Monday, August 9, 2010

Undaunted by Zoya Phan

Phan is part of the Karen ethnic group of Burma, most of whom are animists.  She tells her own story of her childhood in the lush jungles of Burma.  Her family, along with thousands of others of the Karen tribe, escaped to Thailand to avoid the ethnic cleansing of the ruling junta.  She was in the refugee camps for years until she was able to obtain scholarships that allowed her to go to college in Bangkok.
Upon graduation, Phan went back to see her homeland.  She saw the devastation.  She was told of the atrocities.  The Burmese government found out of her journey and placed her on a hit list.  She was later able to escape to England (on a forged passport) to continue her studies.
Phan's father was part of the resistance movement and was assassinated while Phan was in England.  She is committed to carrying on the work of trying to establish a free Burma.  
Reading this book was not easy.  It is difficult to read about one ethnic group's hatred of another and the carnage that results.  Yet Phan's story is compelling and needs to be heard. 
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