The latest news on the famous Anacostia block in Washington, D.C. is that a new kebab restaurant will soon debut in the historic neighborhood. In an area largely dominated by African-Americans, this ethnic culinary venture may raise a few eyebrows, but the real surprise lies in who’s behind it all.
It’s none other than Uyghur activist and successful businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer, who was exiled to the United States from China just six years ago after spending two years in prison for “endangering state security.” Most recently, her name surfaced again amid the July 2009 Ürümqi riots – a bloodbath brawl among the Uyghurs, the Hans and the police in the capital of Xinjiang – and the Chinese government pointed its finger at Kadeer for being behind it all.
Due to her extensive political activism, many people initially suspected the commercial building she purchased would be the new DC headquarters for World Uyghur Congress or the Uyghur American Association. But nope, according to sources who spoke with her at the site, Kadeer plans to open a Uyghur restaurant, featuring the western Chinese ethnic group’s famous kebabs.
At this point, that is the extent of what we know, but we have a feeling that the restaurant’s uncanny location of being just stroll from Capitol Hill is no coincidence. However, regardless of whether Kadeer has a political agenda, kebabs are sounding pretty good right now.
By Esther Kang