Thursday, September 18, 2008

Somaly Mam, A Cambodian Heroine

One of the remarkable women in the world, Somaly Mam, makes this special Seattle visit (Friday, September 19 at 7:30 pm, Elliot Bay Bookstore). A native of Cambodia who now divides her time between there and France, she writes of the horrific years of her early life, story which leaves one wondering at how it was survived, much less transcended and turned around for the vital, life-saving work she does today.

In The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine (Spiegel & Grau), a book that's been a critically-acclaimed bestseller wherever in the world it's been published, she tells of an early life of sexual slavery—a life countless girls and young women in southeast Asia have been forced into.

The book tells riveting stories—and itself is part of the work that Somaly Mam has put herself to, as cofounder and president of AFESIP (Acting for Women in Distressing Circumstances) in Cambodia, and the Somaly Mam Foundation here in the U.S.

"The horror and violence perpetrated on young girls to feed the sex trade industry in southeast Asia is personalized in this graphic story ... This moving, disturbing tale is not one of redemption but a cry for justice and support for women's plight everywhere." - Publishers Weekly.

"Somaly Mam's story is an account of how humanity can sink to the lowest levels of depravity, but it is also a testimony of resistance and hope. She lifted herself out of a well of terror and found the determination and the resilience to save others. Somaly Mam is my candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize." - Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

(As written in press release by Molly Jester, President of Stop Exploitation Now)

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