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Nazarbaev's Fairy-Tale Life


So far, six books have been published in a series of fairy tales based on the life of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

So far, six books have been published in a series of fairy tales based on the life of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

If sycophancy toward the Kazakh president really exists -- as many claim -- the author of a series of fairy tales takes it a step farther.

Roza Akbulatova's six books -- including "My President," "Akpatsha," ("White King"), and "Elbasy Nursultan"-- are available in Kazakh, Russian, and English with colorful illustrations and filled with Nazarbaev's portraits.

They focus on Nursultan Nazarbaev's life -- from his childhood in the village of Shemelgan to his days in the army, his first job in a factory, and his rise to the leadership.

The fairy tales begin with the birth of the future leader into the young, humble family of a "good-natured" young Kazakh woman and a World War II soldier.

The moment of Nazarbaev's birth is described as nothing short of a miracle:

"The young mother came to a field in drizzling rain. Suddenly, a refreshing summer downpour began -- lightning flashed and thunder roared. But in an instant, all was suddenly quiet again, and a young moon floated across the sky, shining down on the steppe.

"There was the loud cry of a baby, and the grass rustled, the stars shone, the sky was filled with big stars sparkling like diamonds. It was a fairy tale, a magical parade of the entire universe."

The boy -- bright, gifted, and hugely popular -- grows up into a hardworking young man, and the series follows his footsteps as he evolves into the leader of a nation.

According to the tales, he has the Kazakh people's best interests at heart, and works tirelessly to make the country prosperous.

Separate titles, "Aziada-2011" and "Summit," are dedicated to Nazarbaev becoming the host of an international sports contest and the summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which took place in Astana in 2010.

Akbulatova calls her books "modern children's fairy tales" which teach younger generations to appreciate the good life they enjoy in Kazakhstan courtesy of "Elbasy."

The author predicts her books will soon overshadow the internationally renowned Harry Potter series because -- unlike J.K. Rowling, who Akbulatova says writes about "horror and fear" -- she focuses on the good things in life.

Indeed, notably absent in her writings is any mention of problems or hardships in Kazakhstan.

-- Farangis Najibullah and Kazis Toguzbaev

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