Many of our compatriots for example Gulsum Asfendiyarova, sister of Sanzhar Asfendiyarov, active figure of Alash-Orda and Akkagaz Doszhanova are among the leaders of the feminist movement of the early 20th century. They were the first who received higher medical education and became certified doctors. At the February Moscow Congress of Muslims in 1917, it was decided to send at least one woman from each regional association to the supreme executive body of the local self-government of Muslims. It turned out that only the Kazakh delegation decided to send a woman to the council - Akkagaz Doszhanova, whose election was later to be confirmed by the All-Kazakhstan Congress.
The native of the Turgay region of the Orenburg province Akkagaz was orphaned early, her elder brother Sagyndyk became her trustee. Educated himself Sagyndyk Doszhanov tried to educate his younger sister. First he identified her in the Tatar school in Orenburg, then in the women's gymnasium. There she studied together with Gulaiym Baigurina-Balgynbaeva, Rakhima Gabdilkalikyzy.
Then Akkagaz entered the highest female courses in Moscow, where she chose the medical faculty. The February revolution of 1917, social work, learning difficulties, confusion and vacillation all influenced on Akkagaz’s health. On the doctor’s advice she returned to the village.
At this time there was a war between the White Guards and the Reds. Along the way, she was taken prisoner to Kolchak - she was imprisoned, as a "Bolshevik", "spy" and "activist." Her friends came to the rescue, and she managed to return home with great difficulty.
Akkagaz finished the medical faculty of Turkestan State University in Tashkent. The famous scientist-translator Saydil Talzhanov took part in the celebrations on the occasion of the graduation of the university, and Mukhtar Auezov headed the entertainment part.
The main newspaper of Bolsheviks “Pravda” wrote:
"Tashkent. December 18, 1922. The Council of People's Commissars of the Turkestan Republic decided to issue a prize of 100 000 rubles and equip at their own expense an office for a female doctor Doszhanova, who graduated this autumn from the medical faculty of the Turkestan Republic, who received a higher education."
By the decision of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Turkestan Republic as of December 14, 1922, the university established a scholarship named after A. Doszhanova.
From the memories of Alim Girey Yershin, spouse of Akkagaz
"I met Akkagaz in Tashkent in the autumn of 1921. Before the arrival of Akkagaz, we students and employees in Tashkent lived together, worked actively. Often we held student parties. With the arrival of Akkagaz our friendship became even stronger. Among the girls Akkagaz was the oldest, and I was the oldest among the students, our friends and comrades began to joke and frankly "woo" us.
For a long time I avoided these conversations, Akkagaz also gave no sign.
In 1921, I was commissioner of the children's commission for the evacuation and resettlement of the starving people of Volga and the Urals to the more well-fed areas of Central Asia. During the years 1921-22 I accompanied at least 15 echelons of 1500 (adults and children) in each. Teacher-educators, led by Akkagaz, waited for us in Tashkent, met echelons to carry out a thorough examination and selection of children and patients. When meeting these echelons, Akkagaz rushed to provide first aid to the sick and starving people, women and children, quickly checked whether they were sick or not, and sent them, if necessary, to hospitals or boarding schools-isolators, giving everyone precise instructions and strict directions to whom and what to do, whom and where to send and what to prepare on the spot before she arrived.
If, prior to her arrival, all the organizational work was in our hands, then soon Akkagaz seized the initiative rather authoritatively and, rightly so, she installed a more reasonable leadership. In the ten years of medical and pedagogical service (from 1921 to 1930), tens of thousands of students "passed" through her hands, because in only one Tashkent, out of 17 boarding schools, up to 3,000 students were graduated annually. And there were also children's homes and shelters. And it was not only in Tashkent.
Akkagaz Doszhanova was a nugget - both as a pediatrician and as an educator. She perfectly mastered Russian, Kazakh, and Tatar languages. When she talked she clearly coined every word, did not confuse the end and stress. We all, not only students, but also public figures, writers and poets at that time had a poor command of Russian - and in comparison with Akkagaz, perhaps even worse knew our native Kazakh language. It was only natural that we all were afraid to "cut off" at the endings by getting confused in the masculine and feminine genders, get trapped in front of Akkagaz, and get a comment. Poets-writers: Magzhan Zhumabaev, Mukhtar Auezov, Zhusupbek Aimautov and others were afraid to utter an extra word in front of her.
Akkagaz was musical; she had a sensitive ear and a good voice. She especially liked Kazakh kyui on dombra, and if someone from the students or teachers played selflessly, professionally, she invited to her and could listen to their performance for a long time. For a long time we did not know if she knows how to dance, but on one of the evenings Akkagaz happened to show how to dance the mazurka. Not everyone could dance the mazurka correctly - many complex figures and in the old days the mazurka was danced mainly by the military aristocracy and higher officers.
In the spring of 1925 I made an offer to Akkagaz ... and was refused.
After this conversation, I left the land management party for geodesic practice in Osh, warning her that I was leaving for Kyrgyzstan forever, and then to China. Akkagaz, having received a blessing from her elder brother Sagyndyk, came to me in Osh in the summer of 1925. We arranged a small evening and we can say, married "secretly" and without noise. For what we were later reproached, and even greatly offended. September 5, 1926 our son was born. In the 1930-31 we moved to Alma-Ata, where I worked at the collective farm center and Akkagaz in one of the city hospitals.
In the auls, when the child was crying or sick, the Kazakhs and Kirghiz lulled them in the cradles, singing that the doctor Akkagaz would come and cure all their diseases, would caress and soothe. And the children, as if understanding, ceased to cry and fell asleep.
In the last year of our life in Chemolgan, terrible mosquitoes appeared and bit our whole family. I then went on a mission, fell ill, at the station Arys was taken off the train with a high temperature and put in a railway hospital with malaria. As soon as I recovered a little, I went to Alma-Ata, gathered my family, and we moved to Shymkent. There Akkagaz became very hard, and on January 21, 1932, she closed her eyes forever. She lived only 39 years.
By Dina IGSATOVA
Translated by Raushan MAKHMETZHANOVA
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