President Meets Inspiring Winners of 100 New Faces Project

The President of Kazakhstan met participants in the 100 New Faces project, intended to inspire the country’s citizenry, Dec. 1. The project includes 102 exemplary individuals from across the nation, the amplification of whose efforts is intended to impress and energise their countrymen.

“I have read your stories, [stories] about your lives,” President Nursultan Nazarbayev told the selected individuals. “You live in this society, you work and you create. You have come forward and entered the list of 100 new faces, becoming leading personalities. I congratulate you.”

It was Nazarbayev who first proposed the project in his April 12 policy article, “Course Towards the Future: Modernisation of Kazakhstan’s Identity.” Work on the project began June 12. More than 2,000 candidates were proposed and have now been winnowed down to 102 individuals from across regions and professions. Among them are 13 sportsmen, 18 scientists, 10 figures of culture, 18 medical workers, 13 business persons and 30 social workers.

“I have read your stories,  about your lives.” “You live in this society, you work and you create. You have come forward and entered the list of 100 new faces, becoming leading personalities. I congratulate you.”

The world “rushes forward,” the President noted in his remarks to participants. “We live in a world of competition: a state competes with a state, the people compete with the people and a man competes with a man. All the time you need to move forward, as if you are flowing against the current. If you stop, the water will take you back. The same is true of life. This is the era of information technologies. Artificial intelligence is progressing. Today, the most severe problems of mankind are being solved, the most incurable diseases will be cured. Artificial intelligence will be everywhere. Everything is changing. And what about consciousness? That is the question. Together with this, people’s consciousness should also change,” he said.

The 100 New Faces members also shared their stories. Maulen Bekturganov, 23, from Almaty, makes high-tech arm prostheses. The process is a breakthrough in domestic science, and helps Kazakhstan’s disabled return to full ability without leaving the country.

“A few years ago, I caught sight of the statistic that more than 14,000 people need prostheses in Kazakhstan. This figure struck me and I wanted to fix it,” he said. In 2017, Bekturganov founded the MBionics company, where his team works on new versions of bionic prostheses. They are planning to tackle the human elbow, shoulder and other complex extremities in the hopes that new technologies can be used to make people’s lives more active and comfortable.

Saida Kalykova, 32, of Uralsk, is a soloist in the State Academic Philharmonic of Astana. A determined child, at age seven she joined a music school, without her parents’ permission. She mastered notation quickly and began playing piano. But when she lost her sight after brain surgery in 1994, she might have been expected to put aside her dreams. Not Kalykova: she continued to study music, giving her first concert at 13 and presenting her first musical works at 15.

“Music became the meaning of my life. I hope my story will motivate people to be happy. I think that we should never give up. We must always go forward,” she told the meeting attendants.

A doctor who works with babies was also chosen as inspiration. Heart surgeon Gulzhan Sarsenbayeva, 42, is among Kazakhstan’s pioneering researchers in paediatric heart surgery. As with her colleague Bekturganov, Sarsenbayeva’s work helps Kazakhstan’s patients receive quality treatment in their own country, saving them costly journeys.

And Sansenbayeva works tirelessly, forgoing weekends off, traveling to regional clinics. “But I do not feel tired. When a person loves his work, this gives him some energy. The life of a young child is in our hands. For us, it’s a great happiness to see healthy and strong kids who were ill, and most importantly, to see the happy eyes of parents,” she said.

The full list of the 100 New Faces and their stories can be found at