Jewish attorney Phil Weiner brought home to Boston this summer something very special: a medal of the Royal Order of Sahametrei, with a certificate signed by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
It is the highest recognition that a foreigner can receive in Cambodia.
Previous recipients of the order included Charles de Gaulle, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, and Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia.
“I don’t know if I’m the first American [to receive it], but I assume I’m the first Jew,” said Weiner. “I felt so appreciated that they thought so much of my [work] that they petitioned the government [to give me this award] – which is a process that takes months.”