Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sam Sotha's story in words & drawings

In The Shade Of A Quiet Killing Place - A Personal Memoir by Sam Sotha (published by Heaven Lake Press, June 2007)
Sam Sotha's story of how he and his wife, Sony, endured and survived the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia is a remarkable one. Like so many of his compatriots, they overcame severe hardships and dangers after they were forced to leave their Phnom Penh home in April 1975. And their story is one of an incredibly strong bond between husband and wife and their equally strong faith in their Christian beliefs. Sam wrote his memoir in 1981 whilst in a refugee holding camp prior to their resettlement to the United States a year later. It describes in graphic detail, supplemented by his own drawings, of their evacuation from Phnom Penh, imprisonment, hard labour, separation, hospitalization and their daily life during those tortuous years. Throughout they found comfort and strength in each other and in their faith.
Following the Vietnamese liberation and the birth of their daughter, they decided to head west to rejoin family in Battambang and passing through Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, they eventually took shelter with other refugees in one of the Thai-Cambodian border camps. The book's Epilogue brings us up to date and provides a fitting and moving finale to the story. Today, Sam Sotha is secretary-general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC), having returned to Cambodia in 1995. His unstinting efforts on behalf of others in the United States and Cambodia are a shining example to all, and his story, a celebration of how two people were able to overcome overwhelming odds to survive and prosper.
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Two new books from the White Lotus publishing stable feature two of Angkor's favourite temples in the eyes of many visitors and give a detailed insight into their history and meaning. They are Ta Prohm: A Glorious Era in Angkor Civilization by Shri Pradeep Kumar Kapur and Sachchidanand Sahai, and The Bayon of Angkor Thom, also by Sachchidanand Sahai.

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