Kazakhstan, also spelled Kazakstan (Kazakh: Қазақстан, Qazaqstan, IPA[qɑzɑqˈstɑn]; Russian: Казахстан, Kazakhstán, IPA[kəzʌxˈstan]), officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country that stretches over a vast expanse of northern and central Eurasia. Its territory of 2 717 300 km² (bigger than Western Europe) is partially located to the west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe.
After the murder of some of their fellow prisoners by guards, Kengir inmates launched a rebellion and seized the entire camp compound, holding it for weeks and creating a period of freedom for themselves unique in the history of the Gulag. Following a rare alliance between the criminals and political prisoners, the prisoners succeeded in forcing the guards and camp administration to flee the camp and effectively quarantine it from the outside. The prisoners thereafter set up intricate defenses to prevent the incursion of the authorities into their newly won territory. This situation lasted for an unprecedented length of time and gave rise to a panoply of colourful and novel activity, including the democratic formation of a provisional government by the prisoners, prisoner marriages, the creation of indigenous religious ceremonies, a brief flowering of art and culture, and the waging of a large, relatively complex propaganda campaign against the erstwhile authorities.
Abay Ibrahim Qunanbayuli (Kazak: Абай (Ибраһим) Құнанбайұлы, Russian: Абай Ибрагим Кунанбаев.) (August 10, 1845 - July 5, 1904) was a Kazakh poet, composer, and philosopher. He was also a cultural reformer toward European and Russian cultures on the basis of enlightened liberal Islam.