Professor Dr. Alpaslan Ceylan, Rector of Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, visited Kyrgyz grandmothers in their homes. On January 30, 2024, he visited 104-year-old Ahiska grandmother Gülşan Aliyeva and 90-year-old Kyrgyz grandmother Gülbara Momonkulova, kissing their hands and receiving their blessings.
The grandmothers' children and grandchildren warmly welcomed Prof. Dr. Ceylan. The grandmothers, addressing him affectionately as "my son," opened their hearts to Ceylan, who showed genuine concern and inquired if they needed anything.
- Gülşan Aliyeva's Memories
Gülşan Aliyeva, likening Prof. Dr. Ceylan to her late aunt, spoke at length about her husband, children, grandchildren, siblings, and her days in Ahıska, exclaiming, "What days we have lived! Sacrifice to God! We are grateful for these days!" Regarding her old age and hearing loss, Rector Ceylan responded that she looked well but suggested that the University's doctors examine her.
Rector Prof. Dr. Ceylan, acknowledging their status as the memory of Kyrgyzstan, stated that the University had started a project to benefit from their memories. He kissed Gülşan Aliyeva's hand, received her blessing, and then visited Gülbara Momonkulova.
- Gülbara Momonkulova's Passion for Reading
Gülbara Momonkulova expressed her great joy at Prof. Dr. Ceylan's visit, discussing the importance of education for her prominent family and mentioning that her husband worked as a mathematics teacher for 48 years. She has eight children, 33 grandchildren, 51 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, some of whom serve as teachers in Kyrgyzstan's state schools.
Sending her regards to the students of Manas University, she told Rector Ceylan, "My son, may you see the goodness of the children you educate. May they be very successful. I have lived a long life; may the youth live long and be happy, too. I am thrilled. I want to tell you so much but am very excited."
Showing Prof. Dr. Ceylan a picture of her great-grandfather on the wall, she said, "My grandchild, living in Tomsk, Russia, brought this picture three years ago. Our grandfather was affected by repression. Unfortunately, we don't have much information."
Rector Alpaslan Ceylan, addressing Gülbara Momonkulova, a fan of Chingiz Aitmatov's works, said, "I am delighted that you love reading and solving puzzles every day. I will bring you publications from our University on my next visit. I also love and read Chingiz Aitmatov a lot. Aitmatov's saying, 'The hardest thing for a person is to remain human every day' is very important. Every day, we talk to our students at the University about the importance of remaining human. You have raised valuable children who served their country as teachers and remained human daily. How fortunate for you! How fortunate for us to have a valuable grandmother like you! You are from Talas, and I am from Issyk-Kul. From now on, I will visit you whenever I find the opportunity. We are waiting for you at our University. Come, let our doctors examine you. Please chat with our students. Let them benefit from your memories."
Manas University, which values students growing up with knowledge and preservation of their traditions alongside academic excellence, considers the elderly one of the most essential values of the Turkic World. The Manas community, prioritizing human touch and possessing a high sense of social responsibility, frequently visits older people, orphans, and those in need, sharing in their lives.
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