Real quick. Urgent and real quick.
I'm very encouraged there is far more media coverage about the Uyghur's plight not only in their homeland of Xinjiang, far Western China (a place I have visited thrice), but also more coverage about their plight abroad amid their diaspora. Beijing has a long reach with heavy hands (RIP Hong Kong as we knew it).
It's very likely by now that this girl whose photo I took in Kashgar around 2009 by now has suffered human rights violations such as forced migration, forced labor, extreme high-tech surveillance, racial profiling, torture, re-education, in-home police monitoring, even forced sterilization, and other human rights violations. I was charmed and riveted by the girl's curiosity with me and also about her chosen ensemble and the way she naturally positioned herself behind the heart-shaped lattice work of the loading ramp.
Once and for all.
It's a beautiful moderate and welcoming culture that deserves to make its own decisions about how, when, and the extent to which it wants to modernize, carry on its traditions (or not), or govern itself. For a taste of the culture and cuisine, I suggest Googling “Uyhgur restaurants” in your local area. They are out there for those who take the time, and you won't regret it.
(Photo by Paul Assimacopoulos)
I've posted a lot about my experiences with the Uyghurs both here and in Western China, online and off. Here's one you may not have heard, a presentation, reading, and curated podcast-set with Arshia Haq of Radio Discostan (as Andrew Demetre, via the great Norient beta site):
*Trojan fortune cookie conceptualized and created by yours truly: