Poet and diplomat, founder of the Nevada-Semipalatinsk movement
Born in 1936, Olzhas Suleimenov is one of the most influential and respected poets and writers in modern Kazakhstan. He has authored more than sixteen books of poetry and prose. His polemical novel Az-i-Ia, first published in 1975, was widely debated, and then withdrawn from active circulation in the middle of the Brezhnev era. This novel has brought him worldwide recognition.
In 1989 Mr. Sulemeinov founded the Nevada-Semipalatinsk Movement, which became one of the most prominent campaigns calling for an end to all Soviet nuclear testing in Kazakhstan. He also co-founded the Issyk Kul Forum, an influential organization of intellectuals in the former Soviet Union.
From 2001 until 2014 he served as the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to UNESCO.