Cham Cambodia Documentary Trip

"The Khmer Rouge's goal was to have Cham kill Cham, Cham spy on Cham, and Cham report on fellow Cham, and to have the Cham erase their customs and traditions, shut the doors of the mosques, and forbid prayer, fasting, alms giving and various religious ceremonies. They forced the collection of the Quran, the sarong and the fez. They also forced the consumption of pork, made females cut their hair short, and refused to allow the tradional covering of the head." Ysa Osman, Documentation Center of Cambodia

Out of 1292 Cham families in Svay Khleang before the genocide - only 190 remained after the Khmer Rouge were ousted.

Video Subjects:
-The Khmer Rouge's lasting effects on the ethnic Cham Muslims in Cambodia
-The grand opening of Givelight's orphanage home in Cambodia

-The basic needs of the heavily impoverished Chams (I will be building wells and handing school supplies out on behalf of Moonlight Humanity)

Needs for the trip: Better video and audio equipment

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been given an amazing opportunity to visit Cambodia this summer (leaving this June 17th) as part of GiveLight's grand opening for its beautiful orphanage home in Kampong Cham.

I stumbled upon this awesome opportunity while making their Dreams of Africa video for GiveLight. To be frank, editing the GiveLight video was a life-changing experience for me and has empowered me to use my video skills to spread awareness and promote change. When I learned that GiveLight was just about to open their state-of-the-art orphanage home in a Cham-populated area of Cambodia I knew I had to! Just to see the smiles of the children who will be part of the home will be enough happiness for me to last a lifetime and some more!

My family is from a Cham lineage, an ethnic minority group residing primarily in Vietnam and Cambodia. In Cambodia it has been said in some academic circles that over half of the Cham population were massacred by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970's (numbers range but some estimates go as high as 500,000). The effects of this atrocious, but relatively unknown genocide are still felt to this day. Cham culture is also on the verge of fading into extinction, and I feel it is critical to preserve what is left. This is where my experience with video comes into the scene.

I will be going around from Cham family to family recording their experiences under the brutal Khmer Rouge. I will also be interviewing the Cham youth on how the genocide has affected them. On the later leg of the trip I will be recording the grand opening of GiveLight's Cambodia orphanage home and will try to capture the excitement of the children who will reside there. I will also be building wells and handing out school supplies on behalf of Moonlight Humanity while recording the basic needs of Chams in Cambodia (as most live in impoverished conditions as a direct result of Khmer Rouge's takeover).

For this trip I have my trusty Canon T3i and the lens necessary for the trip. I would like to invest in a proper shoulder stability mount (~$500), a quality audio receiver and two microphones (~$800), a sturdy video tripod (~$100), reflectors (~$80), hard drives (~$200), camera batteries (~$60), lens filter (~$50), flash memory (~$60), etc. Also I hope to cover any other unpredicted costs that may come up during the planning and within the trip as well as provide financial compensation to families that I interview. If I receive more than the $2500 I'll give use the extra money to build more water wells and purchase school supplies.

I look forward to unearthing and sharing these tragic, but inspiring stories, building new water wells, providing children with school supplies, and showing the beautiful children in their new GiveLight home! The best cameras can never capture the emotional significance of providing a caring home to a child.

If you would like to make a donation larger than $200 and would like it to be tax-deductible, please write a check to:

Address: GiveLight Foundation
PO BOX 62362, Sunnyvale, CA 94085

(also please let me know if you decide to write a check so I can update the financial standing of this project)

More information on the GiveLight Cambodia Home:

and Moonlight Humanity:

Thank you!

Saifuddin Amath


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Saifuddin Dean Amath 
San Jose, CA
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