Sunday, December 28, 2008

Confessions:

Again, I need to ask Kyrgyz and Native Americans to forgive the terrorists acts my people committed against your people. Please forgive us. We murdered Native Americans. There is no excuse.

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I see the Almighty still working on my heart regarding the terrorism inflicted from the hand of my ancestors (See Dec. 15th 2008 post). On Christmas day I learned that I am descended from a Capt. Gallup who captured and drowned Native Americans at sea. I'm sick and would rather not know that I have descended from such corruption. I don't want you to know either. My enemies in Kyrgyzstan will use this against me. I can only hope that the inherited evil will be stopped and that healing for all of us will come from confessing this murder, asking God and Native Americans for forgiveness, and by decisively turning from the cruel path. I know the old ways require appropriating blood from an innocent sacrifice. Both Native Americans and Kyrgyz are intimately aware of this ritual, the payment feast (Toloo in Kyrgyz). In the same way that I have been a communal part of Capt. Gallup's sin and the resulting curse, I now ask for the spilled blood of Messiah Isa (Jesu) to be incorporated or appropriated into my life, family, work, and inner world. May my Creator look on me and have mercy.

Risbek (Richard)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

"And Mary, daughter of 'Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was of the obedient." Qur'an 66:12

…the angels said: O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a word from Him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter… (Qur'an 3:45)

"... the word became flesh and lived among us..." (Injil, John 1)



Risbek

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Chanukah from the Muslim world,

I thank God that Kyrgyz are not given to anti-Semitic comments, nonetheless there are other nationalities that make terrible remarks here. I want to say that I know many wonderful Jews. Let's stay clear of the dark tendency that pushes demented individuals and historically embarrassing movements toward antisemitism.

History has shown that the menorah's light is here to stay.

Risbek

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wounded Knee, South Dakota (1890)

In December 2001 American troops had surrounded their enemy - Osama bin Laden in the Tora Bora Mountains and Mullah Omar in Khandahar, Afghanistan. While Bush was assuring the American people that bin Laden would be caught, I woke from a vivid dream which clearly showed that bin Laden and Mullah Omar would not be caught until the American President officially apologized for acts of terrorism against Native Americans. The dream also revealed something about America's guilt against women. I wrote the White House and asked the president to offer a confession similar to Abraham Lincoln's presidential apology/confession for America's role in slavery. I received an automated response from the White House. To date the president still has not officially apologized for terrorism from our people inflicted on others.

Last night I watched the movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee". I wept. This was my review to Netflix.

I am a descendant of the American Christians who elected the government that betrayed Native Americans. The visual portrayal of animalistic behavior propagated by my people against another made me sick. I cried because of atrocities my nation brought on another - to their lives, to their culture, to their lands, and to their souls. I believe the God of mercy and the God of justice are one as depicted by the holy book passed on to us from ancient tribals. The movie moved me: if God is just and/or if we are human shouldn’t our government officially apologize for acts of terrorism against Native Americans. If I can personally ask Native Americans to forgive us, I will… I do. Please forgive us for acts of terrorism committed against you. May the Creator not require from us the blood we have taken from you.

I need to watch this again. I need to feel it. I think every “White” American, everyone who references the Bible, every South Dakotan, everyone in the U.S. military, and every governmental official should watch what our people did at Wounded Knee.

I am not worthy to write to or for Kyrgyz, who are genetically close to Native Americans and have suffered like Native Americans. I stand before you and write as a descendant of those who elected a government that, like the Tsars, slaughtered your cousins. I cannot assume my hands are clean. I ask this generation of Kyrgyz to forgive me for what my people have done to your cousins. I humbly write to the nation in obedience to a voice, a call, which I believe came from God.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Restoring Kyrgyz Faith

Often I read a passage that I believe pertains to Kyrgyz. The following is from the prophet Isaiah. I can envision Kyrgyz speaking freedom and beauty to those suffering around the globe.:

The Spirit of the Supreme Lord (Tengir) is on me, because the Lord has picked me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to announce that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord's favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel (Jakyb), he will give beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise instead of despair. For the Lord has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own honor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities long ago destroyed. They will revive them, though they have been empty for many generations. Foreigners will be your servants. They will feed your flocks and plow your fields and tend your vineyards. You will be called priests of the Lord, ministers of our God. You will be fed with the treasures of the nations and will boast in their riches. Instead of shame and dishonor, you will inherit a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy.
“For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

I interpret "healing the ancient ruins" to mean the ancient faith, which will be restored to its original state. May the eye of Kyrgyz embrace this high view! Oomin.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chingis Aitmatov - In Fond Memory of One of my Heroes...
Presented by Risbek
"Chingis Aitmatov and Modernity" Forum
October 25, 2008, Bishkek
Chingis Aitmatov "Hero Writer"Speaking on this topic today is difficult, but I will because Chingis Aitmatov opened the way. He is a writer-hero. Many traits make him a writer-hero. Chingis Aitmatov, like Solzhenitsyn, brilliantly revealed duplicity within the USSR while writing from the inside. He also beautifully introduced the inner world of mountain nomads to me and the outside world. But there is one more heroic deed he accomplished for me and many others – one deed that many people want to forget. Chingis Aitmatov dared to present images from the world’s most quoted and critiqued book – a book forsaken by his own people.

The book Chingis Aitmatov searched is filled with life’s dramas and pains and joy. It has romance, and the world’s most famous love song. The book describes rape, adultery, murder, intrigue and God’s judgment. It describes the rising and falling of khans and their kingdoms; and the destructive hypocrisy of religious leaders, and crashing of world economies like those we see today. This ancient book also shows the nomadic faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with their sacrifices and mazars (holy sites). The holy writings are a collection of Solomon’s wisdom books, the parables of Jesus, the laws of Moses, and the tears of the prophets; all mixed with ancient history and visions of the end times. It is a literary masterpiece which many Kyrgyz are ashamed to read. Fortunately, Chingis Aitmatov stood against social taboos and opened his mind to new perspectives.

In his introduction to Ashim Jakypbek’s book “Tengiri Manas” Chingis Aitmatov openly writes:

кыргыздар «Өңөр алды кызыл тил» деп макалдатса, Библияга тооп кылгандар ар нерсенин башталышы катарында «А дегенде Сљз болгон» деген түшүнүктү дайма туу тутуп келишет.1

the Kyrgyz proverb says “great skill is in the red tongue” – like the Bible’s summarized introduction “In the beginning was the Word;” such phrases lift the banner of understanding.2

Other hero-writers, like Chingis Aitmatov, also dared to lift the banner of understanding. Sagymbai’s version of the Manas Epic mentions a hero-writer – a mullah who definitely was not a “чала” (bad) mullah:

Инжил менен Тоорат
Жазуусун билип төбүрөөк
Ырайдын билип алибин
Окуган экен көбүрөөк.
Азирети Жебирейил
Айтып кабар салыптыр,
Ак байгамбар Мустапа
Айтканынын баарысын
Акылына алыптыр,
Ал сөздүн баарын молдо Осмон
Китеп кылып калыптыр…3

The Gospel and Torah's
Writings he studied well
Irai’s alphabet he knew
And read lots.
The Holy Gabriel
Spoke a message to him,
The white prophet Mustapa
All that was said
To his wisdom he gathered,
Every word Mullah Osmon
Left in the book he wrote…

Like Mullah Osmon from the Manas Epic, Chingis Aitmatov also presented us wisdom which he gleaned from holy sources. In response to his story “Place of the Skull” (плаха” in Russian; “кыямат” in Kyrgyz), containing his portrayal of Jesus, Chingis Aitmatov wrote that no one but Jesus could fulfill the novel’s purpose. Then he added:

Иисус Христос мага азыркы адамдарга кандайдыр бир ыйык нерсени айтыщ үчүн мүмкүнчүлүк берет…

the Jesus Christ figure gave me the opportunity to present that sacred topic (sacrifice and extreme suffering) to modern people… 4

Chingis Aitmatov was brave enough to mention Jesus within his Muslim context, without changing his religion. Look at this list of hero-writers from this part of the world who projected similar wisdom into their own writings or speeches: Mullah Osmon, Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Alisher Navoi, Chingis Aitmatov, and all the future writer-heroes who are brave enough to stand against the society’s duplicity. The men I mentioned did not change their faith or sell their religions; on the contrary, the expanded their religions and their faith, and brought unity where others seek division. They are the hero-writers.

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Presented at the Diylog Avrazia's "Chingis Aitmatov and Modernity" Forum on Oct. 25, 2008 in memory of Chingis Aitmatovby Risbek in English with Russian translation by Yevgeniy Akimenko.
Risbek, a post-graduate student at Kyrgzstan’s Arabaev University, published five books including his best known Ak Kalpak and Boz Ui.
Notes:
1 Aitmatov, Chingis: introduction to Tengiri Manas by Jakypbek, Ashim (Bishkek “Kyrgyzstan” 1995)
2 Loosely translated by the author.
3 Orozbakov, Sagymbai; edited by the Kyrgyz Republic’s Academy of Sciences: Manas, The Kyrgyz National Heroic Epic (Bishkek, Sham, 2006)
4 Aitmatov, Chingis; Chingis Aitmatov, (Bishkek, Sham, 1999), vol. 4, p. 350. Parentheses added by author.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kurman Ait

Today is my favorite Muslim holiday. I feel a deep appreciation for the innocent sacrifice; for the spilled blood; and the removal of my dirt.

"One of seven may be the Kydyr" (Jetinin biri Kydyr). May you all get the Kydyr's blessing today. I wish all my Kyrgyz and Muslim friends everywhere a heartfelt "Ait Mairik Bolsun." 

Risbek

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Samaria, Samarkand, Samakai

Kyrgyz consider themselves an imperishable people. Some even think the name Kyrgyz is a variation of the Kyrgyz word Kyrylgyz, “indestructible”. Israelis have also earned a similar reputation over the years. Both nations seem to arise again and again from a unending series of trauma, genocide, and destruction.

Despite the “divine favor” both nations may flaunt, they also uplift narratives that reveal humiliating national sins. The Manas Epic records the following slaughter: an enemy khan, Alookei, attacked the Kyrgyz and scattered them from Samarkand. The epic concludes they were destroyed because of sin:

…The poor people who came to Altay,
And the heroes who were exiled
Survived their hardships,
Were separated from their people,
And endured this on account of their sins.

Manasseh’s biblical tribe and their heroes were destroyed for similar reasons.

“The members of the half-tribe of Manasseh lived in the land. They were very numerous … But they broke faith with the God of their fathers, and whored after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.”

This historic battle ended with Samaria’s capture about 721 B.C.E. The captives were deported. Eventually Israel and Manasseh’s scattered masses disappeared from history somewhere beyond the Euphrates. The tribes are now known as the mythological “Lost Tribes of Israel” who, according to biblical prophecy, are supposed to reappear in “the last days.”

Samarkand and Samaria
The Manas Epic presents enemy khans deporting Jakyb and his brothers from the cities of Samarkand, Bukhara, Andijan, and Talas. Samarkand deserves some attention in this analysis. The city’s origins date back to about 700 B.C., which correlates with Samaria’s deportation to areas on the Silk Road. A casual observer might think Samaria’s deported captives brought the toponym of their capital with them. But the prevalent view on Samarkand’s etymology states “asmara,” an old Persian word for rock or stone, and the suffix “kand,” meaning city or fort, break down Samarkand to mean “City of Rock,” not “City of Samar,” or “City of Samaria.” On that basis, Samarkand probably has no connection to Samaria or Israel’s lost tribes. Nonetheless, Samaria and Samarkand’s deportation stories deserve comparative analysis.

From the Manas Epic:
As for Alööke and Molto's
Dreadful demands:
They took large quantities of gold.
If one couldn't give gold to them,
They took their grazing livestock.
If the numbers did not tally,
They beheaded and killed the owner.
Those Kyrgyz who fought back
They paid with blood
and sent to their ancestors (to the dead) those who talked back
They caught and made them slaves.
They destroyed everything,
They brought on a great calamity.
From the Altï-Shaar to Margilan,
All the way to Kokand,
And the sheikh with his soldiers wearing blue coats,
In the lands of Bukara and Samarkand,
Were reduced in numbers and destroyed.

Ashym Jakypbek also mentions Samarkand in his version, Tengiri Manas:

Khans Alooke and Molto, conquering from the beginning – they came and attacked Samarkand and Anjiyan, then killed the hero Orozdu. When that was known they attacked Talas and left no man to lead the people. Bent elders and nursing babies were left. Pretty girls and ladies were taken. Ripped from life and livestock, only beggars remained.

The biblical chroniclers also note that only the poorest of the poor remained in the land after Samaria was attacked and deported.

The Manas Encyclopedia states that many versions of the epic refer to Samarkand as Manas’ fatherland. The mountains of Samaria, on the other hand, represent Manasseh’s fatherland.

The Scattered Ten
According to Ashym Jakypbek the ten orphaned sons of Orozdu were scattered from Samarkand in ten different directions.

Jakyb told Manas about the Kitai, Kalmak, and Manjuu attacking the Ala Too, destroying the pillars of the palace in Talas, felling the flag and scattering the 10 young sons of the Hero, Orozdu, in 10 directions when they didn’t have a chance to fight…

Jakyb’s history starts with ten brothers being scattered from Samarkand. Biblical Jacob’s northern kingdom ends with the ten tribes scattered from Samaria to the Silk Road, in the direction of Samarkand.

Samaria, Samarkand, Samakai
Later we will analyze a tribal people in Northeast India called the Kuki, who claim descent from Israel’s tribe, Manasseh. They sing about the time they were parted from their brothers on the Samakai Mountains. Dr. Khuplam, a Kuki scholar, told me he believes Samakai (or Somakai) may be in Tibet because Kuki prayers mentioned Samakai in conjunction with Tibet, but Khuplam has not been able to locate the exact place of this “parting.”

Where were these brothers separated from one another? Could this place of parting for three ethnic groups be the same place? Kuki descendants of Manmasi (Manasseh) call it “Samakai.” Kyrgyz descendants of Manas call it “Samarkand.” The biblical record refers to Manasseh and “Samaria.” Or, if history really does repeat itself, could Samakai and Samarkand be historical repeats of Samaria? Or perhaps the descendants of Jacob remember a place of parting that sounds like sama-something and a father like Manase or something. Putting all the pieces of this historical puzzle together will not be accomplished quickly, and may require revisiting some traditional perceptions; like the etymology of Samarkand, and the overall role of the Bible in the Manas Epic, and the prevalent opinion about the disappearance of Jacob’s ten northern tribes.

by Risbek
Author of five books including Boz Ui and Ak Kalpak
Post graduate at Arabaev University in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Russian Version and English Version with notes may be viewed on the Manas Epic webpage

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