Kahar Barat was born in Yili in 1950. He earned his M.A. degree in Turkology from the Central University for Ethnic Minorities (Minzu University of China) in Beijing; he received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1993.   He later taught at Yale University and other institutions.
Barat's recent book, named Maymaq Uyghurlar ("Warped Uyghurs", in Uyghur) discusses the plight of Xinjiang's artists, who find themselves in the position of packaging the Uyghur culture for consumption by outside audiences.
- Uyghur Historian Kahar Barat Discusses Xinjiang History, Part 1, an English translation of Kahar Barat's interview by Wang Lixiong. (The Chinese original: 新疆的古代王朝与宗教转换, "The old kingdoms of Xinjiang and religious conversions")
- Kahar Barat - faculty profile, Yale University
- NELC to suffer the loss of key language professors
- Barat, Kahar (2000), Barat, Kahar, ed., The Uygur-Turkic biography of the seventh-century Chinese Buddhist Pilgrim Xuanzang, ninth and tenth chapters, Volume 166 of Indiana University publications. Uralic and Altaic series, Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, ISBN 0-933070-46-2