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Turdi Ghoja
10-09-11, 22:31
In that fateful morning of September 11, 2001, I happened to be passing through the world trade center minutes after the first plane hit the north tower. I was coming back from a trip to South Africa where I attended the Durban World Against Racism Conference. My flight arrived at JFK airport in the early morning. I took A train from JFK to make a connection to NJ Transit at Penn Station. When the train pulled into the World Trade Center station, I immediately noticed extreme intensity in the air. People seemed to be running from something very scary. I had never seen the expression of intense fears like that on the faces of Americans before. As they got on the train and started to talk in some kind of urgency, everybody’s expression turned grave and intense. I was far from the door, therefore could not hear what they were saying. But, it was not hard to figure that something horribly wrong just happened above the ground. People were talking to each other and the expression of intense fear was spreading like a contagious disease to everyone including me even though I had no idea what I was going on. The train arrived at the Penn Station before I got a chance to find out what happened. The NJ Transit train to my destination was just about to leave the station when I arrived at the departure hall; therefore, I jumped on the train immediately without a ticket. People on the train did not seem to be aware of whatever was responsible for the commotion and panic at the world trade station. But, as the train passed through the tunnel into New Jersey, it became immediately clear to all of us what it was. Thick dark smoke was streaming out from what appeared to be a big hole on the upper half of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. It became eerily quite inside the train as we were all looking at the tower in the distance in total disbelief. The train stopped at the Secaucus station. As we were sitting there looking at the smoking north tower the second tower was hit and engulfed in red fire balls. It was a surreal sight. I thought it was just a bad dream. How could that possibly be real?

The train stopped at the Secaucus for at least half an hour. More people came on the train. An older woman sat next to me just got off the Path Train from the World Trade Center. She was crying. She said she works at the World Trade Center. Usually, she would arrive at work at 8:15, but she was late on that day. Just as she arrived at the World Trade Center, the south tower was hit. Therefore, she was sent home. A young women sitting next to me started to cry as well. I was still numb and in disbelief. A middle-aged woman started to update on the news for the whole car. She was on cell phone listening to some one who was apparently watching TV. She announced that all the tunnels and bridges to Manhattan were closed. I realized that if I were thirty seconds late, I could’ve missed the train at Penn Station and stranded in Manhattan. Just as the train was pulling out of the Secaucus Station, the women on the phone announced the Pentagon was hit by a plane. A few seconds later she said the US air space was closed for all civilian flights. Gradually, I began to realize that it was not a bad dream. It started to feel like we were in the middle of a scary war. As the gravity of the reality started to register, an intense fear started to creep up on me. I realized that I was witnessing a world-changing event. It was not certain yet who did that, but like the rest of the world, I suspected Muslim extremists. As a Muslim, I was scared of the certain backlash and unknown future. I felt uneasy and fearful as if people were looking at me with suspicion and hatred. As if reading my mind, the older women next to me asked me if I needed to call some one and offered her cell phone. That gesture calmed my nerves a little bit and reminded me that Americans were not Chinese. If any one thinks I was not being fair to the Chinese people, they should check what happened in Urumchi on July 7 &8, 2009. If something with that magnitude happens in China, I still believe that the Chinese public will eat the Muslims alive, especially the Uyghur Muslims.

When the women announced that the south tower collapsed around 9:00 am, I felt an unexplainable hostility towards her as if she was lying or responsible for what was going on. I wanted to shout to her “shut up!” Maybe I hated her because she was pushing me out of the comfort of denial. Maybe I just needed to lash out at some one to relieve the surging anger inside me. I knew the world would be a very different place, but I had no idea that the biggest change would take place in an unexpected place half a world away.

Some one’s pain is some one else’s gain. It is very true in the case of September 11. Indisputably, China has emerged as the biggest beneficiary of that tragedy. Looking back after ten years, the biggest change in the past ten years perhaps is China’s rise from a poverty stricken third world country to the second largest economy and quasi-super power in the world. Yes, the Iraq and Afghan wars were major world events, but they have not changed the world as much as China has. Two months after the September 11, China was officially admitted into the World Trade Organization, paving the way for China’s economic rise. As America has focused its attention and resources on security and two wars, China has transformed itself into a world power, threatening to replace US as a super power in a not distant future.

The newly formed small Uyghur communities in the West had been struggling since the mid 90’s to let the world know the existence of Uyghur people and their plights with not much success. My trip to South Africa was part of that effort. I had no idea that that was about to change and the Uyghurs would be pushed onto the world spotlight by that event. China saw the 9/11 as an opportunity to open the doors to its tightly kept closet for the Uyghur problem. A little more than two months after the September 11 attacks, China not only declared at the world stage the existence of a people called Uyghurs within its borders, it also claimed shamelessly that it too was a victim of terrorism. It blamed the East Turkistan independence movement as terrorism. Using its position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China pressured US to list an unknown Uyghur organization called East Turkistan Islamic Movement as a terrorist organization. US complied with China’s demand in Jan 2002 to gain China’s vote on the Iraq war. A few months later Uyghurs made the international headlines again with the news of the Uyghur detainees at the Guantanamo. At long last, Uyghurs are not strangers to the world any more.

As a founding member of the Uyghur movement in US, I remember the early days when we thought that if we educate the world on our people’s situation, the world would take a strong stand against China to condemn its behavior, forcing it to change its oppressive policy for our people. We were equally convinced, and still are, that China expected the same thing, therefore had hided the existence of Uyghur people from the world. But, after the Uyghur problem came out of China’s closet, I realized that we overestimated the power of the righteousness of the world. Clearly, China came to the same conclusion. Bolden by the lack of response from the world community, China has intensified its persecution of Uyghurs and made no secret of its intention of destroying them as people. China has been persecuting Uyghurs ever since it occupied their homeland in 1949, but they had granted certain limited rights such as education in Uyghur language. But those rights have been cut one by one since the September 11. Ever being a game master, China has been playing for the mindset of Americans, an immigrant country where assimilation is a must and a single language is a necessity. Therefore, it borrowed misleading terms for its policies in East Turkistan. For example, they borrowed term “bilingual education” for the practice of replacing the Uyghur language with Chinese as the only language of instruction at Uyghur schools. They apply the term “religious extremism” for any normal religious activity. For many Americans, even the concept of separatism may sound archaic at a time the world is unifying and the borders are disappearing. But, word games could not mask the reality that East Turkistan was not a Chinese land historically. It was occupied by force by China in 1949. The Chinese rule in East Turkistan is a colonial rule at its worse. At the other hand, people come to US from their respective home counties voluntarily fully expecting to be assimilated into the population here. Some borders are disappearing with the consent of free nations and peoples. However, Uyghurs did not consent to the Chinese rule. They did not consent to the Chinese trample on their freedom and liberty. They did not consent to the massive Chinese immigration to their land, which made them the minority and second class citizens in their own homeland. They did not consent to the ban on their language at schools and the restriction on their religion and culture. As a distinctive people with a separate homeland from China and a different history, culture and language from the Chinese, we are entitled to be who we are in our own land if not in our own country. Forcing a people living on their own land to give up their language is different from the bilingual education.

The future is hard to predict. It is more so for Uyghurs. God forbid, if one day Uyghurs disappear as a people in China, historians may look back and view the September 11 as the beginning of the end. If and when China replaces US as a super power, the world will look back and see September 11 as the tipping point. From this perspective, Uyghurs are as big a victim of the September 11 terrorist attacks as the Americans. As a Uyghur American, I feel the scars are particularly deep.

Unregistered
11-09-11, 01:52
Excellent writing. Thanks Turdi.

Unregistered
11-09-11, 07:38
"I remember the early days when we thought that if we educate the world on our people’s situation, the world would take a strong stand against China to condemn its behavior, forcing it to change its oppressive policy for our people. We were equally convinced, and still are, that China expected the same thing, therefore had hided the existence of Uyghur people from the world. But, after the Uyghur problem came out of China’s closet, I realized that we overestimated the power of the righteousness of the world."

This paragraph has super deep reality! Uyghurs gradually become paramount victim for the 9/11 tragedy in America. When I first heard the tragedy I expressed my deep sorrow for those people in trade center, and it was a time I never thought Uyghurs could be part of that tragedy. Outcome, if we don't have our country, and if we don't have its political power, the conclusion being right is too expensive to achieve it!

mutellip
11-09-11, 10:33
Excellent Writing Turdi.
Memet Tohti summarized the situc ation of Uyghurs in post 9-11 in his article very well:
"Miserable Uyghurs, Cruel Chinese, Impotent World".

In one world, Both the west (human rights and democarcy?) and Islamic world (so-called umma protectors of Muslims ??) are hypocrits. Uyghurs have none to rely in this world but themselves.

Unregistered
11-09-11, 21:38
Paramount Victim

Everything is over used
Abused by the delusional
Happiness has expired
backfired on me
Why do the small things cause me the greatest pain?

Life is moving way too fast
Will anything ever last?
I've lost my ability to look back on the past
oh, serenity, simplicity
Where have you gone to?
Will I ever find you again?

Yes, Ive seen things you havn't
No, I'm not another doll
I fall at my will
For what?
You kick me when I'm down
Another expected move by the fooled
I can't make you see this

Life is moving way too fast
Will anything ever last?
I've lost my ability to look back on the past
oh, serenity, simplicity
Where have you gone to?
Will I ever find you again?

You get what I wanted again
Amen, so how does it look up there?
Can't deal with you're ignorence any more
Can't feel what you do this for
We try to be paitent
try not to assume
But were too focused on oursleves
You think you're the only one
Will you ever see what you've done?

Unregistered
11-09-11, 22:27
I found this name from 9-11 victim list. I think that this is the Uyghur girl who died in the World Trade Center.

http://www.9-11heroes.us/v/Gavkharoy_Mukhometovna_Kamardinova.php

Unregistered
11-09-11, 22:29
I swollowed my tears again when reading all those memerial words. Wish Americans and Uyghurlar both blessed with the peace and freedom, to the one above on the heaven, Please!

Unregistered
16-09-11, 06:57
USA is the victim of Islamic extremists and Uyghurs are the victims of Chinese communist extrmists.

Unregistered
18-09-11, 09:58
Turdi is a best writer! He has excellent languages skill and complete knowledges, he is doing great jobs for Uyghur nation.



Excellent writing. Thanks Turdi.

guest
19-09-11, 00:34
uyghur emes ozbik

I found this name from 9-11 victim list. I think that this is the Uyghur girl who died in the World Trade Center.

http://www.9-11heroes.us/v/Gavkharoy_Mukhometovna_Kamardinova.php

Unregistered
20-09-11, 13:07
Turdi xojidekler uyghurlarni bilip, oqup qalmisun dep "I am, Pay am" dep yat tilda xet yezip yoshrunup yuruydu. bu ademlerni ANA TILI yomidu?

Engiliz achagha dep bermemsen u yat tilingni. Amerikiliqtek yazalisang oyliyalisang qandaq qilishattingki? Tilsiz, zuwansiz meyipler!

Unregistered
20-09-11, 23:25
Excellent writing. Thank you Turdi !

Unregistered
22-09-11, 11:49
Turdi xojidekler uyghurlarni bilip, oqup qalmisun dep "I am, Pay am" dep yat tilda xet yezip yoshrunup yuruydu. bu ademlerni ANA TILI yomidu?

Engiliz achagha dep bermemsen u yat tilingni. Amerikiliqtek yazalisang oyliyalisang qandaq qilishattingki? Tilsiz, zuwansiz meyipler!

qerindishim,

Turdining bu yazmisi, 11. Sentabirdiki terroristik hujumdin biz Uyghurlarnig qanchlik zerer körginimizni dunya jamaetcxhiligige tushendürüsh meqsitide qelemge elingan nahayiti chonqur mezmunluq ve seviyelik mqaqle!!! Kashki, Turdiga ohshash yene bir nechche kishi 11. Sentabirning 10 yilligi munasibeti bilen bundaq yazmilarni dunya metbuatlirida ilan qilgan veyaki hich bolmiganda öz torbetlirimizde bolsimu otturga qoyaligan bolsa edi.

Elbetteki öz tilimizda ve öz arimizda yezip, muzakire ve munazire qilidigan mevzu'lar bar. Amma, Turdi qelemge algan bu tema bizning 11. Sentabir terroristik hujumidin qanchilik zerer körgenligimizni, Xitay hükümetiining bu mesilinmi bahane qilip biz Uyghurlar üstidiki zulmini qanche köp artturganliqini, hetta Gerbiy dunyadiki helqara demokratik heriketimizning rehberlirige hem
atalmish "trerrorist"qalpagini kiygüzüshke intilgenlöikini dunya jamaetchilikige anglitish ve dunya jamaetchiligining bepervaligi biz Uyghurlarni ümitsizlanduruvatqanligini öz ichige algan ve erkin dunya jamaetchiligining vijdaniga hitab qilgan yazmadur.

Bu sebebtin, Turdini veyaki unungga ohshash derdimizni Engilische veyaki bashqa bir chetel tilida dunyaga anglatmaqchi bolganlarni, tillap haqaret qilish hich birimizge yarashmisa kirek. Eksinche, ularni teqdirlishimiz ve yene köplerning bizge tilmach bolup, Hitayning helqimizgew qilivatqan zulmini ashundaq paktlar bilen, bashqa millet vekillerige anglitishini teshviq ve tergip qilishimiz kirek.

Enver Can

22 Sentabir 2011
Munich, Girmanye

Unregistered
25-09-11, 12:26
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11268/1177029-109-0.stm

Unregistered
25-09-11, 12:34
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11268/1177029-109-0.stm

that uyghur girl's family was refugee from East turkestan. Should it be possible to add an uyghur flag with uzbek flag to her buried site? I guess not. Then should mention in her memorial text?

Unregistered
03-10-11, 15:54
Bayanatchi xitayche yizip, kaldirlisa, biring chiqip Engilische "I am, Pay em"diyishseng Uyghurlar nime diginingni nedin bilsun?
bular kim? tili yoq milletmu dise: "shundaq, bular Engilis bilen Xitayning arisidin chqqan Qichirlar"dep olturushtung hilimu.

Uyghurche sozle dise yene chapan yipip Turdi mandaq deptu digen nime gep? Uyghurche bilmiseng bu meydanni Uyghurche yazidighanlargha bermemsen. Engilische we xitaychengni yazidighan torungni tipishmamsen.

Unregistered
04-10-11, 02:33
Bu talwilar qat'alda 30 yillap yetip yap hatta axu doaltning ikki eghiz tilinimu sozlaxni ugiwalmay hadisila "biz undak ulugh" diyix bilan billa aghzidin insangha has bolmighan pohni temitip, ang paskaxlarqa hatta baxkialrning anisinimu qixlap tarttiptu.

Unregistered
06-10-11, 10:27
uyghur emes ozbik

September 11 da ghayip bolghan Gohar uyghur qizi, uzbek grajdani . merhumening ata -anisi Siyitmamat aka bilan Parida hade
wetinimizning ghulja diyarida tughulghan 100% uyghurlardin.