“Assalamu alaikum!” greeted Nuri, placing a hand on his chest and bowing slightly.
“Waalaykum assalam wabar-kataha!” responded the Imam, somewhat rising from his seat.
“Waalaykum, come my child!” responded Mira Qazi, also moving a little, “Wow, may Allah protect you…”
“You’ve arrived? Come to the board!” said Mukhtar Bay, gesturing to the row of village elders sitting cross-legged near a chalk board placed on the supa in the summer tea house near the stream, “You’ve studied well, hey. So they say, baldur chiqqan qulaqtin kiyin chiqqan mungguz utup kitiptu!”
Everyone looked eagerly at the newcomer. He was a beautiful boy of 14 or 15 years of age, decked in a short-sleeved white shirt, blue trousers with a leather belt, a blue cap, and new sandals. He was of slender height, pale, with black eyes and black eyebrows. These clothes, this look, was foreign to the village, not to mention his way of greeting…
“Thank you, I will just stand,” said the boy, blushing in alarm, “I brought paper and pen with me…”
“Wow, milk white paper,” said the Imam, placing the paper on his palms, “Look, this pen is from Russia!” The people passed around the paper and pen, feeling and even smelling them.
“Excellent,” said Mukhtar Bay, placing his hand on Nuri’s shoulder, “You are our village’s first Efendi. You studied in the city before anyone else, well done. Listen up folks, Ziyak managed to educate his son in the city while slaving away at peoples’ doorsteps.”
“How many years has it been hey, Ziyak?”
“I sent him in the year of the dog…”
“Leave the dogs and pups out of this, has it been four years?”
“On September the 3rd, 1934 I entered the first year of Roshan School,” said Nuri in a clear voice, “This year is the fourth year.”
“What year is this?” asked Mukhtar Bay, dumbfounded.
“It is the 31st day of June, 1938, God-willing,” stated Mira Qazi pompously, “Alright, let’s not dirty the paper or break the pencil, God forbid…”
A smoothed, reddened board was placed on the table. Everyone focused on Nuri’s hand. He wetted his “Khimichisiki” pencil and wrote “erz” – complaint – at the top of the paper. All at once the people exclaimed in awe…
End of Chapter 1
 (qazaran – in case something happens, suppose something unfortunate happens) (maybe he’s saying something like kuz tegmisun)
 A raised platform
 An Uyghur proverb or maqal temsil, literally: the horns that grow later surpasses the ears the grow early. Somewhat like the student surpassing the teacher.
 Sir, professor
 Insha Allah