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Qol Ghali
Born 1183 (1183)
Died 1236 (aged 52–53)
Occupation Poet
Subject Poetry

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

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.


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 Bashkir and Tatar culture. More than 200 manuscripts have been found among the Bashkirs and 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.

Qol Ghali award

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.

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