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December 20th, 2011
05:17 PM ET

Giving a Voice to Abused Women

Raped, beaten and abused. Afghan women have suffered in silence for years. But a television show called "The Mask" is finally giving them the opportunity to speak out. Producer Sami Mahdi first introduced "The Mask" last year. On the show, women wear masks to conceal their identity as they talk openly about the injustices they've suffered. CNN's Arwa Damon took us behind the scenes of the show earlier this year.

A few weeks ago, we touched base again with producer Sami Mahdi to find out what the show has achieved over the last year.


And now to another story of injustice that played out recently in Afghanistan. A woman named Gulnaz was imprisoned for adultery after a married relative raped her. She was recently pardoned by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Gulnaz talked about her heartbreaking ordeal with our Nick Paton Walsh from a safe house in Afghanistan.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Arwa Damon • asia • backstory • Interviews • journalists • Uncategorized
December 16th, 2011
11:12 PM ET

Home from the War Zone

At the height of the War in Iraq, there were 170,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.  As of today, there are 6,000 American troops and four U.S. military bases still operating inside the country.  All of those bases are located south of Baghdad.  Soon, they will be dismantled and the troops will return home.  Kyra Phillips talked to some servicemen and women who's already returned to the United States.  They told her about their experiences in Iraq, for better and for worse.

Filed under: Interviews • Iraq • Iraq War
December 16th, 2011
03:41 PM ET

Reflections on the Iraq War

After nearly nine years in Iraq, the United States military is packing up its gear and bringing its troops home.  The U.S. says the war is over, and Iraq is now a stable, sovereign country.  If you ask Iraqis how they feel after almost nine years of occupation, the answer is not so cut and dry.

Arwa Damon and Michael Holmes have been covering the war since the beginning.  John Vause talked with them to help put it all in perspective.

For updates on these and other stories, "like" Back|Story on facebook and "follow" us on twitter

Check out this link to see some pictures from Michael Holmes after he recently visited a camp for displaced people in Taji, Iraq.

Filed under: Arab World • Arwa Damon • backstory • Interviews • Iraq • Iraq War • John Vause • journalists • Michael Holmes • U.S.
December 13th, 2011
08:04 PM ET

Afghanistan blast witness shares story

Photographer John Wendle was recording in Kabul the moment a suicide blast happened. He shares his video and experience above.

See the full report from Nick Paton Walsh here:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai visits the wounded:

Filed under: Afghanistan • backstory • Interviews • journalists • photography • Religion
December 7th, 2011
06:35 AM ET

Comparing the Good and the Bad: Living in the Favela Rocinha

CNN's Shasta Darlington reports from Rio de Janeiro on a recent "pacification" of the favela Rocinha.

For their participation in these reports, Paul Sneed and the Back|Story team would like to thank religious leader Pai Almir who lives in the favela Rocinha. Also a big thank you to Viviana Rodrigues who is a teacher in Rocinha and co-founder of A big thank you, as well, to Sergi Navarro-Rivero, a Harvard PhD student who is working in Rio de Janeiro and filmed the Rocinha resident interviews for this segment; and finally, thank you to Marcos Burgos, an American community activist and CUNY PhD student living in Rocinha who helped with logistics. Thank you to everyone for coming together to make this segment happen.

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Filed under: backstory • Gangs • Interviews • journalists • Latin America
November 18th, 2011
04:15 PM ET

Peru: Allegations of Forced Sterilizations on Women

Imagine being sterilized against your will by the state. Human rights groups say that’s exactly what happened to more than 2,000 women in Peru under the government of President Alberto Fujimori. They say the government launched the campaign to reduce poverty by lowering the birth rate. The actual number of forced sterilizations could be much higher.
We wanted to learn more about the alleged victims of this program and how it was carried out. So we called on Alejandra Cardenas, legal adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York. You can watch Fionnuala Sweeney’s interview above.

Here, Rafael Romo reports from Peru and speaks with a women involved:

Read more about this story here

Filed under: backstory • Interviews • journalists • Latin America
November 10th, 2011
02:55 AM ET

Reports of Mexican Military Drug Cartel Killings

CNN's Rafael Romo talks to Back|Story about the Mexico military's reported extrajudicial cartel killings.

Read more here from CNN's Mariano Castillo and Rafael Romo.

Filed under: backstory • Interviews • journalists • Latin America
November 8th, 2011
03:25 AM ET
November 3rd, 2011
12:24 AM ET

From Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street

Back from covering widespread Middle East unrest, CNN's Ben Wedeman looks at more modest Occupy Wall Street protests in New York.

Filed under: Arab World • backstory • Interviews • journalists • U.S.
October 26th, 2011
08:24 PM ET

A Career Under Water

We talk a lot these days about the state of the global economy and the lack of jobs and recently, CNN's Richard Quest and his team at Quest Means Business have been looking at the World at Work.

They're talking to people with unique, sometimes enviable jobs to learn the tricks of their trades.

This time they went underwater to find out more about a man who spends a good portion of his day with the creatures of the deep.  All without leaving London.  CNN's World at Work producer Rosalie e'Silva gave us a look at what went into the shoot.

See Aquarium Curator Jamie Oliver talk about what makes his job so special in the full story here

Filed under: backstory • Interviews • journalists • UK • Uncategorized
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