Uyghur American Association


The Uyghur American Association was established on May 23, 1998 in Washington D.C. at the First Uyghur American Congress. The growing Uyghur community in United States created a need for a unified Uyghur organization to serve the needs of the community here and to represent the collective voice of the Uyghurs in East Turkistan. Therefore, Uyghur activists in US decided to call an Uyghur congress in Unites States to bring together all the Uyghurs in America to form a unified organization. For that end, a Congress Preparatory Committee was formed in February 1998. The seven committee members, Ghulamettin Pahta, Dolkun Kamberi, Rishat Abbas, Sadat Obol, Iskender Kadir and Turdi Ghoja met several times during the three months prior to Uyghur Congress to make preparations. The Congress which was named First Uyghur American Congress was held on May 23, 1998 in Washington D.C. At the Congress, Uyghur American Association was formally established and 9 Board of Directors (BOD) for its offices were elected. They were:

Dr. Dolkun Kamberi, Chair
Dr. Richat Abbas, Vice-chair
Dr. Erkin Sidick, General Secretary
Mr. Ghulamettin Pahta, Honory Chair and Director of Cultural and External Affairs
Mr. Iskander Kadir,Treasurer
Mr. Turdi Ghoja, Director of Public Relations
Mr. Tughluk Abdurazak, Director of Education
Dr. Aldurrakhim Aitbayev, Director of Communication
Dr. Murat Quadir.Director of Publication

Here is the functions of board of directors:

1). Chairman: organizes and oversees all activities of the organization. Must have strong organizational skills, and be able to give convincing speeches, write political articles, and has to be fluent in English, Uyghur.

2). Vice-Chairman: Collects information on Human Rights Situations and activities in Eastern Turkistan and report to the board of directors. Must have strong knowledge of Human Rights and the UN convention on Human Rights.

3). General Secretary: Coordinates the activities of Board of the directors. Keeps track of all the activities of the Association and make permanent record of them. Prepares final documents, letters and appeals that prepared by the Board of directors. Therefore the person has to be fluent in English and has strong writing skill.

4). Treasurer: Responsible for financial matters of the organization. Organizes fund raising activities and oversees spending.

5). Director of Public Relations: Makes direct contacts with US government officials and other organizations on behalf of Uyghur community. Establishes good relation with UN Human Rights organizations and other organizations.

6). Director of Education: Promotes and creates scientific, cultural exchange opportunities between Americans and Uyghurs around the world. Assists ambitious students in Eastern Turkistan to come to US for higher learning. Responsibility includes finding schools, sending information assisting in admission process, and finding accommodation for new students and scholars.

7). Director of Communication: Prepares brochures and leaflets, sets up the home page for the organization.

8) Directors of Publication : Responsible for journal and other publications. 9). Director of Cultural Affairs: organizes cultural activities and community gatherings.

In the first several months of UAA's establishment, several organizational changes occurred within UAA. In February 1999, the UAA offices were redistributed through voting among the Board Of Directors of UAA.

New Office Distribution:

Chairman: Ghulamuttin Pahta
Vice-Chairman: Rishat Abbas
General Secretary: Turdi Ghoja
Treasurer: Murat Quadir
Director of Communications: Alim Saytoff
Director of Cultural Affairs: Iskender Kadir
Director of Education: Tughluk Abdurazak
Director of Publications: Erkin Sidick
Director of Public Relations: Abdulrakhim Aitbayev

Alim Seytoff resigned in May 1999. Abdulrakhim Aitbayev resigned in August 1999. The rest of the Board of Directors held their offices for the next 12 months until the Second Uyghur American Congress was held on May 28, 2000 in Washington D. C.

More than 80 people attended the Second Uyghur American Congress and elected the second term of Board Of Directors for UAA.

Five people were elected for BOD from the 14 people who nominated themselves.

The 2nd UAA Board of Directors and Responsibilities

1. The President
The person should be able to play a leading role in the Uighur community in the United States, has proven ability in organizing variety of activities, be able to give convincing speeches either in politics or other area, has to fluent in English, Uighur and other languages. He/she has to a person with confidence and dedication to the cause of Uighur community in the United States. He/she should be able to resolve variety of problem facing our community.

2. Vice President: Collects information on Human Rights Situations and activities in Eastern Turkistan and reports to the board of directors and sends the findings to Human Right Organizations and related government officials. Must have strong knowledge of Human Rights and the UN convention on Human Rights. The Vice President resumes the duties of president in the ansense of president.

3. General Secretary
Assisting the President to coordinate the activities of the Board of Directors. Keep track and make permanent record of all the activities of UAA. Prepare official document and letters on behalf of the Board of Directors. Respond inquiry, e-mails and letters from other organizations and individuals (if necessary). The person has to be fluent in at least 3 languages- English, Uighur and Chinese. He/she has to have excellent writing skill, a strong information technology skill.

4. Treasurer
Responsible for all the financial matters of the organization, he/she has to be willing and be able to organize fund rising activities. Manage the spending of the Uighur American Association. The person holding this position should have very strong economic or business background, should have the proven ability in accurately handling financial issue.

5. Director of Communication
He/she should be able to promote scientific and technological exchange between Uighurs in the United States and rest of the world, actively creates conditions for these kind of communication such as organizing scientific of cultural conferences, Uighur community cultural/social gatherings. The person is also responsible for publishing journal or other publication of UAA.

The newly elected Board of Directors held their first meeting on May 29 and had job distribution among themselves. The names and functions of the new Board of Directors are as following:

Ghoja Turdi, President
Rushen Abbas, Vice president
Ilyar Shemshidin, Treasurer
Maynur Yusuf, Secretary
Parhat Yasin, Director of Communication

Several organizational changes occurred after the second Congress. The current officers of UAA:

Turdi Ghoja, President
Jack Churchward, Vice President
Ilyar Shemshidin,Treasurer
Maynur Yusuf, Secretary
Keyser Siyit, Director of Communication










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