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Cambodian RefugeesDuring the later years of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the American and South Vietnamese military sought to cut off community military supply routes which moved along the so-called Ho Chi Min Trail through the forests of eastern Cambodia, a country which at that time proclaimed itself to be politically "neutral." Cambodia, however, was ineffective in defending its military neutrality. The U.S. and Vietnam supported the creation of an unpopular, anti-communist military regime in Cambodia. When American involvement in Southeast Asia waned and, in 1975, collapsed, a Communist force called the Khmer Rouge swept through the country and seized its government.
The Khmer Rouge then imposed what became popularly known as the "killing fields," in which unspeakable brutality was carried out by the insurgents and their supporters against the Cambodian population. Their purpose was the restructuring of Cambodian society, and the destruction of all the features that characterized Khmer life and culture prior to their ascendancy. Through the most drastic of measures, the Khmer Rouge intended to create a supremely egalitarian agrarian society patterned after the most extreme strains of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In the process, through starvation, disease, and murder, they killed 1.7 million Cambodians— or approximately one-eighth of the total population — between 1975 and 1979. So pervasive was their rule during those years that few Cambodians were able to escape.
In 1978 and 1979, after a series of minor conflicts and skirmishes, the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia and quickly captured the capital city of Phnom Penh, forcing the Khmer Rouge into the hinterlands, where they continued to wage guerilla warfare for several years. In the midst of the general confusion, hundreds of thousands of Cambodians moved westward toward the Thai border and into Thailand. In 1979, an international response led to the opening of several refugee camps within Thailand for some 160,000 refugees; another 350,000 lived in Thailand outside of the camps, and some 100,000 fled to Vietnam, where the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) provided them with assistance. Between 1978 and 1993, Cambodian refugees from the UNHCR camps were admitted to the US, Australia, France, Canada, and several other countries. The US admissions program for Cambodians largely concluded in 1985, and only small numbers have entered the country since then.
Afghan RefugeesAfghanistan has always been an attractive place for political powers of different historical periods and was either invaded or dominated by various countries for hundreds of years. Twenty-nine years of war in Afghanistan has been devastating and traumatizing for all Afghans. The majority of Afghans who came to the US are refugees and/or torture survivors. Many of them have been affected by War, the dictatorship of The Taliban and other oppressive regimes, resulting in loss of at least one family member. These refugees who mostly suffer from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder are often re-traumatized during the process of their resettlement in the U.S. Aside from addressing the emotional conditions, such as loss and bereavement, depression and insomnia, nightmares and flashbacks, issues like poverty, racism, sexism, and prejudice, lack of adequate and culturally competent social services must be addressed in the process of their recovery.
Iranian RefugeesIran ’s geopolitical situation and wealth of natural resources has been of great historical significance and has a direct relevance to the current situation of Iran, and displacement of millions of Iranian refugee and immigrant. The impact of many invasions and domination of foreign powers and/or domestic dictators throughout history, convinced Iranian people to seek change one more time in 1979. The 1979 revolution succeeded in toppling the Shah's despotic monarchy but led to the establishment of yet another dictatorship, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iranian refugees have come from a variety of backgrounds into the U.S and have their own specific issues and experiences due to their class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and political views. These refugees fled the fundamentalist Islamic Republic of Iran as ex-political prisoners, torture survivors, underground human right activists, feminists, members of the Kurdish ethnic minority , Bahais and other religious minorities. These refugees suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and resettlement related issues.
Bosnian RefugeesBosnian refugees suffers from severe PTSD symptoms. They are the survivors of the ethnic cleansing campaign that took place during the 1992-1995, targeting Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats throughout areas that were controlled by the Bosnian Serb Army. The ethnic cleansing campaign included unlawful confinement, murder, rape, sexual assault, torture, beating, robbery and inhumane treatment of civilians; the targeting of political leaders, intellectuals and professionals; the unlawful deportation and transfer of civilians; the unlawful shelling of civilians; the unlawful appropriation and plunder of real and personal property; the destruction of homes and businesses; and the destruction of places of worship.  This genocide resulted in the murder of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims as well as the mass expulsion of another 25,000–30,000 Bosnian Muslims, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovia.
Keo's StoryKeo is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia. Her husband was dragged out of their hut and murdered in front of her eyes. Afterwards, his body was hung with a sign hanging behind his back, which said “War Slave”.
read Keo's story
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