Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Along the SILK ROAD, the homeland of the UIGHURS

The Uighurs are a Turkic minority group with Muslim origins resident in East Turkestan (Central Asia). The majority of the population lives in northwestern China in the Xinjiang province which is surrounded by the main regions Mongolia, Tibet, Kazakstan, India and Pakistan. Urumqi which means "Beautiful Pasture", is the capital of Xinjiang and an ancient stopover on the Silk Route.
Uighurs have been fighting their independence and for their rights to speak their language, practice their religion and get paid for decent jobs. The country possesses large resources of oil and gas which are profitable for the Chinese government that also uses this area for testing nuclear weapons.

Rebiya Kadeer is the most prominent Uighur businesswoman, political activist and mother of 11 children. After six years of imprisonment for criticizing the Chinese authority and then being exiled to the US she is now president of the World Uyghur Congress and the Uyghur American Association defending the rights of her compatriots.

If you are interested to know more about the topic a book about Kadeer and the Uighurs' history has been published: "One Woman's Epic Struggle for Peace with China". Or you can view the following websites:


  1. I hand't heard of this issue before - nicely presented.

  2. I never heard about this ethnic group, very interesting!