HOF023: Sam An EAM

In 1979, Sam An Eam with his pregnant wife and five children trekked towards the Thai border, away from war-torn Cambodia. They built a raft to cross a crocodile- infested river, only to find themselves caught between the battlegrounds of the war.

During this time, they gave birth to a child, whom they named Samnang; “lucky” in English.
Their whole family would soon fall ill, and without medication, each child from the second youngest to the second oldest passed away. Four children gone in twenty-two days. When they arrived at the refugee camp, reality had not set in as they searched for their lost children amongst the crowd being unloaded from trucks into the camp.

After three application denials to leave the camp in 1985, they finally received an acceptance letter to Canada. They are grateful to all the agencies and organizations who have contributed to their immigration process and are now living a balance Cambodian and Canadian life.