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Mother's Testament, a novel, in which I put my whole heart, went a very long way. I dreamed of writing it from my early childhood, listening to the stories of my loved ones, who survived humiliation, deprivation, injustice, but kept their dignity, thirst for life and love.
I also had a hard time in childhood. I grew up in a poor peasant family with seven children. In my home village in rural Kazakhstan, there was only an elementary school, so I had to go to a secondary school in the city of Zharkent. Every day we walked for 7 kilometers to school and 7 kilometers back to the village in the heat of summer and in freezing cold of winter. During winters, when the temperature could be minus 30 degrees Celsius, we would be wearing raggedy clothes, and light boots on our feet would be clogged with snow. Once I fell into the water and wet my feet. Of course, I caught a cold and the disease became complicated by meningitis, because of which I had to miss school for 3 years.
Despite these and other difficulties later in life, I followed my dream to write a book about my village, about my people. I was able to publish it in Uighur language only at 67 and English, when I turned 75, but I am grateful that it came out at the right time, when I was able to look at many things differently and accept people as who they are.