Staunton, January 8 – Writers and novelists always play a key role in national movements, explaining to the members of their nations why they are important and why the protection of their community and the advancement of its goals are so important if the nation is to survive.
But few play a more important role in that regard than those who do these things both for the diasporas in which they find themselves and whose members are always at risk of falling away from the nation and for the rest of the world which often knows little about their nation, its past greatness, its current travails, and its future plans.
Kadir Natho, who played that role for the Circassian diaspora as well as for the international community of scholars and governments for decades, died today in New York at the age of 93 after decades in which he produced histories and novels, organized assistance to Circassians around the world, and opened to the world a window on the Circassian community.
Born in teh Shapsug region in 1927, he left his homeland when the German forces advanced into it and then retreated. He lived in Europe briefly before moving to Jordan in 1948 and then the United States in 1956 where he established a variety of ethnic, religious and cultural organizations to keep the diaspora alive and focused.
When Soviet power fell, he was able to visit his homeland and was honored by the Adygey Republic for all that he had done for the community. Now, his passage is being mourned by Circassians around the world (sovetskaya-adygeya.ru/index.php/21056-ushjol-iz-zhizni-adygskij-pisatel-kadyr-natkho and natpressru.info/index.php?newsid=12269).
As Adel Bashqawi, a Circassian who has followed in Natho’s footsteps, put it, as a result of his work, “for the first time, Circassian communities across the diaspora were actually able to study and read about their own culture” via Natho’s novels, plays, and histories (facebook.com/adel.bashqawi/posts/4086765964669937).
For those things, he will always be remembered by Circassians as a major contributor to the nation’s survival and rebirth. But Natho played another role which deserves to be remembered and celebrated. He attracted the attention of thousands of non-Circassians and provided them with reliable guidance to the complexities of their history and cause.
No one interested in Circassians, Circassia, and the North Caucasus in the past, present or future can afford to miss reading Natho’s many works. Among the most important of these, most of which are readily available in paperback or e-book format, are the following:
· A History of Adyge Literature (in three volumes)
· Circassian History
· Adyge Khabze