Näzgül Rahman-qızı

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Näzgül Rahman-qızı
Näzgül Rahman-qızı in The Seven Brides
 Date: 13- Kärgüyük, It Jıl 1982
(13th September 1982)
 Place: Taraz, Qazaqstan (Turkestan)
Profession: Film Actress
Relgious Affiliation: Islam, Tengriism

Näzgül Rahman-qızı is a famous and controversial film actress from Qazaqstan Vılayat in Turkestan. She is the kenje (youngest child) of Islamic clergyman Rahman Äbdireş-ulı Imam and his wife İrisgül Omar-qızı, and this is at the root of where the controversy surrounding her comes in.

Rahman Imam is one of the more conservative imams of Turkestan, and has made what to many Turkestanis (especially Qazaqs) are ridiculous statements, to the effect that "if women were kept properly secluded as Islamic law requires there would be much less trouble in the world". His daughter Näzgül is anything but conservative. Her childhood desire to be an actress was something which Rahman Imam and his wife regarded with mixed feelings, but eventually gave his somewhat reluctant blessing for her to attend the Taraz College of Performing Arts, perhaps thinking that she could help to spread the true faith of Islam through her influence on the stage.

To Rahman Imam's delight and pride in his family, in her graduating year Näzgül was discovered by the Xan Täņri Film Studios of Xıva. To his chagrin, her first film role, starring as a complete unknown, was as Ümit, the third bride in the 2005 production The Seven Brides. The film, a romantic comedy updating of the ancient Central Asian nomads' custom of abducting their bride-of-choice, featured her as a character whose mode of dress was anathema to her father. She even appeared in one scene dressed only in her underwear. This was a scene that would soon became notorious in the Turkestani Muslim community, and rumours began to surface that she was sleeping with Ğanı Timür-ulı, who played the part of her character's eventual husband Marat. A following romantic attachment between Näzgül and Ğanı Timür-ulı only fuelled these rumours.

Immediately following the film's debut, which was received with acclaim in Central Asia and won her an award for Best New Actress, Näzgül's father Rahman confronted his daughter, demanding that she give up filmmaking and become a "proper" Muslim young woman. Näzgül refused, having finally realised a long-held dream of becoming a film star, and her father disowned and disinherited her. This did not modify her behaviour in any direction that her father would approve, and the two are still estranged.

She has gone on to scandalise conservatives of the Muslim community by changing her religious affiliation to Tengriism in 2007, just after she appeared in her first headline role as Bayan in Xan Täņri's adaptation of the Qazaq oral epic Bayan the Beautiful.

Näzgül has also been cast as Arslan Bahadır's love interest Aysulu in the upcoming feature film Arslan.

Despite, or perhaps because of, her controversial status among Muslim conservatives, her popularity is considerable. Her fan base, mostly young and male, cheerfully ignores any criticism from "prudish" religious conservatives, and Näzgül herself seems determined to provoke and scandalise the hard-line element of her former religious community.

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