Life of Fan Lum
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Fossil fuel's 'double whammy' to wildlife - China.org.cn

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Fan is very concerned about this, because she loves wildlife, and would hate to see anything damage the natural beauty of the area she is from.

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DIARY ENTRY

This is my diary entry

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Diary of Fan Lum, July 8th, 2009

                Several frightening things have happened over the past few days near where we live. I think it began three days ago, on July 5th. There was some trouble in what is called the XUAR, or Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. That is where many Uyghur people live. The Uyghurs are an ethnic group in China, and they are frequently involved in conflict with the ethnic Han (which my family and I are) over issues of government and territory. They have not gotten along for a very, very long time, and there have been other clashes in recent years. A few days earlier, from what I hear, there was unrest much farther south, in Shaoguan. Some Uyghur workers were killed in the fighting, and a number of Uyghurs were angry at the government, which they felt had failed to properly protect the migrant workers. In Ürümqi, which is not far from where we live, some of the Uyghurs rose up in protest of what they felt was a great injustice. This was on July 5th. Soon, the protests turned into violence. When we first heard word about what was happening, most of this had already occurred, and no one was sure what was going to happen next or what was happening now. The protests weren’t massive at first, but eventually, as more and more showed up, there were thousands of angry Uyghur people in the streets. As the violence started to spread, people began to loot, damage cars, break windows, set fires, and fought with Hans on the street. Eventually, the police started fighting back against the protestors as the violence became worse. At this point we heard from one of our neighbors who owns a television set that there might have been some people killed. Eventually, the police began to regain control of the city and the violence started to die down, but it lasted for a few more days, and many people were arrested. They say that some people are going to be executed for what happened. We later heard that the death toll from the fighting might be quite high, maybe over one hundred and fifty. It is sometimes difficult to tell what the truth is during events like this, because where we live there are only a few television sets that the owners have to fight with to get a station, and they only come in at certain times. My uncle used to own a radio, but it only got strange stations and certain government-issued bulletins from far away, where the speakers usually had an odd dialect, and the reception was always very poor. The radio stopped working some time ago, and we do not own a telephone or receive any newspapers, though some of our neighbors do. The government is known to distort the truth sometimes and to be untruthful about things like how many were hurt or killed, as I have already heard several people suggest. Some say the violence is going to continue in other places, and I am frightened. Many, if not most, of the people killed were probably Han, and my family is concerned that we might be in danger. A few of our distant neighbors are ethnic Uyghur, but they are all very nice people, and I know we have nothing at all to fear from any of the Uyghur people we know. I do not understand why this fighting is going on at all. My grandmother is quite old, and she says that she remembers when she was a little girl that Uyghur people were often poorly treated, and like me, she did not understand why. It all makes me very sad, and I hope that the ethnic Han and Uyghur and all of the other groups in our area are going to get along better in the future.

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China May Revamp Rural-Land Rights as Part of Reforms: Economy

China May Revamp Rural-Land Rights as Part of Reforms: Economy | Life of Fan Lum | Scoop.it
China Politburo member Yu Zhengsheng
said the Communist Party would consider “unprecedented”
economic reforms next month, as a top research agency proposed
changes to rural land ownership rules and social security.
Mason Dockter's insight:

Fan Lum's father is very interested in this story. Their neighbors and community know fairly little about what exactly might happen if reforms are passed, but many believe it will have a significant affect on their livelihoods.

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China Replaces Top General in Volatile Xinjiang

China Replaces Top General in Volatile Xinjiang | Life of Fan Lum | Scoop.it
China has replaced the top army general in the volatile northwestern region of Xinjiang following what the government called a terrorist strike in the heart of the capital Beijing, state media reported.
Mason Dockter's insight:

This general was a very important person in the area that Fan is from, Xinjiang Province. The government is not releasing all of the details yet, but people there are eyeing this story very attentively.

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Saudi Men Quietly Help Campaign for Women to Drive

Saudi Men Quietly Help Campaign for Women to Drive | Life of Fan Lum | Scoop.it
A growing number of men are quietly helping steer a campaign to end Saudi Arabia's ban on allowing women to drive, risking their jobs and social condemnation in the conservative kingdom.
Mason Dockter's insight:

This does not actually affect Fan directly, both because she is in another country (which permits women to drive - Saudi Arabia is the only one that doesn't) and the family does not actually own a car, in addition to the fact that she is not actually aware of this story. However, Fan's family would like to own a car, but her father would be hesitant to let Fan or her mother drive it. Her father does treat her mother with respect and fairness overall (in part because of the fact that she contributes economically and is the domestic backbone of the house), but Fan knows women in her area who are not always well treated by their husbands, and she wonders why this is.

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Beijing’s Pollution Problem Is Becoming Hard to Ignore | VICE United States

Beijing’s Pollution Problem Is Becoming Hard to Ignore | VICE United States | Life of Fan Lum | Scoop.it
It’s hard to describe the feeling of looking out the window and not being able to see buildings that you know are there through the smoke, or looking down a subway platform and seeing the other end ob…...
Mason Dockter's insight:

Fan Lum is very concerned about the effects of pollution in the cities of China. Her mother has some issues with her lung health after a poorly-treated lung infection when she was young. Also, Fan would like to go see a larger city in China, but she fears the damaging effects of the pollutuion, which she has never been exposed to in her comparatively clean-aired home in the rural northwestern part of China.

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