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To the Chicago Reader:

Thank you for the recent article about the Cambodian Buddhist Temple garden in Uptown. I have been a member of the temple since I arrived in the United States in 1984 at the age of 16. I came here with my sister. My parents passed away during the Killing Fields period. We live with my aunt in Chicago. As a youth, I remember the meditation garden with very fond memories. It was in this garden that I learned how to meditate and about the Buddhist faith. As refugees, we had next to nothing. Our land was taken away in Cambodia and some of my family members were killed. Yet here in Chicago, we did have the garden, which provided us some peace and security. Now, after a series of government mistakes, our garden and our peace and our security have been taken away.

I appeal to the conscience of the landowner Mr. Stevens to sell our land back. I will pray for him and hope he will make the correct and compassionate decision.


Saroeun Soeun

Member of Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Uptown