Omar / Омар

Published: September 22, 2016

Omar (Омар; Omurbek Zhanyshev, Омурбек Жанышев) is one of the most popular contemporary Kyrgyz singers, one of the members of Kyrgyzstan’s up-and-coming current pop scene. He sings in Kyrgyz, Russian, and English in a classic pop voice. He also plays the komuz, the Kyrgyz national instrument.

Omar was born in 1988 in Bishkek. He began performing in the mid-2000s while studying at an economic institute, but he didn’t really start his pop career until 2008, when he began appearing as Omar. One of his first performances was actually as an opener for Mirbek Atabekov. That same year, he participated in the New Wave contest, a yearly international contest for young pop musicians, and won a special prize from Alla Pugacheva, the Gold Star of Alla. He also gave his first solo concert in Bishkek that year.

He was named the Best Male Singer of the Year in 2011 by Super Info, one of Kyrgyzstan’s most widely circulated newspapers (Kanykei was named the Best Female Singer). In an interview he gave for Kloop, a Kyrgyz-owned new-media site that operates in Russian, he said that the award, which was determined through an audience vote online, would only spur him to work harder. He also said that there is not much competition in Kyrgyzstan (due to its small size rather than any lack of talent) and that he feels no competition toward his fellow performers.

In June 2015, Omar was arrested for fraud in connection with bean-growing in Talas province in Kyrgyzstan. Apparently as a result, he then wound up in the hospital with heart problems. He was later temporarily put under house arrest. There was a huge outcry of support for him on social media, but his career seems to be under hiatus at the moment.

“Kyrgyzstan” (“Кыргызстаным”):

Lyrics for “Кыргызстаным”:

Тарыхы бар нечен,
Ынтымагы дайым бекем.
Ала-Тоо – бешигим,
Башым ийип, таазим этем.
Керемет аймагы,
Желбиреп турсун байрагы.
Булагың таш жарып,
Булбулдай сайрагын.

Кыргызстаным, Кыргызстаным!
Билем мен, бир өзүңдө ырыс-бакыт,
Өзүңсүз атпайт таңым.
Кыргызстаным, Кыргызстаным!
Керекпи? Бир өзүңө арнайм жаным,
Аябай тамчы каным!

Мекеним, медерим,
Ыйыксың, аны сеземин.
Түбөлүк сактайбыз,
Түшүрбөй бийик желегиң.
Баарыбыз бул тапта,
Баркыңды сезбей турсак да.
Кемитпей беребиз,
Келечек урпакка.


Менин алтын уям,
Бакытымдай туям.
Уча бер оболоп,
Бардыгы оңолот!


“How Do I Forget You” (“Суйом сени унутпа”):

Lyrics for “Суйом сени унутпа”:

Ар бир күн,
Ар бир түн,
Ар согушу жүрөктүн.
Айтып берет мүнөзүң,
Сенин сүрөтүң.
Ак сүйүүм сен үчүн,
Болду бекен жан күзгүң?
Океандай күйүтүм,
Менин бул сүйүүм.

Бактыма сен кичине эркесиң,
Бактыма сен кичине тентексиң,
Кудайым мага берген кымбат белеги.
Муздак жашоо күтсө бизди алдыда,
Жылытсам дейм сен кучагымда,
Сүйөмүн жаным, сүйөм сени, унутпа.

Кабылдык сүйүү көр жазасына,
Чакадык биз анын азабына,
Биздин кеме жабыр тартты айсберг алдында.

Боло албайм кооз дос,
Начальник же босс.
Жүрөгүм алсыз,
Сенсиз турат жансыз.
Жалгызсырап алсыз,
Сансыз күндөр сенсиз.
Сага сүйүүм чексиз,
Жашоом болду тузсуз.
Жүрөгүм сага деген үмүтүн эч үзбөдү,
Ойлорум учуп, көңүлүмдү сага түзөдүм.


About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Julie Hersh