Coming soon on Witness
The lives of ordinary people, their unique stories and challenges.
Last updated: 01 Sep 2014 14:09
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Gaza Hospital: Beirut                                                                                  Wednesday, September 3

Overlooking the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila, Beirut’s ‘Gaza Hospital’ witnessed the Lebanese civil war and the Israeli invasion first hand. Most notably the hospital and its staff dealt with the bloody impact of the 72 hour massacre that took place there in 1982. The doctors and nurses received many injured people, treated the dying and dealt with the deathly toll.

After being damaged by the bombing, the hospital could no longer function and it became a refugee shelter. Some people who lost their loved ones still live in the partly empty building. These days operating theatres have become rubbish tips or have been converted into crude gyms, while wards have been turned into makeshift homes, densely packed with residents.

Returning after some 30 years, the international medical staff who worked there at the time - Dr Ang, Dr Aziza Khaldi, Nurse Eileen Seigel and others - recall those traumatic times.

Gaza Hospital: Beirut can be seen from Wednesday,September 3 at the following times GMT: Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930; Tuesday: 0330 and Wednesday: 1630.

The Revolution is Being Televised                                                                   SundaySeptember 7

This is the story of six media activists in Syria. Amidst the chaos of the uprising they struggle to tell the story of Qusayr, their town to the outside world. They risk their lives on a daily basis coming under attack from the regular and indiscriminate heavy shelling.

The Revolution Is Being Televised follows the work of Trad and five friends, as they capture the horrific realities of life in Syria, edit material together and argue about how they get it out to the rest of the world. This is their personal story, one of loss of family members, of survival and of fighting for a cause, where the risks and losses are made worthwhile by their first intoxicating taste of freedom.

The Revolution Is Being Televised can be seen  from Sunday, September  7 at the following times GMT:  Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930; Tuesday: 0330 and Wednesday: 1630.

Bird of Dawn                                                                                               Wednesday, September 10

In 2011 Sara Najafi, a young Tehran composer decides to try and make her dream become reality: to host a public concert featuring the best of contemporary Iranian and French female singers. But public performances by solo female vocalists in front of men have been banned in Iran since 1979.

To stage such a concert, Sara has to co-ordinate the busy schedules of the performers as well as secure the agreement both of the Iranian culture ministry and the religious authorities. Over three years, the camera traces her progress, the highs and lows as agreements are issued then revoked, permits offered then declined, forcing Sara to start the process all over again. But, she is tenacious and firmly believes that eventually the concert will take place.

This is a fascinating and dramatic film, giving deep insight into modern Iranian voices and views and exploring with tact and sensitivity Iran's musical heritage and the issues of censorship and prohibition.

Bird of Dawn can be seen from Wednesday, September 10 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2000; Thursday: 1200; Friday: 0100; Saturday: 0600.

Let Us Talk                                                                                                          SundaySeptember 14

Can a single voice over the radio move listeners beyond the pain and anger of recent memories - violence that pit neighbors against each other, the exploitation of child soldiers, unimaginable atrocities, and the displacement of millions?

For the people of Sierra Leone, a nation struggling to repair itself after more than a decade of war, the answer to that question comes in the simple Krio phrase "Leh Wi Tok” (Let us talk).

Leh Wi Tok” is a documentary film that highlights the story of radio pioneer Andrew Kromah and his unrelenting quest to grow an independent network of community-based radio stations in his country so that peace and democracy can flourish.

Let Us Talk can be seen from Sunday, September 14 at the following times GMT: Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930; Tuesday: 0330 and Wednesday: 1630.

Village at the End of the World                                                               WednesdaySeptember 17

This is a stunning film set in a spectacular Arctic location. Niaqornat, a remote Inuit village on the North West Greenland coast has 59 inhabitants but the fish factory - the main source of employment, was forced to close. The ice is melting due to climate change and the government no longer wants to subsidise the ship which brings food supplies. Young people are leaving to seek work so the village is at risk of being abandoned.

Teenager Lars surfs the internet and cannot wait to escape, but most don’t want to leave their homes and way of life. A film about a tiny community pulling together to save their village despite the odds being stacked against them.

Village at the End of the World can be seen from Wednesday, September 17 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2000; Thursday: 1200; Friday: 0100; Saturday: 0600.

Russia’s Online Wavemakers                                                                         SundaySeptember 21

Sergei Mukhamedov is a young Moscow blogger with his hand on the pulse of Russia’s capital city. He rails against the restrictions on freedom of expression introduced by Vladimir Putin. Working alone he scans the Twittersphere for story tips. He dashes to where the action is, making sure he’s first on the scene to break a story and gets it out immediately onto the internet. His reports expose corruption and deal with the issues faced by ordinary citizens. When he sees a Tweet about unusual activities at a national bank, he dashes there only to find it being closing down taking with it their poor clients’ savings. His quick response not only exposes corruption at the bank but his story posts even helps the bank’s clients in faraway Siberia get their money out before their branch is closed there too.

Irina Gundareva is an investigative journalist at a newspaper in Chelyabinsk, Siberia. She won’t accept her stories being censored - and when she feels she cannot do a story fully in her own paper, she takes to the blogosphere. Determined to expose corruption and injustice, she has braved harassment and threats from officials and businessmen in order to report truthfully on her blog. She takes us to the city’s outskirts and the garbage dump where, at great personal risk, she reports on the criminals with connections to the local government who are using migrant slave labourers to recycle garbage for profit.

These two stories weave together to show us the energy, commitment and passion of Russia’s new online wave makers, determined to get their stories told.

Russia’s Online Wavemakers can be seen from Sunday, September 21 at the following times GMT: Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930; Tuesday: 0330 and Wednesday: 1630.   

On the e -Waste Trail                                                                                WednesdaySeptember 24

Mike Anane, Ghana’s most experienced environmental journalist, investigates the growing illegal e-waste trail from Europe to Africa and Asia and confronts the failing systems of control. Nearly a thousand containers of e-waste a month arrive from consuming countries to Agbogbloshie, a former fishing village in Accra where Mike grew up, and it has become one of the world’s largest e-waste dumps, causing pollution and irreparable environmental damage. 

Every year, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste - computers, television sets, mobile phones, household appliances - are discarded in the developed world. Since recycling is costly, around 75% of this waste is shipped to countries such as India, China or Ghana, where it is dumped illegally, polluting the environment and affecting the lives of those forced to live with it.

The investigation begins in Europe (UK, Spain, France, Germany, Brussels), takes us to Asia (Hong Kong,China) and the US, and ends in Agbogbloshie, one of the largest e-waste cemeteries in Africa.

The film will reveal how large amounts of e-waste are diverted from the legal recycling circuits, using false paperwork and with many of those in the know turning a blind eye. It will show how the irresponsible 'urban mining' of e-waste in Asian dumpsites is flaunting health and safety regulations and creating unexpected problems for the manufacturers of new electronics.

Last but not least, it will show how the new consumers in the developing countries are exacerbating the problem by adding their own e-waste to the illegal imports.

On the e-Waste Trailcan be seen from Sunday, September 21 at the following times GMT: Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930; Tuesday: 0330 and Wednesday: 1630.   

Eyes of Nuba                                                                                                      SundaySeptember 28

For Ahmed Khatir, when the war broke out there in June 2011, he watched, powerless, as Sudanese soldiers burned his family’s home. But instead of taking up arms to join with the rebels he decided instead to join a group of citizen journalists who are determined to make the world take notice as another African conflict unfolds. This small band of self-taught journalists based in the Nuba Mountains, on the border between Sudan and newly formed South Sudan. It is a place consumed by a conflict reminiscent of earlier regional wars. Hoping his pictures will bring action, Ahmed is now one of five Nuban reporters who roam the region recording the testimonies from those caught in the crossfire. They hope their work will bring the world's attention to this tragedy.

Sudan’s president Omar Bashir and his government are waging a scorched earth campaign on its own people, terrorizing all of Nuba because of the rebel SPLA (Sudanese People’s Liberation Army) presence there. Sudanese bombers randomly attack and burn villages, all in an effort to drive out the local population they suspect are in bed with the SPLA. Many now live in nearby caves, forced from their land and on the brink of starvation. But this is a forgotten war. Few outside journalists have ventured into Nuba, and little information comes out of there. Ahmed and his team know that for the people living in Nuba, information and reaching out to the rest of the world may be their only hope of survival. Their aim is to prevent the region from descending further into genocide, to avoid becoming the next Darfur.

Eyes of Nuba can be seen from Sunday, September 28 at the following times GMT: Sunday: 2230; Monday: 0930; Tuesday: 0330 and Wednesday: 1630. 

Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.
join our mailing list