playlist

Personal stories from conflict zones

Powerful, gripping personal narratives that shed light on what it means to live in some of the world’s most dangerous and volatile regions.

  1. 17:03
    Sakena Yacoobi How I stopped the Taliban from shutting down my school

    When the Taliban closed all the girls' schools in Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi set up new schools, in secret, educating thousands of women and men. In this fierce, funny talk, she tells the jaw-dropping story of two times when she was threatened to stop teaching — and shares her vision for rebuilding her beloved country.

  2. 5:57
    Sophal Ear Escaping the Khmer Rouge

    TED Fellow Sophal Ear shares the compelling story of his family's escape from Cambodia under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. He recounts his mother's cunning and determination to save her children.

  3. 10:25
    Marwa Al-Sabouni How Syria's architecture laid the foundation for brutal war

    What caused the war in Syria? Oppression, drought and religious differences all played key roles, but Marwa Al-Sabouni suggests another reason: architecture. Speaking to us over the Internet from Homs, where for the last six years she has watched the war tear her city apart, Al-Sabouni suggests that Syria's architecture divided its once tolerant and multicultural society into single-identity enclaves defined by class and religion. The country's future now depends on how it chooses to rebuild.

  4. 18:18
    Corneille Ewango A hero of the Congo forest

    Botanist Corneille Ewango talks about his work at the Okapi Faunal Reserve in the Congo Basin — and his heroic work protecting it from poachers, miners and raging civil wars.

  5. 8:38
    Ameera Harouda Why I put myself in danger to tell the stories of Gaza

    When Ameera Harouda hears the sounds of bombs or shells, she heads straight towards them. "I want to be there first because these stories should be told," says Gaza's first female "fixer," a role that allows her to guide journalists into chaotic, war zone scenarios in her home country, which she still loves despite its terrible situation. Find out what motivates Harouda to give a voice to Gaza's human suffering in this unforgettable talk.

  6. 8:43
    Hawa Abdi + Deqo Mohamed Mother and daughter doctor-heroes

    They've been called the "saints of Somalia." Doctor Hawa Abdi and her daughter Deqo Mohamed discuss their medical clinic in Somalia, where — in the face of civil war and open oppression of women — they've built a hospital, a school and a community of peace.

  7. 13:38
    Nadia Al-Sakkaf See Yemen through my eyes

    As political turmoil in Yemen continues, the editor of the Yemen Times, Nadia Al-Sakkaf, talks at TEDGlobal with host Pat Mitchell. Al-Sakkaf's independent, English-language paper is vital for sharing news — and for sharing a new vision of Yemen and of that country's women as equal partners in work and change.

  8. 18:03
    Emmanuel Jal The music of a war child

    For five years, young Emmanuel Jal fought as a child soldier in the Sudan. Rescued by an aid worker, he's become an international hip-hop star and an activist for kids in war zones. In words and lyrics, he tells the story of his amazing life.

  9. 10:51
    Emtithal Mahmoud A young poet tells the story of Darfur

    Emtithal "Emi" Mahmoud writes poetry of resilience, confronting her experience of escaping the genocide in Darfur in verse. She shares two stirring original poems about refugees, family, joy and sorrow, asking, "Will you witness me?"