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Who is Perhat Ilyas

Perhat Ilyas
Perhat Ilyas

Perhat Ilyas

Perhat Ilyas got arrested in 2018. He is a poet, writer, literary translator, and editor. He is one of the Uyghur poets who got arrested since 2016. His incarceration is part of the Chinse Communist Party campaign to eliminate Uyghur culture and identity. His writings in Uyghur language, especially his books for children threatened the state policy against Uyghur language.

Perhat Ilyas was born in 1964, Chapchal, Ili prefecture. He spent his childhood as member of a farmer family in Jaghistay Village, which was one of the hubs of Uyghur modern education, it is close to Kazakhstan border. He studied in primary and secondary schools in his village from 1972 to 1982.

Perhat Ilyas went to Beijing in 1982 to study, after graduating in 1987, he worked as a teacher for a while in the Party institute of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region which changed its name as socialism Institute.

Since 1990, Perhat Ilyas has been working as the editor of Xinjiang People’s Publishing House and “World Literature” magazine which mainly focus on literary translation from the western literature. In 2000s, he transferred to Xinjiang Educational Press, he was in charge of Uyghur Textbook editing.

Perhat Ilyas’s writing began in his young age when he was in the high school. His publication started with writing poetry in the 80s, and since then he has published many poems in a new style. He is one of the young leading poets in 1980s and 1990s.

Perhat Ilyas and another imprisoned Uyghur poet Perhat Tursun started the new poetry movement in Beijing among the Uyghur students which lasted more than 20 years. The movement was followed hundreds of poets in Uyghur Homeland, it got a strong attention, it especially influenced young Uyghur writers.

Perhat Ilyas authored novels such as “Dreams fade away”, “Roads that start from desert”, “The Kids from Kroran“, “Wounded Heart. He translated some famous Chinese modern classics like Hui writer Huo Da’s sagaFuneral of a Muslim” and foreign literary works, especially poems by Gabriela Mistral. His translation of Chinghiz Aitmatov’s “Spotted Dog Running Along the Seashorepublished 1991 from Xinjiang People’s Publishing House – 新疆人民出版社 and 2001 from National Publishing House – 民族出版社(北京) .

Perhat Ilyas’s poetry collections were published in Uyghur, such as “The Boy Who Asked flame” was published in 1993 by Xinjiang Youth Publishing House – 新疆青少年出版社.

Perhat Ilyas got awarded several times, in 2006 he got Xinjiang Young Writers award, in 2008, he got national Pegasus Award. His novel “The kids from Kroran” was translated into Chinese in 2006. He was a member of the Xinjiang Writers Association.

Some of his articles on the internet: “important symbol ‘Taranchi’ term in Uyghur terminology”, Alternative link

Some of his books on the internet:

Spotted Dog Running Along the Seashore

Spotted Dog Running Along the Seashore