On December 15, the Uzbek Ambassador to the United States, Javlon Vakhabov, awarded the President of Turkestanian American Association, Abdullah Kwaja with Dustlik Order, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said.
On December 11, a presidential decree was issued on awarding Abdulla Kwaja the Dustlik Order for dedicated service in preserving national values and traditions, uniting the fellow countrymen in the United States, and strengthening friendship ties between the peoples of Uzbekistan and the United States of America.
The Turkestanian American Association was established in Philadelphia in 1958 and is the first non-governmental organization representing the interests of immigrants from the Central Asia and assisting in their successful integration into the American society.
The Association aims to maximize the recognition of the Central Asian culture, cultural heritage, and identity and strives to acquaint the American public with the religious, cultural life, and traditions of Turkistan, especially Uzbekistan. %90 of the members are of Uzbek origin.
The Association's President Abdullah Kwaja is a US citizen. His father is from Uzbekistan. In the early 20th century, during the political turmoil in Turkestan, he first moved to Afghanistan and then to the USA.