First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (P.S.)
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One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung's family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed.
Harrowing yet hopeful, Loung's powerful story is an unforgettable account of a family shaken and shattered, yet miraculously sustained by courage and love in the face of unspeakable brutality.
(S.P., a Cambodian from Holland). Today the Dutch TV has shown and made reportage with Ms. Loung Ung story. We had tears and we did recall all our pains from the past of the horrible war and killing. “‘Ms. Ung, she is marvelous to explained her heart and pains, our tears and our joy came out at the same time because there are people like you still who are fighting for the innocents and powerless Cambodians.’” Ms. Ung, she is marvelous to explained her heart and pains, our tears and our joy
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receive. The harder we work, the thinner and hungrier we become. Still we plant and harvest while the trucks come and go with our crops in order to continue the war. While Ma and Pa help the war effort in the fields, Kim returns home each night from his work as the chief’s errand boy bruised and injured from his own war. Handing the leftover food to Pa, Kim talks loudly about his day as Ma touches his bruises, whispering softly, “Thank you, my little monkey.” Without a word, Pa takes the food and
comes home and tells me I am not going to die, that it is only a bad cut. I trust Pa and believe him. He leaves me and goes to speak to Ma. Ma avoids looking at him as he approaches her. My parents almost never fight. Pa is always so much in control of himself that. I have never seen him lose his temper. This time he speaks loud, angry words to Ma. She sits in the corner of the room, arranging and rearranging our black clothes and our food bowls. Standing, Pa hovers over her. “Why did you do
Leaning over, I put my arms around her tiny shoulders and rest my cheek gently on her head. She does not move or struggle but allows me to hold her. Ma comes back with a bowl of rice and permission to take a few hours off. “It’s past lunch, but I got this for you from the chief.” I take the bowl and we walk back to our hut. “The chief gave you time off?” “Only a few hours. He is not a bad man.” “Ma, Geak still looks really sick,” I say once we are sheltered in our hut. “I know, I’m very