Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Be the Change- A Conversation w/ Arn Chorn Pond

Available beginning Monday, April 28, tune into Be the Change to listen to a special audio podcast event, Preventing Genocide, Promoting Peace: A Podcast Conversation With Arn Chorn Pond. The podcast features Arn talking to three Facing History and Ourselves students who ask him about how his personal history affects the choices he has made. Arn also offers advice on what you can do to help raise awareness about the current genocide in Darfur.

Resources on the Cambodian Genocide:

Time Magazine Article - What Makes Us Moral:

Watch the podcast and visit the PBS site. Answer the following questions:
1. What was the Khmer Rouge?
2. When did the Cambodian Genocide take place?
3. How did it affect Pond's life? What happened to his family? How did he survive?
4. How did Pond's story affect you?

To learn more about the Cambodian Genocide, watch "The Killing Fields."


tylermi w said...

The Khmer Rouge was a political party in Cambodia, which was later, renamed the Democratic Kampuchea. The notorious political group was somewhat of a communist party so to speak, which was led by a man by the name of Saloth Star known more commonly as “Pol Pot”. He though was eventually imprisoned and overthrown just a short 2 years after he started in the regime in 1975. This group was responsible for an estimated 1.5-2million deaths due to forced labor, starvation, and even execution of the Cambodian people. The deadly organization ruled for a short time from 1975-1979 but remained afterward as a small resistance group in Cambodia. Pol Pot finally dissolved the group in 1996 due to a peace agreement.

The Cambodian Genocide took place from 1975-1979, which covered all the years in which the Khmer Rouge was in power. During this time millions of residents where removed from the city and forced to leave residential areas and all be placed on farms for forced labor. No one was exempt, the old, young, sick, and disabled where all expected to work. The schools, hospitals, and every other business were abandoned. The residents however where at first told to evacuate the city due to fears of an air strike by the U.S. and that they would only be gone for a few days. This however proved to be extremely false when people found themselves there permanently with seemingly no hope of return.

Well Arn was separated from his family when he was only nine years of age and he was forced to go into the killing fields of Cambodia for many years. He did what ever he could to stay alive but yet still try his best to keep his sanity. He was also a very skilled flute player who would play songs on his flute quite often during his imprisonment. He eventually escaped through a near by jungle and made his way to safety at a refugee camp. He now is older and is supporting peace in various ways. Apparently his parents where imprisoned and most likely killed.

I enjoyed the presentation very well it really was interesting to really learn a little about Arn and what the went through as a young child but then how it had changed him so that he loved peace. I enjoyed the thought he had when he said without love the whole world would be destroyed in 1 minute. He had a really strong message and a very common message of love and peace but he put it in a way, which was very true. He said that he believes that there is good and bad in everybody but you could appreciate how he says he only sees the good in people. He never ounce said he blamed anyone for what happened in the Cambodian Genocide but rather he seemed to view this more as a mistake and not as something done with outright hate.

(I had some difficulty hearing the pod cast clearly for these computers have bad speakers and the podcast wasnt that loud so some of my info maybe just a bit off or i may have heard something wrong.If this is the case ide be glad to go back over it or look a little further into the subject)

Lea Hansen-George said...

tyler - I am so glad you spent the time listening to this podcast...I think you are the first person to do so. You did a good job explaining the events leading up to Pond's eventual escape to a refugee camp ultimately leading to his rescue and transport to the U.S.

Pond's story is quire remarkable. I am inspired by his strength and commitment to peace and social justice.

You may want to see the movie, "The Killing Fields." I no longer have a copy of the film but I imagine your local library or video store would have a copy. I think it is one of the most powerful movies I have ever seen.

I do have some links to the film, "The Killing Fields" on the blog.

Very well done! This satisfies another project requirement!

You are doing a fantastic job so far. I am very impressed with your work.