Presented by the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), this exhibition features voices from 20 victims and survivors of terrorism, telling their stories of what helped them become and remain resilient.

"By exploring the theme of resilience, the exhibition offers an opportunity to reflect on another central question for victims and survivors of terrorism: what do victims and survivors need to heal? The words displayed in these photos allow viewers to consider what we can do to further support victims and survivors rebuild their lives and turn their experience into a constructive force for change.
For those victims and survivors still trying to find their way to cope with tragedy and overcome its consequences, we hope that the exhibition provides them with inspiration, the knowledge that they are not alone, and the hope of a better future. We would like to thank all the victims and survivors who have taken part in this exhibition: their resilience and courage provide us with the strength to confront, and we hope, ultimately overcome, the scourge of terrorism."

Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General,

United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism


On 20 January 2018, my family and I were having tea with friends at the Kabul Intercontinental Hotel when it came under attack. We were very fortunate in that we all survived, though my son and I were injured. Although this had a devastating impact on myself and my family, it has made me stronger to speak out on behalf of victims in Afghanistan. I feel that my past work with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and as a civil society advocate has allowed me to speak on a broader platform about the rights of victims. Since 2003, I have assisted in the identification of victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan and so have always felt a deep compassion for victims, but this attack has made me stronger and compelled me to act more – that is my resilience.

Ahmad Fahim Hakim, Afghanistan


In 1996, my daughter Leila and my son Med Redha were killed during a terrorist attack. I survived my physical injuries, but 23 years later my memories are my wounds. I think of my son and daughter every day. Their sacrifice has not been in vain for my daughter, Cherifa, founded Djazairouna and works to raise awareness about the impact of terrorism and provides support to victims of terrorism. Their memory lives on in her work.

Abatlia Renia, Algeria


On 14 July 2016, I was walking along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. At 22 years, I was on a worldwide adventure and I had just watched the beautiful fireworks display. The next thing I knew, I was on my back holding the hand of a stranger after being hit by a 19-ton lorry. My injuries were severe and life altering. I will always bear the physical and mental scars.

My resilience comes from my mindset. That night, I experienced the worst of humanity but also the best. I choose to focus on the act of heroism from a stranger, Patrick Sergent, who has now become such an important person in my life. Being resilient and getting through the hard days comes easiest for me when I have a positive mindset. A mindset that reminds me of how fortunate I am to have survived, and how much I have overcome. My story, and my mindset, is of love and compassion for others that still exist even in the darkest of days.

Adelaide Stratton, Australia

To live again

On 19 December 2014, during a work trip with four colleagues near Waza National Park in the far north of Cameroon, we came under fire from terrorists. I managed to escape into the bush but three of my colleagues lost their lives. During my escape I was shot in the wrist. I do not have the use of my right wrist anymore. After that I had difficult moments and I lost my taste for life.

But, I have a family that I am close to - a little child and brothers, so I motivated myself by realizing that I can live again. With this, I decided to establish The Cameroon Association of Victims of Terrorism so that I can share my experiences and help motivate other victims in their recovery. Resilience for me is to live again, and not to get carried away in remorse - but to rethink a new life and have a second chance.

Kari Wadjoré Parfait, Cameroon


My world was shattered when my beloved husband, Ken, perished in the 9/11 attacks in New York. At the time, I was working in Germany as an Air Canada flight attendant and was unable to return home to Toronto where I lived with Ken and our children, Erica and Brennan, because the skies had closed to airline traffic. Since 9/11, I have made it my life’s mission to advocate for victims of violent crime and to gain justice for victims, including co-founding the Canadian Coalition Against Terror.

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the former Prime Minister declared 11 September as a National Day of Service and Remembrance in Canada, aiming to inspire everyone to show compassion by engaging in community service for worthy causes. Service Day is a fitting way to show resilience and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, to honour the sacrifices of responders and to turn an infamous date into a day marked by an outpouring of warmth and generosity.

Maureen Basnicki, Canada


I am from Puerto Montt, Chile, but have lived in France since 1989. On 14 July 2016, I was caught up in the attack along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. I was watching the fireworks and celebrating my birthday with some dear friends, when a 19-ton truck passed me. We were all thankfully physically uninjured. I rushed to help rescue those who had been injured. A scene of horror opened before my eyes. I stayed behind the truck to help the injured.

I always say that art saved my life. In 2017, I strengthened my resilience through dance. Together with visual anthropologist, Silvia Paggi, and my partner, Federica Fratagnoli, a dancer, we created a dance video in tribute to the victims of 14 July attack called “The Breath of Life”. I see art as an opportunity to rebuild and re-live - to project a new look at the world.

Esteban Peña, Chile

peaceful peace

On 19 December 2016, I lost my dad and my 11 year old daughter lost her grandpa after a terrorist attack at the Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, Germany. 11 other people died that day. Before the attack, I had been dancing Flamenco and Tango for 15 years but after that day I lost my ability to dance.

Without dance I have no energy and I am not able to fight for justice and truth. That is why I have started to dance again. To be able to speak out on behalf of all the families who lost their loved ones on that day fills me with strength and hope. My dad’s birthday is on the 21 August - the day that remembers victims of terrorism. I see this as a sign.

Astrid Passin, Germany


In September 2004, I survived a terrorist bomb attack at the Australian embassy in Jakarta where I was employed as a security guard. The bomb went off 10 metres from my post and I was thrown five metres away. I can remember everything going dark and when I woke up I couldn’t move my body. I was very scared, and I thought I was going to die. I was hospitalized for about five months and I had to undergo ten different surgeries. I lost my left eye, had fingers broken on both hands and sustained nerve damage in my head. It was the most traumatic and hardest time I have ever endured. I still take up to five different medicines per day.

Since 2013, I have been an active campaigner for peace within Indonesia, visiting schools and prisons to raise awareness on the impact of terrorism. I could not have done this without such great support from my family. My family keep me strong and have supported my recovery and in turn I can support them too.

Sudirman Talib, Indonesia


On the night of 3 July 2016, I lost six cousins and a lot of friends when a huge bomb exploded in the town of Karada in Baghdad. Myself, my two brothers and my father were severely injured and still bear the scars. That night it was one of the last days of fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the streets in the heart of Baghdad were very busy. There was excitement in the air as everyone was preparing for the Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

In the aftermath of the attack, my wife became my resilience. She supported me through my trauma and my recovery. My wife is my source of power who always stands by me.

Husham Sabah Kamil Kamil, Iraq


I lost my husband on 7 August 1998, when the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya was attacked. At the time, I was 20 years old and had a four month old baby boy. I had no idea how I would live as a young, jobless widow. For the last 22 years, I have lived with pain and bitterness.

I was devastated that I had lost my husband in such a painful way and struggled to raise my son without his dad. The last image I have of his damaged body will stay with me forever. These are painful memories, but I have now chosen to forgive - so that I can get rid of all the bitterness and anger and move on.

Sarah Tikolo, Kenya

Psychological support

In 2014, my 14 year old son was shot by a group of terrorists, in Tripoli, Libya. I was devastated when he died and locked myself away from the world. In 2017, with the support of the Lebanese Association of Victims of Terrorism, I participated in group therapy sessions. It was at these sessions that I was able to heal my wounds by sharing my story, and I started to breathe again.

Now, I try and share my story widely, including in schools, where I strongly advocate for psychological care for the victims of any act of terrorism.

Abir ElZoghbi, Lebanon


In January 2016, I left my house in Ras Lanuf, and travelled with my wife, two children and our baby boy to visit my relatives in the neighbouring village of Aqila. As we were returning, we had to stop because of traffic at the eastern checkpoint leading to Ras Lanuf. At that moment, a bomb exploded, killing a number of soldiers at the gate and other passengers. Myself, my wife and children – Rimas and Rowan - were severely injured and burned, and my baby son, Mohammed, was killed. We only recovered after several medical operations.

My entire family helped me through this disaster and encouraged me to be resilient in those difficult circumstances and also in the future. The family has always been a strong bond for me. God has given me a new child, who is also named Muhammad, in memory of his brother who died unjustly.

Munir Abdul Gadel, Libya


We lost our mother on 14 July 2016, during the attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. We were watching the fireworks with our mother, other family members and neighbours. We saw both my mother, Mino, and our neighbour, Yanis, killed. Our mother had a Master’s degree in economic and social administration and had just got her first permanent job in Nice.

The name of our mother, Mino, means faith in Malagasy. It is a name that gives a lot of hope and everyday represents for us our desire to move forward. It is a word that we often use. Although the conditions of her departure are painful to us, we are proud of her and this allows us to be proud of who we are – a little more each day. It is her love for us that makes us resilient.

Amaury & Andrew Razafitrimo, Madagascar


I am a 21 year old senior high school student from Timbuktu, Mali. I study at the Timbuktu High School. When I was 14 years old in June 2012 my ordeal began. I was taken by armed men who were occupying the city of Timbuktu. They took me away to an unknown location, where I was sexually abused and raped. I was eventually released.

I am resilient thanks to the guidance and moral support of my parents, who have provided me with a glimmer of hope since that day. All thanks to l’Association des Victimes de la répression des mouvements armés (ADVERMA) who have also constantly supported me.

Hawa Cisse, Mali

Support Network

Before the insurgency, life was quiet and peaceful in my small home town Monguno, in the north-east of Nigeria, where I lived with my family and attended a local school. Until one Sunday morning on 25 January 2015, our village was attacked and I was taken captive. Over 15 months I was forced to marry three times. I tried to escape many times, but always failed. Finally, I was lucky to escape just as they planned to send me on a suicide mission. After two days in the bush, I arrived at the military barracks in Monguno and was happily reunited with my family.

We live in an IDP camp, but as I was seen as a former “wife” life at first was uncomfortable. I was unhappy, depressed and I kept to myself. I attended a support network for women who had survived captivity. It helped me overcome my fears and to tell my story to encourage others to overcome theirs. I made friends with women who went through similar experiences. We encourage each other to build our resilience. I now lead support groups and have gained peace and forgiveness

Falmata Bunu, Nigeria


Until 18 February 2013, the day I lost my husband and my son in a terrorist attack, I was a mother of three beautiful children and a happy wife of a well-recognised eye surgeon in Pakistan. Rising above my self-imposed isolation in 2015, I founded ‘The Grief Directory’; a bridge of compassion for the victims of terrorism in Pakistan and a source of newly discovered hope of making Pakistan a safer and more peaceful place for future generations.

Until 18 February 2013, the day I lost my husband and my son in a terrorist attack, I was a mother of three beautiful children and a happy wife of a well-recognised eye surgeon in Pakistan. Rising above my self-imposed isolation in 2015, I founded ‘The Grief Directory’; a bridge of compassion for the victims of terrorism in Pakistan and a source of newly discovered hope of making Pakistan a safer and more peaceful place for future generations.

Fatima Ali Haider, Pakistan


On 11 March 2004, I was an 18 year old university student. My life changed that day. Madrid woke up amidst chaos. Four commuter trains were attacked with bombs, leaving a trail of death and desolation: 192 innocent people were killed and almost 2,000 wounded. I was one of those injured. In another part of the city, my 19 year old friend, Angélica González, was also travelling in one of those death trains. She would be one of the fatalities. I left that train like a sleepwalker and, since that moment, a period of uncertainty began for me. The physical consequences of the attack were severe: a hemiplegia had paralyzed the left part of my body and I had lost hearing from my right ear. The attack made me feel immensely alone.

After that, considering the impossibility of returning to university in the short term, books became my best travel fellows. They saved my life. The habit of reading (that I had shared with Angélica) turned into a remedy against her absence, a way of telling those living in hate that they could not nor would they be able to bring me down.

Antonio Miguel Utrera Blanco, Spain


On 11 July 2010, my friends and I gathered at the Kyadondo Rugby Grounds in Kampala, Uganda to watch the World Cup finals. In the final minutes of the game, two loud bomb blasts rocked the rugby club. I sustained major injuries, including to my eyes. I was operated on three times before I could physically recover. I survived, but I lost friends. In the first three years, I was so traumatized that I could not be in public places with huge crowds.

The support and encouragement I received from my friends and workmates was instrumental in my healing process. My friends offered to take me out to places. I later went back to work as a sales assistant. Slowly through these positive experiences, I have gathered the courage to embrace life. To me, resilience means courage. When my friends and workmates gave me a shoulder to lean on, comforted me, I embraced them and chose to step out of my past and create a new day for myself. It took courage on my side because not everyone is able to embrace it and heal.

Kigozi Victor Zac, Uganda


On 7 July 2005, I was severely injured in the London bombings where 52 innocent people lost their lives and hundreds were injured. I suffered permanent injuries, including the loss of my left limb. This changed my life forever. I was on my way to work, having celebrated the night before our success to bring the Olympic Games to London in 2012. As I lay on the train tracks at Aldgate, I decided that I still had a job to do, I needed to be strong, to defy the intentions of the terrorists to kill me. I was not going to die.

Since then, I have made it my purpose to advocate for victims of terrorism - to work relentlessly to help make a difference to the lives of people who have had their lives changed through terrorism and other disasters. Resilience for me has been the unrelenting determination, fortitude and drive to achieve my “purpose”, to use my experience to make a positive difference to the lives of other victims and survivors. Doing this makes surviving 7/7 worth it.

Thelma Stober, United Kingdom


On 15 April 2013, I had just run past the 26 mile marker of the Boston marathon and the finish line was finally in sight. Suddenly, I heard a powerful noise and knew something was wrong. A second explosion happened seconds afterwards. Instantly the world changed forever. I thought I was going to die and leave my two boys without a mother. Although I had surgery on my calf to remove shrapnel, I was determined to get back to my life quickly. But, it was impossible to just bounce back and I realised I had to go through the experience.

Resilience isn’t about being strong, it is about being vulnerable and renegotiating the way I feel about myself and the world. Transformation is about redefining, rebuilding and transforming after the destruction of terrorism - it is about changing, growing and accepting the loss of who I used to be. So much has changed but that isn’t necessarily bad, in so many ways life is better, and I am a better person.

Amy O’Neill, United States

The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism brings together victims of terrorism and works with government and experts to have their voices heard and to promote their rights.

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