History and Opinion

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  • “People were trying to kill us”

    “People were trying to kill us”

      Monet A. Thibou recalls the traumatic day of September 11th, 2001, explaining how she could have almost lost a parent at the age of six. She also emphasizes how important it is for the new generation to understand what happened on this day. Storyteller: Monet A. Thibou Date of Story: 11 September, 2001 Location […]

  • Witnessing the liberation of Sinjar

    Witnessing the liberation of Sinjar

      Hejar Berenji describes the moment of celebration the day the Peshmerga defeated the Islamic State to retake the city of Sinjar/Shingal, in Iraqi Kurdistan. Storyteller: Hejar Berenji Date of Story: 13 November, 2015 Location of Story: Sinjar, Kurdistan Region of Iraq Location: Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq Date: 29 January, 2016

  • Crossing from Gaza into Egypt in a smuggler’s tunnel

    Crossing from Gaza into Egypt in a smuggler’s tunnel

    Sam Morris recounts his experience climbing into a 2x2m (and precarious) smuggling tunnel along the Philadelphia corridor dividing the Gaza Strip from Egypt in 2011–in a time when Israel frequently targeted the tunnels with airstrikes. Egypt subsequently relaxed border controls later that year and most of the tunnels, which had killed at least 140 children used as […]

  • My family called for help as the Islamic State took over

    My family called for help as the Islamic State took over

    Yezidi activist Pari Ibrahim, describes how her relatives in Sinjar, Iraqi Kurdistan, called her family in Germany to let them know the region had fallen to the Islamic State. Storyteller: Pari Ibrahim Date of Story: 2 August, 2014 Location of Story: Netherlands; Sinjar, Kurdistan Region of Iraq Location: Netherlands Date: 31 October, 2015

Team picks

  • Extra security screenings because of birthplace

    Extra security screenings because of birthplace

      Raving Barwari was late to high school on September 11th, 2001, and arrived to find upset classmates and teachers. He was asked to write an essay about the events as they unfolded, and one of his teachers, a native New Yorker, couldn’t bring himself to teach as he followed the news. Raving explains that […]

  • My grandma’s Holodomor experience

    My grandma’s Holodomor experience

      Maryna Kostikova remembers her grandmother’s stories about eating plants to survive a man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1933. These stories permanently affected Maryna’s relationship with food. Storyteller: Maryna Kostikova Date of Story: 1933 Location of Story: Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Soviet Ukraine Location: Vienna, Austria Date: 18 June, 2016 Citizen Historian: Mykhaylo Palahitskyy

  • We tried to confuse the Soviets as they took Prague

    We tried to confuse the Soviets as they took Prague

      Ambassador Tariq Aqrawi remembers the end of the Prague Spring, when the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia to end eight months of democratic reforms. He and other Kurdish exchange students took part in efforts to confuse the Soviets as they took the capital. Storyteller: Tariq Aqrawi Date of Story: 21 August 1968 Location of Story: Prague, Czechoslovakia Location: Berlin, […]

  • The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!

    The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!

    Susan Smith recounts an extraordinary escape from behind the Iron Curtain–the very day Berlin was divided, 13 August, 1961–as she returned home from a year abroad living in Poland. Storyteller: Susan Smith Date of Story: 13 August, 1961 Location of Story: Warsaw, Poland; East Berlin, German Democratic Republic; West Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany Location:  San Antonio, Texas Date: […]

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How my family became refugees after WWII: 52.520007, 13.404954
The Kurdish refugee crisis took me to Kurdistan in 1991: 36.206293, 44.008870
Hiding in a cave as Saddam\'s planes attacked: 37.133389, 43.130989
Crossing from Gaza into Egypt in a smuggler\'s tunnel: 31.302022, 34.304810
Kurds greeted U.S. troops with flowers in 2003: 36.552188, 44.346771
Why Paul Bremer failed as a leader: 36.317338, 44.138260
Ensuring the U.S. did not try to disarm the Peshmerga in 2003: 36.031332, 44.527588
Addressing the traumas of genocide: 36.314216, 41.862443
Trying to rebuild the Yezidi community inside temporary camps: 36.974033, 42.849426
My family called for help as the Islamic State took over: 36.314216, 41.862443
The U.S. military arrested my father and locked him away for 22 months: 35.949559, 44.962103
The United States bombed my village before they hit Ansar al-Islam: 35.255660, 46.255982
Postponed indefinitely: cleaning up the Haitian earthquake: 18.594395, -72.307433
I quit my job to help my fellow Yezidis: 36.348868, 41.909409
I asked the UN Security Council to recognize a genocide: 40.750578, -73.968549
The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!: 52.507593, 13.390369
A historic agreement between Kurds and Arabs - March 1970: 33.312168, 44.318848
Freedom of speech makes a brief appearance in Egypt: 30.044460, 31.235676
Falling in love with a Nazi prisoner of war: 48.255730, 13.044320
Sneaking across the wall dividing Jerusalem - with a pizza: 31.768456, 35.252380
Yasser Arafat insisted I eat egg whites: 31.898043, 35.204271
Witnessing the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis: 35.696284, 51.418491
Learning from Kurdistan about Catalonia\'s independence: 41.385064, 2.173403
Witnessing 1.5 million people demand independence from Spain: 41.392071, 2.181129
How I crossed into war-torn Syria from Iraq: 37.077093, 42.393494
Witnessing the bombing outside the U.S. consulate in Erbil: 36.235613, 43.989129
Think twice before leaving home: 48.187195, 16.373490
What was missing at the UN General Assembly: 40.749041, -73.967699
I witnessed the beginning of the insurgency in Kurdistan after Saddam: 35.465576, 44.380392
Volunteering during the European refugee crisis - 2015: 48.187195, 16.373490
How people escape from the Islamic State\'s largest city, Mosul: 36.518466, 42.732697
Yezidi women are being sold as sex slaves by Islamic State fighters: 36.336700, 43.100052
Befriending a concentration camp survivor (Part 1): 48.257125, 14.500137
Befriending a concentration camp survivor (Part 2): 48.257125, 14.500137
Exploring a WWII concentration camp with survivors: 48.257125, 14.500137
A chance meeting with a Schindler\'s List survivor: 48.257125, 14.500137
Surviving Nepal\'s worst earthquake since 1934: 27.828754, 85.169449
\'I felt the ground would crack open and erupt like a volcano\': 27.780022, 85.277421
I saved my granddaughter before our roof collapsed: 27.780022, 85.277421
Bracing for an attack on Washington after Pearl Harbor: 38.907192, -77.036871
I was the last Westerner to speak to Khrushchev: 55.755826, 37.617300
We tried to confuse the Soviets as they took Prague: 50.081023, 14.427992
After Chernobyl, the Americans incinerated my jeans: 50.450100, 30.523400
Meeting the “Father of Isis” in rebel-controlled Syria: 36.383814, 38.867594
Liberating Kobane is one thing, rebuilding another: 36.890343, 38.350011
When ISIS launched a surprise attack on Kurdistan: 36.239843, 43.648682
Lost in Mosul, right before the Islamic State arrived: 36.356648, 43.164000
My brother gave his eye for Barzani: 36.670484, 45.046434
“If they can kill him, there is no hope”: 45.668555, 13.104086
When the first Balkan refugees arrived in our class: 45.668555, 13.104086
Discovering secret anti-Soviet guerrillas: 39.223902, 9.122095
Witnessing the liberation of Sinjar: 36.314216, 41.862443
Why couldn’t they protect Borsellino?: 38.115688, 13.361267
Chemical weapons smelled like fruit: 35.165500, 45.989608
We would be killed at the hospital: 36.239097, 44.885550
Surviving Saddam\'s napalm attack: 35.165500, 45.989608
I wondered where they would shoot me: 35.165500, 45.989608
A minute can be an eternity: 27.717245, 85.323960
Sleeping outside during the aftershocks: 27.717245, 85.323960
Fuel crisis hit harder than the earthquake: 28.394857, 84.124008
The human cost of the fuel crisis : 28.394857, 84.124008
Kurdistan, united to fight: 36.905980, 38.391724
Looking for the person that saved us from Auschwitz: 47.497912, 19.040235
Saving Jewish women from the Nazis by marrying them: 43.296482, 5.369780
A Polish orphan\'s survival story: 51.919438, 19.145136
Tragic letter from couple who bought Hitler\'s art: 48.208174, 16.373819
I rescued 7 families from the Islamic State: 36.314216, 41.862443
Watching the Yemeni coup d\'état--from inside the presidential palace!: 15.369445, 44.191007
I was arrested for celebrating Newroz: 36.340572, 43.769531
The legacy of Holodomor: 49.233083, 28.468217
A chaotic year after a megaquake: 27.717245, 85.323960
Becoming an Iraqi refugee in Jordan: 31.956578, 35.945695
WWI is not yet over in the Middle East: 43.815967, 7.776057
Escaping the bombing of Belgrade in WWII: 44.786568, 20.448922
Removing WWII mines from Hungary: 49.839683, 24.029717
We have black radishes in our blood: 51.498200, 31.289350
Regardless of religion, we were all Ukrainian: 49.251810, 24.498791
Six nations trained the Peshmerga: 36.206293, 44.008870
My grandma\'s Holodomor experience: 48.464717, 35.046183
Antisemitism in Budapest during WWII: 47.497912, 19.040235
My selfie with Mulla Mustafa Barzani: 33.312806, 44.361488
The outpouring of support for Kurdish refugees: 37.000633, 35.423292
Perhaps the fastest refugee return in history: 36.867905, 42.948857
Rebuilding villages in Northern Iraq: 36.410339, 44.387195
Surviving a terrible winter: 36.410339, 44.387195
Dutch military food was the best: 36.738884, 42.330322
Iraq\'s sudden divide: 36.356648, 43.164000
Kurdistan\'s four conflicts in 1995: 36.206293, 44.008870
The war created a new future for Kurdistan: 36.597889, 44.362793
Rest and relaxation in Iraq\'s north: 36.552188, 44.346771
Hiding in a cellar at end of WWII: 47.497912, 19.040235
Nazi torture drove my grandfather crazy: 45.267135, 19.833550
I was too young to realise what was happening: 51.516667, -0.050000
My experience as a WWII evacuee: 51.810437, -0.028177
The moment I became a WW2 evacuee: 51.487627, -0.267173
The first time I was evacuated: 51.655632, -0.516183
The second family I was evacuated to: 51.908454, 0.032786
9/11: Should I go to school?: 33.501693, -117.662551
Contact with my family whilst I was an evacuee: 51.908454, 0.032786
I was treated like a servant by my host family: 51.908454, 0.032786
The family I worked with helped me to escape: 51.908454, 0.032786
Travel was never the same: 29.531197, -98.468348
I used to work in the World Trade Center: 37.785228, -122.404389
9/11: I knew the towers would collapse: 41.136740, -73.283487
The terror event that never was: 40.641311, -73.778139
What East Germans bought after the Wall fell: 52.507593, 13.390369
My plane caught on fire: 28.291564, -16.629130
I remember the second crash live on TV: 45.458626, 9.181873
\'Bad men attacking our country\': 38.907192, -77.036871
\'It was a crazy day. I will never forget it.\': 40.931210, -73.898747
I didn\'t understand the gravity of 9/11: 40.728224, -73.794852
\'It was a day of silence\': 40.938154, -73.832078
Impact became clear years later: 25.432080, -100.983661
We were told not to use mobile phones: 38.834367, -77.311585
I woke up to the news on my radio alarm: -33.868820, 151.209296
9/11: I wondered how evil people could be: 60.169856, 24.938379
Checkpoint Charlie as the Berlin Wall fell: 52.507593, 13.390369
Visiting an East German museum as the wall fell: 52.521183, 13.396900
1989: Packed a hammer to fly to Berlin: 52.505022, 13.439695
I thought I was watching a Bruce Willis film: 1.355379, 103.867744
I sympathize with the victims: 34.555349, 69.207486
Human life has no nationality: 52.612200, 39.598123
\'Something I wouldn\'t want to remember\': 40.712784, -74.005941
\'People were trying to kill us\': 40.712784, -74.005941
\'It was very scary as a child\': 38.232417, -122.636652
Returning home from London and hearing about the attacks: 51.589020, -0.555260
We thought the world was ending: 40.396801, -74.091598
9/11: Different reactions across NYC: 40.809119, -73.963966
Strange new tourism after 9/11: 40.707373, -74.004783
9/11 from Syria: my father rushed in to watch Al Jazeera: 36.202105, 37.134260
The worst of Hollywood became reality : 49.006890, 8.403653
After 9/11 I cancelled my trip to the USA: 49.006890, 8.403653
9/11: I was concerned by the response: 59.858564, 17.638927
British sing US national anthem 9/11: 51.499119, -0.164439
Losing a friend on 9/11: 40.712784, -74.005941
9/11: A day without classical music: 40.844782, -73.864827
9/11: I was worried about how I would be perceived : 51.656923, -0.194925
9/11: A day of lost and dead silence: 40.728224, -73.794852
I didn\'t believe the person who told me: 41.325097, -73.527759
9/11 and my career: 41.008238, 28.978359
The US began a war on terror: 41.008238, 28.978359
9/11: A woman collapsed in my arms: 40.762468, -73.981557
Stuck in limbo after 9/11 attacks: 40.643948, -73.782351
Leaving NYC after 9/11: 33.941589, -118.408530
Extra security screenings because of birthplace: 32.715738, -117.161084
My teacher\'s 9/11 statement made a lasting impression: 51.621440, -3.943646
\'We gathered our gear and went north\': 40.176436, -74.631660
\'The optimism of the 90s died that day\': 32.085300, 34.781768
Watching the attacks at my birthday party: 8.524139, 76.936638
9/11: My first reaction was anger: -33.872126, 151.081238
9/11: It was hard to understand at first: 50.356943, 7.588996
9/11: I remember exactly where I was: 48.035449, 14.496906
It felt weird to just continue with our lives: 52.145645, 8.054213
“Are you interested in politics?”: 51.220226, 6.793006
\'It was an attack on the world\': 52.307687, 4.767424
Netherlands too small to be a target: 52.370216, 4.895168
A strange coincidence on 9/11: 41.902783, 12.496366
9/11: I remember the face of Mohamed Atta: 36.654696, 44.537808