By Edward Wong
The New York Times
MIAOMIAO LAKE VILLAGE, China — Ankle-deep sand blocked the door of their new home. Pushing bicycles through the yard was like wading in a bog. The “lake” part of Miaomiao Lake Village turned out to be nothing but a tiny oasis more than a mile from the cookie-cutter rows of small concrete-block houses.
Ma Shiliang, a village doctor whose family was among some 7,000 Hui Muslims whom the Chinese government had brought to this place from their water-scarce lands in the country’s northwest, said officials promised “we would get rich.” Instead, these people who once herded sheep and goats over expansive hills now feel like penned-in animals, listless and uncertain of their future.