Friday, 30 November 2007

Gaziz Ajdarskij

I was reading about Sara Sadiqova, "the Tatar nightingale", on Wikipedia, and discovered through that this beautiful lady had a matching husband. Gaziz Ajdarskij* was an actor and director (and apparently also a poet?) in Kazan and Moscow in the 1920's.
Above, a portrait from 1928. Below, in the role of Takhir in Fatkhi Burnash's "spectacle" Takhir and Zukhra (Tatar akademik G.Kamal isemle teatr, Kazan 1921).

(*Aidarskii, Aydarsky, how are you supposed to translitterate into English in any logical way?...)

Friday, 23 November 2007

EURO 2008

I guess we at Chirayliq have to start paying attention to the European football championships in Austria and Switzerland next year. Turkey qualified for the games with 1:0 against Bosnia-Herzegovina. Unfortunately, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia couldn't make it, but Russia might have some interesting faces in the team.
More about the results in the qualification pool at

Friday, 9 November 2007

Prince of Tennis: Marat Safin

Every other post seems to be about a Tatar lately, but when I was researching Rustem Hayroudinoff before, I checked out the "List of Tatars" at Wikipedia, and realised that we haven't featured Marat Safin yet.

Marat Safin is a Russian Tatar born in Moscow. He held the "No. 1" world ranking for nine weeks in November and December of 2000, at twenty years of age. His parents are former tennis players and coaches, and his sister Dinara is also a professional tennis player. At age fourteen he moved to Spain to pursue tennis at a higher level than was possible in Russia at the time.
"He is known for his good looks, large physical size, athleticism, controversial antics, and aggressive 'power' style of play. He is fluent in Russian, English and Spanish", Wikipedia informs us.

He's not supercute, at least to me (his nose is much too small), but he's not too bad for a tennis player. ^_^

When Marat is angry, he likes to throw his racquet on the ground. Yes, I can understand that a sport like tennis can be frustrating.
He is quite famous for his emotional outbursts. Especially Fabrice Santoro is able to drive him crazy - according to Marat, "being told I would play Santoro was being told I was to die". Now now, Marat, it can't be that bad, can it? It's just a little ball made of rubber and felted fabric ...

Young Marat (left) at his first tournament, in Tashkent, wearing traditional garb ... which doesn't really go so well with tennis shoes and tennis socks:

The above photos are from Marat's official website. There are LOTS more over there.

Marat being tall (193 cm):

Of course, fanboys and fangirls have also spread less dressed images of Marat all over the Internet:

(Argh, in these photos he looks a bit like this cute French guy I met at a party and then lost, after stupidly not asking for any contact details and even forgetting his name. But the French guy's nose was bigger and he had more beautiful eyes.)

That's a barcode tattooed on Marat's shoulder, under the eye. I wonder what would happen if you'd try to scan him with one of those price checking devices they have in supermarkets ...

The bloggers who posted these pictures weren't at all interested in the two other guys, so I don't know who they are.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Iosif Vissarionovich

Well, we already have a tag called "Stalin", and Stalin used to be quite the babe when he was young, so it was only a question of time until we would get to this. (We have a "Lenin" tag, too, but Lenin wasn't that attractive - he lost his hair very early and was generally rather asexual - as opposed to the womanizer Stalin, who kept the thick hair on his head until his death.)

Stalin in 1902, at age 24:

These are mug shots by the police in Batumi, where he was arrested for organising several large workers’ demonstrations.
(The first photo, according to Wikimedia commons, is from the book "Josef Wissarionowitsch Stalin - Kurze Lebensbeschreibung", Publishing for Russian literature in foreign languages, Moscow 1947", and the second was featured in E. Radziński's "Stalin. Pierwsza pełna biografia oparta na rewelacyjnych dokumentach z tajnych archiwów rosyjskich", Warszawa 1996.)

In 1919, at age 41, with comrades Lenin and Kalinin at the VIII Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Stalin was still kind of good-looking. Or maybe this photo was retouched.

Unfortunately, Stalin suffered many abuses during his childhood and youth, was apparently just generally a bit of an a*****e, and ended up a grown-up with severe psychological problems, which turned out to be lethal for an immense number of people when he gained more and more power in the Soviet Union. (His story is quite typical for many politicians, though maybe a bit extreme.)

Those who in spite of everything would like to feel a bit of sympathy towards him might be interested in Vladimir Sorokin's novel "Blue Lard", where Stalin gets to show a soft spot in his mad love affair with a rather dominant Khruschev.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Rustem Hayroudinoff

Our avid reader Ilshat suggested another nice guy to be featured on Chirayliq, though his e-mail has been lying around in my mailbox for a very long time. Shame on me.

Rustem Hayroudinoff (aka Rustem Hayrutdinov, aka Röstäm Xäyretdin Äwzal ulı) is a Tatar and a world-famous classical pianist, born in Kazan into a family full of musicians.

He reminds a bit of a certain Tatar film maker acquaintance of mine.

(Second photo by Terence Donovan, collage used as a part of playbill cover for Rustem Hayroudinoff’s concert on October 18, 2007 at the Lütfi Kırdar Congress and Exhibition Center's Grand Hall, Istanbul, Turkey.)

Read more about Rustem and hear a short sample of his "Prelude in G Minor" by Rachmaninov.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Malen'kye Lyudi - Kazakhstan 2003

Malen'kye Lyudi by Nariman Turebayev (2003) is a movie about "little people", friends Bek and Max, who share an apartment in Almaty and just try to survive on odd jobs and daydreams. Bek (Erjan Bekmuratov) wants to find true love, Max (Oleg Kerimov) wants to move to Germany, where his grandmother lives.

«Max ist ein Frauenheld, Bek ein stiller Brüter, und den Moment, in dem sie ihre Liebe zueinander entdecken, nur um sich sofort wieder voneinander zurückzuziehen, inszeniert Turebayev grossartig.»
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Another film from Kazakhstan distributed by Trigon Film in Europe is Killer / Marat, tueur à gages by Dareshan Omirbayev, 1999. Reluctant assassin Marat (incredibly handsome Talgat Assetov) is captured in the Mafia's net of extortion, lies and violence.

"Dareschan Omirbaew hat in drei Spielfilmen sein leidenschaftliches Temperament gezeigt und ein Kino von einer unleugbaren Poesie."
Thierry Jousse, Cahiers du Cinéma