I think that we will continue to thrive as a people. And I think that our future is going to be bright.
Méningche bizning millet dawamliq güllep yashnaydu. Kelgülsimiz parlaq bolidu dep oylaymen
—Ilham, Xinjiang Class Graduate, Hangzhou
In February 2015 the inconceivable happened. Tursun, a twenty-three-year-old Uyghur man, was placed into custody at an undisclosed detention center in China after allegedly traveling to Afghanistan to engage in global jihad. He had previously studied in the Xinjiang Class; in fact, he was only one of six students from his school in rural Khotan to be accepted into the program. In a nationally televised interview, the young Uyghur man—shackled in his chair and wearing a prison jumpsuit—spoke fondly of his days in the boarding school. The dorms were spacious, the food was delicious, and the teachers were caring, he recalled. Although he took the college entrance examination twice, his scores were not high enough to attend his university of choice. Disillusioned with China’s education system and the likely impossibility of succeeding in Xinjiang without a university degree, Tursun sought another path. While working as a laborer in Xinjiang, he met a religious man who convinced Tursun to become his pupil, or ...
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