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Why Would You Read This? If Only to Remember

One of my first meetings today involved hearing about the murder of Palestinian journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, in Jenin. Shireen was wearing a press vest, but that didn't matter; she was shot in the head by Israeli forces. The person telling us of this tragedy knew Shireen, and it is evident that she was an extraordinarily loving and caring person. Two Ukrainian journalists and three foreign journalists have been recently killed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on 24 February. Let me say their names just as we have spoken of Shireen.

Russian journalist Oksana Baulina, Pierre Zakrzewski, a cameraman used to covering wars, and Oleksandra Kuvshynova, just 24 years of age and a journalist, were killed. Brent Renaud, a US documentary filmmaker who worked for the New York Times, shot in the back of the neck while driving his car in a small town north of Kyiv, and Yevhenii Sakun, a Ukrainian cameraman working for the local Kyiv Live TV channel, who was killed when Russian missiles hit the television tower in which he worked. After a long search, the body of photojournalist Maks Levin was found near the village of Huta Mezhyhirska in the Kyiv region.

I am reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh's poem, "Please Call Me by My True Names" in which he urges us to not separate ourselves from the world around us. To not allow ourselves to be numb by overwhelming happenings of war, devastation and crisis, but to be present in the moment, to recognize the names.

Please call me by my actual name,

so I can wake up,

and so the door of my heart

can be left open,

the door of compassion.

Just as US poet laureate Billy Collins responded to the 9/11 tragedy:

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.

A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,

And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,

I started with A, with Ackerman, and as it happened,

Then Baxter and Calabro,

Davis and Eberling, names falling into place...

So, I continue with those who have lost their lives thus far this year, helping us remember what is happening in this fragile, vulnerable world. Let us call them by name.

Freelance photojournalist, Alfonso Margarito Martínez Esquivel, murdered in Mexico. Also in Mexico, the co-founder of Monitor Michoacán, Armando Linares López, was attacked outside his own home. In another Mexican state, Oaxaca, Heber López Vasquez was killed as he opened the door to his house.

In Haiti, suspected gang members shot and killed journalists John Wesley Amady and Wilguens Louis-Saint as they reported on the lack of security in Port-au-Prince.

Across the ocean, in Chad's southern village of Sandana, radio broadcaster Evariste Djailoramdji was ambushed and left dead. While in Myanmar, the military abducted ten people, including journalist Pu Tuidim. All were later executed. In India's eastern state of Odisha, an improvised explosive device detonated, killing newspaper reporter Rohit Biswal.

We remember their names and say them here to remember they were real people, courageous journalists.

Thomas Hübl and Trauma-Informed Leadership

We live surrounded by trauma, whether it is the realization of what is happening in our families, dealing with the pandemic that refuses to leave us, the astronomical rise in suicide or the war in Ukraine, or the rebellions and struggles across the world. We are called to raise our awareness of the multifaceted nature of trauma and understand its impact on us, our teams, and our work within our organizations and compassionate initiatives.

The Pocket Project, in partnership with the Charter for Compassion, is offering this 6-month course to develop trauma-informed awareness and strengthen our sources of resilience and sensitivity with the aim of opening up to an increased flow of information, creativity, and impact.

This course will allow us to expand our awareness of our lives, our organizations, and our relationship to the world to include movements that take place below the surface and give rise to our everyday experiences. We often wish to free ourselves from recurring patterns of friction and find ways to express our love and service more genuinely and effectively. Instead of being caught in the symptoms, we aim to acquire the ability to turn our gaze to the unseen layers and trace back the lines of creation to their origins so that we become more able to integrate the past, fulfill our potential and create new opportunities and possibilities.

Learn more and register here.

With warm regards,


This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 5/15/2022 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2023
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