BLOGS

Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace Trip to Cambodia

The Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace (ZCZP) trip to Cambodia organized by Georgetown University was an amazing opportunity to understand the nature of the Khmer Rouge regime which once ruled the country. It also allowed us to gain valuable knowledge about the present condition of Cambodian society. The trip included interesting excursions including visits of such incredibly important historical places as National Museum, Royal Palace, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, “The Killing Fields” and Angkor Wat. These contributed greatly to our understanding of Cambodian history. Similarly, trips to the Russian Market, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) and the meeting with the Parliamentary speaker helped us to gauge the country’s present situation.

 

 

 

 

  

 

The trip provided me a unique chance to understand how a society, devastated by a long lasting internal conflict, rebuilds itself and starts a new chapter in its history. Walking through the streets of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, I was incredibly surprised by how optimistic Cambodians are and how their society has adapted to the new non-communist reality. Coming from a former Soviet Union country, this trip was extremely useful for me as it opened my eyes to how a society with a regretful past should reform itself, and in spite of many negative factors, continue to develop and innovate. I was captivated by the Cambodians and the most amazing aspect was that while we were visiting the genocide sites, reminding us about the sad Cambodian history, nothing in the streets of Phnom Penh and especially Siem Reap suggested that this smiling and optimistic people felt sorry about their past. Their present and their future were more important for them.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

The program is extremely useful for the students majoring in International Politics or Culture and Politics as it provides them a firsthand experience of issues they study about. The students from other campuses in Education City who joined us in this trip also find these issues very interesting and some of them have even decided to take courses in Georgetown. I am infinitely thankful to Georgetown SFS-Qatar for such an amazing opportunity to explore this wonderful country and encourage other students to apply to these kinds of service trips.

by Dmitriy Frolovskiy  Mar 29th, 2012
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