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Part 3 of Cambodian immigrant Theary Kem’s story


This is the third in a series of video interviews with Theary Kem, an immigrant from Cambodia who now lives in Shoreview. In this installment, Kem describes how he and two friends escaped from a Khmer Rouge labor camp.

Kem’s story, shown in four parts, is the first of an ongoing MinnPost video series — called Why We Are Here — featuring immigrants who tell why they left their homelands to come to Minnesota. The final video of the series on Kem will be posted Tuesday, Dec. 18.

In Part 1, Kem talks about Cambodia during the war in the early 1970s. When the Khmer Rouge took over in 1975, Phnom Penh was evacuated and Kem was separated from his family and taken to a labor camp. In this installment, Kem describes life in the camp.

In Part 2, Theary Kem tells how he survived in a Khmer Rouge labor camp after being separated from his family. Many of those around him died of illness, starvation or execution.

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