Zoya Phan Was Born In The Remote Jungles Of Burma To The Karen Tribe, Which For Decades Has Been Resisting Burma S Brutal Military Junta At Age , Her Peaceful Childhood Was Shattered When The Burmese Army Attacked So Began Two Terrible Years Of Running, As Zoya Was Forced To Join Thousands Of Refugees Hiding In The Jungle Her Family Scattered, Her Brothers Went Deeper Into The War, And Zoya, Close To Death, Found Shelter At A Thai Refugee Camp, Where She Stayed Until When She Fled To The UK And Claimed Asylum There, In A Twist Of Fate, She Became The Public Face Of The Burmese People S Fight For Freedom This Is Her Inspirational Story This is really an incredible book While the Rohingya recently entered the news, the military dictatorship in Burma has been oppressing minority groups for decades This is a really stark depiction of a refugee Zoya who made it out of Burma, and the steps that she had to take to do so I think one of the most valuable parts of the book is how she sets up the peaceful life she lived in Burma prior to being forced to flee her village and her emphasis on the common desire of refugees to be able to return to Burma at the end Her description of the gradual slope of further and further loss makes it all the devastating as you want her to be able to hold onto the security and stability her family labors to create in each new place, only to watch them have to relocate again Phan has also led such an interesting life one of the few refugees receiving funds to attend university in Thailand, making the dangerous journey into rural Karen lands, and kind of stumbling into being an advocate for the Karen people Phan also benefits from the fact that Burma isn t something that most people know about, and it s a very troubling narrative to hear However, I think this book would really benefit from a second edition that updates what has occurred in Burma since then Phan very much praises the democratic efforts of Aung San Suu Kyi, who now faces calls for her Nobel Peace Prize to be revoked because of her lack of effort to stop the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Since this book was published about 10 years ago, Phan doesn t have the chance to address any of this, and I would love to hear her perspective Especially because Phan continually discusses the move towards democracy for Burma, and I really wonder what she would think of efforts so far I will probably end up stalking her social media to figure it out, but I would love to see a second edition of this book that includes current events and her work as an activist for Burma.Also, I think they should ve kept the title as Little Daughter what it was in the UK It fits so well with the content of the book and her emphasis relationship with her father In contrast, Undaunted feels less personal Also, the phrase Little Daughter is in the book about a million times It just fits. .This is an amazing autobiography on a variety of counts Most of all I learnt so much, and all of it related by an outstandingly charming and intelligent woman, who has had some incredible experiences some of them marvellous, and some of them terrifying I knew virtually nothing about Burma Myanmar before reading this book , and now I feel I have sat down over several days, and talked about it with the most enlightened guide possible Zoya expresses herself wonderfully, and so much about Burma comes alive for us its history, culture and people Although this is an autobiography, Zoya was brought up by parents who were resistance fighters against the Burmese dictatorship, and threaded throughout the book are issues and perspectives relating deeply to the politics of her country We experience Zoya s life as a child in the jungle, as a refugee in Thailand, as a student in Bangkok, and as a campaigner in the UK It is an extraordinary story and one told absolutely from the heart view spoiler For the first third of the book we get to experience the idyllic bliss of childhood in a small village in the jungles of Burma We get to learn about all that wonderful otherness and difference, which makes reading about people in other countries so fascinating Zoya came from a deeply loving family and a deeply supportive community and it is great to read about the care she found in both family and society.We get to learn about all about the Karen people of Burma, plus we learn about the presence of all the other ethnic groups which make up this country The Karen people don t even speak Burmese They had no written language until Britain made Burma a colony 1824 1948 , and gave them the Burmese alphabet to write with.A major issue in the book is the brutal Burmese dictatorships, and their persecution of the Karen and other ethnic people even the persecution of Burman ethnic group the main ethnic group in Burma People were being driven from their homes, to become Internally displaced persons , with nowhere to live in their own country The methods of the Burmese army involved brutal killings, torture, abduction of children to become child soldiers this happened in Burma than in anywhere else in the world , slavery and the destruction of crops and homes Often people were starving We are shown the terror of being bombed and chased away from where you live, out into the jungle, and eventually the long march as refugees, over the border into Thailand We learn what it is like to be a refugee What it means to be a legal refugee recognised by Thailand and the UN versus what it is like to be a ghost refugee recognised by no one, and with access to nothing.We also get to experience Zoya s enormous good fortune, and ability to rise up out of the refugee camp, due to her unusual intelligence, and the winning a George Soros scholarship to the University of Bangkok All the time she was at university though she had to pretend to be Thai One of the downsides of being a refugee is that officially you are not allowed to leave the camps She did incredibly well there, especially considering that when she arrived she didn t even know how to use a computer In fact everything about Bangkok and city life was new to her the cultural gap between village life and life in the city is huge and our respect for Zoya goes from strength to strength as we see her determination to come to terms with this whole new experience.After university she was offered a promising job with a telecommunications company, where she had been placed for work experience and done very well But instead she chose, along with some other Karen students, to go back into Burma and document what was happening to her people It was pretty horrendous, and the persecution continued to be terrible.She then came to the UK as an illegal immigrant to do an MA in Politics and Development After many legal battles, in 2007, she was granted refugee status Over here she became heavily involved in campaigns for the people of Burma, and is to this day working for Burma Campaign UK She is still very active, and very much a spokesperson for the people of Burma hide spoiler This book is hugely important it belongs among the ranks of Night by Elie Wiesel Zoya Phan is a Burmese refugee of the Karen ethnic group It is astounding how long the genocide in Burma against the Karen and other ethnic groups has been going on It is mindblowing the atrocities that people will commit and force other people to commit on their behalf in order to hold onto power and money This is nothing new, unfortunately Zoya s story is sadly all too familiar After reading this book, I felt like I finally had a better understanding of the conflict in Burma I remember the monks marching a few years ago and not really understanding the context of it Undaunted is easy to read and very accessible I would not hesitate to teach this in a high school class in a unit on genocide along with your pick of Holocaust books, Rwandan books, and Tree Girl by Ben Mikaelson The horrifying and brutal violence that has occurred every day for years in Burma is not described graphically but your imagination of it will haunt you late into the night After reading this book, I felt very inspired by Zoya Phan This book is not merely an account of one person s suffering, but it speaks for an entire population of people who have no rights who are, as Zoya calls them, ghosts Refugees, asylum seekers, prisoners, individuals with no possibility of leaving a place where they cannot survive Zoya s story brings to light the intense pain of living without dignity and without rights Books like this reaffirm my faith in literature that, even in the face of a sadistic and brutal dictatorship, the truth will come to light through the stories that people tell of their own humble lives If you don t have time or the inclination to read the book, you can check out the work that Zoya and her siblings are doing at wwww.phanfoundation.org. A truly amazing story of survival I recommend it to anyone who wants to know about the atrocities being commited on the various ethnic groups within Burma by a military regime that runs the country on fear, persecution and the bloodshed of innocent people This book really bought home to me what is happening in Burma.The military government attacking, killing, mutilating, raping, starving its own people They have been doing so for many decades and WE are letting them get away with it by continuting to fund the Generals It is appalling We have all heard about Aung San Suu Kyi, who in 1990 won the election but was placed under house arrest by the regime, and the shocking conditions she endures and that her people continue to suffer under such appalling conditions and have done so for so many years People fleeing their villages, living in fear in the jungles and even in fear within refugee camps, where the junta can attack at any time It sickens me that a peaceful people are not allowed to live in peace This book evoked in me a range of emotions, I wept, I was angry and appalled, I felt helpless and not educated enough about the plight of the Karen and other ethnic groups I also found that I got to have a laugh along with Zoya and her sister, especially working the washing machine Zoya was surrounded by strong parents who worked for the resistance and that shaped her life and set her path That Zoya escaped and is alive to continue the good work of her father and family to to help the Karen and other ethnic groups of Burma is truly amazing To know her own life is in danger because of the work she is doing to help her people and speaking out against the Military Government and she continues to do so is truly inspirational.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Little Daughter book, this is one of the most wanted Zoya Phan author readers around the world.
- 352 pages
- Little Daughter
- Zoya Phan
- 15 October 2018 Zoya Phan