Last week, when I was browsing through the news feed on my Facebook, I found a gem. It was not something that would give me a million of dollars but a blog that gave me sheer joy after reading it. ^_^
So the blog, created a month ago, that caught my attention features “inspiring Cambodian women” who have disputed the traditional belief that Cambodian women belong to the kitchen. I had a chance to email-interview the author of the blog, Sreyneath Poole, and inquired what was the incentive of bringing that blog into life.
1. Please tell us a bit about your personal and academic life.
I was born and raised in Phnom Penh. Before my mum’s second marriage, I lived near Psa Chas (Old market) and attended Norodom middle school and Chaktomok middle/high school. When my mum remarried in 2000, I was enrolled into International School of Phnom Penh (ISPP) until 2005 when my family and I moved to New York. I finished and received my high school degree in New York and moved to Redlands, California to continue my undergraduate education at the University of Redlands. Within the university, I am enrolled in a program called, The Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. This program allows me to create my own major. The title of my major is (as of right now) is “Living with political conflicts through the lens of international relations and Asian studies.” My major is largely built around after learning about the atrocity that happened in Cambodia more than thirty years ago.
2. What inspires you to start the project? What is the purpose of the “Inspiring Cambodian Women” project?
It came from an essay that I have wrote for a class about Cambodian women and discrimination particularly in the public service. After discussing the issue one conclusion I came to was that Cambodian women needed role models and somebody suggested setting up a web site, so hence my blog began. As I wrote on my blog, the purpose of “Inspiring Cambodian Women” is set up in the hope of inspiring the world, especially Cambodian women, to stand up and make their voice be heard; to be active in their community or in the world.
3. How have you gone about reporting on strong Cambodian women? What criteria do you use to select each to write about?
When I wrote my first post on “Inspiring Cambodian Women” I had a few women in mind. Since I did not expect many readers at the beginning, I thought that I should write about women who are my personal heroines. Some of the women that I truly admire are Mu Sochua, Chhom Nimol and Loung Ung. My dad also helped me by suggesting a few names to me. At one point I ran out of women to research about and showcase on my blog. I thought that my project was finished! As I tried to research on more Cambodian women to write about, I started to send my blog to friends and family to read and help spread the words about the blog. As the blog started to get more readers, I began to get requests from my readers to write about a women who they considered to be their personal hero or inspiring. My readers’ suggestions are pretty much my criteria on how I go about showcasing wonderful Cambodian women.
Writing this blog has been such a great learning experience for me. I did not realize how many courageous and incredible Cambodian women who are out there, against all odds, fighting to do something that they truly believe in hoping to make a positive difference in their community. Every time I research about these women, I become more inspired! Continue reading