“MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE” ARN CHORN-POND TELLS HOW HE ESCAPED DEATH BY PLAYING FLUTE FOR THE KHMER ROUGE
Arn Chorn-Pond is an internationally-renowned human rights activist, community organizer, and musician who inspires change through his incredible stories of surviving the Cambodian Khmer Rouge genocide. When the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia in 1975, Arn was sent to a children’s labor camp. There, he escaped death by playing his flute for the camp guards. He later reached a refugee camp in Thailand, where Reverend Peter Pond adopted him in 1980. In the U.S., Arn began a series of community rebuilding projects and founded several organizations. In the mid-1990’s, he returned to Cambodia to find his family and his music teacher. He “discovered” other artists who had survived the war and were living in difficult conditions; Cambodian Living Arts was born. Arn was one of the first recipients of the Reebok Human Rights Award in 1988 and is also the recipient of the Anne Frank Memorial Award, the Kohl Foundation International Peace Prize and two honorary doctorates for peace and humanitarian service.