Ybyrai Altynsarin

Ybyrai (Ibrahim) Altynsarin (Kazakh: Ыбырай Алтынсарин, Ybyraı Altynsarın; Russian: Ибрай Алтынсарин, 1841–1889) was a major figure in pre-Soviet Kazakh history. He was the most prominent Kazakh educator of the late 19th century, during the period of Russian colonization of and cultural influence in Kazakhstan.

Ybyrai Altynsarin on a 2016 stamp of Kazakhstan
Ybyrai Altynsarin

Ibrahim Altynsarin was born in the Araqaraghai region of Torghai oblast (now Kostanay Province) of modern-day Kazakhstan and in his early career he was an inspector of Torghai schools. Like all ethnic Kazakhs, Ibrahim was raised in an Islamic family that valued tradition and religion over many other aspects of life. Due to the influx of Russian influence in the area, though, he developed more progressive views for Kazakh society to westernize and accelerate. This allowed him to come up with multiple ways to modernize Kazakh society.

Ibrahim Altynsarin is best known for introducing the transition from the Perso-Arabic alphabet to the Cyrillic alphabet for the Kazakh language, and was a proponent of teaching in the Western style. Being a Muslim, though, he opposed the teaching of Orthodox Christian doctrines to non-Russian Kazakhs, but at the same time urged resistance to Tatar language and culture, in favor of Russian and Western influences. As an educator, he opened numerous Kazakh-Russian boarding schools, technical schools and schools for girls.

Altynsarin is also credited with authoring the first Kazakh grammar book, the first Kazakh-Russian newspaper, and with translation of a large number of textbooks and reference works. He was honored by the Imperial Russian government with numerous awards, including the title statski sovetnik (State Counsellor).

A number of Kazakh institutions, including the Kazakh Academy of Education, Arkalyk State Pedagogical Institute and some streets, schools, and academic awards, are named after Altynsarin. There is an Altynsarin museum in Kostanay.

Ybyrai grew up with his grandfather because of the early death of his father. He perfectly finished the school in Orynbor.

In his last years, he decides to move 3 kilometers away from Kostanay and builds a house there, near the river Tobyl. He works here until his death. He was buried near the river, near his father's coffin.

Mausoleum and MuseumEdit

A mausoleum and museum were constructed on the site of Altynsarin's final resting place in Kostanay, Kazakhstan.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Mausoleum of Ybyrai Altynsarin". kazakhstan.travel.
  • Altynsarin, Ybrai [Ibrahim] (1994). Tandamaly shygarmalary (Selected Works). Gylym, Almaty, Kazakhstan. ISBN 5-628-00862-1.
  • Lamashev, A. (1983). Ybyrai Altynsarin: Seminarii. Anatili. ISBN 5-630-00018-7.
  • Isabelle Kreindler (1983). "Ibrahim Altynsarin, Nikolai Il'minskii and the Kazakh National Awakening". Central Asian Survey. 2 (3): 99–116. doi:10.1080/02634938308400440.