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Le Ly Hayslip is the author of the best-selling books When Heaven and Earth Changed Places and Child of War, Woman of Peace, memoirs of her painful and ultimately triumphant journey from a tragic childhood in war-torn Vietnam to her new life in America. The books were adapted into the film Heaven and Earth by the award-winning director Oliver Stone and released by Warner Brothers in December 1994. Hayslip worked as a technical advisor and consultant on the film to bring her intensely personal and spiritual story to the screen.

Hayslip’s life story was recently released in the documentary From War to Peace and Beyond, produced by Palomar College Television for the 2006 Bridge of Peace Awards. It received three Emmy Awards at the 33rd annual Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards event. In 2006, Raintree Publications selected Hayslip as one of four Asian Americans to have their biographies used in American schools to help American children learn about inspiring Asian America stories. She is in good company with well-known Asians Yo-Yo Ma, I.M. Pei, and Kristi Yamaguchi.

Hayslip arrived in the US in 1970 and became an US citizen where she has become a successful businesswoman. In 1986, Hayslip returned to her native homeland, Vietnam, and was stunned by the devastation, poverty and illness left by the Vietnam and American War. Through her will and compassion she founded and ran the East Meets West Foundation in 1987, a non-profit, humanitarian relief and development organization to help rebuild Vietnam with village’s schools and universities, general hospitals and many clinic facilities. As Executive Director/CEO of her foundation, she is able to build and run schools, health clinics, medical outreach facilities, clean water projects, revolving loan programs and provide homes for several hundreds of orphaned children. After the success of her first foundation, Hayslip established the Global Village Foundation, a non-profit organization with the mission to train impoverished villagers to reproduce tradition arts and handcrafts, thereby creating jobs and preserving the rich cultural heritage of central Vietnam. Hayslip now imports these traditional beautiful arts and handcrafted goods into the US. To acknowledge well known peacemakers throughout the world, Hayslip created a Bridge of Peace Awards ceremony annually through the Foundation to honor people like Oliver Stone, Ron Kovic, John McCain and John Kerry. As a writer who advocates reconciliation and peace, Hayslip has helped to heal the wounds of war between the American and Vietnamese people through her books and humanitarian work. Her two books and the movie have promoted a better relationship between the two countries, and in recent years, America and Vietnam have not only fully established normal diplomatic ties but the US also signed the trade agreement with Vietnam. In November 2000, Hayslip, on delegation with former President Bill Clinton, visited Vietnam as part of the major “achievement” of her humanity works and healing purpose. Today Hayslip lectures at universities across the globe and leads international groups/delegations in cultural and anthropological studies at her Ky La village in Vietnam to help rebuild her birthplace. She continues to travel frequently to Vietnam to collect the world-renowned hand carved sculpting, arts and crafts from her home village, famous Marble Mountain, and ship it to the US. In addition, her foundation recruits American and Vietnam veterans, college students and US citizens to volunteer their time and expertise to help rebuild the war-ravaged village of Ky La. Hayslip is currently working on her third book. She continues to travel frequently to Vietnam from her hometown of San Diego to do humanitarian work.

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