Learn to Speak Uyghur – at Home

September 14 | 19 Comments

You won’t find any dedicated Uyghur phrasebooks at your local bookstore and nobody produces a “UyghurPod” podcast for students. Basically if you want to learn Uyghur outside of Xinjiang you will need to attend one of the few universities that offer Uyghur classes…or you’ll have to teach yourself.

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Xinjiang’s Most Wanted Foreigners

August 30 | 6 Comments

Most foreigners these days are welcomed to Xinjiang with open arms. There is, however, a list of foreigners – both past and present – who will forever be scorned in the Xinjiang history books. This is the Xinjiang Most-Wanted Foreigners List.

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Golf in Xinjiang: An Elite Sport in a Poor Province

August 18 | 12 Comments

A short distance south of Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi there is a portion of beautiful land known as Nanshan, or “South Mountains”. For years tourist and locals have traveled away from the noisy, polluted city life seeking the peaceful scenery that Nanshan provides, but soon they will have an entirely different reason to visit: a new luxury golf course.

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Why a Uyghur Journalist Was Sentenced 15 Years

July 28 | 22 Comments

On July 23rd, 2010, a Uyghur journalist, activist and blogger named Gheyret Niyaz was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Mainstream media has focused its stories on the harsh sentence handed down by the Chinese court, but what exactly was he accused of doing?

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Eurasian Crossroads Book Review | Xinjiang History

July 26 | 22 Comments

There are quite a number of people, especially those with political agendas, who claim an intimate understanding of the region’s history, but very few would be qualified to compile it into a book. Thankfully the author of Eurasian Crossroads is not only qualified, he also brings to the table a very objective and apolitical view of Xinjiang.

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Gobi March | A Foot Race Across Xinjiang’s Desert

July 19 | 6 Comments

For those who are sweating out the summer even with the air conditioning on full-blast, imagine yourself running 250 kilometers across one of the hottest deserts in the world right now…voluntarily.

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Celebrating Freedoms We Don’t Know Exist

July 5 | 8 Comments

On July 5th 2009, one day after America celebrated the anniversary of its freedom, a group of people on the other side of the world were forced to live without theirs.

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On High Alert: One Year Anniversary


Xinjiang authorities aren’t taking any risks this month as the one-year anniversary of the Urumqi riots approaches.
The increased tension and security has taken on many forms which can be seen by the various pieces and comments that have been published over the last couple of weeks.

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One Year Ago…The Shaoguan Incident

June 25 | 11 Comments

On this day one year ago riot police were called into a toy factory in Guangdong to break up a brawl between Han and Uyghur workers. By the time calm had been restored 2 Uyghur had died and over 100 other people were injured.

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Showdown in U-town brings Clampdown

June 21 | 10 Comments

Xinjiang police in Urumqi held an anti-riot training exercise while Uyghur representatives warn of protests. What could this be other than a countdown leading up to the one-year anniversary of the July 5th riots.

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