Bust of Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayev unveiled at Iran’s national library 

October 30, 2020 - 18:28

TEHRAN – A bust of Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbayev (1845-1904) has been unveiled at the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI) in Tehran.

Kazakh Ambassador Askhat Orazbay and NALI director Ashraf Borujerdi also attended an unveiling ceremony of the bust at the NLAI Museum of Books and Documentary Heritage, the NALI reported on Wednesday.

In a short speech, Borujerdi said that cultural communications with neighboring countries, including Kazakhstan, will help learn more about the thoughts of the poetry.

“Kazakhstan enjoys great cultural treasures. Abai is one of the prominent figures of the country. He is like Ferdowsi for Iranians and we hope people get to know these poets better,” she added.

“A great personality like Abai encouraged us to install his bust at the library to reinforce cultural relations between the two countries, because poets play great roles in preserving intellectual heritage,” she noted. 

Orazbay also expressed happiness over setting up the bust of Abai at the library and called it great respect, because Abai was a great poet for the people of Kazakhstan who always encouraged his people to learn knowledge.

The ambassador added that he welcomes additional cultural collaborations between the national library and Kazakh cultural organizations. 

He also noted that the Embassy of Kazakhstan will try to provide the library with various books published in Persian, English and Arabic.

Abai Kunanbayev was born at the bottom of the Chingiz Mountain in today’s Abai district located in the Eastern Kazakhstan region.

He was a well-known Kazakh poet, a great thinker, composer, philosopher, the founder of written Kazakh literature, and its first classic scholar.

The heritage he left his nation is rich in songs and poems, translations and prose. 

His translations of the poetry written by Russian writers and poets such as Pushkin, Lermontov and Krylov became the national patrimony of Kazakhstan. He also translated the works of Schiller, Goethe and Byron into the Kazakh language.

Photo: NALI director Ashraf Borujerdi (L) and Kazakh Ambassador Askhat Orazbay pose after unveiling a bust of Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayev at the National Library and Archives of Iran in Tehran on October 28, 2020. (NALI)