The nature of Abai, the voice of Abai, Abai's breath is the breath

of time, the voice of the people. Today the poet's voice merges with

our voices, growing stronger and gaining new power.

M. Auezov


A significant date - the 175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbayev at the state level will be celebrated next year. This event is of special importance for all Kazakhstan people.

Abai Kunanbayev is a great poet, philosopher, composer, public figure, and founder of modern Kazakh literature, culture reformer in the spirit of rapprochement with Russian and European culture on the basis of enlightened liberal Islam.

Abai Kunanbayev was born in August 1845 in Chingiz district of Semipalatinsk uyezd of West Siberian governor-generalship (now - Abai district of East Kazakhstan region) in the family of the head of the Tobykty clan. Thanks to his grandmother Zere, the name given by father "Ibrahim" was replaced by caressing "Abai", that means "prudent, thoughtful." Under this name, he lived all his life and went down in history.

Started in his childhood, Abai's home studies with mullah was continued in the madrassas with mullah Ahmed Riza in Semipalatinsk, where he taught Arabic, Persian, and other Eastern languages. At the same time, he attended a Russian school. By the end of the five-year study, he began to write poetry, at first attributing their authorship to his friend Kokay Zhantasov. From the age of 13, his father Kunanbai began to accustom Abai to the activities of the head of the genus. At the age of 28, Abai shifted away from it, entirely engaged in self-education but only by the age of 40, he creates his first significant poems.

Here Abai's genius was revealed in its entirety. He gained extraordinary authority and popularity. Akyns, singers, composers flocked to him, talented youth crowded around him, social-philosophical and literary schools were created.

As a poet, he raised the improvisational poetry of the Kazakhs to the level of classical poetry, expanded its themes, introduced unknown genres and forms. Abandoning the traditional external descriptions and wordy praise, he created a deep socio-philosophical lyrics, revealing the inner state of the human being and the deep flow of multifaceted existence. Tenderness, melody, sensuality of eastern poetry found in his work a wonderful harmony with the intellectuality, psychologism of western literature. It is Abai who is the founder of the school of written literature of the early 20th century with its civic pathos, stylistic diversity, acute social orientation, bright artistic palette.

Abai is the quintessence of Kazakh philosophy, a thinker who raised the national philosophy to new heights. He reflects on the problem of the human being, develops the doctrine of moral qualities, puts forward humanistic principles of moral perfection, believes that without the spiritual growth of the person, any activity in this world loses its meaning. The poet-philosopher studied the aesthetic problems closely intertwined with ethical, considered questions of cognitive abilities of the person and their features in the Kazakh national image of the world. Man must find his place, find himself and be himself:

"Look deeper into the soul, be yourself:

I am a mystery to you, me and my path!

Know, descendant, that I have opened the way for you.

I fought against thousands, don't take it amiss!"  

The rich heritage of Abai Kunanbayev is a remarkable phenomenon in the history of world culture. Not by accident that 1995 was declared the year of Abai by UNESCO. Abai's anniversary was celebrated in twenty-five countries. Celebrations on the occasion of Abay's 150th anniversary were held in Paris, Ankara, Delhi, Beijing, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Cairo, Budapest, and other cities.

The funds of the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan- Elbassy have extensive material that reflects not only the events of the anniversary of 1995 but also testifying to the activities to perpetuate the name of the great Kazakh poet and promote his historical heritage. 

Speaking on August 9, 1995, at the solemn meeting on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of A. Kunanbayev, held at the Palace of the Republic in Almaty, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev noted: "Ideals sought by the Abai are not confined to national boundaries, they have found a universal sound. The brilliant thinker, who is now honored by the whole world, in the last century, remoted from world civilization, he foresaw what should be a society based on freedom and equality of peoples, professing peace and harmony."

Speech by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the solemn meeting on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Abai Kunanbayev. Almaty, 9 August 1995. From the personal archive of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbassy.

August 11, 1995, the Grand opening of the new memorial complex of Abai and Shakarim in Zhidebay - unique both in architectural design and in construction. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nursultan Nazarbayev said that "from now on, this sacred place in the ancestral birthplace of Abai will become a spiritual Mecca for everyone who shares his ideas about the life of peoples in peace, equality, and harmony, in a constant effort to enrich the cultural heritage of each other."

Speech by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev at the opening ceremony of the new complex of A. Kunanbayev State Historical, Cultural and Literary Memorial Reserve Museum. Semipalatinsk region, 11 August 1995. From the personal archive of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbassy.

On these holidays, many foreign political and public figures congratulated in the received correspondence addressed to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.Nazarbayev the people of Kazakhstan on the 150th anniversary of Abai.

From the personal archive of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbassy.

Inventory 1. Case 735. Pages 5, 6


The great son of the Kazakh people, Abai Kunanbayev, left a legacy of beautiful creations. They represent his whole life, his dreams of a bright future. His fiery verses and wise "words of edification" will never lose their power and relevance. The works of the great Kazakh poet and educator have been translated into more than 30 languages. Streets and monuments are named after the poet in many cities of the world.

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan I. Karimov take part in the opening ceremony of the monument to Abai.

Tashkent, 14 June 2013. From the personal archive of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbassy.

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin take part in the opening ceremony of the monument to the great Kazakh poet and thinker Abai Kunanbayev on Chistoprudny Boulevard. Moscow, 4 April 2006. From the personal archive of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Elbassy

The book fund contains the publication "Word about Abai" - the report by President N. Nazarbayev at the 150th anniversary of Abai Kunanbayev, held under the auspices of UNESCO. "To lead the nation and society out of the impasse, from the doomed state, a leader with prophetic vision, angelic purity of thoughts, lion's fearlessness, generously endowed with talents, chosen by nature and history itself, is needed. It is these qualities, coupled with a striking intellect and a powerful spirit that allowed Abai to ascend into the era of hard times and stand in the selected number of spiritual knights of mankind. Without fully comprehending his era, it is impossible to comprehend the deep essence of his creative heritage" - writes Elbassy. The book is published in Russian, Kazakh and English. On the basis of this report, Xinjiang publishing house released the book in Chinese, Uighur and Kazakh languages. This edition is also stored in the book fund of the Library of the Elbassy.

A special place in the Personal Library of the President is occupied by books presented to the President by the authors and having inscriptions. The book "Abai. The severity of the flight" by Nikolai Anastasyev from the series "Life of remarkable people" was signed by the author: "to Nursultan Nazarbayev - a politician, a philosopher-humanist, a man who carries a heavy burden of power with dignity."

The book "The way of Abai" by Mukhtar Auezov, translated into Russian, was presented to President Nursultan Nazarbayev by the author of the translation - Anatoly Kim, as evidenced by the signature.

Collection of books of the Library of Elbassy, associated with the name of Abai, completes the collection "Qalyń elіm kazaǵym", was presented by the head of the editorial Board of the publishing house "Álem ádebıetі" Bek Elubaev. The publication contains poems, translations, "Words of edification" by Abai Kunanbayev.

In the inscription in the book "Abai: Qara sózder" chief editor Zhumagali Ismagulov writes "Dear Mr. President! The favorite son of the people Nursultan Abishevich! As a sign of respect and best wishes to you."

Thinker Abai for almost two centuries is admired by different generations of people with the depth of his thoughts and the brightness of the language. As N. Nazarbayev noted, "it is good to have the Year of Abai. It is a good thing to memorizing verses of Abai. But it is even more beautiful if Abai's deep thoughts and bold revelations are not just repeated in small talks but lie down as strong bricks in the foundation of our daily affairs. This should always be sought. Only this is the only proof of our loyalty to the wise precepts and instructions of Abai, our deep understanding, and awareness of our duty to the memory of the Teacher." And today Abai's works inspire Kazakhstanis to serve their Fatherland, support the desire for education, knowledge, and the development of nations through culture.