Personalities of Turkmenistan

Aman Kekilov was born in May 9, 1912-13 December 1912, village Keshi, near Ashgabat. He is Turkmen outstanding scientist, poet and prose writer, educator . National Writer of the Turkmen SSR (1967). Doctor of Philology, Academician, Honored Scientist of the Turkmen SSR (1972). Author of the first National Anthem of Turkmen SSR.

Aman Kekilov - author of poems, poems, plays, novels, about a hundred articles and scientific papers, including work on the theory of poetry, "Theory of Literature" (3rd ed., 1961).

In 1927, he published his first poem. Printed many reviews of famous writers to the books. In 1932 was published the first collection of poems by a young author. Behind these poems, were published two more: "Forward" and "Two poems," in which A. Kekilov acted as a children's poet.

Magtymguly Pyragy (1724 –1807) was a Turkmen spiritual leader and philosophical poet who made significant efforts to secure independence and autonomy for his people in the 18th century.

Magtymguly is widely believed to have been born in the Hajygowshan village near Gonbad-e Qabus city in what is now the Iranian province of Golestan, the northern steppes of which are known as Turkmen Sahra ("Turkmen steppes"). In his poetry, Magtymguly says “Tell those who enquire about me that I am a Gerkez, I hail from Etrek and my name is Makhtumkuli,” identifying his homeland as the banks of the Etrek River and expressing his identity through his tribe.

He received his early education in the Persian and Arabic languages from his father Döwletmämmet Azady, a leading scholar at that time. He went on to study in various madrasahs, including the Idris Baba Madrasah in the village of Gyzyl Ayak, the Madrasah of Shir Gazi Khan in Khiva, and may have also studied in Bukhara for some time. Upon his return home, Magtymguly worked as a silversmith while he taught and wrote. He went on to develop a realistic style of writing about 18th century Turkmen that proved very popular and ultimately led to him becoming one of the most cherished Turkmen poets of all time. He was also a devout Naqshbandi Sufist who was said to have traveled throughout all the lands comprising modern Turkmenistan, teaching and praying for the salvation of his people.

Not much is known about Magtymguly's family life. He was unable to marry Mengli, the woman that he loved, yet it seems he was married to someone else. His elder brothers Abdulla and Mahammetsupa disappeared, and his children died young. Magtymguly was also pained by the loss of his father, with whom he had maintained close scholarly relations throughout his life.

Some of Magtymguly's poetry, along with stories collected from Turkmen oral traditions, suggests that the poet was taken prisoner at some point in his lifetime, likely in Mashad, Iran. It is unknown who took him captive, yet such events were common in 18th century Iran and Turkmenistan. A servant of the ruler, who was also a Turkmen, allegedly aided Magtymguly's escape.

Pyragy is buried in Aktokay village in north-eastern Iran. The Iranian government has inaugurated a mausoleum on his grave.

He promoted the idea of keeping the Turkmen way sacred, as well as maintaining the unity and integrity of the Turkmen nation. During his lifetime, his efforts had minimal success overcoming the existing tribal loyalties and rivalries.

The Turkmen tribes of the 18th century were torn by internecine strife and the aggressions of powerful neighbors. Much of Magtymguly's poetry depicts the suffering of the common people as caused by the selfish predations of those in power.

Magtymguly also criticized rulers and many religious figures for their exploitation of the poor and their mockery of justice in such stanzas as: “Khans of Gokleng have been spoiled/They think we do not deserve any comfort/They took away all our belongings/ We could not do anything but watch them,” and “Rulers dispense no justice anymore/Muftis issue justice for a farthing.