Pheap Thon: Stories from the Khmer Diaspora

First Edition

Pheap Thon (ភាពធន់), or "resilience" is the ability to recover from or adjust to struggle. Each of our “resilience” stories are unique to our personal experiences, and so are the ways in which we process and express them.

All the Women in me are Healing

Kimberly Lieu


Heath Chim


Oyg Tdwag

Cambodia on the Bayou

Charlie Burns-Bahruth


Clarity Lim


Jory Horn

Dignity of a Refugee

Sokunthea Oum

Sun, Moon, Stars

Sophia Lee

One Duck Egg

Sokunthea Oum-Fite

Zodiacs and Joss Paper

Clarity Lim

Khmer or Khmao Enough?

Vannary Kong

Khmer Resilience

Ty Chum


Lawdenmarc Decamora


Joan Chun

Purple Shorts

Johny York

Good Cop, Bad Cop, Even Worse Cop

Lang Srey

A Love Letter to a Brown Asian Boy

Charlie Burns-Bahruth


Randy Kim

Let’s Change

Sambath Meas

Return Flight

Learkana Chong


Nielson Sophann Hul

Is This Grief

Pichchenda Bao

Keep on Dancing

Sophia Lee

Steam Rising

Clarity Lim

Arom - Capturing Cambodia

Kimberly Liu

The Safest Period in Human History

Pichchenda Bao


Rosen Yin

Audio and video


Chha’nai Naah

Chanchettra Ly

Its Not Supposed To Happen // Against The Odds

Emad Rahim


CALAA Zine Submission (1).jpg
knowledge is resilience
— Krystal Chuon

Cooking recipes

Family Recipes

Alina Nuth

About the Editor

Christine Su


Christine Su has worn many hats: college instructor, academic counselor, grant writer, program director, study abroad leader, community builder, and consultant, and has worked in the United States, Cambodia, and Indonesia.  She currently serves as a coordinator for Student Success and Support Programs and Career Services at the College of San Mateo, where is she also an adjunct faculty of ethnic studies. Her research efforts and community activism have focused on history, culture, and identity in Southeast Asia.  She has worked as a curriculum consultant for the Department of International Studies at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and an advisor to the School of Genocide, Conflict and Human Rights Studies at the Sleuk Rith Institute (affiliated with the Documentation Center of Cambodia).  

Prior to relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, Christine served as the Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Ohio University.  In this position, she spearheaded new study abroad and exchange programs and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with institutions in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia, in addition to managing the everyday operations of the Center, including administering the master’s program in Southeast Asian Studies.  Christine instituted the first-ever undergraduate Introduction to Southeast Asia course and certificate program in Southeast Asian Studies, and successfully applied for Ohio University to become a host institution for the Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant program for Malaysian language for the first time.  She also managed the annual Khmer Studies Forum, a three-day international conference on Cambodia that attracted scholars, artists, and activists from throughout the United States, Cambodia, the United Kingdom, and Australia.  

Christine is the founder of the Khmer Generations Project (, a digital stories initiative that seeks to document the stories of Khmer of all generations through online oral history.  She is a member of the Association for Asian Studies, the Asian American Studies Association, the International Association of Genocide Scholars, NAFSA, and Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education, and serves on the board of directors of the Cambodian Americans for Rural Education (CARE) Foundation, the editorial board of the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, the board of directors of the Southeast Asian Community Center of San Francisco, and the advisory board of the Cambodia Town Film Festival in Long Beach.

Christine earned her Ph.D. from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.