Did you know that there are an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Uyghurs living in the United States? Did you know that Uyghur Americans have served in the United States Armed Forces, and occupied positions at esteemed agencies like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? In fact, Donald Trump’s newest China Director on the White House National Security Council is Uyghur American. Suffice it to say, Uyghur Americans proudly contribute to the health, safety, and security of our great nation, as doctors, lawyers, researchers, teachers, journalists, civil servants, entrepreneurs, artists and more.
Uyghurs are an ethnically, culturally, and linguistically-distinct group indigenous to East Turkistan. Estimates place the Uyghur population at ~20 million, with the largest diaspora concentrations in the Central Asian Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, as well Turkey, Germany, Australia, Canada, and the United States. The Uyghur region of East Turkisan spans a colossal 1,626,000 square kilometres (635,000 square miles), four times the size of the State of California. The Uyghurs possess a rich cultural history covering four thousand years. Situated in the center of the ancient Silk Road, the Uyghurs have long been a bridge, connecting the cultures and traditions of the East and West.
Since the annexation of their lands (in modern history by the Manchu Qing Dynasty and then the Chinese Communist Party), the Uyghur homeland of East Turkistan has been under assault. Today, the Uyghur people—their language, culture, tradition, and faith—are in constant peril.