Thursday, March 29, 2012
A Celebration of Ismail Gasprinskiy
Every year the birth date of the great Crimean Tartar writer and educator, Ismail Gasprinskiy, is celebrated in Crimea. Born March 21, 1851 (though some sources report his birth date as March 8), Ismail Gasprinskiy had a profound influence on Crimean Tatar life at the beginning of the twentieth century, and today is considered “the father of the modern Crimean Tatar nation.”
This year, the Gasprinskiy Library, the Ministry of Culture and Arts in Crimea, and the Gasprinskiy Memorial Museum in Bakhchiseray, came together to produce a series of celebrations dedicated to the memory of Ismail Gasprinskiy. In the tradition of memorial events in Ukraine, at the beginning of the celebrations flowers were laid at the monument to Gasprinskiy located on the Salgir River in Simferopol. The nearby city of Bakhchiseray (location of Gasprinkiy’s home and seat of the Crimean Khanate in the 16th-18th centuries) hosted two days of literary readings called “The World of Ismail Gasprinskiy.”
In Simferopol our library created a special display of books by and about Ismail Gasprinskiy and hosted a book presentation of Refat Shakir Aliyev’s Eight Steps in the Footsteps of a Teacher—a collection of articles about Gasprinskiy’s philosophy. As a special addition to the event, a live conversation via Skype was held with the author from his home in Perth, Australia.
On the library website, there is a beautiful tribute to Ismail Gasprinskiy by renowned Crimean Tatar poet, Shakir Selim. Despite the limitations of depending on a translation through google and my poor Russian, I wanted to share it with you:
"O you who pierced the darkness of night, a Great man.
You in the world of the Turks, stood as the sun and returned the light of hope.
When it seemed that the course of life very much slowed down,
You gave a dream, you gave Faith and the wisdom covenant."