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Chath pierSath

In 1979, Chath PierSath and his family crossed the Cambodian border into Thailand to escape the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in his homeland. The family’s first stop was the Aranyaprathet Refugee Camp. With the help of his brother and aunt, he and his sister came to America in 1981, and lived first in Boulder, Colorado. He is a graduate of the World College West in California, with a degree in international service and development. He later earned a master's degree in Community Social Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In recent years, he has lived in both Cambodia and Lowell, where he works to improve each of his communities.

Chath’s writing, acting, and painting are strong reflections of his commitment to telling the story of the Cambodian War and of the rebuilding of Cambodian culture. His poem “A Letter to My Mother” appears in Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memoirs of Survivors, compiled by Dith Pran and edited by Kim DePaul (Yale University Press, 1997).  His paintings were included in the exhibition “The Spirit of Cambodia ... a Tribute” at Providence College in 2002 and in “Emerging Voices/Healing Souls: Contemporary Cambodian Artists in the Aftermath of War,” a 2003 exhibition at the  Brush Gallery and Studios in Lowell.  His poetry appeared in the first issue of The Bridge Review: Merrimack Valley Culture in 1997.

When in Cambodia, Chath keeps in touch with his American friends by e-mail, telling of his every day experiences in that country. This Bridge Review feature includes both a selection of his paintings and a selection of e-mail messages written between mid-April 2003 and mid-May 2003.


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