July 6, 1940 at Ushkonyr zhailau (the summer encampment) of the Trans-Ili Alatau in the family of Abish and Alzhan Nazarbayev was born a long-awaited boy and parents named him Nursultan.
There befallen a great story with a choice of baby’s name. Relatives gathered at the celebration in eager rivalry offered a variety of names. Finally newly-born child’s grandmother Myrzabala suggested: "Let my beloved grandson have two names at the same time - Nur and Sultan, let him be Nursultan".
Like most grandmothers in the world, Myrzabala played a significant role in moulding of a personality of grandson. Nursultan’s mother Alzhan reminisced how Myrzabala gave advices and guidance to children, daughter in law, told about the primordial national traditions and superstitions, actively participated in upbringing of grandson Nursultan.
Myrzabala’s son, the father of Nursultan Nazarbayev - Abish - born in 1903 at the foot of the Alatau mountains in the family of Nazarbay bi (judge).
Abish Nazarbayev was cheerful and respectable man. He is fluent not only in Kazakh, but Russian and Balkar languages. Abish cordially singing Kazakh and Russian songs, was able to listen to the interlocutor, to give good advice. Abish Nazarbayev died in 1971.
Nazarbayev's mother - Alzhan - was born in 1910 in the family of mullah from Kasyk village in Kurday district of Dzhambul oblast.
Alzhan came to Ushkonyr with her father in exile, where he met Abish. No one in the village sings and improvises better than she. Cheerful Alzhan fostered in the son respect and deference to adults, cultivated in a love to national traditions, songs and customs. Alzhan Nazarbayeva died in 1977.
Childhood of Sultan, as he was called in the family fell on hard and difficult war and postwar years.
The victory in the war was achieved due to incredible efforts of the huge state, at cost of millions of human lives. Half-crippled country has just climbed out of the ruins and rebuilt. A few years after the Victory the USSR was involved in a new grueling race, now in the "cold war", and its hardships newly formed heavy burden on the shoulders of ordinary people.
Times were hard, half-starved. But in the memory of a young Nursultan preserved not only the hardships and trials of that time, but warm and loving arms of mother, and father’s caring attention. Close-knit family, brothers and sisters, sincere songs of parents. The beauty of the brilliant peaks of Alatau and exciting boys' game. That was the childhood of all of his peers.
Nursultan saw that his father never sits idle, and therefore tried to help him in everything. At home, in the garden and apple orchard, where he helped his father grow potatoes and apples. Nursultan caring for the cattle, along with his father mowed the hay in the mountains.
One day his father Abish brought home Balkar family of special deported immigrants. Nazarbayev’s family sheltered them and helped to find the work. And Abish Nazarbayev during this time became friends with Balkars and quickly learned their language.
Everybody did in this way in a multinational Chemolgan. No one was divided according to nationality. Nursultan Nazarbayev, later wrote in one of his books, that among the boys, no one remembers who you are - Kazakh, Ukrainian, Chechen or German: "But how to divide them, if the house of the Kazakh family neighbored with home of Meskhetian Turks, and in the following houses lived Bogdan, Richard and Oleg ...". Boyish gangs were separated only according to streets where they lived. Sometimes they fought street to street. But friendship and mutual help have been a way of life.
Despite all the difficulties, boys and girls drawn into the magical world of knowledge, joyful and bright future, full of sense and reason.
Nursultan studied diligently and with great interest, being one of the first disciples, not only in class but also at the school. He intensively read all the books, which only managed to get it, which brought him relatives, knowing the insatiable curiosity of a young Nursultan.
Also there were romantic nights with the campfire under the starry fathomless sky in his youth, when he helped his father during summer vacation at the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau. There were inmost stories of parents and their cordial songs, which revealed strong memory roots about ancestors who used to live on this land since the old days. It is a shame for all Kazakhs who do not knows about previous seven generations. There was a sense of eternity and deep meaningfulness of heavy, but the harmonious life of the people, handed down from generation to generation, linking the Kazakhs to their past and future.
He especially loved to hear stories of older about ancient legends and ancestral beliefs. Later, in one of his books, Nursultan Nazarbayev writes: "In recent time trend to be proud by "proletarian" origin suddenly replaced by another tendency: to look for and at any cost to find for the ancestors of a "blue blood". There was no one in our family ever. I am a son, grandson and great-grandson of the shepherds, who is not from the nobility. All of my ancestors lived here in the foothills of Alatau".
Although later it turned out that in his family also was famous people, but Nursultan Nazarbayev, has always considered and still considers himself as a man of the people, flesh of the flesh of people. This sense of feeling himself as a consanguineous part of the people had never lost, and only being stronger over the years.
He felt at the same time hereditary Kazakh, heir to the culture and customs of ancestors, man of the new formation, a dynamic new era of scientific and technological progress that opens unprecedented opportunities for everybody. Traditional folk and new industrial outlook organically coexisted in his soul.
Kaskelen school head teacher Seythan Issayev, where Nursultan finished high school, noted at once curiosity and analytical mind of adolescent: "He was very grateful to the students. He listened attentively, asking questions, not only on the program, caught every word the teacher. Never parted with the book, read something all the time".
Childhood and adolescence of a young Nursultan were short. Already to eighteen years and the end of high school, Nursultan markedly stood out among his peers by good knowledge and spacious mind. Permanent work and regular sport exercises made him physically strong, he looked much older than his peers. But the main thing that distinguished him - it is independence of judgment and actions, as well as ongoing commitment to leadership. He knew how to build relationships with his peers from the first minute of communication, he was a "ringleader" and good organizer. He liked to joke, sing well, possessed people to him and quickly became the soul of the company.
At the same time revealed one of his inherent traits - pragmatism. Learning about Komsomol set for big construction site of steel plant in Temirtau, Nursultan decided to become a metallurgist.
Nursultan wanted quicker and himself to be firmly steady on his feet and to help parents and family financially. Because he was the eldest son in the family.
Young Nazarbayev intuitively felt that there, on a large construction site, starting a new great life, opening up broad personal perspective. He was determined to build his own life, his future destiny.
Upon arrival in Temirtau he, as the future metallurgist, was sent even further - to study in Ukraine, in a vocational school of the Dnieper Metallurgical Plant in Dneprodzerzhinsk.
Nursultan was in a group of blast furnace, where were selected the most physically developed boys. However, the strength of his muscles and nature young Nazarbayev argued also in sports, on the wrestling sites.
In one of his fights he put on the blades his classmate, a stocky Ukrainian guy Nikolay Litoshko.
Wondering of "Mykola" quickly grew into a respect and further into a strong friendship between the Kazakh Nazarbayev and Ukrainian Litoshko. Nursultan became a frequent and welcome guest in the family of Litoshko.
One and a half years of study in Dneprodzerzhinsk passed quickly.
In 1959, Nursultan Nazarbayev won the tournament of All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions (AUCCTU). Thus, by the end of the school, he learned not only difficult science of metallurgist, but also became a master of sports of Ukraine in the wrestling.
Persistence and perseverance enabled him to master all the academic subjects in his chosen specialty with "excellent" marks. Also young Nazarbayev passed final qualifying exams with "excellent" marks and received a certificate of the "the eighth level second furnacemen of the blast furnace".
Beginning of the career
Upon arrival in Temirtau started "fire stage" in a working life of Nursultan Nazarbayev. July 3, 1960 launched the first and only in all of theCentral Asia and Kazakhstan a blast furnace. That date was the birthday of Kazakhstan Magnitka - the Karaganda Metallurgical Plant. The young metallurgist Nazarbayev together with experienced craftsmen took part in first Kazakhstan iron smelting.
He mastered several related occupations on "Karmet": worked as operator of casting machine, furnacemen on blast furnace, dispatcher and gasman of blast-furnace department. The work was very heavy, because of the terrible heat and tension some workers fainted and had bleeding nose. Many could not stand and left. But that was not Nazarbayev, he vowed to himself that will endure and survived, was used and involved into the work. His companions Tulegen Yusupov, Bulat Karimov and others along with him overcame all the difficulties and have become highly skilled metallurgists.
Half of his large salary of furnacemen twenty years old Nursultan sent to his father, who care spend money for younger children.
As a good Kazakh worker and a member of Komsomol Nazarbayev is often sent to the congresses of the Komsomol and youth festivals. He became known, even picture of the best worker Nazarbayev appeared in the national press. Young metallurgist enjoyed great respect and authority among co-workers and after joining the party he soon became a party organizer of the department.
In those years of his life there was another important event. As Nursultan Nazarbayev wrote later "the first meeting with my future wife Sara came into my life as the most memorable day of those years. And that meeting was … after the accident, near a blast furnace. When the accident occurs and metal is poured on the ground, the working shift does not go away until restore rail traffic. That is the way there: working shift or the whole day, but you should sort it out with your own flaws. In that a bad moment - almost a day on the feet, all covered in soot, smoked, just eyes and teeth gleaming - I met a girl who was on duty that night at the electrical substation and came to see what happened under the blast furnace ... Well, soon - we arranged the Komsomol youth wedding".
Happy young family has grown rapidly and they had daughters - Dariga, Dinara, and later Aliya.
But professionally grow also the young couple. The plant sends Nazarbayev with another several guys from his department to study to the Karaganda Polytechnic Institute. There he was enrolled in a group of PL-62-2 (foundry practice of ferrous and nonferrous metals), which was formed from the students living in Temirtau.
In those years in technical universities conducted an experiment of combining education with labor on the workplace. This helped to develop the practical side of their future specialty, although it was very difficult to work while studying at the institute. In that way they have studied the first year, and the next two courses were "student" years with off-site from production. With all the necessary attributes of the student's life - tests, sessions, labs. These were years of further solid education of Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Following him his wife Sara Nazarbayeva, in 1967 get a degree in economics, graduating "Karmet" plant technical college.
Nursultan Nazarbayev had new prospects. His desire always to be the leader, the ability to inspire people and lead them have been noticed and appreciated. Since 1969, he agrees to go to work in the party and in the Komsomol in Temirtau which has become almost a native city.
At the beginning he reluctantly agreed with that proposal - he grieved the loss in salary and termination of the "hot experience". But the rigid party discipline requires that. And his fellow steelworkers blessed him to leadership positions.
After some time he was involved in this important job. It turned out that living in the midst of people, their interests and hobbies, to direct and organize their activities - Nazarbayev always had it in his genes.
Later, many people who worked with him again and again pointed out his amazing memory for people and events of their lives, his constant desire to grasp everything and learn to get to the essence, listen carefully and understand the interlocutor.
As Nursultan Nazarbayev recalls, he had not the high ambitions, as well as the special passion for the leadership positions. But from young age formed self-esteem, which did not allow him to remain in the "average level", this is the habit always to be first. As a leader and organizer, he gradually gained experience communicating with different people - from heads of departments to ministers.
His appointment in 1972 as a Secretary of the Party Committee of the native Karaganda Metallurgical Plant was the turning point. In fact, he became the second person after director of the plant on a gigantic scale enterprise in Kazakhstan, where 30,000 people worked.
It was a tremendous responsibility and the severity of which he soon felt fully. He had to deal not only with party affairs, but also production, output programs, issues of maintenance and construction, procurement, household, housing, cultural and family affairs of many people.
He did not hide the shortcomings at the plant and fought with them. As a result, things got better at the plant, rebuilt and refined Temirtau itself.
Nursultan Nazarbayev was working for the wellbeing of people, and was always confident that they will support him. Together with the metallurgists, he climbed to the furnace, together with the miners descended into the tunnel. That is why Nazarbayev without fear entered high offices and seeking justice there also "spoke straight from the shoulder". He was not an unbridled criticaster, always immediately offered reasonable solutions to problems with the arguments urged in his hands. Therefore everybody listen to him carefully and agreed with him. N.Nazarbayev’s authority as a leader was high mainly because he got up from working "lower classes" and was familiar "inside" with all the problems.
At the same time he had a strategic sense, an interest in the future and everything new. There was an enormous need in the country for such experienced and energetic personnel. That is why in 1977 he became Secretary, then the Second Secretary of the Karaganda Regional Party Committee.
In 1979 Nursultan Nazarbayev became Secretary of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Kazakhstan. In 1984 he became Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Kazakh SSR - the youngest, 44-year-old prime minister of the Union republics in the USSR. But despite the relative youth, he was fully mature statesman and politician.
From the height of his new position he was able to fully understand the scope and tragedy of the distortions made in the development of his native country. He sees that Kazakhstan has turned into a huge raw-material appendage of the Union economy.
Sixty percent of consumer goods are imported to Kazakhstan from other republics and the most urgent needs of the people of Kazakhstan were sacrificed in favor of the commodity nature of the development.
He saw that the mind of the other people clears with him and the whole country awakened. December, 1986 became the first Kazakh "spring", which was roughly "frozen" by the Union Center during short years of leadership of G.Kolbin. But it was impossible to stop the time. Ripening changes. Events moved faster and faster.
In the spring of 1989 the first alternative elections to the supreme organ of state power was held in the Soviet Union. In June 1989, Moscow hosted the First Congress of People's Deputies, during which was vigorously debated the need for reform, problems of ideology and economics. Immediately after the Congress of People's Deputies Gennady Kolbin was transferred to work in Moscow. June 22, 1989 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Kazakh SSR elects Nursultan Nazarbayev to the post of First Secretary: 154 among 158 participants of the plenum votes in favor.
In July 1989 miners' strike began in Karaganda, where in addition to economic were put forward also political demands - to close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. Nazarbayev has actually supported the strikers' demands - he understood people's discontent with the monopoly of the central institutions. He as well as the miners really wanted the economic independence of Kazakhstan and the prohibition of harmful tests.
Democratic processes have led to the creation of mass workers’ unions in the republics of the USSR. One of the first and most popular movements in Kazakhstan was the environmental movement "Nevada - Semipalatinsk", created in the spring of 1989 and had the closing of the Semipalatinsk and the other polygons in Kazakhstan as a final goal. This movement also received strong support of Nursultan Nazarbayev. His efforts with mass support of the people of Kazakhstan achieved unprecedented success - the final closing of the lethal Semipalatinsk test site.
April 24, 1990 the Supreme Council of the Kazakh SSR establishes the post of the President of the Kazakh SSR.
At the session of the Supreme Council of the republic Nursultan Nazarbayev is elected as the first president in the history of Kazakhstan.
December 1, 1991, was held the first national elections of the president of the republic, where Nazarbayev receives the absolute support of his voters.
December 10, 1991 the Supreme Council of the Kazakh SSR adopt a law renaming the Kazakh SSR to the Republic of Kazakhstan and conducts the inauguration of the President of Kazakhstan.
December 16, 1991 the Supreme Council of the Kazakh SSR declared the independence of the republic. Nursultan Nazarbayev becomes the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Then began a new era of independent Kazakhstan.
Grateful nation appreciated the merits of their permanent leader. June 15, 2010 on the basis of the newly established Constitutional Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan status of the Leader of the Nation was assigned to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Our goal was not detailed listing all the events and dates of the 20-year history of independence of Kazakhstan and the corresponding period of the life of the first President of the Republic Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Many articles, books, monographs have been written concerning this difficult, complex, at the same time remarkable and in many ways fateful stage of his life, merged together with a 20-year history of the sovereign Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as he captured on miles of film, propagated in the gigabytes and terabytes of digital storage media. The most interesting of these sources are available on our website.
We also present on the pages of our site an extensive list of his works, the state awards and honorary titles of Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Spouse, Sara Nazarbayeva, since February 1992 is the Founder and President of «Bobek» («The Kid») International Children's Charity Fund. At present «Bobek» is the most active charitable foundation of the republic, which is recognized not only in Kazakhstan but also abroad.
The Fund’s activities include hundreds and thousands of charitable campaigns, assistance to orphans and disabled people and support for mothers.
From July 1994 Sara Nazarbayeva is the President of «SOS - Children's village of Kazakhstan». From March 1999 she is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of «Demographics» charity fund.
For outstanding charity and mercy achievements Sara Nazarbayeva has won many awards of international organizations. Among them the significant ones are the Ihsan Doğramacı International Prize of the World Health Organization, the International Unity Prize and Kurmanjan Datka Prize. She was awarded the Chingiz Aitmatov Gold Medal «For Outstanding Contribution to the Philosophy of Self-Knowledge». From the hands of Sophia Loren Sara Nazarbayeva got an international award «Golden Heart», established by the Red Cross of Russia and awarded for long-term activities aimed at supporting the younger generation.
In 2010 she has been awarded «Gold Ring» of International Fund - SOS Kinderdorf International, which is given to women who have devoted their lives to children from children's SOS Kinderdorf villages.
Dariga Nazarbayeva (born in 1963) is the eldest daughter. She has two sons, a daughter and four grandchildren. She graduated from the Kirov Kazakh State University. Doctor of Political Sciences. Fluent in Kazakh, Russian, English, Italian and German.She is Kazakhstan Parliament’s Senate Deputy and the Chairperson of the Committee on international affairs, defense and security. Director of the Public Fund of Kazakhstan’s First President.
Dinara Kulibayeva (born in 1967) is the middle daughter. She has one son and two daughters. In 1989 she graduated from the Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts. Fluent in Kazakh, Russian, English and Italian. In 1998 she received a master's degree in Business Administration at the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research. In 2007 she defended her doctoral dissertation. Since 2004 she has been chairing the Kazakh-British Technical University Board of Directors. She heads the Nursultan Nazarbayev Education Fund.
Aliya Nazarbayeva (born in 1980) is the youngest daughter. She studied at the local and foreign schools and universities. She graduated from the Kazakh Humanitarian and Law University. Fluent in Kazakh, Russian, English and German. She has two daughters and a son.She worked as an Assistant to the Director at «Europe Plus» radio station, as an intern in the legal department of the «TuranAlemBank», and Nursultan Nazarbayev’s secretary. She is the head of the construction company.