CMSOnAir | Channy Chhi Laux
August 2, 2019
The Khmer Rouge led by Marxist leader Pol Pot came to power in Cambodia in 1975. For four years, the regime emptied cities and forced virtually all of Cambodia’s population into labor camps where people were starved, overworked, tortured, and executed. It is estimated that nearly two million people died.
This two-part CMSOnAir series features an interview with author, chef, and manufacturer of Cambodian foods, Channy Chhi Laux. In her memoir, Short Hair Detention, Chhi Laux chronicles the suffering her and her family endured under the Khmer Rouge. Only 13 years old when the Communists took over, Chhi Laux was torn away from her family and forced to work in a remote labor camp. She and her family were eventually resettled in Lincoln, Nebraska. Despite not knowing a word of English when she arrived in the United States at the age of 17, Chhi Laux quickly flourished, graduating high school, obtaining undergraduate degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earning a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from Santa Clara University. She worked in Silicon Valley as an engineer in the aerospace and biotech industries for 30 years before starting her own business, Angkor Cambodian Food, and publishing her memoir. In the first episode, Chhi Laux discusses her memoir and surviving under the Khmer Rouge. In the second episode, Chhi Laux shares her experiences of being resettled in Nebraska as a refugee and adjusting to life in the United States.
For more information on Channy Chhi Laux visit her at channychhilaux.com. Chhi Laux’s memoir, Short Hair Detention, is available for purchase on Amazon.