Re: Hello...Loung Ung, Author/Activist
- This sounds like a great book.
My mother lived in the capital of Cambodia and went
through the Khmer Rouge as well. That's why she
escaped and immigrated to the United States through
the sponsorships and kindness of various churches.
I am going to read this book because often times my mother
does not like to talk about those times. I can see the
pain in her eyes and simply do not want to ask her
because you can really see the tragedy and hardship
in her face as it has aged so much due to her experiences.
Thanks for the suggested read :)
In Generation-Mixed@yahoogroups.com, wintyreeve@... wrote:
I read "Lucky Child"..you may be interested in this book.
It is the memoir of Loung Ung, who is Chinese-Cambodian
and recounts her life surviving the Khmer Rouge then being
lucky enough to immigrate to America to live with her brother.
Loung recalls her yearning to return home,
and later returned to Cambodia to visit her family.
She also worked as a human rights
activist, working to ban landmines.
Loung Ung: Author, Activist for Cambodia
Loung Ung is a survivor of the killing fields of Cambodia,
one of the bloodiest episodes of the twentieth century.
Some two million Cambodians out of a population
of just seven million died at the hands of
the infamous Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge regime.
Loung was born in 1970 to a middle-class family in Phnom Penh.
Five years later, her family was forced out of
the city in a mass evacuation to the countryside.
By 1978, the Khmer Rouge had killed Loungâs parents and two
of her siblings and she was forced to train as a child soldier.
In 1980, she and her older brother escaped by boat to
Thailand, where they spent five months in a refugee camp.
They then relocated to Vermont through sponsorship
by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and
Holy Family Church parish in Burlington.
Loung returned to Cambodia fifteen years after her
escape for a memorial service for the victims of the
Khmer Rouge genocide and was shocked and saddened to
learn that twenty of her relatives had been killed.
This realization compelled her to devote herself to justice and
reconciliation in her homeland. Learning about the continuing
destruction being caused by the millions of landmines that still
litter the countryside in Cambodia led Loung to work to spread
the word about the dangers of these indiscriminate weapons.
Her memoir, First They Killed My Father: a Daughter of
Cambodia Remembers, published by HarperCollins in 2000
is a national bestseller and recipient of the 2001
Asian/Pacific American Librariansâ Association award
for "Excellence in Adult Non-fiction Literature" (APALA).
The book has been published in eleven countries and has been
translated into German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, French,
Spanish, Italian, Cambodian, and Japanese. Loung has been the
subject of numerous television programs, including documentary
film broadcasts on NHK Television in Japan and by WDR in Germany.
Loung is a featured speaker on Cambodia, child soldiers,
women and war, domestic violence, and landmines.
She worked for the Vietnam Veteransâ of America Foundation's
(VVAF) Campaign for a Landmine-Free World from 1997-2003,
prior to which she was Community Educator for the Abused Women's
Advocacy Project of the Maine Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Ms. Ung continues to serve as National Spokesperson
for the Campaign for a Landmine-Free World.
Loung has spoken widely to schools, universities, corporations,
Young Presidentsâ Organization (YPO), The Million Dollar
Round Table Plenary, and other symposia in the US and
abroad, including the UN Conference on Women in Beijing,
the UN Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa,
and the Child Soldiers Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Loung sits on the Advisory Board for Hewlett-Packard's
World E-Inclusion Initiative and The Cambodian
Association of Chicago, Illinois.
The World Economic Forum selected her as
one of the "100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow."
She has been featured in The New York Times, Washington
Post, USA Today, Boston Globe, and the London Sunday Times
and in Biography, Glamour, Jane, Ms., and People magazines.
Loung has been featured on National Public Radio's The
Diane Rehm Show, Talk of the Nation, Weekend Edition,
and Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Today Show with
Matt Lauer and Katie Couric, and has appeared on
ABC NEWS Nightline, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox, and C-SPAN.
She has recently been spotted on stage with such
notable personalities as Paul McCartney and Sheryl Crow.
Loung Ung (born 1970) is a Cambodian human-rights activist, an
internationally-recognized lecturer, and the national spokesperson
for the "International Campaign to Ban Landmines", which is
affiliated with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation.
Ung was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the sixth of seven children
and the third of four girls, to Sem Im Ung and Ay Chourng Ung.
Her actual birthdate is unknown; the Khmer Rouge destroyed many
of the birth records of the inhabitants of cities in Cambodia.
At ten years of age she escaped from Cambodia as a
survivor of what became known as the Killing Fields
during the reign of Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime.
After emigrating to the United States and adjusting
to her new country, she wrote two books which
related her life experiences from 1975 through 2003.
Today Ung is married and lives in Shaker
Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.
(There is much more to this article, it is very interesting)
- Hello Ash-Thanks for sharing your story. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.Loung Ung really describes what it was like for her to have flashbacks, and constant fear caused by living in hell under the Khmer Rouge then having members of her family killed. I remember one section where Loung talks about wearing a black outfit and having that remind her of what she wore in the Khmer camp--and how even wearing an article of clothing was such a painful, scary reminder. She also talks about the struggle to have those memories but there is no support or context to talk about them within the family--the family knows the pain, knows what happened but it is not talked about.First They Killed My Father: a Daughter of Cambodia Remembers is the first book where Loung Ung talks about her life under the Khmer regime, and that she was a child soldier.Lucky Child is the second book about Loung's life in America.Just like your mother, missionaries in America helped Loung, her older brother & his family come to live in America. There has to be some way of healing--my guess that it would involve something that is meaningful to your mother, something that gives her inspiration. But at the same time your mother has to be ready to take those steps... I am kinda dealing with similar issues with my Dad--a traumatic past, painful memories, not able to talk. Please know that I support you and your family. Am wishing you well.Blessings, Lynn