Memoir Research
Consider the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY AND HOW as you read or watch the resources selected to help you understand the conflicts and reflect on how it impacted the life of the charactor/narrator of the memoirs.
  1. What are the causes of the conflicts?
  2. What are the effects of the conflict on the effects character/narrator?
  3. What questions do you need to research to understand each memoir? (i.e. explore the background of the crisis to culture and its conflicts)


First They Killed My Father

by Loung Ung

  • What background information do you need to know to better understand where Loung Ung grew up?
  • Where is the country that Loung Ung is from? See Culturegrams article on "Cambodia" (Library Website>Databases>Culturegrams TYPE OR LOCATE ON MAP>CAMBODIA (
  • When in Cambodian history does Loung Ung's memoir take place?
  • Who is the Pol Pot and why do you need to know who he is to understand Loung Ung's story?
  • How does he impact the lives of Loung's family?:
  • Who or what is the Kahmer Rouge and how does Loung's father react to their coming to Phnom Pehn?
Watch this video to better understand how Cambodia's Kahmer Rouge and Pol Pot impacted the lives of Cambodian's such as Loung Ung and her family.

More about Cambodia

  • Cambodia: A Land in Transition. Aims Multimedia, 2003 . Full Video.Discovery Education. Web. 24 October 2012. <>.You will be asked to log in to Discovery Education. Your log in username is: school email address Your log in password is: 6 digit locker combination.

Reflect & Discuss

  1. Consider the statement, “war turns men into ghastly agents of terror.” Does this statement apply to the both the Khmer Rouge and the author?
  2. What role, if any, do citizens of humanity and their governments have in trying to end violent regimes who commit acts of racial cleansing and genocide?
  3. How has surviving this terrifying experience filled with loss impact the author's life?
  4. How has surviving defined who she is today?


The Other Side of the Sky

by Farah Ahmedi

Farah Ahmedifarah-ahmedi-other-side-of-the-sky.jpg

The Other Side of the SkyOther-side-of-the-sky.jpg
Farah Ahmedi, the victim of a land mine when she was just twelve years old, tells about her childhood in Afghanistan, a country trapped in war her entire life, and discusses the challenges she has faced as a result of losing her leg, and in trying to adapt to living in the United States.

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Reflect & Discuss

Read the article below and consider how cluster munitions are endangering lives of civilians.
"Cluster Munitions." Cluster Munitions. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. <>.
  1. How are cluster munitions endangering the lives of civilians?
  2. What long term effect do mines have on a country and the lives of its civilians like Farah Ahmedi?

Culture Shock Article

Read the article below on culture shock and consider how this may have applied to Farah when arriving to Germany, or when her and her mother arrived to America.

Culture Shock
1. What is Culture Shock? How does it affect individuals?
2. What are the symptoms? Was Farah or her mother suffering from this?
3. How did this effect Farah in the process of Americanizing herself?

Sudan - 1980s

They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky

Presents the stories of three young men who as children in the late 1980s were forced from their homes by war in the Sudan and traveled, along with thousands of other boys, nearly one thousand miles in search of refuge, surviving hunger, illness, and human and animal predators. (Destiny Catalog Summary)

Cause-Effects Of War

"The Effects of War on Children." War Child. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. <>.