Posts in "Biography"

The true story of a Uyghur youth who was a victim of the “12 December Student Protest” in Urumchi

(To mark the 28th  anniversary of the “12 December Student Protest” in 1985, Urumchi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China)

Rozinisa 
(independent scholar)
Translated into English by Ayshemgul Nuremet

Photo of Aziz Isa Elkun © www.azizisa.org

Photo of Aziz Isa Elkun © www.azizisa.org


Part one

The clock always ticks ahead in busy times, and it can never be turned back. The past time or what we call history, always takes this busy time and adds us to its great caravan, embracing us, and carrying us across the desert among all the others towards the endless life journey which is located on the far horizon. We are all a sort of traveller and we travel towards our goals, we all have to go on that journey and no one is exceptional.

 Although 28 years have already passed since the protest happened, its memory is still fresh and alive. If you have made history in your lifetime and if its aim was to realise your people’s desire for freedom and liberation, that true history will live among your people’s hearts forever and it will become an unforgettable memory for future generations because no-one can deny that every page of the history of humankind is made by the life and death struggle to live in this world.

Inequality, racial discrimination and injustice were become widespread issues, and the state abused its power at this critical moment, on 12 December, 1985, when several thousand Uyghur students in Urumchi and other cities marched to demand from the Chinese authorities an end to their unequal policies in East Turkistan (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China). The protest, which happened for the very first time 10 years after the Chinese Cultural Revolution, gathered ideological momentum for a democratic Uyghur student movement in the region. Although this protest movement was gradually suppressed, it inspired many Uyghur youths to dedicate their youth to the movement, and they become Uyghur rights campaigners. This is the true story of Aziz Isa, one of the followers of that student protest movement. It tells us how he become victimised, and his subsequent life story as a refugee. The example of Aziz Isa’s early troubled life experience which is connected to the “12 December Student Protest” in East Turkistan (Xinjiang) should lead us to reflect on what happened there at that time and what is happening there now.

Read More

From Refugee to Rights Defender – interview with Uyghur poet Aziz Isa Elkun

“Aziz

Tell me, please more about your family and childhood and education background?

I was born in Shayar county in East Turkistan. The region was occupied by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949 and re-named in 1955 as Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Shayar is located close to the Tarim River on the northern edge of the world’s second largest desert, the Taklamakan. I lived in our village Yengi Chimen until I finished my primary school. My early memories of my family are of my mum carrying me to school on her back, and coming home and finding there was no food to eat. That was the last years of the China Great “Cultural Revolution” and I always felt hungry.
 
After finishing Primary School I went to boarding school in our local town Toy Boldi.  I didn’t know at that time that was I was saying goodbye to the village and would never live there again. In 1985 I went to No. 1 High School in Shayar Town. I passed the University exam and in 1988 I was accepted to study Russian and Chinese languages at Xinjiang University.

Read More

A brief biography of Aziz Isa Elkun

Aziz Isa Elkun was born in East Turkistan (Uyghur Autonomous Region, China). He spent his childhood in Shahyar county which is located close to the Tarim River on the northern edge of the world’s second largest desert, the Taklamakan Desert.

He graduated from Xinjiang University majoring in Chinese and Russian and languages. He has been living in London since 2001. He studied at Birkbeck University in London. He has published many poems, stories, and research articles in both Uyghur language (www.azizisa.org) and English (www.azizisa.org/en).  

He has co-authored English language articles in Inner Asia and Central Asian Survey (Invitation to a Mourning Ceremony’: Perspectives on the Uyghur Internet and ‘Islam by Smartphone: the changing sounds of Uyghur religiosity). He worked as Research Assistant on the “Sounding Islam China project based in SOAS, University of London, and conducted collaborative fieldwork in Central Asia for the project.

Read More