GLOBAL SOCIAL WITNESSING

Be present – Feel what you see – Become a global witness

Global Social Witnessing is the human capacity to mindfully attend to global events with an embodied awareness, thereby creating an inner world space that mirrors and brings compassion to these events. We shift from being a mere bystander, mentally processing the latest news, to an active witness, responding from our bodies and hearts, as well as our minds. Global Social Witnessing teaches us to gently turn our attention towards rather than away from challenging events in the world.

In the Pocket Project, it is our understanding that unresolved systemic, multigenerational trauma delays the development of the human family, harms the natural world, and inhibits our higher evolution. Adequate healing and peace-building starts from our capacity to presence what is actually happening, both internally and externally. We consciously develop our ability to gain a more precise and embodied sense of relatedness to events in the outside world. 

Through Global Social Witnessing, we relate to the cultural process and understand that the social body is developing through all of us. As human beings, we are a small movement within the bigger movement of the collective and of life itself. Through our presence and intentionality, we co-shape the events we witness.

An introduction to Global Social Witnessing by Thomas Hübl

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During the Pocket Project Global Social Witnessing calls, we consciously create a sense of group coherence as we attune to world events together. Such a ‘we-space’ can be profoundly supportive for our own nervous systems to become more able to digest the energy and activation that arises as we touch on parts of the cultural experience. 

We acknowledge the limits of our ability to relate, and then, gently, begin to expand them. Together, we learn how to experience challenging events in more attuned ways, and thus become global witnesses of our time. Practicing over time, Global Social Witnessing generates a more conscious holding community for events in the world – a subtle activism for healing, peace-building, and global citizenship.

Each of our Global Social Witnessing Calls will be dedicated to a particular topic, theme or event in the world. The calls will be led by senior Pocket Project Facilitators and will be free.  

More information about Global Social Witnessing:

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The Question of Guilt

At first glance, it looks as if the guilty party in an event such as an act of terrorism, an abuse scandal or an act of destruction of biodiversity, are those who have committed the offence. A few people are ‘the bad guys’, and the rest of the community sees themselves as 'innocent'. This is only partially true, however. If we take a closer look, we will find that each event is an expression of our culture as a whole.

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CONCLUSION

When we are unable to embody in ourselves the events and news that we hear and read about, we cannot relate fully. The social body becomes insensitive and loses its compassion, immune strength and regenerative power. The witnessing consciousness within culture diminishes, thus becomes less conscious of its own inner processes and less able to self-correct.

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Climate Change

Climate Change is a prime example for our struggle to course correct our global culture. Instead, unconscious actions determine or at least deeply influence the outcomes. The more precisely we learn to receive and attune to our own relation to the place, event, collective issue, the more love and space arises – precision is love.

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The Individual Level

When we practice relational sensing - feeling into the inner life of another human being - we strengthen our ability for compassion. Compassion is not a cognitive process, but builds on our capacity to mirror the physical, emotional and mental experience of another within ourselves. The attunement to others creates a new radius of connectedness and inspiration and is the prerequisite for truly healing action. The difference between reactiveness and responsiveness lies in our ability to relate in an embodied way.

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The Collective Level

The same applies to the collective context. If we can practice systems sensing - mapping within ourselves the processes that happen in society - we become mature and integrated citizens. Once I am able to create a physical, emotional and mental representation of events within myself, I can truly relate to them and find an appropriate (not reactive), creative action. When I need to dissociate from events and processes, I am unable to find a response that lives up to the potentiality of my unique contribution.

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EXAMPLE

For example, when a terrorist attack occurs, many people feel overwhelmed and turn away. This can lead to reactions which create further fragmentation and polarisation in the system, and may grow into political tensions up to national or international levels. Reactions based on trauma re-create new traumatisation.

Our Past calls

Self-care and Trauma on the Frontlines – Commemorating the Anniversary of the Syria-Turkey Earthquake with  Dr. Rola Hallam & Kosha Joubert
February 21, 2024

 

In this call, Rola Hallam described her journey, as a Syrian medical doctor, from giving everything to help her people to burning out, and then her journey back into post-traumatic growth. She shared skills and lessons for self-care and burnout recovery that support all of us engaged in the world, especially health and humanitarian workers, emergency responders and all working on the frontlines of natural or man-made disasters. After the Masterclass, we transitioned into the Global Social Witnessing of those who experience the tension between self-care and burnout on the frontlines.

WATCH VIDEO OF THE MASTERCLASS

Ukraine & Empathy Fatigue – When Acute Trauma Becomes Chronic with Kosha Joubert, Daria Yemets & Ukrainian Therapists
January  29, 2024                 

 
The War in Ukraine is ongoing, yet the world has shifted its attention to the next crisis. How can Ukrainians remain resilient in the midst of the constant stress of war? How can our solidarity with Ukrainians and, especially with a team of Ukrainian therapists and their clients, stay alive and even thrive? In this Global Social Witnessing Call we listened to the current experience of this team and prepared the ground for a next cycle of expression of the Ukraine Support Project.
The Fragility of our World – Calling for Inner and Outer Transformation with Kosha Joubert, Daria Yemets, Ukrainian, Sami Awad, Palestinian and Michal Gaia Golan, Israeli. Sonita Mbah, Cameroonian
November 27, 2023

 

With temperatures and sea levels rising, natural disasters and refugee streams growing, with wars and more suffering intensifying, how can we find back a sense of being in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing?  Each of us has a unique way of responding to the pain in the world, our hearts are touched in different ways. Yet, we are all united in our care and concern. In this call, we processed the wars in Ukraine, Middle East & Cameroon.

Aftermath of the Earthquake Morocco – Race Against Winter with Saye Yebandeh, Kenza Isnasni & Kosha Joubert
October  30, 2023                  

 

A month after the earthquake, the number of those killed rose to more than 2,900 with at least 5600 injured. Some of us have rushed to bring our support during the rescue phase and now, the focus is switching to caring for survivors, many of whom have lost everything, including their loved ones. How can we bring our witnessing presence to a disaster of such magnitude and spread our care and compassion to our Moroccan friends? The space was created for those deeply related to the situation to share and be heard.

WATCH VIDEO

Trauma & Climate change – wildfires & Flooding in greece with Liliane Mavridara, Manda Johnson & Robert Buxbaum
October 9, 2023

 

Abrupt shifts in weather patterns have caused extreme economic, social & environmental distress in Greece. Recent wildfires in Northern Greece, the largest recorded in Europe have been compounded by severe flooding in central Greece. Together they have destroyed livelihoods, homes & biodiversity, impacted key food production for the country and caused ecosystem disruption for generations to come. In this call, we brought our attuned presence and support to all in distress.

Ukrainian Diaspora in europe with Daria Yemets and other Ukrainians
September  23, 2023                  

 

The armed conflict in Ukraine that escalated into a full-scale war in February 2022 forced one-third of Ukrainians to flee their homes into nearby European countries or remain internally displaced. The widespread destruction, loss of life and separation of families calls for global solidarity. In this call, we will hear from the voices of Ukrainian refugees, allowing their experiences to inform us. How can we expand our witnessing awareness to feel and invite healing to this painful reality?

WATCH VIDEO

syrian refugees is europe – Presence & Future with  Ibrahim Alothman, Muawiyah Fares & Kazuma Matoba 
September 22, 2023

 

After ten years, Syria remains the world’s largest refugee crisis. Many forcibly displaced Syrians & refugees experience cycles of trauma, violence, and distress before migration, during and after resettlement as they navigate through various layers of crisis. 1 million Syrians reside in Europe with more than 6.7 million displaced internally since 2011. Together, we will create a witnessing container to offer care to all those concerned

WATCH VIDEO

African Diaspora in Europe – embracing a better future with Elizabeth Nyemkuna, Gilbert Jassey & sonita mbah &  
September  21, 2023                  

 

 

Structures of systemic oppression as well as environmental crises have forcibly displaced Africans for over 400 years. Today, 11 million reside in Europe, mostly women and at least 80% are searching for a better future. The existential threat, feelings of fear, economic pressure, stress, isolation, fragmentation and systemic racism faced in their daily lives can become overwhelming. We will come together in this session to deepen global solidarity.

WATCH VIDEO

WOMEN, LIFE & FREEDOM – A NEW VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF IRAN WITH SAYÉ YABANDEH, MAHYAR ZAUD & MARYAM SABZEVARI                                                                   AUGUST 21, 2023

 

On September 17th, Iranians around the globe will mourn the anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, which sparked the current uprising. In this call, we brought our Witnessing capacity to the ongoing efforts, courage, and activism of the Iranian people and let them know that they are not alone. Standing with the women of Iran means supporting their rights to equality, freedom, and dignity.

WATCH SHORT VIDEO AND READ MORE

Addressing the Legacy of Slavery – Going to the Roots in Sao Tome & Principe with Ankwetta B. Achaleke 
JUNE  26, 2023                  

 

This call will take us to the Island country of Sao Tome & Principe, Africa’s second smallest country, to explore the multiple layers and deepen our awareness of how the wounds of slavery are still alive in us today. Ankwetta will share with us from her personal experience and invite us to an attunement to the impact the past has on our collective psyche today. Together, we will explore practical tools for healing and moving forward.

The Climate Crisis – Voices of Protection with Anne ROLFES & MATTHEW GREEN                                                May 22, 2023

 

On the U.S. Gulf Coast, communities are standing up to stop planned fossil fuel mega-projects that threaten to destroy their local environment – while pushing the world closer to climate breakdown. By sensing into specific struggles in Louisiana and Texas, we explored how developing a greater awareness of our interconnectedness in the face of the climate crisis can empower meaningful action.

In the Crack between the Worlds – Ukraine & Russia with Manda Johnson & Robert Buxbaum          April 24, 2023

 

The war in Ukraine did not just start in 2022 – it has been a reality of both countries for hundreds of years. There are Ukrainians, especially in the Eastern and Southern regions, who’s only option was to go to school in Russian. Today, many of them are struggling to regain their own language and culture. There are Russians who struggle with their country’s role in this conflict, many of whom have chosen to live elsewhere. We invited both Ukrainian and Russian voices to share about the inner and outer struggle to continue to relate.

The Collective Trauma of Germany – Flight-Displacement-Reconciliation with Sabine Langer, Roland Remus, Susha Wolters & Jürgen Wölfl        April 3, 2023

 

We dedicated this evening to the topic of flight, expulsion and resettlement in German history and wanted to explore our own family stories with the participants. We introduced the project “Zuflucht-Zuversicht-Zukunft”, and  the resulting documentary film “Zuflucht-Zuversicht-Zukunft | Essenrode – 12 Kriegskinder erzählen”.

Missile attacks in Ukraine – Safety in Community? with members from GEN Ukraine                              March 27, 2023

 

A year has passed after the full scale invasion in Ukraine started. The war had brought and is still bringing the human and moral losses, problems with gas, heating, and electricity. We invited people from Global Ecovillage Network Ukraine to share and reflect on how is it for them to sustain a war-life balance in the eco-village environment.

Women in Afghanistan – Life under Taliban Rule with Spozhmay O.                                                          February 27, 2023

 

After the change of power in Kabul took place in December 2021, the Pocket Project and its community supported one of our members, Spozhmay O. to continue to follow her dreams of healing for Afghanistan by fleeing the country and working on her PhD. During this call, Spozhmay shared updates of the life of her mother, sisters and students who were/are still in Kabul under Taliban rule

Turkey-Syria Earthquake – Presence with the Shock of Disaster with Begüm Erenler & Oya Ataman February 20, 2023

 

A week and a half after the earthquake hit Turkey and Syria, the number of those killed has risen to more than 42,000. The rescue phase of operations were “coming to a close”, with the focus switching to caring for survivors, many of whom have lost everything, including their loved ones. We came together to bring our witnessing presence to a disaster of such magnitude and spread our care and compassion to our Turkish and Syrian friends.

Women, Life & Freedom- A New Vision for the Future of Iran with Jasmin Behrouzi & Mahyar Zaud      January 30, 2023


In response to the acute situation in Iran, and to requests from our community, and most especially, many members of the Iranian diaspora, we invited to join us in offering space and care to the situation in Iran where courage called and is calling citizens to stand up for womenlife and freedom.

Winter in Ukraine – Subzero Temperatures without Heating for Millions with Daria Yemets & Kosha Joubert                                                                  December 5, 2022

 

The World Health Organisation has said that the lives of millions will be under threat this winter in Ukraine. Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is now either damaged or destroyed, and 10 million are currently without power. We invited to this call to expand our witnessing awareness to feel the unbearable reality of what is happening and extend our care to our friends who are currently in Ukraine.

Mixed Ancestries – Building Bridges Between Worlds with Laura Calderón de la Barca & Katherine Poco Enders                                                                        August 29, 2022

 

This  call will offered a slow, embodied exploration of the experience of living with the inheritance of the challenges and opportunities of an Indigenous-European mixed-race ancestry.

Ukraine – Collective Presence in a Situation of War  July 25, 2022

 

In times of war and existential threat, the feelings of fear, stress,  isolation and fragmentation can become overwhelming. In this call, we offered space for Ukrainian participants of our trauma-informed leadership course to be seen, heard and witnessed by our larger community with the wish that our witnessing presence may provide sustenance, relatedness and togetherness.

Footprints of Colonialism – Looted Artefacts with Sonita Mbah & Kosha Joubert                                      June 27, 2022

 

Currently, over 95% of African artefacts are in ownership of private collections and world museums, waiting to find their way home. We sensed into the story this tells us about the European and African past. And explored how these artefacts continue to shape today’s postcolonial society.

Anti Semitism with Robin Alfred & David Sherman    May 23, 2022

 

AntiSemitism is based on stereotypes and myths that target Jews as a people, their religious practices and beliefs, and the Jewish State of Israel. Robin Alfred & David Sherman invited to this call to bring presence to the topic of Anti-semitism and explore it in an embodied way.

Trauma Integration & Resilience in Eastern DRCongo – Women’s Talking Circles in a Situation of Ongoing War with Mushagalusa Fadhili Smith        APRIL 25, 2022

 

While the world’s media and the global attention is focussed on the atrocities of the war in Ukraine, wars elsewhere are ongoing and no less painful. We are moving our attention not away from Ukraine, but including the ongoing war in Congo and the effects it has on communities, and, most especially,  women in communities.

The Ukraine Crisis – Cultivating Global Social Witnessing in the Face of War with Thomas Hübl March 28, 2022

 

While for many of us, the first acute shock about the war has shifted into adaptation, we continued to deepen our contemplative practice to ground and presence the arising voices.

The Ukraine Crisis – East-West Fractures & A Fragile Peace                                                                        FEBRUARY 28, 2022

 

The war in Ukraine is a collective trauma resurgence in Europe, painfully resurfacing the unintegrated wounds of past conflicts. In our worldwide community we explored how we can activate our collective immune system to meet the challenges of this moment on both the inner and outer levels. 

 

Global Social Witnessing Introduction with Thomas Huebl – Mindfully Attending our World
February 7, 2022

 

Thomas Hübl was offering a 60 min overview of the basic principles of the practice of Global Social Witnessing, the human capacity to mindfully attend to global events with an embodied awareness. Together, we create an inner world space that mirrors and brings compassion to these events – now is the time to refine and deepen this practice.

WATCH THE VIDEO

The Marshall Fire, The most destructive Wildfire in Colorado’s history – Global Social Witnessing Practice with Thomas Huebl
FEBRUARY 7, 2022

 

On December 30th, 2021, the most destructive wildfire in the Colorado’s history devastated two Boulder County neighborhoods, Superior and Louisville. Extreme drought conditions and high winds ignited the fires’ rapid movement throughout these densely populated neighborhoods. One death is confirmed and another person still missing. A total of 1084 homes were destroyed. Many people lost their beloved pets. Nearly 50,000 people were under evacuation orders and approximately 30,000 people have been displaced by the fires.

Philippines Super Typhoon Rai – From Climate Ambition to Climate Vulnerability 
january 24, 2022

 

On December 16, 2021, Supertyphoon Rai (local name Odette) escalated to a category 5 storm as it entered the Philippines. More than six million people woke up to massive devastation, among them almost 400 dead, 600,000 displaced,  and 712,000 with their homes damaged and their landscapes ravaged. This scale of devastation and the corresponding shock will take years to recover – how to heal when a future of more climate emergencies is predicted for this climate vulnerable region? How can our community presence the grief of recurrent loss?

Accompanying Spozhmay o. on her Journey to Safety
September 13 & 27, 2021

 

Spozhmay worked with the Pocket Project to bring knowledge about collective trauma to Afghanistan. With the change of power in Kabul, she had to flee the country, for her own safety, but also, in order to continue to follow her dreams of healing for Afghanistan

The Pocket Project supports Spozhmay to complete her PhD on healing collective trauma in Canada. 

READ MORE

Facilitators & Guests

Manda Johnson

Manda Johnson

is a co-founder of the Pocket Project’s Global Social Witnessing Competence Centre and is co-creator and facilitator of the Webinar series Witnessing the World in Me/And Me in the World. Manda facilitates groups of business executives in leadership development and works as a coach and somatic therapist. Manda has studied with Thomas Hubl since 2016, she is a member of his core group and a graduate of the Pocket Project’s, Restoration of Collective and Intergenerational Trauma training.
Robert Buxbaum

Robert Buxbaum

is co-founder of the Pocket Project’s Global Social Witnessing Competence Center and has worked to develop and refine GSW practice since 2017. He also co-created and co-teaches Witnessing the World in Me/And Me in the World, a webinar series on GSW Principles and Practice. Robert is a certified coach, social activist and former executive leader of large-scale public and private organizations. He is a senior student and graduate of Thomas’ Hübl’s Timeless Wisdom and Pocket Project trainings, a member of Thomas’ Core Group, and facilitates groups and workshops.
Laura Calderon de la Barca (1)

Laura Calderón De Le Barca​

is an integral-intuitive psychotherapist, cultural analyst and collective healing researcher who lives in Mexico City. Her engagement with collective trauma led her to write in 2007 a PhD thesis that analyzed her home country, Mexico, in an imagined psychotherapeutic session. She has studied with Thomas Hübl since 2016, and is a graduate of the Pocket Project training which completed in 2018. She has conducted online therapy sessions with people in English and Spanish since 2012, presents on psycho-education, and carries out “Healing from Colonialism” workshops with Indigenous communities in Mexico and other countries. She is on the Steering Committees for Research, Colonialism and Writing groups for the Pocket Project.
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Kosha Joubert

serves as CEO of the Pocket Project. She holds an MSc in Organisational Development, is an international facilitator, author, coach and consultant, and has worked extensively in the fields of sustainable development, curriculum development and intercultural collaboration. Kosha grew up in South Africa under Apartheid and has been dedicated to the healing of divides and collective trauma ever since. She has been learning with Thomas for 15 years. She has served as a host and mentor for almost all of Thomas Hübl’s online courses, co-moderated two of the Celebrate Life Festivals and was a co-host of the 2019 and 2020 Online Summit on Collective Trauma.
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Robin Alfred

is an organisational consultant, facilitator, trainer and executive coach – and a Senior Programme Director for Olivier Mythodrama. Robin worked in criminal justice in London, before moving to the Findhorn ecovillage in Scotland in 1995 where he founded Open Circle Consultancy. He has extensive experience of leading and developing groups and individuals across all sectors – corporate, public, and third sector. His facilitation work is designed to cultivate the self-organizing principle in groups and individuals and to support the emergence of transformational fields. Robin is a registered facilitator for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Robin has been studying with Thomas Hübl for the past 12 years. He has served as a host and mentor for almost all of Thomas Hübl’s online courses, co-moderated two of the Celebrate Life Festivals and was a co-host of the 2019 and 2020 Online Summit on Collective Trauma.
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Katherine E. Poco-Enders

lives in the Pacific Northwest on Duwamish land. She is a descendent of Comanche Native American war-chiefs, warriors, and medicine men. She has facilitated groups and workshops for the Womxn’s March and music festivals. As she walks with her ancestors, she has also held witnessing grounding meditative space for families and survivors of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People and for her community processing the traumatic legacy of Indian boarding schools. Katherine has been a student of Thomas Hübl since 2013 is currently in the American and European Core Group; and a participant in the 2022 Collective Trauma Facilitator Training, and is a part of the current TWT Global Team. As a Buddhist, she has studied with a Tibetan teacher of the Gelug tradition and has received teachings from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the Karmapa.
Christine Gerike

Christine Gerike

lives with her family near New York City since 2015. She holds an M.A. in American Studies, Economics, and Political Science at the University of Münster, Germany. Christine is a trained manager of German non-profit educational organizations, and has been working as a transformational coach and facilitator since 2011. She is a graduate of the yearlong Pocket Project training in 2018, initiated the first Global Social Witnessing (GSW) online practice in 2017 and has facilitated monthly group-calls on a variety of world-related topics since. Together with colleagues from the Pocket Project, she co-founded the GSW Competence Center in 2019, which is dedicated to expand practice and knowledge of GSW in the world. Christine co-leads webinar trainings on “The Practice of GSW” since 2020.
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David Sherman

David Sherman’s work as a coach, strategist, and group facilitator advances for positive change in the world. He focusses on business and social sectors including large-scale multi-sector initiatives. Themes include recreating leadership, cooperation, and creating regenerative value. David participates in Thomas Hübl’s North American Core Group and Pocket Project. During the first Pocket Project training he realized that much of the resistance to change that he has experienced throughout his working career are aftereffects of trauma. He has participated in multiple winter retreats in Israel and has connected to his Jewish lineage including Chasidic roots and Chabad relatives throughout Israel and the world.

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Mushagalusa Fadhili Smith

is a young congolese healing-centered Peacebuilder working with the Green String Network-Kenya through Women’s talking circles to support communities affected by long-term wars in the Eastern part of the DRCongo. He was born and grew up in a small village called Kamanyola in the Eastern DRCongo, South-Kivu province/ Ruzizi plain near Rwanda and Burundi borders. In 1994, just after the Rwandan genocide when he was 4 years old, millions of Rwandan refugees flooded into the Eastern DRCongo and most of these refugees were perpetrators of the genocide often referred to as FDLR, which is the the source of the first crises in Eastern DRCongo that have cost lives of many of his relatives and continue to cost lives of innocents people.

Since 1994 Mushagalusa has lived through recurrent wars, daily insecurity and killings and the peace process continues to be fragile and elusive. Since his childhood his dream was to become a leader in Dispute Resolution and contribute to the lasting peace in the Eastern DRCongo and support people he sees suffering in his community through humanitarian actions. Despite difficulties he achieved his studies at the Université Évangélique en Afrique in Bukavu/ School of Peace and Development. He is committed to working with communities torn by the trauma of war and is supporting the Democratic Republic of Congo to prevent future violence through a trauma-informed approach.

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David Sherman

patrickdougherty

Patrick Dougherty

Sarah Queblatin

Sarah Queblatin

Thomas Huebl (2) 2

Thomas Hübl

Teddy Frank (1)

Teddy Frank

Nasir Bayan 2

Nasir Bayan

Louise Marra (1)

Louise Marra

Ruby

Ruby Mendenhall

30. January 2023, 8-9.30pm Berlin
9-10.30pm Kyiv/ 2-3.30pm NYC / 11-12.30noon LA

Women, Life & Freedom: A New Vision for the Future of Iran with Jasmin Behrouzi, Mahyar Zaud and Kosha Joubert

(in English with Farsi, Ukrainian & German translation)

27. February 2023, 8-9.30pm Berlin
9-10.30pm Kyiv/ 2-3.30pm NYC / 11-12.30noon LA

Women in Afghanistan – Life under Taliban Rule

(in English with Ukrainian & German translation)

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