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Andrew Lam
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Entries by Andrew Lam

Dear Mr. President, Human Rights Should Never Be Mere Lip Service

(5) Comments | Posted May 24, 2016 | 12:14 PM

President Obama visited Vietnam this week in hope of firming up his "rebalance to Asia" policy, which had faltered in recent years. It requires being friendly to dictatorial regimes in the region in order to shift their allegiances with China toward firmer ties with Uncle Sam. In the case...

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Q&A: First Openly Gay Vietnamese-American Mayor Makes Bid for Congress

(2) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 6:33 PM

Bao Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee brought to the United States by his parents as a child, was elected Mayor of Garden Grove, CA in 2014. Upon his swearing-in, he became the first directly-elected Vietnamese-American Mayor from the Democratic Party in the United States. He is also the traditionally conservative...

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'Daze of Justice' Explores Cambodia's Trauma of Silence

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 4:03 PM

In the early 90s while a graduate student in the creative writing program at San Francisco State University, I became a cub reporter and got a juicy assignment: Accompany a recent graduate from Stanford who once fled Cambodia as a child and write about his homecoming.

A scholarship boy, my...

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Young People Reveal Holes in the Foster Care Safety Net

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2016 | 10:15 AM

Liberty Dycus, 23, who was adopted from Ethiopia as a child, ended up in foster care after being abused. She says that when she emancipated at 19, she "never felt more alone."

She wishes there had been "someone who'd said, 'Let's make a plan for you. Let's get you in...

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From DACA Recipient to Rocket Engineer

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2016 | 10:53 AM

Henry Yi (not his real name) is studying mechanical engineering and dreams of working for NASA. The 19-year-old UC Berkeley student says he couldn't have done it without his parents -- not only because of the sacrifices they made to bring him to the United States, but because they helped...

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The Odyssey - From Vietnam to America: An Interview with Van-Anh Vo

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2016 | 11:02 AM

Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning composer Vân-Ánh Võ premieres her new musical epic this month in San Francisco, inspired by the experiences of the Vietnamese Boat People. Integrating traditional and new instruments, video, field recordings and interviews with survivors, The Odyssey–from Vietnam to America reflects the resilience of the human spirit and the price of...

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Today's Refugees Come Seeking Freedom, But They Come Too Late

(16) Comments | Posted December 30, 2015 | 2:43 PM

Political asylum is not what it used to be. Just a few decades ago, almost anyone who fled the manifest dangers and oppressions of the Soviet Union, Vietnam, China or Cuba could reasonably expect to find safe haven in the "free world".

The Cold War was on, and political refugees...

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U.S. Policy Shifts From Détente to Deterrence in the South China Sea

(62) Comments | Posted December 28, 2015 | 12:31 PM

In geopolitics, when détente fails, it's time for deterrence, and nowhere more so than in the South China Sea. China's expansionist designs on the region's strategic shipping lanes and untapped natural resources are turning it into the next global hotspot.

Last month, the U.S. - signaling its determination to assert...

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Rethinking the American Dream Ahead of the Paris Talk

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 5:54 PM

The other day I spotted an Asian woman taking things from a bin near downtown San Francisco where I live. It is not an unusual sight but the woman had on a conical hat and, upon inquiries, it turned out that she's from my own homeland, Vietnam.

Abandoned by her...

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Bánh Mì: The Rise of the Vietnamese Sandwich

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 1:13 PM

Since the Vietnam War ended 40 years ago, Vietnamese have shared much of their culture with the larger world. But many of us who fled as refugees could not have imagined that the Vietnamese sandwich, bánh mì, would one day become an international sandwich sensation, a culinary wonder of our...

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Internally Displace Persons: The Forgotten and Invisible Refugees

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 1:15 PM

It's a tale of hidden suffering of monumental proportions.

The estimated number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the world has reached a record 38 million, but that number is still by far an underestimation.

The figure comes from a recent report issued by the Geneva-based Internal Displacement...

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Wildlife Within Silicon Valley: Coyote Valley Open Space

(3) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 1:46 PM

One bright spot amidst the closures and budget cutbacks hitting California's State Parks is the opening of a new nature preserve in Santa Clara County. Called Coyote Valley Open Space, the preserve comprises some 348 acres of rolling hills, oak woodland and serpentine rock outcroppings. Its grand opening on June...

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On Father's Day: War, Memories and Moving On

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2015 | 1:34 PM

The essay below is adapted from my first book, "Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora." On Father's Day, as a child of a veteran, I am posting this in commemoration of all those who fought and live still haunted with memories of wars.

Home for the...

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Banh Mi Sandwich: The Perfect Marriage Between East And West

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2015 | 3:12 PM

Andrea Nguyen is an author, freelance writer, cooking teacher, and consultant. Her blog -- Viet World Kitchen -- explores culinary traditions of Asia and has been a major contribution to the American food scene. Nguyen wrote several cookbooks, including "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors," and...

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Nepal Needs More Than Tarps for Reconstruction

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2015 | 12:42 PM

Kishor Pradhan is a development anthropologist and a communications worker in Nepal. Dibya Gurung is a conservationist and gender and social inclusion expert who trains rural men and women for leadership roles. The couple has more than two decades of development and organizational experience, and since the earthquake has been...

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Vietnam War 40 Years Later: Capitalism Trumps Ideology

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 1:27 PM

Forty years have passed since the Vietnam War ended, and a parade was staged in Ho Chi Minh City, formally Saigon, to commemorate that date. Yet despite the fanfare, debates rage on both sides of the Pacific as to who really won and who lost that war. While the hammer...

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Top Environmental Agencies Release Diversity Data

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 2:35 PM

On April 22, 2015, which marked the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, Green 2.0, an initiative dedicated to increasing racial diversity across mainstream environmental agencies, released the names of over 25 of America's leading environmental advocacy organizations that voluntarily submitted their diversity data to

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Grandma's Tales: On Vietnam, Memories and Transformation

(1) Comments | Posted April 19, 2015 | 4:12 PM

"Grandma's Tales" is reprinted from Birds of Paradise Lost (Red Hen Press, 2013), my first collection of short stories. It was a finalist for the 83rd California Book Award, short listed for the William Saroyan Award, and a winner of the Josephine Miles Literary Award. It is posted...

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Catherine Karnow's Vietnam: Documenting a Changing Country

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 11:06 AM

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, the prestigious Art Vietnam Gallery in Hanoi, Vietnam, is showing "Vietnam: 25 Years of Documenting a Changing Country," a photo exhibition of National Geographic photographer Catherine Karnow's lifelong work in that country. Below is my introduction...

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Speech: 40th Year Anniversary of the End of the Vietnam War

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 3:10 PM

Below is a speech I gave last year at a high school where students raised funds to help flood victims in central Vietnam. As the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War is coming up this April 30, 2015, I am posting it to commemorate the date. It...

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