By Brianna Wiest

For three years, filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand travelled the world collecting real stories from over 2,000 men and women in over 60 countries. He worked alongside a team of translators, journalists and cameramen, and captured the firsthand accounts of the human condition. The people whose interviews made it into the series are everyone from CEOs to Holocaust survivors to Syrian refugees to former drug addicts to happy garbage dump workers.

The profundity of their stories almost demand our compassion, and illuminate the common ties that bind us. Here are 12 of the most powerful within the series. For more, check out the whole project here, or join the conversation using #WhatMakesUsHUMAN.

Francine, a Holocaust survivor.

Cameron, an American actress.

Denis, an OBGYN who cares for women who have been assaulted, raped or mutilated.

Bill, the founder of Microsoft.

Sally, a Syrian refugee.

Aida, a garbage dump worker in Mbeubeuss.

Bruno, a man who lost the ability to use his legs.

Sophie, a woman whose path to sobriety began with the tragic loss of a friend.

Jane, an anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace.

Mary, the first female president of Ireland.

Muhammad, the inventor of microcredit, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Maria, a refugee who is building a new life for herself.

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