“Hostages of the Occupation”: Aliye Kendzhe-Ali, poetess (photo)

March 17, 2020

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center continues a series of publications about the life stories and fates of the Crimean Tatar families, which were prepared within the project “Hostage of the Occupation”, we propose you to get acquainted with the poetess Aliye Kenzhe-Ali, who after the occupation broke up with her first husband because of disagreements on the issue of Crimea and returned from Russia back home – to Crimea, where she openly and courageously continues to write.

A mother of two children, a teacher by profession Aliye Kendzhe-Ali, who lived in Russia, returned to Crimea after the well-known events in 2014, in the result of which she broke up with her first husband. Here, she was faced with the inability to express her thoughts, and intimidation of people around her. 

The poet expresses her feelings, thoughts, and anxiety in her poems. Everything that happens in Crimea does not pass Aliye's attention. In 2018, her poem on the eve of May 9 attracted the attention of the authorities, whereby in relation to her was opened a pre-investigation check to identify "rehabilitation of Nazism". This background check did not give any results. Aliye continues to write courageously and openly despite the repeated warnings. She writes in several languages, translates Ukrainian poetry into her native language and vice versa, dreams of conveying poetry in the Crimean Tatar language to the Ukrainian reader.

As a mother, Aliye is certain that the preservation and development of the language and national identity must begin in the family. So, in order for her girls to study at the Crimean Tatar school, she moved from the village of Kuru-Uzen to Simferopol, where they go to school No. 44 named after Alime Abdennanova. At home, she tries to communicate with her children in her mother tongue. She teaches them to express their position and to stand their ground.

“Crimea is a part of my soul, it is my extension. I walk around my native Kuru-Uzen and I feel the breath of the earth, how the wind from the mountains and the sea carries the voices of our ancestors,” says Aliye.

Poetry is not her only talent. The protagonists of her novel “Cradle” travel from the present to the past, to the reign of the last Khan, Şahin Giray. They seek a meeting with him and persuade not to give up Crimea to Catherine the Great. Everywhere is the Crimean Tatar language, the sonorous children’s laughter, craftsmen glorify their folk crafts throughout the world, everyone is free and happy – this is the Crimea Aliye Kendzhe-Ali dreams about.

Project manager: Zarema Bariieva
Author of pictures: Lieniara Abibulaieva
Text writer: Alemkhan Sary
Translation into English: Zarema Bariieva

We remind that on February 26 in Kyiv, the presentation of the album and the exhibition “Hostages of the Occupation” took place, which tell us about the fate of 20 Crimean Tatar families after the annexation of the peninsula. On March 10, the exhibition opened in Vinnytsia. The exhibition is expected to be presented in Lviv and Dnipro as well.

The project was prepared by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center with the support of the Democracy Grants Program of the US Embassy to Ukraine.