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~ Abai Kunanbaev ~


Word Forty-One

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Anyone who plans on teaching and reforming the Kazakh must possess two advantages.

First of all, he must wield great power and immense influence that would enable him to inspire fear in adults and take away their sons to send them to school, where they would be guided along different paths of knowledge, with the parents shouldering the expenses. It would suffice if girls were taught Islam so as to make at least strong in their religion. In that case, when parents, growing feeble with age, abandoned their regular pursuits, the younger generation would embark on the right path.

Second, he must possess enormous riches, so as to bribe parents into sending their children to school, as we have just said.

Yet no one has sufficient power to inspire fear amongst the people of today. And no one has enough wealth to win over all parents.

It is impossible to persuade the Kazakh, convince him of something, unless you frighten or bribe him. The ignorance inherited from his forefathers and imbibed with his mother's milk has reached his marrow and killed all humanity in him. Such people, when they get together, can think of nothing better to do than make strange grimaces and behave affectedly, whisper and throw out ambiguous hints. Even if they try to think, they are incapable of concentrating on one idea. If you talk to them, they can't even listen to you attentively; their eyes glance here and there and their thoughts wander off.

However shall we live?

What will become of us?

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