Muhlisa is a top student in her class in Kashgar No.1 Elementary School.The ten-year-old has received many awards for achieving high exam scores.
Mulisa’s younger brother, who is six years old, will also start elementary school this September.
However, their simple and happy life was interrupted when three uninvited guests suddenly knocked at their door.
Muhlisa recalls that three "uncles" stopped by with photos of her father., "They said they were my father’s classmates. They told me my father is now in Australia and asked if I want to go there to reunite with him. I said I don’t want to go abroad. I want to stay in Kashgar."
The three "uncles" turned out to be reporters from CNN. And later, a photo of the girl crying made headlines. CNN reported that the child is prohibited from leaving the country to reunite with her father. Muhlisa’s father, Mamutjan Abdurehim, got married in Xinjiang in 2009 after completing his master’s degree. According to Muhlisa’s grandfather, from 2009 to 2013, Mamutjan would come back home once a year. And in 2015, his wife Muharram Ablat, brought the two children back to Kashgar. Mamutjan’s wife was arrested on suspicion of provoking ethnic hatred in 2019. Since then, the two children have been left to stay between their paternal and maternal grandparents.
Muhlisa said, " I can video call my mother. Yesterday, we had a video call.I told her I miss her. My brother also said so. My mother said she is doing great and told us not to worry about her. I want to show her the awards I got from school when she comes back. I believe she will be very happy."
Ablat Abdureyim, Muhlisa’s grandfather said with his monthly retirement pension of 1,900 yuan, he can support the family. He added that he and his wife have medical insurance to cover their hospital bills. And he doesn’t need to pay for the children’s tuition because they receive fifteen years of compulsory education for free in Xinjiang. So now, his only wish is to see his son back home.
Ablat Abdureyim also said to his son, "Come back home if you’ve finished your studies. Your mother and I are getting old. This is your home. And your two children are also here. We don’t have any problem with our life, but you should raise your own children."