I am from Xinjiang

Updated: 2014-04-28 17:14

By Guo Yali (chinadaily.com.cn)

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I am from Xinjiang

"My name is Nefise Nehmat. I am Uygur, and I am 35. I graduated from East China University of Political Science and Law in 2008. Now I am a licensed lawyer and work in Shanghai. This year, I started to study in Emory University School of Law. My dream is to be elected a deputy to the National People's Congress and to protect and promote ethnic women's rights." Photo by Kurbanjan Samat / For China Daily

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A cameraman for Central China Television's Documentary Channel, he has lived in Beijing for eight years, and he met his wife Gulbanum, a Beijing-born Uygur, in the capital.

He and his wife are sitting in a cafe in Beijing's Qijiayuan Diplomatic Compound, near the office where Kurbanjan has just finished taking photos of interviewee No 45.

"Sorry, I've smoked much more since March," says the 31-year-old Uygur lighting a cigarette. "It used to be one pack every two days, but now I'm smoking almost two packs a day."

About two weeks after the attack inKunming, hundreds of pedestrians and shoppers on Chunxi Roadin Chengdu,Sichuan province, panicked when someone yelled a "warning" about a knife attack. The panic was sparked when some pedestrians, upon seeing a group of ethnic people on the street, starting walking faster to get away from them. The innocent ethnic group were scared at seeing people around them fleeing and they started running too.

"That was ridiculous," says Gulbanum.

"Bitter, I'd say," Kurbanjan responds, with a frown.

The two incidents prompted Kurbanjan to speed up his project — he started meeting his interviewees late last year, as originally he wanted to do a documentary on Xinjiang people who are earning a living outside the region.

"I told myself that I have to accomplish this within three months. I must let the public know what these Xinjiang people are doing," he says. "Who are Xinjiang people? It's not an ethnic concept. No single group alone can represent Xinjiang, and there is no boundary between the groups."

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