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Kazakhstan: President’s Daughter to Star In Historical Epic

The youngest daughter of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev is set to play a starring role in a new historical soap opera designed to rouse patriotic fervor.

Aliya Nazarbayeva is in discussions with the filmmakers to play a descendent of Tamerlane in the television show about the history of the Kazakh khanate, producer Artem Asenov told Tengri News.

“We’re holding talks with Aliya Nazarbayeva,” he said. “It’s not yet definite, because there might be clashes between her timetable and ours.”

If agreement is reached, 35-year-old Nazarbayeva will play Tamerlane’s great granddaughter Rabii (or Rabiga) Sultan Begum, whose mausoleum is located in the town of Turkestan in southern Kazakhstan.

Called Kazakh Khanate and currently filming in Almaty Region, the program is being made as part of this year’s celebrations of the 550th anniversary of the founding of the first Kazakh khanate in 1465.

The festivities, which were announced after Russian President Vladimir Putin said in 2014 that Kazakhstan had a short history of statehood, have been used as a way of “showing the world our great history,” as Nazarbayev put it during celebrations last month.

If she stars in the show, this would not be the first time that Aliya Nazarbayeva, who owns the lavish Luxor spa in Almaty and designs elite jewelry priced at up to $100,000, has appeared on the silver screen. In 2013, she made an environmental documentary called The Awakening, in which she declared her desire “to do something for my people, for my Kazakhstan, for the Earth.” 

She is not the only one of the three Nazarbayev daughters to reveal an artistic streak.

The president’s oldest daughter, 52-year old Dariga, has made forays into opera in Kazakhstan and Russia. Dariga Nazarbayeva, who is also deputy prime minister and is sometimes named as a potential successor to her father, also indulges in more populist fare, such as Phantom of the Opera.

The middle daughter, billionaire 48-year old Dinara Nazarbayeva, has not caught the bug for public performance, although she should have the skills if she has a change of heart. She graduated from Moscow’s Lunacharsky State Institute for Theatre Arts in 1989.

Kazakhstan: President’s Daughter to Star In Historical Epic

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