In 1975, with the flames of civil war advancing toward Cambodia’s capital city, a young refugee named Khatharya Um fled the country on the eve of its takeover by the Khmer Rouge. In the four years that followed, an estimated two million people—about 25 percent of Cambodia’s population—died from disease, starvation, forced labor, imprisonment, and execution. My Cambodia follows Khatharya Um—now a professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley—nearly 40 years after her escape as she travels back to Cambodia and explains both the genocide’s history and its profound legacies.
“It’s very difficult for many of us Cambodians. Those memories don’t go away…But it is important to share the story, because the worst that could happen is that no one remembers this.”
— Prof. Khatharya Um