Zoya Phan Revealed
About Zoya Phan
What is your birthdate?:10/27
High school and/or college:High School - Noh Peo refugee camp, Bradford University and University of East Anglia
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera, Shakira
Favorite movie:Rambo 4, Love Actually
Favorite television show:Friends, West Wing, Little Britain
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. Fear, difficulties, struggle, no security, responsibility, lucky.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. My father always said: “Freedom will not be given to us, we will have to work for it.”
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. One of the best moments of my life was when I graduated with an MA in Politics and Development from University of East Anglia. My whole life it was such a struggle to get an education. First in Burma, then in the refugee camp in Thailand. To get an MA from a British university had seemed like an impossible dream.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. That the suffering of my people will go on and on.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. I want to go home. To be among my people in the mountains in Karen State.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. My father named me after Zoya Kosmodemyansky, a young Russian woman who joined the partisans to fight the Nazi’s invaders. He hoped that I too would fight for my people’s freedom. For me my father is my inspiration, and I want to follow in his footsteps, working for freedom, peace and democracy in my country.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Naw Zipporah Sein, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and Dr Cynthia Maung
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
- Q. What do you regret most?
- A. I wish I could have done more for my parents before they died. I also wish I could ask them more about our family history, as we are cut off from family in Burma.
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. I wish I could play the piano.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Successfully campaigning for the British government to double aid to Burma.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. My friends complain that I talk about politics too much.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. Again from my friends, that I am good listener, and give good advice.
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. I am happy with what I am.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. I am told I am very friendly
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. I would like to meet former British Prime Minister ,Clement Atlee to ask him why his government betrayed the Karen and left us to suffer decades of oppression.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Campaigning for human rights and freedom for Burma
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. A teacher
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Good heart, commitment, honesty
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Rice with roast pork!
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. Blowing in the Wind-Bob Dylan, Freedom-Paul McCartney, Moe Poe Mu-Dah Eh Poe, Ma Nay Kawthoolei-Poe Soe
On Books and Writing
- Q. How did you come to write Little Daughter?
- A. When doing my campaign work at Burma Campaign UK, I learned how people responded to my personal story and how it motivated them to learn more about Burma. I wanted to write a book on my life as a way to tell people about what is happening in my country, and was very lucky when Damien Lewis offered to help me write this book.