First They Killed My father, Lucky Child

First They Killed My father, Lucky Child

Lou Ung, a survivor of the Cambodian genocide, has written two books based on her life. The first book, first they killed my fatherFirst They Killed My Father, is about how she endured the work camps and trained as a child soldier at five years old under the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge ruled during 1975-1979. Nearly two million people (25 percent of its population at the time) died under the dictator Pol Pot who died in 1998 at age 73. This history and its capitol is known as the Killing Fields.

There is also a book and movie called The Killing Fields based on the experiences of a Cambodian and American Journalist.

A memorial is based out of the capitol Phnom Penh to honor those who were lost and as a reminder of the tragic past in Cambodia’s history to never forget. It is a place to educate both Cambodians and foreigners who visit Cambodia and built around the mass graves that had been discovered from this period. A Khmer Rouge survivor has also built a Killing Fields Museum in Seattle, Wa.

Lou Ung’s second book is Lucky Child that tells the story of the aftermath of her lou ung lucky childtraumatic childhood and the transition as a new refugee to the United States.  Lou Ung has been through much, more than most see in a life time. She has been able to take her life experiences and turn them into her life’s work starting with telling her story and then her activism.

There is now a new movie being made based on her story with Angelina Jolie will be directing for Netflix along with her adopted son Maddox, also Cambodian, working behind the scenes. Both Angelina and Lou Ung met back in 2001 and wrote the script together. They have become friends. Lou Ung says she completely trust Jolie with the telling of her story.

Filming will start in November of 2015. Jolie has stated that this “will be my tribute to the strength and dignity of all Cambodian people.”

I also was honored to meet and talk with Lou Ung. A small woman in stature, but mighty in heart and spirit. She has continued to make me  proud to be Cambodian. Please check out books and movie when it comes to Netflix.

Pakistan’s Mother Theresa, Inspiring Story From Poverty to Humanitarian.

This man is brave and authentic. What he says about governments and many involved with religions has shown to be true, not just in Pakistan, but all over the world. One man out of poverty is recognized as the Mother Theresa of his country reaching out to the most underserved populations. Learn more about him and his work.

Colonial Cambodia’s ‘Bad Frenchman’, Children Stolen From Cambodia

Colonial Cambodia’s ‘Bad Frenchman’, Children Stolen From Cambodia

Who are the stolen children from Cambodia? They are called Métis, children born from French and Cambodian parents during French Colonial rule in Cambodia. It is a sad and shameful time in history and the lost stories that need to be told.

Here are some statements made  from a series of letters written by the country’s Résident Supérieur in Cambodia, François Baudoin, regarding what to do about the métis:

“There is no doubt that by letting the number of métis increase, we risk seeing the creation of a class of individuals who, living on the margins of both French and indigenous society, would not miss any opportunities to become a source of annoyance and embarrassment to our administration.”

Another, from 1916, reads:
“[…] we must definitively break the link which attaches these children to their Indochinese origins, and even go as far as making them lose all their memories of Indochina.”

*Quotes above gleaned from article, please read recent article to learn more about their story- The Story of Cambodia’s Stolen Children (Recent Article)

Here is a related book I’ve recently learned about and will be reading in the near future. You can purchase it in book form or download for purchase or rent through kindle.

Colonial Cambodia’s ‘Bad Frenchmen’

It is a book about the history of French Colonialism researched from Cambodian and Vietnamese archives

Here is one statement from a review of the book-The Wild West in the Far East – Surprising (sometimes shocking) history at its readable best

You can read more about the book, it’s review, and purchase it here