Ali Tepsurkayev, Construction Supervisor
Ali Tepsurkayev is a construction supervisor who excels at high level of craftsmanship that Cottage + Castle delivers. He has been working for the company, as a sub-contractor or an employee, for the past ten years, focusing on multiple high-end custom home projects.
Ali’s story is somewhat unusual. He grew up in traditional family surroundings in Alkhan Kala in Chechnya, a small city very close to the capital of Grozny. Like all other boys in the neighborhood, he started training martial arts when he was 8. Due to the influence of his uncle Khassan Baiev, a surgeon, Ali wanted to be a doctor. In 1995 he took up competitive Taekwondo and in 1996, and 1997, became the Russian national black belt champion.
Horrors of the Russian-Chechen wars found Ali as a medical student. In almost impossible conditions, without medical supplies and medications, Ali was assisting his uncle, a plastic surgeon turned wartime medic, in the operating room, sometimes doing amputations with carpentry saws as they had nothing else. Ali and Baiev were risking their lives as they were helping both injured Russian and Chechen soldiers, as required by Hippocratic oath and medical ethics. As a result, they were targeted by both sides in the war
Being a younger brother of Reuters war photographer Adam Tepsurkayev, was another life-threatening fact for Ali. Adam put his own life at risk by providing much needed information on the ongoing war and the atrocities to the Western news outlets. After Adam was killed, and over a six-week period, Ali was held captive, beaten, and tortured. His family arranged his ransom with the financial assistance of Ali’s uncle Baiev, who previously escaped to the USA. Eventually, Ali found refuge in Vermont with the help of The Human Rights Watch group, his uncle, and many friends. In Vermont Ali landed his first carpentry job.
In 2002 Ali won the super weight (2nd Dan) title in the World Taekwondo Championship in Toronto representing Germany, as he was not able to fight under Chechen flag due to Russian objections. Despite political protests, Germany allowed him to raise Chechen flag during the medal ceremony.
Upon moving to Nantucket, Ali fell in love with the island and started a family while working his way through carpentry as his new career choice.
Ali’s attention to detail, acute focus on project layout, and commitment to the highest quality delivery, is what makes Ali a valuable member of the Cottage + Castle Team. Today, Ali is not only a licensed construction supervisor, but also a passionate nature photographer. He also enjoys traveling, meeting people, and exploring new places. He believes in humanity and kindness to everyone and everything. His values are family, friends, freedom, and life itself. He is multilingual, speaking Russian and English fluently besides his native Chechen.
Ali’s remarkable journey from war-torn Chechnya and the makeshift operating wartime rooms to peaceful life in the USA is depicted in Khassan Baiev’s book “The Oath”. His story can also be found at http://calebdaniloff.com/articles/daniloffalistory.html
Connect With Ali