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Almaz Yazberdiev: a treasury of Turkmen culture or the life devoted to books

18.05.2020 | 19:53 |
 Almaz Yazberdiev: a treasury of Turkmen culture or the life devoted to books

Many know a grey-haired man with a kind smile and a penetrating glance, Almaz Berdievich Yazberdiev, whose name is closely connected with bibliography, culture and history of books. As honoured worker of culture of Turkmenistan, Doctor of Historical Sciences and associate editor of the Russian magazine “Kniga” (Book). Researches and materials”, Yazberdiev is an excellent interlocutor and, it is possible to tell, a person-legend. His name is well-known both in the country, and behind its limits, and his books and works are known and read in many countries.

Sitting next to and listening to the sincere and detailed story about life and creative way of bibliographer Almaz Berdievich, I felt as a reader of the most interesting book in the world.

  • I have devoted my life to books. The love and a keen interest in them appeared in my childhood. Then I read almost all books in our rural library, - honoured worker of Turkmenistan Almaz Yazberdiev tells ORIENT. - I have devoted my basic works to bibliographic and history and bibliology topics, my scientific researches, works have become sense of all my life.

Almost half a century was given by him to library science. Having arrived in Ashgabat from the northern region of the country, a seventeen-year young man appeared at a book exhibition with which his career began. Thirst for knowledge led Almaz to the Ashgabat College of cultural enlightenment where he studied under the guidance of highly professional teachers - E.Z.Novruzova, E.Orakov, O.D.Dovletova and others.

Then he continued his study at the Moscow state library institute, and there young Almaz received education not only in his speciality - bibliology, but also in history, literature and philosophy.

  • Years of study were filled also by the first attempts of independent scientific work, - the doctor of historical sciences continues. - Already during student's times I was inclined to creative work. Being engaged in a scientific club of the institute under the direction of professor L.A.Levin I presented with a paper, for what was awarded a preferential voucher to Leningrad (now - St.-Petersburg). After the graduation of the high school I came back to Ashgabat where all my life was connected with library.

Becoming an employee of the Central scientific library, Yazberdiev participated in restoration of book fund and scientific periodicals which had suffered at a fire. Besides, he made an important work on restoration of the reference -bibliographic service.

  • In the 1960-70-ties I attended courses for improvement of English and Persian languages, - Yazberdiev remembers. The first of my article devoted to the bibliographic activity of the State Book Chamber of Turkmenistan, appeared two years after graduation from MSIC in the All-Union magazine «Soviet bibliography». I put forward this article as an abstract upon entering the postgraduate study. I was even invited to work in MSIC but I did not want to leave CSL of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan as my plans for the future had been already outlined.

About his works outstanding foreign scientists-bibliographers, professors, scientific figures wrote much. Professor M.V.Mashkova from Petersburg, estimating A.Yazberdiev's works, wrote that his books deserve to be put abreast the most considerable works on bibliography stories. The Tashkent professor G.N.Chabrov named Almaz Berdievich «a pioneer of history of Turkmen book printing». A lot of him was written by academician, outstanding researcher of history of history of Tatar book A.G.Karimullin: «… you have done huge work, have proved that your people had a writing, and how an invaluable gift you have presented to your researchers, after all on the basis of your book it is possible to conduct a variety of scientific researches …». Also about works of Almaz Yazberdiev who has got over 230 scientific works, local scientific figures - Doctor of Historical Sciences E.Ahundjanov, Director of CRL of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan Sh.Altyev and others wrote.

  • Having worked 54 years in the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan, I travelled many countries - Czechia, Bulgaria, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, - Yazberdiev adds. - With the Russian scientists and workers of publishing houses I have old (since students) friendly and business relations. By request of the most important Russian magazine "Bibliography", «Book. Researches and materials» I have written researches over forty articles. I wrote the article about the outstanding scientist, academician V.V.Barthold who within almost forty years patronised the Turkestan state library. Besides it, my works in Iran were translated into the Persian language and published together with the Turkmen original. Recently in this country in honour of my anniversary, my dear colleagues A.M.Sarly and B.H.Muhammed Niyazi have devoted the 71st issue of the magazine "Phyragy" to my modest person.

Yazberdiev has founded and successfully develops bibliology science in Turkmenistan. And actually: titles of the books which have been written by the bibliographer, speak for themselves: «Medieval libraries of Marv and their founders», «Gurgench - the medieval scientific and cultural centre of the East», «The Turkmen book in the Arabian script», «East book publishing and old printing of Turkmen books», «Publishing in pre-revolutionary Turkmenistan» and others. Works of this encyclopaedist-historian are till now reference books for any Turkmen scientist.

The main inspiration for Almaz Berdievich is life and consequently he is not going to stop yet. Today Yazberdiev is all times together with his students - and he has been teaching since 2017 at the State Institute of Culture of Turkmenistan history of Turkmen book, library science history in Turkmenistan. In parallel he works on the next book - «History of Turkmen book since ancient times to the 1930-ties of the 20th century». As the author marks, the book will be interesting not only for historians, ethnographers, bibliophiles, but also for all who is interested in the cultural history of Turkmenistan, including for schoolboys.

Recently I have read A.Yazberdiev's article «Custom-made books of the Oghuz -Turkmen» which clearly depicts the ancient Turkmen culture, roots of books of the Oghuz Turkmen who extended in Turkmenistan. This work has obtained a huge recognition in our country. Surprisingly, but our custom-made books take their origin from the 6th century, and "Nirvanasutra", the translation of the Buddhist book was the first one. Since that moment to the middle of the 1960-ties of the 20th century such books - "Siyasatnama", «Guidebook for murids» , "Luminary of Islam», «Family tree of the Turkmen», "Yusup-Zuleiha", "Jengnama" were written to the orders. The author brings a lot of documentary evidence for it.

It is necessary to add only that all that was written by me is a little bit of what it is possible to tell about Almaz Yazberdiev - the person and scientist who is a real treasury of data on stories of Turkmen books. Reading his publications and the books, you can always learn a lot of new and interesting about the native culture - culture of Turkmen people.

Mahri Yagmurova

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