Coalition Language Representatives

Irade Kashgary was born in Gulja, the Uyghur Region of China, and raised in the United States since the age of five. A heritage speaker herself, she was excited to co-found Ana Care and Education, a Uyghur cultural and linguistic weekend school in Northern Virginia, alongside her mother, Sureyya, Kashgary, in hopes to empower the next generation of Uyghurs to learn their mother tongue. With a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and experience as a senior analyst, she manages operations at the Uyghur school while teaching and advocating for Uyghur language preservation. From collaborating with Uyghur schools nationwide to engaging with global advocacy groups and platforms like the United Nations, Irade is committed to fostering a globally connected youth who are passionate about their heritage and their efforts to learn, preserve, and improve their Uyghur language proficiency!

Sureyya Ablimit Kashgary came to the U.S. in 1999 with her family. Since then, she has been active in Uyghur language education for people in the diaspora. Because there were not many Uyghurs overseas at the time, her work encompassed small acts within the community, such as being an interpreter for newly immigrated Uyghurs who were struggling with the language barrier, and assisting with their children’s registrations for school, doctor appointments, etc.

She had always wanted to have a large-scale school to teach the Uyghur language systematically and, at the same time, introduce Uyghur culture to the world. In 2017, fulfilling her long-awaited dream, she founded Ana Care and Education, a school focusing on teaching the Uyghur language as well as Uyghur history, arts, and culture. The curriculum includes Uyghur language courses for students of different ages, Uyghur dance, soccer, and more. Now the school has grown drastically, with 9 teachers and more than 100 students. Students include not only Uyghurs but also foreign friends who are interested in the Uyghur language and culture. The work of this group extends beyond the classroom to cultural events both within and outside the Uyghur community .

Sureyya was born and raised in Ghulja city. After finishing high school in Ghulja, she went to Shanghai Normal University and earned a Bachelor's in History. After graduating, she worked for 7 years as an editor at the Xinjiang publishing house. Then to pursue higher education, she went to Ankara University, where she studied for a Masters in general Turkic history.

Published: Monday, July 17, 2023