Qol Ghali

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Qol Ghali or Qul Ali (Tatar: قل علی, Qol Ğali, Bashkir: Qol Ğäli, Chuvash: Kul Ali; circa 1183-1236) was a famous Muslim Volga Bulgar poet, the founder of medieval Tatar literature. His most famous poem is Qíssa-i Yosıf (قصه یوسف, Tale of Yusuf), written in the Turki literary language, which is not mutually intelligible with the modern Tatar, Bashkir and Chuvash languages.

It is believed that he was born in what is today Eastern Tatarstan. He studied in the Khwarezmean madrassah. He wrote his immortal poem in 1233. He was probably killed in 1236 during the Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria.[1]


His poems are celebrated by the Tatars, the Bashkirs and the Chuvash.

Qíssa-i Yosıf (قصه یوسف) was inspired by Qur'anic stories of Joseph. The poem is devoted to the struggle against evil and for human happiness. The poem played a major role in the Muslim Volga Bulgar culture and later the Tatar culture. More than 200 manuscripts have been found among the Tatars. The poem was prepared for publishing for the first time by the poet Utız İmäni and printed in 1839 by Räxmätulla Ämirxanov. Since then it has been republished 80 times.[2]

Qol Ghali award[edit]

The Qol Ghali International Award is named after Qol Ghali. It is awarded to recognize excellence in literature and poetry. The award was established in 1992.[2]


  1. ^ (in Chuvash) [1]
  2. ^ a b (in Tatar) "Кол Гали". Tatar Encyclopaedia. Kazan: The Republic of Tatarstan Academy of Sciences. Institution of the Tatar Encyclopaedia. 2002.