When Phuong* saw the translators and I getting off the tuk-tuk, she quickly fixed her hair and walked towards us brandishing the warmest of smiles. Welcoming us with the few words of Khmer she knew, she then invited us to sit in front of her house. It was a typically hot day in Phnom Penh, and all the families of the district were waiting for their usual customers. We were in one of the suburban areas of the capital, far from the expat life of the centre, where the air is thicker and the dust longer in settling. In the neighbouring garment factories thousands of women were waiting for their lunch break to buy rice and perhaps a new dress for the upcoming Chinese New Year. “This month my business is very good,” Phuong told us. “Khmer people are buying more clothes as we approach the festivity.”
By Nesima Aberra
With the world still reeling after the tragic Paris attacks, there has unfortunately been a huge backlash against refugees and immigrants in Europe and the U. S. The rhetoric around refugees has been incredibly hate-filled and inflammatory from a grassroots level all the way to the political elite.