Huseyin Celil’s heartbreaking story is the epitome of the UYghur struggle and crisis. Long before Canada and the world realized what was happening to the UYghur community in China, Huseyin was advocating for religious and political rights on behalf of his UYghur community.
Huseyin Celil is a dual Canadian and Chinese citizen who is part of the Uyghur community. Huseyin will turn 52 years old in March 2021. Huseyin is a proud Uyghur and has advocated for religious and political rights for his community. In 2001, he fled China after being jailed for 48 days for using megaphones to amplify the Muslim call to prayer in his home province of Xinjiang. He landed in Uzbekistan and married his wife, Kamila Talendibaeva. After the United Nations recognized Huseyin as a refugee, he and his family settled in Burlington, Ontario. Huseyin was very much involved in his new community, a testament to his good character. He is a loving husband with 4 beautiful children.
When they were little, Kamila Telendibaeva’s sons used to ask her the same question every day: “When is my dad going to come back?”