The 25th anniversary of the establishment of the East Turkistan Australian Association (ETAA) was held on the 29th of April, 2017 in Adelaide, South Australia. Approximately 500 attendees were present to celebrate this milestone event. It began with the recitation of Quran and a du’aa, and an opening speech by the president of ETAA, Mr Nurmuhammad Turkistani, as well as two slideshow presentations outlining a brief history and the various achievements of ETAA in English and Uyghur.
Various Australian politicians congratulated the anniversary and showed their support for the Uyghur community and cause by presenting speeches and meeting the guests. They were: Hon Tung Ngo MLC, Hon Zoe Bettison MP (Minister for Multicultural Affairs – SA), Mr John Gardner MP, and Mr Tony Zappia MP. The ETAA was then presented with an award by Hon Zoe Bettinson.
More speeches were presented by Br Abdusalam Alim, member of the Australian National Imams Council and religious leader for the ETAA community, Dr Memtimin Ala, president of the Uyghur Australian Association, Mrs Zubayra Shamseden, researcher at the Uyghur Human Rights Project in Washington, DC, Professor Mohamad Abdalla, director at the Centre for Islamic Thought and Education at Uni SA, Mr Ahmatjan Osman, distinguished poet and president of the East Turkistan Government-In-Exile, Imam Afroz Ali, President of Al-Ghazzali Centre, Sydney, Dr Martin Bailey, course coordinator at the University of Adelaide, and Mayor Lachlan Klein for the city of Unley.
A play called “Who is the Terrorist?” by the ET Youth (a youth branch of ETAA) and students of the Uighur Language School in South Australia left audience members teary eyed with depictions of the various atrocities Uyghurs in East Turkistan are currently facing. The students also performed two poems, one in Uyghur by the younger class and another in English by four older students.
The night ended with a presentation of awards to the founders of ETAA, the former presidents, and those who have significantly contributed to its development and success. Acknowledgements were also made to the Meshrep, which was established with the commemoration of the Ghulja Massacre on February 5, 1997, as well as the East Turkistan Soccer Club, established to mobilize young members of community through sports activities.
A little on the history of ETAA:
The ETAA was established in 1992. Since then, the ETAA have been working tirelessly to help Uyghurs settle into Australian society, help those back in East Turkistan, and raise public awareness of the Uyghur situation around the world.
Currently there are approximately 3,000 Uyghurs living in Australia, mainly in Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne.
Published on the ETAA Facebook Page