Asad bay’s migration life (Scientific explanation of the pseudonym of “Gurban Said”)

Friday, 11 January 2008

Image Prominent Azerbaijani Jew writer and journalist Leo Nousimbaum was born in 1905 in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan in the family of one of the Jew origin oil businessmen. After accepting Islam taking the pseudonym “Mahammad Asad Bay” this prominent thinker started his activities in Azerbaijan and then continued in foreign countries.

While being one of the persons eye-witnessing of the arising of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, Socialist Revolution and closely observing the ongoing processes in the 2nd World War, Asad bay was a thinker introducing Azerbaijan to the world writing his thoughts and memories in the books.

After declining Azerbaijan Democratic Republic Asad bay brought refuge to Turkey, then went for studying to Berlin from there and was helped by Russian intelligent living in Berlin in those times. In childhood while being in Baku upbringed by German servant Asad bay learned German very well and also successfully finished education got in Berlin.

Because of supplying to the community without deviating the ugliness of capitalist-bourgeois life reigning in Azerbaijan at the beginning of the 20th century Asad bay undergoing heavy pursuits was to run from Azerbaijan and to spend lifelong migrant life. Though he lived only 37 years in the life, this person was a cause of occurrence a number of famous works reflecting in the scripts and memories seen in childhood. In 1929 he published his first book named “Shargda neft va gan” (English: oil and blood in the East) when he was in migration in Germany.

While investigating the meaning of the name of writer we see that Arabic translation of “asad” means “lion”, that is, he translated kind of his own Jew name. As undergoing to durable pursuits in 1930’s, Asad bay took “Gurban Said” name as pseudonym together with Boronesse Elfrede Erenfes that he made friends in Austria in those times.

According to conducted scientific investigations, it is known that “gurban” is to sacrifice something for the sake of something in Islamic world. The meaning of the word of “Said” is “volunteer”. On these grounds, it might be connected like sacrificing the Asad bay’s published works with the name of “Gurban Said” in Germany due to 1930’s regime.

Worldwide famous “Ali and Nino” with pseudonym Gurban Said has just come across this fate, because book has been printed in 1937.

According to events enumerated above, Asad bay’s fate of creative work ended with obligatory continuing in the Pozitono city of the Italy. Bas-relief on which written “Asad Bay” and “Gurban Said” words hung from on the house that he lived in Pozitono is still kept today as a sign of respect to the writer.

If we investigate another fact we will see that letter written to Miss Boronessa Elfride Erenfels by Asad bay in Italy was written under the “Miss K Said” pseudonym which was popular to write with password for those time. Even in 1937, in the time of Nazi Germany authority “Gurban Said” name was written in front of the Boronessa E.Erenfels’s name in the archive documents and today the same documents are still kept in the archive of the Miss.

All of these give ground that worldwide famous novel of “Ali and Nino” was obligatorily printed only under pseudonym name.

It is very interesting case that Asad bay didn’t selected city of Pozitono settled near to Napoly which is the partner city of Baku for migration life. Settlement in the seaside and similarity to Baku of the city is related to the memories of Asad bay.

3 years before his death, in 1939 artist Stefan Andreas created his portret memory for us in the Pozitono city of Italy.

In 1942 in the Catholic graveyard of the Pozitono city of Italy Asad bay was buried as a Muslim to the direction to which a Moslem turns when praying.

Works written by Asad bay later also differed from the viewpoint of urgency and sharpness of the time. That’s why his works were always translated into different languages and investigated as an investigation object by scientists.

In 70’s turkologist scientist Ahmad Shmide got acquainted with Asad bay’s life and activities, published different kind of articles. From this point of view I present the content of “gb. Bodmorshof” letter of Miss Elfride Erenfels on date of June 10, 1974 to readers.

“Dear Mr. Shmide,
I would like to inform you as a translator-specialist on Turkish languages that “Gurban Said” is a writer pseudonym of Mahammad Asad bay who was born in Baku and I collaborated with Asad bay in the publication of his “Gold horned girl” named novel in 1938.
Elfriede Ehrenfels-Bodmershof”.

As seen from the letter time puts each reality to its place.

Besides, Asad bay’s attitude to “Gurban Said” pseudonym is delivered again as an explanation to us in the conducted in these area investigations of professor Gerhard Hopp, Paula Shrode and other scientists in Berlin and information got from Berlin Free University and Leipzig international library.

Despite he lived short part of his life in America, American journalist Tom Rays conducted very interesting research about Asad bay’s life.

Dedicated to Mahammad Asad bay’s life and activities professor Hasan Guliyev’s biographic essay book differed in productivity of investigations about Asad bay’s life and activities conducted by the Netherlands and German documentary film masters in 2002.

The life and activities of Asad bay, his works are still investigated today from the urgency viewpoint of its time. From this point of view German-Azerbaijan Society takes part as one of the organizers scientific-practical conference on the occasion of Asad bay’s 100 annual in October this year.

In 19-20 October with the initiative of German-Azerbaijan Society international conference has been held on the occasion of 100 jubilee of the deceased writer in “Kapellhaus” German-Azerbaijan culture center in Baku. It is significant case that in this conference the son of the owner of house in which M. Asad bay lived and created in the Pozitono city of Italy, Professor Romalo Erkolino has come to Baku with his wife in order to participate in deceased Asad bay’s jubilee. Mister Erkolino saw M.Asad bay live when he was just five and he couldn’t keep tears every time when he speaks memories about him.

Besides Italian guests German “Um Welt Film” fimling group which come to jubilee has finished new film describing M.Asad bay’s life. Spoken in the event producer Ralf Marshalek brought Asad bay’s books with himself and demonstraed in the exibition organized in the event.

In the first day of the ceremony reflecting M.Asad bay’s life documentary film has been presented by Nederland producer Jos de Putter rousing much more interest.

Besides, professor of the Tbilisi State University of Georgia Nana Gaprindashvily also saying the sincere words was thankful about organization such a high level ceremony in the jubilee.

In addition to foreign guests Professor Hasan Guliyev, professor Zeydulla Agayev, assistant professor Charkaz Gurbanly and writer Hamid Herishchy said their words coming from heart about M.Asad bay to participators in the conference.

In the eve of October-December months of 2005 year the jubilee of M.Asad bay was held in Germany, Poland and Italy as well as Azerbaijan.

Asad bay’s book able to form Azerbaijan Diaspora abroad yet at the beginning of the 20th century has given benefits as an attribute in our modern time. Such as living and creating as a migrant in Germany for many years philologist Majid Musazade translated fully and partially the books of Asad bay’s books from German. I would like to note Zeydulla Agayev, Charkaz Gurbanly from our scientists who worked on this area lately.

Asad bay’s works written in migration gives a ground to think that being in migration and independently from nationality every person’s who close to Azerbaijan serving to introduction of our country in foregin countries by holding the Azerbaijan’s voice of justice high in the own area of activity is one of main factors in the formation of diaspora. So, it is possible to create a diaspora able to introduce Azerbaijan in any point of the world and deliver its realities to world community as well owing to thinker compatriots carring out special activities on introduction of their motherland to the world despite their pains of the migration life.

The role, work and activities of Asad bay who was prominent thinker, writer-journalist is undeniable from this point of view. There is always need for such thinkers in the development of Azerbaijan Diaspora.

Dr. Cingiz Abdullayev