Abduweli Ayup is a linguist who specializes in the teaching of the Uighur language. Abduweli got his bachelor’s degree at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing and his master’s degree at Xinjiang University. He was a visiting scholar at Ankara University in Turkey and won a Ford Foundation scholarship for an advanced study program at the University of Kansas. After his graduate studies, Abduweli returned to China to set up a series of schools in the Xinjiang region to teach the Uighur language. In August of 2013, he and two of his associates were arrested for “illegal fundraising.” While Abduweli was released in 2014, his arrest was considered by observers to be an attempt by the government to prevent the proliferation of the language.
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