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Loung Ung

The Womens Conference

How She Empowers Others

Born to an affluent Cambodian father and a Chinese mother, Loung Ung was only five years old when the Khmer Rouge stormed into her city. Four years later, in one of the bloodiest episodes of the twentieth century, some two million Cambodians—out of a population of seven million—had died at the hands of the infamous Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge genocide. Among the victims were both Loung’s parents, two sisters and twenty other relatives. Today, Loung has made over thirty trips back to Cambodia, and as an author, lecturer and activist, she has dedicated twenty years to promoting equality, human rights, and justice in her native land and worldwide. Her memoir, First They Killed My Father: a Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, published by HarperCollins in 2000, is a national bestseller and recipient of the 2001 Asian/Pacific American Librarians’ Association award for “Excellence in Adult Non-fiction Literature”. The book has been published in eleven countries and has been translated into German, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, French, Spanish, Italian, Cambodian, and Japanese.

Loung has been the subject of numerous television programs and documentary films for NHK, ARTE, and Nightline. Her second book, Lucky Child, was published by HarperCollins in April 2005. Both books are widely used in high schools, colleges and community reading programs. In recognition of her work, The World Economic Forum selected Loung as one of the “100 Global Youth Leaders of Tomorrow.” She has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, London Sunday Times, Glamour, and other publications. Loung has also appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including CNN International, Talk of the Nation, Weekend Edition, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and The Today Show. Loung has shared her messages of activism and peace at numerous schools, universities, and other forums in the U.S. and abroad; including Taipei American School, Singapore American School, UN Conferences on Women in Beijing, Against Racism and Discriminations in Durban, South Africa, and Child Soldiers in Katmandu, Nepal.

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