Struggling with loneliness & disconnect: 4 Asian lives

Also: Cloning your pet
Dec 5, 2021
CNA Insider
Good morning.
18-year-old Sammy Sahiddil in the Philippines lived half his life away from his family.

When he was just nine, he was lured to join the Abu Sayyaf militant group as a child soldier.

He remembers, “I killed innocent people. They cried to be spared. I was confused. When I could no longer bear the situation, I took the chance to escape when a clash broke out.”

Sammy was found by the Philippine Marines and sent to a boarding school to rehabilitate.

Altered Lives CNA
Earlier this year, Sammy embarked on a long journey to be reunited with his family in Sulu – along the way seeking to make peace with his tumultuous past.

Loneliness, disconnect and how circumstances change lives – these are the recurring themes in the new CNA documentary series, Altered Lives.

Like rising Bollywood star Rytasha Rathore who comes to terms with the end of a four-year relationship in the face of public and personal pressures.

There’s also Pei Li, who talks candidly about getting Parkinson’s disease in his mid-thirties, and a brain surgery that attaches wires to ‘jumpstart’ his motor skills.

In Singapore, 37-year-old Nadia Daeng quits her successful career to look after her mother who suffered a stroke, and she’s feeling the brunt of being a full-time caregiver.

Filmed over the course of a year, these intimate and emotionally engaging stories hold an important lesson for us all – that it’s okay to seek help when the going gets tough.

In the midst of life’s responsibilities, remember to make time for yourself. What better way than with a new season of the award-winning Remarkable Living.

It features a curated selection of lifestyle visionaries in craftsmanship, gastronomy and design, including Thailand’s first female goat cheesemaker and Singapore’s cheongsam maestro.

Also, get exclusive access to unique destinations (let’s feed the travel bug!), and spectacular houses in Asia.

Shamala Rajendran
Executive Editor, CNA Current Affairs

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