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Зулай Абуезидовна Сулейманова (1934) - Biography

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Аnd those who stayed were condemned to death in cold winter far away from civilisation...

Zulay Abuezidovna Suleymanova was born in 1934 in the Chechen village of Starye Adygi. She had three brothers and a sister. Her grandfather and her uncle were described as kulaks during forced collectivisation, deprived of their property and executed. The family of the then ten-year-old Zulay was forcibly evacuated to Kazakhstan in 1944. After a long and strenuous journey, they reached their new living place, the small town of Leningorskye (today Ridder) in north-east Kazakhstan. They were supposed to live in a big room of a house shared with other families. The parents of Zulay worked in a nearby lime plant. When Zulay was 15 she married and her new family (she gave birth to two children) could live in a separate room. After sixteen years living in Leninogorsk the family of Zulay could return home, but it was not an easy process for them. The original houses were occupied by Russians, and so the family had to live for several more years in wooden shacks. Zulay worked for a few years in Sovchoz, later her family started to grow tomatoes (a common  form of occupation in Chechnya) which they were selling in various towns all over Russia. During the winter the family lived from selling  sunflower seeds. The two Chechen wars also affected  the life of Zulay. During the first one she stayed with her family in a refugee camp in Daghestan; when the second one broke out they decided to stay home. Their house was in both cases totally destroyed. Zulay has four children: three daughters live with their families in Grozny, her son and her grandson live together with Zulay in the village of Chechen-Aul.

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