Shavkat Ismailov: “We are working on creation of Association of Kyrgyz people of Kazakhstan”
Shavkat Ismailov is the Chairman of the ethno-cultural association “Kyrgyzstan-Astana” and a member of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan. Sh. Ismailov is an active participant in the promotion of traditions, culture and language of Kyrgyz people.
—Could you tell us about “Kyrgyzstan-Astana”, the history of its creation?
—Our Kyrgyz ethno-cultural association “Kyrgyzstan-Astana” was established in 2005. The main purpose of the establishment is to unite ethnic Kyrgyz people, represent their interests in public and state organizations and provide support. In 1999, according to the results of the census of enumeration, the number of Kyrgyz people reached 10 thousand, now this number has reached 39 thousand, the main increase has been accounted for the settling migrants, so an important task for us is to assist in adaptation, integration with Kazakhstan's society. Also the important aim is presentation of Kyrgyz culture, traditions, customs, writers, famous public figures in Kazakhstan.
— What objectives does your association seek to strengthen interethnic relations between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan?
—The task of our centre is to promote cultural, humanitarian and scientific cooperation in various fields, participation in events held in Kyrgyzstan. “Kyrgyzstan-Astana” held a huge number of events to present the Kyrgyz model of interethnic tolerance and social harmony, in 2012 a large seminar was held with the participation of representatives of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan, deputies of the Majilis of Parliament, representatives of the Executive Office of the President and scientists. We exchanged experience in the sphere of state formation and ethnopolitics. In addition, our association constantly takes part in meetings of the official delegation from Kyrgyzstan.
— What projects have been implemented since the establishment of “Kyrgyzstan-Astana” NGO?
—There are dance and other creative groups, Sunday school “Kut Bilim” at our centre, where representatives of the Kyrgyz ethnos learn their native language, history and culture. The school of epic skill called “Manas aalamy” (Manas universe) has been functioning for 2 years, where we introduce children to Kyrgyz epic “Manas”. Sunday school prepares Manaschi, we have 7 children who actively participate in festivals. The project “Memory for the future” was launched to search and perpetuate the names of Kyrgyzstan natives, who were in repression in Kazakhstan. As part of this project, we have established a Memorial to the victims of political repression in the Memorial complex of Spassk in Karaganda region.
I would also like to note the project of the Centre for support and training of migrant workers, where our centre provides social and legal support to Kyrgyz people who come to Kazakhstan to work and sometimes find themselves in a difficult situation.
Mediation centre plays an important role in our Association. We have mediators at the centre, trainings are held constantly.
— What events and projects are held at your centre?
—One of the important directions of our Association is the work with vulnerable segments of the population, disabled people. We organized computer literacy courses for the disabled, trained 235 people and gave them 12 computers.
Representatives of our centre are the members of a special monitoring group to assess the implementation of the anti-corruption strategy 2015-2025 at Astana Department of Agency for Civil Service Affairs and Anti-corruption. In August, we participated in the public control over the distribution of state grants among the colleges of Astana.
Two representatives of our Association are members of Scientific and Expert Council of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan. This year our centre held one seminar with teachers and leaders of Sunday schools. This year, two seminars are scheduled for November, one for managers and teachers and a second one on the basis of Scientific and Expert Council with their members and online broadcasting in all areas, where scientific expert groups of areas will participate.
— Are there any similarities between the Kyrgyz and Kazakhs?
—Kyrgyz people and Kazakhs have similar culture, language, traditions, customs, common history and roots. During the famine and repression about 100 thousand Kazakh families sought refuge in Kyrgyzstan. In Kyrgyzstan, a provision was adopted to provide assistance and support to Kazakh families. At present, the number of descendants of Kazakhs who came to Kyrgyzstan during the repression reaches 40 thousand. We work with Sh. Ualikhanov Institute of History and Ethnology for research in Kyrgyz Republic, to write about these facts in history textbooks. If such data will be covered, it will contribute to the development and strengthening of relations between the two republics. Now we are conducting a study of Kyrgyz people, who lived in Akmola, Semipalatinsk, Karaganda, Aktobe and Kyzylorda regions three or four centuries ago. This material is being prepared for publication.
The centre has developed and published educational and methodical complex for Sunday schools, it is approved by the Department of education, scientific and expert council of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan. This training complex was published in a thousand copies and handed over to the Kyrgyz ethno-cultural associations throughout Kazakhstan.
— Could you tell us about your contribution to the magazine “Dostyk-Druzhba”? Please, tell us about your publications?
“Kyrgyzstan-Astana” closely cooperates with the magazine “Dostyk-Druzhba”, I am a member of the Editorial Board of the journal. Editor-in-chief of the journal Zeinegul Seissenova is now in Kyrgyzstan, we have helped for her accreditation.
— Could you tell us about the role of APK in the life of your Association.
— Our Association is a part of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan and actively participates in the events. About 130 people took part in the international specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 from our centre. I am a member of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan, a member of the Council of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan.
—What goals and objectives do you set for the future?
—The centre is working on creation of Association of Kyrgyz people of Kazakhstan, the initiative belongs to our Association, we also plan to develop a mediation centre. We have a humanitarian project that we started last year. It helps people who are in a difficult life situation.
Our centre works within the framework of the family reunification project. We have signed a Memorandum with the Red Crescent society of Kyrgyzstan and contribute to the search for people on the territory of Kazakhstan.
—Thanks for the interview!