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A Kazakh Teacher's Story

Surviving the Silent Steppe

Mukhamet Shayakhmetov

Asia Centrale

Anno - Date de Parution


Pagine - Pages


Titolo originale

A Kazakh Teacher's Story: Surviving the Silent Steppe

Lingua originale

Lingua - language - langue



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A Kazakh Teacher's Story: Surviving the Silent Steppe

A Kazakh Teacher's Story  

This book begins where 'The Silent Steppe' left off. It is early 1945, and the author, Mukhamet, still recuperating from serious war injuries, has travelled thousands of kilometres back to his home village in the eastern Kazakh steppe. As he encounters scenes of desperate poverty, he quickly realises the immense sacrifices made by local people, and particularly women, while the able-bodied men were away fighting. Mukhamet endeavours to pick up the pieces of his pre-war life, working hard to support his extended family, marrying, continuing his education, and eventually embarking on a life in teaching dedicated to giving young people the best education possible.Through his insightful portraits of local party bosses, district officials and bureaucrats, and tales of the vicissitudes of daily life, a broader, more personal picture emerges of life under Stalin, and of his pervading shadow decades on. The author's moral integrity, stoicism and profound respect for the struggles of the common people stand out in this memoir of a life of self-effacing dedication.



Mukhamet Shayakhmetov was born in Kamyshinka village, East Kazakhstan Region. He was drafted by enlistment office of administrative center of Kurshim District in 125th reserve regiment of Semipalatinsk city. Since June 27th, 1942 he served as a scout in 656th regiment of 116th Eastern Front infantry division, took part in Smolensk and Stalingrad battles. Returned home after the war and worked as a teacher in Kamyshinka village, meanwhile took extra-mural classes at teacher's training college. Then worked as a head of Cherdoyak middle school, Nikitinka village, Ulan District, from 1958 to 1983 as a head of 23rd school of Ust-Kamenogorsk. He got retired in 1983, but kept working for Ust-Kamenogorsk Titanium and Magnesium Plant. until March 1990. He wrote and published the book about years of war and labour.