9 Global Stories You May Have Missed In 2017

By looking at the number of pageviews for our stories from 2017, we came up with our most popular stories of the year.

But there are other ways to measure success.

Some stories don’t get a lot of pageviews — maybe people missed out on them because there was too much news that day, or the topic didn’t appeal to them. But the people who do click on them spend a lot of time on page. That’s a sure sign of reader interest. We think of these posts as overlooked gems. Here are some of our most underappreciated Goats and Soda stories of 2017.

All-Female Orchestra From Afghanistan Is A Force For Change

It’s perhaps the unlikeliest symphony orchestra in the world — an all-female ensemble from a strict Muslim society where it’s often dangerous for young women to step outside their homes unescorted.

Marjan practices at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. Rachel Corner/De Beeldunie hide caption

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Rachel Corner/De Beeldunie

A Family Of Ebola Fighters: ‘With God’s Help, We Made It’

Three small children walked along the gravel path, draped in ill-fitting clothing and followed by two young men and a man and woman in their 40s. “Y’all one family?” asked a member of a burial team. “One family,” replied the older man, beaming through a weary face. “We are seven.”

They’re a family of survivors (from left): Ramatu Shellu, 8; Bindu Shellu, 44; Luqman Shellu, 10; Hassan Shellu, 22; Reuben Shellu, 43; and Kadija Shellu, 7, pose at their family home in Monrovia. Not pictured: Sekou Shellu, 24, who was working out of town when this picture was taken. Ashoka Mukpo for NPR hide caption

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Ashoka Mukpo for NPR

To Win This Board Game, Keep Away From The Matchmaker

A new game called “Arranged” is darkly funny as it skewers the South Asian tradition of arranged marriage. The goal is to run away from the matchmaker.

The point of the game is avoid the matchmaker (the figurine with hands clasped at the front of the photograph). Lucas Vasilko hide caption

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Lucas Vasilko

The Little Boy Who Escaped From Boko Haram

“My father is dead, and my mother is in the bush,” he says. He is probably about 6 but doesn’t know for sure. He’s got huge eyes, a beautiful smile and a sadness no child his age should have to endure.

This young boy was kidnapped by Boko Haram. He managed to escape, spent months in a government barracks and now lives in a rehabilitation center. He is probably around 6 years old but doesn’t know for sure. Jide Adeniyi-Jones for NPR hide caption

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Jide Adeniyi-Jones for NPR

Gonorrhea — AKA The Clap — Is Excellent At Resisting Antibiotics

The bacterium that causes gonorrhea is developing resistance to the antibiotics that have successfully treated it for decades.

This is a color-enhanced transmission electron micrograph image of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium that causes gonorrhea. David M. Phillips/Science Source hide caption

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David M. Phillips/Science Source

Agnes Binagwaho Is A Doctor With ‘Sassitude’

“When I was a little mouse, I tried to make as much noise as a lion,” says Binagwaho. “When I became stronger, I made less noise because the objective was to change.”

Dr. Agnes Binagwaho: “When I was a little mouse, I tried to make as much noise as a lion. When I became stronger, I made less noise because the objective was to change. And sometimes to change, you better study and try to do it without screaming too much.” Carolyn Rogers/NPR hide caption

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Carolyn Rogers/NPR

Web Comic: A Scientist Runs For His Life And Finds His Dream

Read the illustrated comic about the scientist who escaped Aleppo.

Nedal Said risked everything to rejoin the scientific community. Erik Nelson Rodriguez for NPR hide caption

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Erik Nelson Rodriguez for NPR

Erik Nelson Rodriguez for NPR

New Yorker Redesigns Her Life To Help Kids In Ghana

Pat Wilkins sold her condo and BMW, quit her job in the textile industry and went looking for a meaningful life. She decided to start a nonprofit to give kids a better chance to succeed in school. And at first it was a failure. So how’s it doing now?

Pat Wilkins didn’t plan to live in Ghana. But the former New Yorker is now so much a part of the society that, as one Ghanaian puts it, “We don’t even see her as an American. She is family to us.” Amy Yee for NPR hide caption

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Amy Yee for NPR

Alexis Okeowo Finds God In The Brave Acts Of Ordinary Africans

In her new book, A Moonless, Starless Sky, the 2006 Princeton University grad writes about ordinary Africans who are resisting religious and cultural fundamentalism with acts of everyday bravery.

Alexis Okeowo speaks at the 2017 New Yorker Festival at Gramercy Theatre on Oct. 6 in New York City. Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The New Yorker hide caption

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Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The New Yorker

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