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A Uyghur Ramadan


Things Unseen

TX Date

22nd Apr 2021


Rosie Dawson


Kristine Pommert


Sandford St Martins 2022

Winner - Radio/Audio Award

"It really is a powerful piece of audio. This will be extremely well received by our core listenership."

Amir Suleman, Salaam Radio

Rahima Mahmut is a Uyghur singer and human rights activist living in London. She came to the UK from her homeland, the Xinjiang province of China, which Uyghurs call East Turkestan. As Ramadan gets underway, she tells the story of her people; their distinctive cultural and Islamic traditions and the oppression they face from the Chinese government, including – in previous years – bans on fasting and keeping the usual Ramadan customs.

Nisa, another exiled Uyghur, also shares her heartbreak at being cut off from her family. But there are some lighter moments as she and her daughter plan their Ramadan menus.

And we hear from Kerim, a religious scholar who spent a year in a Chinese prison before fleeing to the West and is now translating the Qu’ran into the Uyghur language.

We made this podcast to highlight the lives and religious customs of a faith community whose distinctive approach to Islam is often overlooked. Faith provides  an important link to home for those who have had to leave China, in some cases – like Rahima’s – losing all contact with family back in Xinjiang.

Some names have been changed for the safety of those concerned.

The Chinese Embassy in London states that Xinjiang “is a land of religious harmony where the freedom of religious beliefs is respected and protected. Normal religious activities of believers and their religious needs are guaranteed by law.”