Posts tagged with "Uyghur"

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.

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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.

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An Unanswered Telephone Call

Aziz Isa Elkun

On a bright midsummer morning when you take your little girl’s hand and walk to school listening the birds singing on the way along the narrow footpath, you feel thankful to life that today will be one of your best days full of enjoyment just like any other day that you have hastily left behind you.

At that moment I was feeling this happiness, walking with my daughter, holding her hand and telling her funny stories about nature. In our magical imagination, my little girl and I turned into sparrows and flew singing among the birds on top of the big oak tree. From our home to school, we walk along three different tree covered narrow pavements, we need to cross several small roads and it takes us fifteen minutes walking.

Sometimes it’s quite difficult for us to pass people on the narrow pavement. Sometimes our way is blocked by young mothers with double buggies and tearful toddlers. We are lucky today; we meet a lady and her little girl whom I’ve known for several years. Her daughter is in my daughter’s class, and we often meet in the playground or at our children’s activities outside school. Her name is Lucie. She is French, from Nice, and she moved to London a few years ago.

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