Galimkair Mutanov: "It's time to realize dreams that were on our spiritual leaders' minds at dawn of last century"
Kazakhstan's embassy in Azerbaijan is implementing a project to publish books in the Azerbaijani language, focused on important historical periods of the formation of Kazakh statehood and historical figures, as well as well-known scientists, cultural and literary personalities. The book of poems in the Kazakh language by an outstanding Azerbaijani poet and playwright of the early 20th century, Huseyn Javid, was presented yesterday at the Kazakhstan Embassy in Baku. The book was prepared by the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University with the support of the Kazakh embassy and ANAS. The rector at Al Farabi Kazakh National University, Vice-President of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Academician Galimkair Mutanov answered the questions of Vestnik Kavkaza after the presentation.
- Why did you choose Hussein Javid?
- If in Soviet times we knew such classics as Nizami and Fuzuli well, then with the coming of sovereignty new faces have appeared in our countries. Since Hussein Javid (1882-1941) was repressed, very few people knew him in Azerbaijan. However, in the last decades they started to publish his works, so these books reached Kazakhstan. Then it became clear that Hussein Javid, who suffered for his views, is comparable with [the Kazakh writer, one of the founders of the Kazakh literature] Magzhan Zhumabaev (1893-1938), who was also repressed. Zhumabayev was not published in the Soviet period, but now he is one of the most famous Kazakh poets. Today, people show great interest in his personality, in his works.
When we translated Hussein Javid's works into Kazakh, it became clear that he had a lot in common with Magzhan. They both dreamed of the independence of their countries, the rapprochement of the Turkic peoples, the future generation living in an independent state. These ideas, which were on many intellectuals' minds at that time, have been implemented. But we have to fill the gaps, talk about what people did not know before.
Hussein Javid and Magzhan Zhumabayev
Today we talked about Korkut. [The hero of the Oghuz epic 'Book of Dede Korkut', which is a symbol of rapprochement of the entire Turkic world, the legendary Turkic thinker, philosopher and poet of the 9th century, narrator, patron of poets and musicians. The epic tales about him can be found among Kazakhs, Azerbaijanis and Turks - VK] Korkut is our spiritual leader. And when Azeris and Turks talk about Korkut, you begin to understand that this is our common hero.
Few people know about al-Farabi also. [Abu Nasr al-Farabi - philosopher, mathematician, music theorist, one of the largest representatives of medieval oriental philosophy - VK] He is a native of Farab, now it is Otrar - a site of ancient settlement in the Otrar district of the Turkestan region. His works contain deep philosophy.
We should be proud of such people. President Nursultan Nazarbayev called upon the people of Kazakhstan to revive our spirituality, because our history was not presented as it is earlier. There is a lot of work in this direction. Creating a single, holistic history of the Turkic peoples requires efforts of scientists from all countries.
- What other projects are you planning to implement in this direction?
- Next year, at the initiative of our president, the International Congress of Turkology will be held in Astana. The first congress was held in Baku in the 1920s, when the tsarist empire was already destroyed, and the Soviet government was in its infancy. At that time, many had a desire to revive all national things, revive their statehood, culture, and spirituality. Then the congress discussed issues of writing, the transition to Latin. Many of the ideas that we are talking about were voiced at that time. But the USSR had other goals, other tasks. And now it's time to realize dreams that were on our spiritual leaders' minds at the dawn of the last century.