The Uyghurs are a Turkic people who originally lived in Siberia as nomads. For centuries, the Uyghurs were an important link between China and the rest of the world. They lived along the Silk Road and worked as caravan drivers transporting Chinese goods.
Today, it is estimated that around 8.6 million Uyghurs are located in Xinjiang, northwestern China, and in Central Asia significant Uyghur minority communities are found in Kazakhstan (250,000), Kyrgyzstan (150,000) and Uzbekistan (50,000). Islam has been the dominant religion of the Uyghurs since the tenth century.