On August 13, the head of the Supreme Council of the WAC, a scientist and philanthropist, public figure whose purpose and putting of efforts were aimed at the revival of his own people - Mussa Ekzekov celebrates his anniversary. The WAC web information portal prepared an essay about him for this important date.
Mussa Ekzekov was still a boy when, when asked by his elder sister about who he wants to become, he answered: “I will earn a lot to help people.” Today he is a well-known scientist and successful businessman, helping not only individuals, but also the whole people.
Believe in yourself
When in 2007, on the initiative of Mussa Ekzekov, the first contest “Song of the Year - Abaza” was held, many perceived this as a one-time action. But the contest took place next year, and then again and again. It gained popularity, became traditional, turned into an integral part of the cultural life of Abaza.
So Ekzekov began his large-scale philanthropic activities to preserve and develop the Abaza language and culture.
Mussa Khabalevich himself speaks of the “Song of the Year” festival today as a powerful impetus for the work of Abaza poets and composers.
“A rich song foundation can play a huge role in preserving our language, - he said. - If we have a lot of good songs that people will listen to at home, in the car, with friends, then the Abaza language will always be heard. New songs will enrich our musical culture. This festival gives a powerful impetus to creativity, because to participate in the competition you need to write new poems, create new compositions or find old songs that have not yet been performed publicly.”
Then, at the end of the 2000s, the next step in the development of the Abaza culture was the creation of an autonomous non-profit organization, “the International Association for the Development of the Abaza-Abkhaz Ethnos “Alashara”. One of its main directions was cultural and educational work.
The organization was established on February 25, 2011 in St. Petersburg. Under the auspices of “Alashara”, the book “In the country of Abaza” (authors - M. Ekzekov and N. Emelyanova) on the history and culture of Abaza as well as a two-volume edition “On both sides of the Greate Caucasus” - a collection of archival documents relating to the history of Abaza and Abkhaz. At that time, the “Abaza Country” website (alashara.org) was created about the cultural life of Abaza and Abkhaz, famous and interesting people - representatives of two fraternal peoples. In parallel, a lot of work was going on to support sports, the opening of wrestling schools and sections in the Republic of Abkhazia.
In 2013, Mussa Ekzekov decided to move the center of his public work to Karachay-Cherkessia, the homeland of Abaza. He creates a separate unit of “Alashara” in Cherkessk and recruits a team, which he instructs to study the state of affairs in the places of residence of the Abaza, to develop a comprehensive program for the development of the Abaza people and begin its implementation.
The global goal that Mussa Khabalevich set and sets now is to change the life in the Abaza villages for the better by the forces of the residents themselves. He is confident: people can solve many problems themselves, you only need to have a desire for this and believe in yourself.
“It's not about the horse, but the rider”
Mussa Ekzekov was born in 1964 in the Krasny Vostok village. He was the second child of Khabali Ekzekov and Fatimat Fizikova-Ekzekova, and in total there were four children in the family.
Mussa Khabalevich recalls his childhood with special warmth.
“I had grandfathers and grandmothers - both from the side of the father, and from the side of the mother. And we grew up on the tales and traditions that they told us. They raised the best human qualities in us,” he says.
A special role in the formation of the personality of little Mussa was played by his paternal grandfather Gaziz. Strong, handsome, wise and unusually kind - he became an ideal for the boy.
“Grandfather lived 97 years, and at that age he still mowed hay,” - with every memory of this man, Mussa Khabalevich has a special gleam in his eyes, reflecting love and enthusiasm.
One incident especially struck his memory. The Ekzekovs neighbor died, and grandfather Gaziz was in a pasture with the sheep, and Mussa, then young, was sent for him.
“They gave me a horse, it barely trudged — its head was lowered and ears hung. Having somehow reached the pasture, I told grandfather sad news. He said that I stayed with the sheep until he returned, took my horse from me and jumped on it. The horse seemed to have changed under him - it threw up its head, stretched out and rushed off to the village. And then I realized that it was not the horse, but the rider.”
This incident convinced the young man that in order to be “on a horse”, you need to have special inner energy and fortitude.
Yard and professional sport
In those days in Krasny Vostok there were no sport schools and sections. In physical education classes, children mostly kicked the ball. But in almost every yard there was a horizontal bar, and every boy knew how to pull himself up, do a coup lift and more difficult exercises, and there were those who turned the “sun” - this was considered top of the line. Everyone grew strong, at school competitions in the Malokarachaevsky district, children from Krasny Vostok regularly gained victories in various sports.
Then a boxer arrived in the village. Mussa literally “clung” to him, began to run with him in the mornings, train, work out punches.
Later, as a student at the Leningrad Technological Institute named after Lensovet, he continued to box, but soon switched to freestyle wrestling and literally three months later became the champion of Leningrad among higher educational institutions. Later there were victories in competitions of the all-Union level, which allowed him to fulfill the standard of a master of sports.
Serious sports strengthened the spirit of a fighter in a young man, and taught him how to achieve his goal. And one more thing: realizing the importance of physical education and sport for the formation of a healthy nation, Mussa Khabalevich today pays special attention to this direction in her public and philanthropic activities.
He himself still starts every morning with exercise, and at lunchtime practices on training devices - “to keep fit.”
From a young specialist to a big businessman
Having received a diploma in chemical engineering and technology in February 1987, Mussa Ekzekov began working at the Leningrad Chemical and Laboratory Glassware and Instrument Factory in April of that year as deputy head of the mechanized production workshop. In February 1988, he was appointed deputy chief technologist of the plant. In November 1989, Mussa Ekzekov entered graduate school at the department of chemical technology of glass and glass crystals (glass crystals - glass materials obtained with a certain technology - ed.). He graduated in 1992, after which he was admitted to a CJSC (Closed Joint Stock Company - ed.) “Tekhnointelect” in St. Petersburg as Deputy General Director, and in this position he worked until February 1998.
In 1998, Mussa Ekzekov founded the development company OJSC (Open Joint Stock Company - ed.) “Solomon”, which was dealing with projects in the field of commercial real estate. In 2006, the company opened the “Grand Canyon” shopping and entertainment complex on Engels Avenue in St. Petersburg. In 2010, the “Divine City” children's center was opened, which includes the “Fruits of Enlightenment” children's theater. Currently, the total area of commercial real estate under the management of the company is about 200 thousand square meters. In 2016, at the jubilee award ceremony of the Tenth International Real Estate Investment Forum Proestate-2016, the “Grand Canyon” project was recognized as the best object of the decade in the “Commercial Real Estate” category.
The company supports a number of social projects, charitable foundations, children's educational institutions, artists and athletes, religious organizations.
In parallel, Mussa Ekzekov continued his scientific work, became a doctor of technical sciences.
Goal of life
Having firmly risen to his feet, Mussa Ekzekov took a direct course towards achieving the most important goal that he has been carrying in his heart since childhood - the preservation of his people. Probably, then, as a boy, while answering the question of his elder sister about who he wants to become, Mussa still did not think so broadly. But the very desire to help his native people to revive lived in him all the time.
“The preservation of my people has worried me since childhood. Over time, my experiences only intensified, I saw and felt that traditions, language, culture were disappearing, explains Mussa Khabalevich. - When I was a student and studied in a big city, I already lacked something my own, native, national ... at least to be able to listen to tapes with national songs in order to thus feel unity and connection with a small homeland. And they (tapes - ed.) were not available at that time.”
Mussa Khabalevich recalls how gradually he realized his mission: to do everything possible to maintain the identity of the people, so that “not only children and grandchildren feel confident, but all future generations” so that they know their roots and value them.
“Of course, as a representative of the people, ideally, I would like the fellow countrymen to stand out for their special spiritual beauty, education, and be able to solve important problems for their small people, society and the country as a whole. Me and my team developed a detailed program for the preservation and development of the ethnic group, designed for 10 years. I realized: if I do not implement this project, I will not be able to continue to live in peace,” Ekzekov said.
Man is the main wealth
Mussa Ekzekov allocates a significant part of the earned money so that life in the Abaza villages of Karachay-Cherkessia changes for the better. But at the same time he repeats: it is very important that people themselves change their lives.
“We have created community councils in localities. The first public council was created in my native village of Krasny Vostok, then in other villages of Karachay-Cherkessia. Together with the administrations of these settlements, we began to formulate a plan for the development of villages. Thus, we, step by step, by involving people in this creative process, did everything together so that our fellow countrymen could improve their lives around themselves, so that they would get satisfaction from doing it with their own hands. When residents begin to realize that the result depends on them, then in the process of achieving the goal, their attitudes change. This is one of the important points of our strategy,” says Mussa Khabalevich, and continues: “In my opinion, the time has come to “collect stones”. We must learn to think with a multi-generational planning horizon. By implementing programs for the development of language and culture in which a person occupies a key place and [his] direct participation is assumed, we are laying the foundation for rebirth. Man is our main asset, our main wealth.”
Homeland - a source of vitality
What should be a modern village, Mussa Ekzekov decided to show on the example of his native Krasny Vostok, and then extend this experience to all Abaza villages. Then this model can be used everywhere.
On the initiative and with the financial support of Mussa Khabalevich, in 2013 in Krasny Vostok large-scale work on the improvement of the village began. Streets were put in order, the territories of social objects were ennobled. The cluttered area around the Narzan spring has turned into a cozy park where both adults and children like to relax.
In 2018, the construction of a magnificent sports complex was completed, in which today hundreds of villagers of all ages are engaged in physical education and sports. The project “Gumlokt Resort” was developed (Gumlokt - Gvymlokt in the Abaza - Kumsk-Loo village, the former name of Krasny Vostok - ed.), the implementation of which will turn Krasny Vostok into a tourist cluster.
Each visit of Mussa Ekzekov to his small homeland - he comes here, despite his work in St. Petersburg, several times a year - becomes an event: the whole local public asset is gathering and together with its leader, is working out new plans for the development of the village.
Mussa Khabalevich is very fond of the Krasny Vostok village.
“You can be born and live your whole life in the Russian North, wholeheartedly love white nights, smelt and cloudberry jam. But one day you will come to Elbrus region, inhale the air filled with the aroma of flowering linden and freshly cut grass, climb the mountain slope, at the foot of which a waterfall breaks with a roar, look around the valley on which the mountain river writes its eternal history with twisty handwriting, taste the tea with thyme and you will understand: this is your homeland, your source of vitality, where you will return again and again,” he says and believes that every person in the village shares his feelings.
When on the day of the presentation of the separate subdivision of the ANO “Alashara” in Cherkessk Mussa Ekzekov was asked: “Abaza already have several public organizations, how will “Alashara” differ from them?” - he answered: “The basis of our work will be systematic. We will set goals, develop tasks that will achieve these goals, and do the work necessary to solve these problems. This is the only way to succeed.”
The successful activity of the ANO “Alashara”, on the initiative and direct participation of which numerous projects are carried out in culture, education, sports, healthcare, science, the social sphere and public life, has turned the organization into a center of attraction for healthy and active forces of the Abaza people. Some of the most authoritative public organizations came together around “Alashara” to form the “Apsadgyl” (Motherland) Association. Mussa Ekzekov was elected chairman of the board of the association.
In 2017, at the congress of the International Association of the Abkhaz-Abaza (Abaza) People (IAAAP), Mussa Ekzekova was nominated for the post of head of this organization, which at the same congress was transformed into the World Abaza Congress (WAC).
And now, already as the leader of the entire people of the Abaza, Mussa Ekzekov is closely engaged in solving the strategic problem of uniting Abaza and Abkhaz of the whole world to achieve the main goal: preserving the ethnic group.
“I want to have time to do more useful and important things for my people, for my small Motherland, for Russia, for Abkhazia. [I want to prepare] a powerful foundation for the development of future generations,” says Ekzekov. “Indeed, it depends on how much benefit you bring to your people and society, what trace you leave on the earth ...”
We sincerely wish Mussa Khabalevich and the entire people of Abaza to fulfill exactly this! Long and fruitful years of work, dear Mussa Khabalevich, many bright and happy days of life!