the publishing house 'Metropolitan Classics' (New York, USA).
About the Author
Berdibek Sokpakbaev was born in 1924 in one of the mountain villages of Narynkol district of Alma-Ata region. At the same place he graduated from secondary school.
Then he joined the army. After being in the army he entered Abai Qazaq Pedagogical Institute in Almaty and later on he graduated from the Higher Literary Courses in Moscow.
Berdibek Sokpakbaev was engaged in journalism for a few years, he worked in the editorial offices of such newspapers and magazines as 'Qazaq adebieti', 'Baldyrgan' and also he worked at the film studio.
At the same time he worked as a teacher for several years in the schools of his native region. He was always worried about the problems of children's upbringing.
That's why he paid special attention to writing books for children and Youth.
He acted as a consultant on Children's literature in the Writers' Union of Qazaqstan.
Berdibek Sokpakbaev's writing path began from a collection of poems. It was published in 1950 and immediately gain popularity among readers. The next book of the writer - the story 'Champion' was published in 1951.