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Turdi Ghoja
16-11-05, 23:16
Dear friends,

Today, we sent Kurban Turdi $1500 through the Western Union. Twenty-eight people participated in the fund-raising effort for him, contributing from $20 to $300. On behalf of Kurban Turdi, I would like to thank these brothers and sisters for their generosity and compassion.

It is true that there are thousands of people back home who are in desperate need of help. But, the prayer of this one reached to our ears in a holy month and we did what we should and could as fellow Uyghurs and Muslims. We have shown we care and share the pains of our people even though we live oceans apart. I am very grateful to each and every one of you for the compassion and brotherhood that you have demonstrated towards a fellow countryman you never met.

I decided against publishing the list of donors here. I am concerned that some ill-intentioned people might use it as an opportunity to attack others. It would be unfortunate if this noble cause contributes in any way to the fault lines among our community. However, if any of you donors want the list for an honesty check, I would not mind providing it to you on condition that you do not share it with any one else.

This morning I spoke to Kurban Turdi for the first time to let him know that the money was sent. I did not tell him my name though. He said the kidney transplant operation costs 100k normally, but there is a 40k discount for poor people. Even then, the remaining 60 k is an impossible sum of money for him. He said the trickling-in donations is just enough to cover his twice-a-week dialysis. Other than us, Uyghurs in Germany collected $1000 for him. But, he is still 40k short. He asked me to deliver his heart-felt thanks to the brothers and sisters who opened their heart to him.

At the end of a short conversation, I felt I should say something to comfort him before hang up. So I did, which I wish I did not. He started to sob. It was so contagious that my eyes were wet instantly and I had to hang up before I lose my composure. In that brief moment, his despair came right through me. I hope the memory of that moment will not haunt me for the rest of my life should he dies because he could not come up with 40,000 yuan. I hate to think that the life of a man who apparently expected so much from life and put all in to pursue a better one is worth less than 40,000 yuan ($5000). But, if he dies, that is what it comes down to. He knows the mass, and now I do too. It hurts badly. I wish I could do more.