Kazakhstan celebrates Kanysh Satpayev’s 121th birthday anniversary
April 12 is the 121th birthday anniversary of a prominent Kazakh scientist-geologist Kanysh Satpayev. There is hardly anyone in Kazakhstan who doesn’t know about him. Satpayev was the first president of National Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan.
Here are 10 interesting facts about him to mark the birthday anniversary of the outstanding Kazakh public figure, published by the Qazaqstan tarihy web portal.
Kanysh is not his real first name. At birth, he was given the name Gabdul Ghani, which means “a slave of the almighty and all-merciful Allah” in Arabic. However, soon his Mom started calling him just Ghani and to make it sound even more affectionate – Ghanysh. Not a lot of time passed until everyone started calling him simply Kanysh.
Irtysh-Karagandy water channel is the largest project of Satpayev. Its construction began in 1961. After six years, the Irtysh waters, flowing near Ekibastuz, reached the cities of Karagandy and Temirtau for the first time. After that, Central Kazakhstan was fully provided with water.
Satpayev was fond of various forms of art. He loved to listen to music and to dance. The scientist and archaeologist Alkei Margulan said that Satpayev was interested in Polish folk dances, such as mazurka and waltz.
He is the author of the algebra textbook, which was written in his mother tongue for Kazakh schools.
In March 1947, Kanysh Satpayev, then a member of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union, was invited to London by the British Parliament, where he met Winston Churchill. The British Prime Minister asked him if all Kazakhs were such stately and brave men like Satpayev. “No. I am the smallest among the Kazakh men. My people are much taller than me,” Satpayev replied.
Kanysh Satpayev rescued the famous Kazakh archaeologist Alkei Margulan from the persecution. He hired him to work in the Alma-Ata branch of the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union. Satpayev was the one who advised Margulan to do archaeological research.
One of the founders of Soviet metallogenic science, Satpayev was born from the second wife of his father Imantai. Having lived with his first wife Nurym for about 25 years, Imantai didn’t have children. Their only daughter died shortly after birth. Nurym didn’t oppose to her husband’s second marriage. Thus, Imantai married his second wife Alima. Before marrying Imantai, Alima was the early widowed daughter-in-law to the famous Kazakh public figure Musa Shormanuly.
Kanysh Satpayev was friends with the famous Kazakh writer Mukhtar Auezov. They studied together at the Semipalatinsk Seminary. They shared one room in the dormitory. It was a life-long friendship.
Kanysh Satpayev was very fond of mountains with colorful stones and steppes. He used to collect natural stones since childhood.
The Kazakh scientist Satpayev could play dombra and guitar very well. He loved to perform Kazakh and Ukrainian folk songs. He even added 25 songs to the collection of the music ethnographer Aleksandr Zatayevich. Today these songs are the legacy of the Kazakh folk art. Satpayev wrote more than 800 works in various fields of science and culture.