On Abaza writing based on Arabic script
Throughout all the years my efforts have been focused on how to preserve records’ quality, but the original records did not survive. Compact cassette copies were more or less good, but short-lived. Once in our village came first computers, in 1998-1999, I with great difficulty managed to digitize recordings.
Pursuing scientific work in the field of linguistics, I remembered that my father could read only Arabic religious texts. Actually, I do remember that all his “kitab” (so-called old books with religious content, as opposed to secular, in respect of which was used a borrowed from the Russian language word “kniga” – “book”) were written in Arabic. And among the recordings, there was one Abaza text – religious chant related to the Prophet’s death. I knew that his cherished kitaby, with neatly rewritten by hand texts, were taken by my father’s faithful friends who are now also in the other world. But I still managed to find an old school exercise book with the text, handwritten in Arabic letters.
So there are some questions: who and when translated the text from Arabic into Abaza language and how, using only Arabic script, he managed to write it down? Besides, I hardly remember that in early childhood I have heard a few other Abaza texts read by venerable ministers of religion choir.
We can assume that these and similar texts were translated and recorded by Umar Mekerov or someone from his students. Professor V.Tugov in his essay on Umar Mekerov referred to the publication in the newspaper “Kuban news” from August 10, 1891. According to the newspaper, Umar Mekerov “arranged in his village an exemplary school with a pension and contributed a lot to the spread of public education among highlanders”. He also “made a special alphabet based on the Arabic alphabet and adapted to local language and he taught children using this new alphabet”; he “made even a textbook but it was not published …”
Specially for “Abaza Country”