Chairman of the Uzbekistan Theater Society, cultural figure Rakhim Majidovich Kariev remained in the memory of cultural Uzbeks as the Defender of new art. Ilkhomites remember him as the Great Old Man.

I would like to remember in the anniversary (Theater is 20!) with a kind word those who in past years supported the Ilkhomites, helped to survive, to be independent. Such a person who supported the present, talents, was Rakhim Majidovich Kariev, chairman of the Uzbekistan Theater Society – a wise, warm-hearted man from a white tower of the nine-storied house of theater workers on Pushkin Street.
From an article by S. Khasanova, the newspaper “Narodnoe slovo” 1995.
For a long time R.M.Kariev has not been with us, but his name remains on the lips of everyone who was lucky enough to meet this amazing person. Speaking at the evening of his memory Mark Wail, the art director of the Ilkhom Theater, honored art worker, told how happy Rakhim Kariev was when the theater showed his first performance – after all, he invested a bit of his heart and a lot of energy to establish “Ilkhom”
R. M. Kariev often visited the theater, helping to solve creative problems, especially at early stages after the theater team had been organized. And finally, how friendly Rakhim Kariev was with the journalists.
He was one of the organizers of tours of the capital’s theaters to cities and districts of the region and always knew which scenes and outdoor venues were most suitable for performances. Not a single publication from theatrical life passed by R. M. Kariev, and if the author managed to touch his heart, he certainly would call to say thanks.
Such a person cannot be forgotten.

From the article by A. Ivanov. Newspaper “Tashkent Pravda”, 2006
… They used to go to Mark Wail for night rehearsals, they were not paid for it, they were laughed at, there were few who believed that Wail would succeed. But the two were sure of this: Mark Wail himself and Rakhim Kariev, who headed the Uzbekistan Theater Society in the 70s.
There is nothing to do in art without intuition. R. M. Kariev’s intuition was amazing.
He remained in the memory of the Ilkhomites, those who found him as the Old Man.
According to the tradition of the sixties, the “old man” is a friendly, welcoming address by close people. Rakhim Kariev – The Great Old Man. The second person of that period’s Theater Society of Uzbekistan, he managed finances, like a prehistoric legend he used to tell about how he had been appointed director of an unfinished opera house, how he had kept the famous composer Ashrafi with a famous conductor locked in his office, how he had served them food in a window leaf and released from theatrical arrest only after the scores were ready.

It was he, the Great Old Man Rakhim Kariev, who gave Mark Wail his first job in Tashkent and his first apartment.

It was he who personally allocated money for furnishing the basement, for the former vegetable warehouse of the restaurant to turn into a theater hall.

It was he, the Great Old Man, not knowing anything about Bertolt Brecht, nor about Alexander Vampilov, who magically understood everything in the first Ilkhom performances, which then regularly were offered to the audience. It was he who, with his unshakable authority, defended the young theater in the most difficult moments, when the lock was hung on the door, when the audience was called to disperse and not come again, when high level meetings were called to condemn and ban the theater.

There’s the myth about the Great Old Man in Ilkhom. In this myth he is – an ideal protector, patron of talented, offended, accessible, humorous, with tremendous work capacity, Titan with young soul.
In real life, he was small, completely bald, dressed always clean, always old-fashioned, always smelled of expensive cologne, always attentive, remembering everything, even during his illness he was always ready to tell funny theater tales.

Kariev’s lessons – never derogate, believe in luck no matter how difficult it is, encourage those who are desperate, remember everything, but don’t hold grudges, be able to forgive for the sake of a common cause.

Intuition cannot be learned. But Mark Wail learned. He, the founder and leader of Ilkhom, has Kariev’s intuition. Without this intuitive insight, there would not be a phenomenon called Ilkhom.

(c) Yuri Alexandrov. Penates of Ilkhom.

“There was a period when there were attempts to close Ilkhom, but it was too late – the child was born, grown and matured. It had not only opponents, but also supporters. I’d like to remember with kind words the wonderful Person, Rakhim Kariev – the Great ‘Midwife’, thanks to whose support the theater studio was apparently born and raised. I was lucky not only to come into contact with him at the Youth Home, but later to work under his guidance. How many times has this tireless Old Man rushed into the embrasure, defending Ilkhom with himself! For him there were no authorities except for Honor and Truth.
Evgeny Rakhmanov. The book “Unknown known Ilkhom.”

He really loved Mark. And he always supported everything new. Plunge into that time: there were already people who were looking for life in novelty. He supported all the artists who used to do something different, used to head onto the unknown.
Despite the fact that he was a different person, he differed from Mark Wail by two generations.

He defended Ilkhom’s entire repertoire in the Ministry of Culture. The theater thundered, and questions rose in the ministry: “Why do we need this, on the Soviet, on the Uzbek stage?” The theater was constantly harassed and needed to be protected.
He graduated from the Plekhanov Institute. An economist, but did not work a single day by profession: he remained in the cultural sector.
Last year, he would have turned one hundred years old. He died in the prime of life, even though he was then far beyond 80.
He passed away during his next speech in defense of someone: he suddenly blushed, staggered and fell …
This was his main feature: he died while protecting someone. He loved the artists so much, felt sorry for them. He always wanted artists to have rights …
“Ilkhom. Retrospective” project is grateful to Bernara Karieva and Shavkat Yuldashev for the photo from the family archives. We continue to complement the topic. We invite everyone who knew Rakhim Kariev to share their memories of the Great Old Man.
The strategic partner of the Ilkhom Theater is the Swiss Cooperation Office at the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan.