Here it is – the mighty force of the Internet, which has served us well in our search for information about historical figures, not for the first time! Thanks to the responses of site visitors, it is often possible to obtain important and interesting information. This time I want to share with you the continuation of the answer to the question: WHO WAS HAFIZ SARSEKEEV?

A year ago, material was published on this site about Hafiz Sarsekeyev, a teacher of a new method school (Jadid madrasah), a member of the Alash Horde. The personality of this educator became the subject of my search due to the fact that he was a co-author of Eshenaaly Arabaev in the creation of the first primer in the history of the Kyrgyz people, “Alip bee jaki toto okuu” (ABC for quick learning to read), published in 1911 in the Ufa city. Despite the fact that such an important event in the chronicles of the people cannot go unnoticed, almost nothing was known about Hafiz Sarsekeyev.

The article mentioned above sets out the facts of the biography of this remarkable figure of education, which were established from publications in Kazakh newspapers and magazines of the early 20th century, which, fortunately, were digitized in Kazakhstan. As part of the work of state institutes of the Republic of Kazakhstan, researchers transliterated texts from Arabic to Cyrillic, and now they are available to the modern reader and researcher.

I ended the previous publication about H. Sarsekeyev with the words: “It would be interesting to know whether he managed to avoid Stalin’s repressions…”

fragment of the birth certificate of the author of the letter, Sholpan Nesibekova, with information about her parents. Mom Zhamal is the daughter of Hafiz Sarsekeyev

Now we know about his future fate. This happened thanks to his descendants. In response to the publication, a letter came from Sholpan Nesibekova, the granddaughter of Hafiz Sarsekeyev. Her response helped to reveal and clarify some information about Hafiz Sarsekeyev, as well as obtain photographs of him. Here is a message received from Sholpan:


“Hello, Asel!

The grandchildren of Sarsekeyev Hafiz are writing to you. We saw your publication on the Internet about our grandfather Hafiz Sarsekeyev dated December 21, 2022, dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the great Kyrgyz educator Eshenaaly Arabaev. We are the children of his daughter Zhamal Khafizovna Sarsekeyeva, a native of the North Kazakhstan region, Petropavlovsk, village. Petukhovo, Kerei family. We think that my grandfather was also born there.

He died at the age of 43, when my mother was 13 years old, which means around 1926-1927. From typhoid or typhus, collecting children, opening Kazakh schools in Karkaraly and Zaisan. That’s what my mother told me. Therefore, he did not live to see Stalin’s repressions. According to my mother, my grandfather’s parents were wealthy people and had the opportunity to send him to study in Ufa at the Galia Madrasah, a well-known educational institution in Russia at that time.

We learned about the educational activities of Hafiz Sarsekeyev, as well as his membership in the Eastern branch of the Alash party, from your publication. For which I am very grateful to you.

Nesipbekovs: Council, Saule, Zaure, Sailau, Sholpan, Ersain.”


So, it turned out that Kh. Sarsekeyev was born in 1882 or 1883, that is, he was the same age as E. Arabaev (1882-1933). As expected, they both studied at the Galia madrasah in Ufa, apparently together – in 1909-1912, during which time they compiled and published the ABC. Unfortunately, Hafiz died very young – at 43 years old.


This is what Hafiz Sarsekeyev looked like. Year unknown


From left to right: 1. Karakozhina (Aubakirov’s wife) 2. Zhiengaliev Abzal 3. Khakimova Mensulu (from Semey) 4 Sarsekeev Hafiz 5. Amirova Batikha 6. Beisenbaev Bilyal 7. Beisenbaeva Afruz, Bilyal’s wife with her son Zhanat.

Information about those sitting in the yurt in the photo:

Zhiengaliev Afzal (1885-1937), teacher from Alma-Ata region. Convicted under Articles 58-10, 58-11 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and sentenced to capital punishment. Rehabilitated in 1989

Beisembayev Bilyal (1882-1937), teacher, the same age as Hafiz Sarsekeyev and Eshenaaly Arabaev. A native of the North Kazakhstan region (Akmola), he lived there in Kazgorodok. Convicted under Article 58-10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR and sentenced to capital punishment. Rehabilitated in 1960

As we can see, Hafiz Sarsekeyev’s social circle consisted of teachers who were approximately the same age as him; we can assume that they graduated from similar educational institutions, maybe “Galiya” itself. In the year of great terror, they were destroyed by the ruthless Stalinist machine and shot in 1937.

Let us recall that the educator Eshenaaly Arabaev was among the very first victims; he died in 1933!.. As I have repeatedly stated, teaching is a dangerous profession!

Publications on the topic:


ABOUT THE FIRST PRINTED BOOK IN THE KYRGYZ LANGUAGE, where the full version of the primer by Eshenaaly Arabaev and Hafiz Sarsekeyev is presented to our readers. The dictionary was published in 1911.


“Bazarkul Daniyarov – the first teacher. Portrait against the background of the epoch” (in Russian language)– in this book quite a lot of space is devoted to Eshenaaly Arabaev

UNIQUE PHOTO OF ESHENAALY ARABAYEV – from our family archive

Telegram-channel in Kyrgyz & Russian:
Санжарбек Данияровдун коомдук фонду
Фонд Санжарбека Даниярова
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Asel Daniyarova

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