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We Don’t Have to Be “Forced” to Pursue Happiness

Oyubek Moldabek, Yanchi Town, Yiwu County, Hami City

My name is Oyubek Moldabek, an ordinary Kazakh herdsman from Yanchi Town, Yiwu County, Hami City in Xinjiang. A few days ago, I learned from a news report that former Secretary of State Pompeo said that ethnic minorities in Xinjiang were “forced to work”. This made me particularly angry. Do hard-working people need to be forced to pursue a happy life? Isn’t the pursuit of a good life the common aspiration of all people? I’m going to tell you the truth from my own experience.

When I got married in 2012, I had a rough time. I couldn’t find a suitable job all the time due to the low education I had received, so I did odd jobs, loading and transporting the sheep manure, mowing grasses, and repairing the roof for others. I worked very hard, but I didn’t earn much money. At that time, the family only relied on my wife to cut hair for others. After the rent, water and electricity bills were settled, there was not much left. Looking back at that time, we really had a hard time.

In 2014, our family was identified as a poor family. We thus enjoyed grassland subsidies. The government also gave us a cattle, a sheep, a milk donkey and a camel for poverty alleviation, and every year we could receive dividends from the cooperative. Later, under the care of the Communist Party and the government, a one-room shop in the community was given to us for opening a barbershop of our own. We did not have to pay the rent, water, electricity and heating, and every cent we earned was our own. Thanks to the policies of the Communist Party and the government to benefit people, my wife and I worked hard and finally lifted out of poverty in 2016. Our life was getting better day by day. We saw hope and a promising future ahead.

In 2020, we also benefited from the project “Hairdressing Salon” sponsored by the Municipal Women’s Federation, which granted us 10,000 yuan for buying hairdressing equipment. And I was arranged by the government to work in a company in Yanchi Town. The company leaders are very concerned about us, and the working environment there is very good. I am now earning 4,500 yuan a month.The boss said as long as I do a good job he will raise my salary.

Now my wife runs the barbershop with good business proceeds, and I have also become an enterprise worker from a herdsman with a fixed income, which has not only lifted our family out of poverty, but also enabled us to live a fulfilling life.

My personal experience is the best example of this! When we were poor, we looked forward to a better life. Now my wife and I have finally achieved what we desired. Do we need to be forced to pursue a better life? Happiness comes from hard work! Only when we roll up our sleeves to work hard will there be a happy life.Who doesn’t want a good life? Perhaps only an ugly person like Pompeo would feel “forced” to pursue happiness.

Don’t our ethnic minorities living in Xinjiang have the right to pursue happiness? Pompeo’s words are not only groundless and unreasonable, but also contrary to common sense and conscience. Such a person should be spurned by all people with conscience and a sense of justice.