One may think that Ali is a student from another country visiting Karaganda, Kazakhstan. In fact, Ali is a Kazakh who grew up at an orphanage and differs from other Kazakh people with the color of his skin.
This is a story about a man trying to find his place in this life.
Ali is a Kazakh with black blood in his veins.
Ali was born in a one-parent family in Tashkent in 1991. He grew up with his mother until he was 10. His mother was a saleslady and they could hardly make both ends meet. When Ali turned 10, she decided to go back to Kazakhstan, her homeland.
They headed to a village near Karaganda in hope that their relatives who lived there would help them. However, when they saw the color of Ali’s skin, they turned Ali and his mother down.
All Ali knows about his father is that he was from Africa. On the whole, everything connected to his father is a taboo for Ali.
‘To Ali from his mother’
When Ali’s mother learnt that her relatives were not going to help them, the woman decided to send her son to the children’s home. Ali says that he got used to the fact that he is alone and doesn’t want to revive that connection with his mother who sometimes sends letters to him.
However, the boy still cares about his mother and keeps all letters from her in a folder with his documents.
It is very difficult for Ali to be different. It is difficult to live in the orphanage and it gets even more difficult when you’re the only one with black skin there.
Ali keeps asking himself questions, like why he is different, why he doesn’t have a loving family, why he always has to prove to other people that he is Kazakh…
When Ali was a child, he would always lose control hearing “Hey, nigger!” from his classmates and put up a fight. Besides, he could not read until 12 and it made the situation even worse. Only now, when he got older, he learnt how to turn every comment on his skin color into a joke.