Winner of the best story contest: Middle Earth


Middle Earth 

Lands along lower reaches of Syrdaria River (now Kyzylorda Oblast) occupies special place in the history of our people. Continental climate with its extremely cold winters and hot and dry summers reigns over the vast region of sites of ancient towns of Beckabad, Farab, Yassy, Sauran, Sygnak, Zhankent, and Zhiyen, that spreads as far as to Aral Sea, which was called Khazarean in medieval times, and between Aktobe Oblast and South Kazakhstan. Now Kyzylorda Oblast is home of one city and seven Districts. 

The scene of the novel of critically-acclaimed author Chingiz Aitmatov is laid around Baikonur Cosmodrome, the “center of the Earth”, situated in the Karmakshi District. The renowned writer could hardly ever foresee that in a quarter of a century PetroKazakhstan company would start building here “Zhosaly” oil-loading terminal, or that KAM main pipeline would be laid, and that all this would be built at such speed. Before, according to the philosophical fiction of Chingiz-aga, Parity-1 and Parity-2 spacecrafts were to be launched from pads marked by x-apogee and y-perigee coordinates to maintain safety of mankind from above. 

This sacred land was one of the historic stretches of the Great Silk Road. Nowadays, three touristic companies organized a ‘Syr Yelim’ route along this way with final destination in Turkestan. At the extreme western point of our land a dam of Small Aral was built, and silver-winged seagulls fly over its waves, which now need only 35 km to reach the city of Aralsk. Famous natural reserve of Barsakelmes located on the coast of the sea. Thanks to Road Map program, a tourist center of Kiiz-uy Hotel situated at Kambash Lake soon will become a gem of international tourist business. 

Although Syrdaria nature sometimes treats its children, people, with harshness, at the same time, it mercifully shares its warmth and kindness with them. People from all corners of Kazakhstan and neighboring countries come here to heal their deceases. At Terisken lake with its Zhankorgan resort one can find black clay and mineral waters beneficial to bones, joints, nervous system and visceral organs. Local water is similar to Smernovskaya mineral water from Zheleznovodsk resort in its composition and medical properties. 

Assan Kaigy, who had been seeking paradise on earth – ‘Zheruyik’, had once noted singularity and natural beauties of the land. A vast sea had been stretching here by Turgay in ancient times. They say that now extinct Turan tiger was very cautious in these terrains as if revering sanctity of this place. Last time a big red cat was seen here on the lake nearby Baigakum railway station after the Second World War. 

Now the times have changed and the people have changed as well. Constant investment flow coupled with preparations to 190th anniversary celebrations of Kyzylorda and 70th anniversary of the Kyzylorda Oblast  have given a new look and new beauties to the area. A major event not only for Kyzylorda, but as well for South Kazakhstan, Almaty, and Zhambyl Oblasts, is Beineu – Bozoy – Shymkent gas pipeline laying. This year, construction of transnational automobile road from Western China to Western Europe, which people already call the New Silk Road, has started. The road is going to pass through five Oblasts and the city of Almaty. 

The land is not short of famous people born here. Many heroes of the Civil and the Great Patriotic War came to the world and were raised here. Proudly one can cite an example of Baidilda Doskenov, guard lieutenant colonel of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, who Marshal Zhu De decorated with golden dagger. 

In this Oblast was born Shakhmardan Yessenov, geologist, Academic of the USSR Academy of Sciences and Geology Minister of Kazakh SSR, whose scientific works were prerequisites for the subsequent boom in geologic explorations of the independent Kazakhstan. Under his guidance rodusit -asbestos deposits and copper in Zhezkazgan Oblast were discovered and explored. He has determined final resting places of a number of mineral resources deposits, in particular, oil and gas fields in South Mangystau. 

Monuments never lost their value, and never will, and time and space seem changeless from their perspective. The rest is ephemeral and could be easily buried in oblivion. All these monuments carry huge historic value and are the gems of people’s cultural heritage are here for generations of today and tomorrow. 

Such monuments as Beghim-Ana in Aral District (built in 9-11 centuries), house and the mosque of Gani-bay from Kazaly, Assan-Ata Mausoleum in Shiyeli, Okshy-Ata mosque, great cities of Sauran and Sygnak that for 6 months were resisting Genghis khan, mosques of Aktas, Aikozha and Aitbay are guardians of the history of our land. And sand that saw caravans loaded with gold, silver and silk reminds me of the times long past and lures me to that beautiful fairytale. 

Bakhytzhan Abyzov,

The Kazakh Language Translator

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