ACTNews, TASHKENT – The chilly wind of winter blows through the steppes of Uzbekistan. In Keles, a satellite city located close to the capital city Tashkent, the temperature reaches almost freezing point. On Monday (1/7), according to several weather apps, the highest temperature reaches only 14⁰ C during the day, and it drops to almost freezing point at night.
The country located on the Fergana Valley has warm and dry climate. In summer, the temperature reaches 35⁰C. In October, the temperature starts to drop until reaching sub-zero degrees in winter.
Sympathy of Solidarity (SOS) for Uyghur – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) team journeyed through the cold winter to reach the Uyghurs in Uzbekistan. On Sunday (1/6), the team reached ten Uyghur families in Keles. Some of them were already waiting for the arrival of the team, including children and the elderly.
“They are mostly farmers and animal herders. They never received any aid from outsiders before this. Sometimes they occasionally receive aid from their fellow Uyghurs,” said Rudi Purnomo of SOS for Uyhur team, Monday (1/7). He further mentioned that the Uyghurs whom ACT team met were the second generation who have lived for decades in Uzbekistan.
The winter aid packages for the Uyghur families that the team distributed included flour, rice, sugar, cooking oil, meat and sweaters.
“We thank Allah that there are people who still care about us here in Uzbekistan and give us aid. Our brothers and sisters in Indonesia, we pray for their well-being and we hope that we will not be forsaken,” said one of the beneficiaries.
In 2014, Işık Kuşçu, a Professor of Department of International Relations Middle East Technical University, Ankara, stated that the Uyghur population in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan reaches an estimate number of 50,000 people.
Since the news of the mass detention of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang surfaced in late 2018, ACT began an initiative to deliver humanitarian aid to the Uyghurs in their homeland as well as in the neighboring countries. In 2017, ACT sent qurbani packages and scholarship to the Uyghurs in Turkey. Recently, ACT also sent aid to Uyghur children who are studying in a five-story building in Turkey.