Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Michelle Obama meets students in Siem Reap

Michelle Obama meets students in Siem Reap

Michelle Obama and Bun Rany
First lady of the United States Michelle Obama and Cambodian first lady, Bun Rany, greet students at a high school in Siem Reap province on Saturday morning. Photo by Ethan Harfenist.

Michelle Obama meets students in Siem Reap

First lady of the United States Michelle Obama implored a group of young female Cambodian students on Saturday morning to follow her lead and stand up against forces holding back their ambitions to strive for an education.

During the first stop on her visit to Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, Obama listened to a group of 10 girls explain hardships they faced, such as having to balance work with school, and pushed them to push against the odds.

"People told me I wasn't smart enough for college, law school. I ignored them. You must too," she told the students at Hun Sen Prasat Bakong high school in Siem Reap.

"I have two daughters your age; good to know women halfway around the world are just as smart and capable."

Obama was flanked by Cambodian first lady Bun Rany, wife of the country's long ruling prime minister, Hun Sen, and was promoting the Let Girls Learn initiative that is a focus of her trip.

Through an interpreter, Obama and Bun Rany discussed the importance of women's education, with the latter stressing that girls need to know that they don't just have to stay in the kitchen.

Children carrying US and Cambodian flags escorted Obama and Bun Rany to the school, where one girl presented her with an original poem as a greeting.

Follow @phnompenhpost on Twitter as we livetweet US first lady Michelle Obama's visit to Siem Reap

MOST VIEWED

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Bumpy road for local ride apps

    Ride-hailing services seem to have grown into a dominant player in the capital’s transportation sector. Relatively unknown and little used in the Kingdom at the beginning of this year, services like PassApp, Grab and ExNet are now commonplace on Phnom Penh streets. However, the

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in