Abdulrahim Turkistani was born in Saudi and grew up in the UK. After getting a Bachelors in Computer Systems and Engineering and a Masters in Communications Systems and Signal Processing at the University of Birmingham and Bristol, he began working as a Petroleum Engineer for an international oil company. His experience with this company has enabled him to travel the world, meet his wife, and even travel to Antarctica.
He was sponsored by his company to go to Antarctica as part of its effort to find a solution to climate change. Firstly they were to understand the importance of Antarctica for the livelihood of our planet, and secondly he was to participate in the unique Leadership-On-The-Edge programme.
After spending two weeks traveling Antarctica with a team, he was struck by the natural beauty and also saddened by the effect humanity has had on the environment. “Only when you witness this surreal landscape with your own eyes, and when you hear from sustainability experts who joined us on the expedition about the fragility of this eco system do you understand the importance of protecting this place, starting by changing the way you live and then helping other to change too.” He adds, “It is also important mention that our religion has taught us to live a balanced life and to economize and not to waste. If we followed these teachings, we will be able to help solve many of the issue of Global warming.”
Abdulrahim is also an artist. He loves creating abstract art and has used atlas fabric as inspiration for a project. He held an exhibition in Amsterdam, where he sold some pieces to an art collector and is hoping to have permanent displays in the future. He hopes that he can help to preserve Uyghur culture through his art.
His advice to Uyghur youth is to integrate and become an outstanding citizen wherever you find yourself. “Never forget your heritage, and always try to be an Ambassador for our people. We can preserve our heritage from anywhere in this world, as we are living in a global village. With social media and the internet, the world has become more reachable and we can make a difference.” He encourages youth to focus on getting a good education and excelling in your community and work. “We are all citizens of the world. We are not just Uyghurs, but we are also members of this planet and we have the right of freedom and expression. And we have many opportunities in life for us to thrive and prosper.
Check out Abdulrahim’s artwork at www.abdulrahimturkistani.com