anuarbek bokebay

Translator of Diwani Hikmet in Russian/Kazakh

Scholar, local dignitary and lover of the works of Hoja Ahmed Yassawi, Anuarbek Bokebay was born in Turkestan. He was always someone who celebrated and took advantage of any opportunity to educate and enhance the community he lived in. So with such an eminent and little known star in the historic and spiritual universe as Yassawi, it was natural Bokebay felt moved to translate the mystic's work from its Chagatai roots into Kazakh and Russian. 

Despite taking him over 16 years to translate from the original (some depicted here as background art) it was a fraction of the time Yassawi spent many years in his cell underg1round composing, till his death. Anuarbek himself, tragically died in 2011, shortly after having completed the work, yet not before asking it be translated into the English language, so enabling its broadcast to reach through the widest global audience possible.

Bokebay's life was one filled with enormous experience and passion. As an active member of the Communist Party during the times of occupation, he fulfilled a generous and appreciated role in local government in Turkestan. Following the independence of Kazakhstan, he continued to play an active civic role as town mayor. His skill and scholarship fed his desire and wish to bring back, to the Kazakh and Turkic nations, the works of his renowned ancestor, Hoja Ahmed Yassawi. His subsequent translations are of such scholarship and expertise, he is known globally as one of the most important proponents and instigators in bringing the work "Diwani Hikmet" (Divine Wisdom) back into the consciousness and awareness, not only of the Kazakh nation, but to the world in general.

On a trip to Kazakhstan in mid 2011, Virve Trapman met and got to know Anuarbek. It was at that time he asked whether she and husband Jonathan would like the task of translating Diwani Hikmet into English.

Following his death a few months later, it was Samatbek Bokebay, his brother, who enabled the reality of his dream to come into being and have it translated in its present edition.

Anuarbek Bokebay, being one of the few scholars able to read and understand Chagatai, that Diwani Hikmet was originally written in, completed his part in Yassawi's original intention for this work.

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