On October 8-9, 2020, the International Forum “Abai and Humanism”, dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the great Kazakh poet and thinker Abai Kunanbayev, was held online at Nazarbayev University.
Over 125 participants from Kazakhstan, Turkey, the Netherlands, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and other countries gathered for the forum, which had the following goals: to popularize the creative heritage of Abai, instill patriotism in the younger generation, inspire love for the Motherland, and foster respect for the traditions and customs of the Kazakh people.
During the forum, scholars from the humanities, social and natural sciences exchanged experiences and research results in the field of Abay studies, discussed the main points related to the poet’s creative and literary heritage in the modern world.
The opening ceremony was attended by Shigeo Katsu, NU President, Darkhan Kydyruli, President of the International Turkic Academy, Dr. Daniel Pugh, Dean of the School of Sciences and Humanities of Nazarbayev University, Uli Schamiloglu, Professor, Head of the Department of Kazakh Language and Turkology at Nazarbayev University.
“Abai is a global phenomenon. He cared about the eternal future of his people and showed them the right path. The path indicated by Abai is the human path, the path of deep knowledge and science, the path of art and culture! Nazarbayev University is also providing to students, as Abai said, deep knowledge and good education.”, Said NU President Shigeo Katsu in his welcoming speech.
Participants of the forum noted that the 175th anniversary of the Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai is widely celebrated not only in Kazakhstan, but also in Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and European countries. Centers for the Study of Abai’s Creative Heritage were opened in many countries to facilitate studying the great poet’s work, which is a rich spiritual heritage that belongs to the entire world.
“In a very short time since its foundation, Nazarbayev University has established itself as one of the best not only in Kazakhstan, but throughout the world under the chairmanship of Mr. Shigeo Katsu. It was a great honor for me to meet with him personally.” said Professor from Turkey Orkhan Soylemez in his speech.
In his report, Orkhan Soylemez touched upon the theme of the struggle against female inequality, raised in the works of Abai, on the example of Abai’s poem “Bir sulu kyz turypty khan kolynda”. Kazakhstani Abay scholars: Mekemtas Myrzakhmetov, Tursyn Zhurtbay, Anar Fazylzhan, Aigul Ismakova, Gultas Kurmanbay shared their new discoveries and works in the study of Abai’s creativity during the forum. Students of the School of Sciences and Humanities Darina Zhunusova, Akbota Rustemkyzy, Nurlybek Toktarov performed Abai’s poems in English, Turkish and Kazakh.
The forum was also attended by Zifa-Alua Auezova, the granddaughter of academician and writer Mukhtar Auezov, who wrote an epic novel about the life of the poet “Abai Zholy”.