Al Jazeera has released dozens of documentaries in the last 12 months, many of them award-winning.

So we've compiled a list of our must-see documentaries of 2017, covering some of the year's major news events.

From the battle in the Philippines to take back Marawi from ISIL, to the showmanship of US President Donald Trump, these are seven Al Jazeera documentaries you cannot miss. 

The Boy Who Started the Syrian War

Mouawiya Syasneh was just 14 when he sprayed anti-government slogans on his school wall in Deraa, Syria. It was February 2011, and he could never have imagined that such a minor act would spark a full-blown civil war.

More than half a million people have been killed in Syria since the start of the conflict. Mouawiya's home city has been ravaged by street fighting, shelling and barrel bombing. The war has left scars that may never heal.

Now a young man, fighting on the front line for the Free Syrian Army, Mouawiya admits that had he known what the consequences of his actions would be, he would never have taunted the country's president, Bashar al-Assad.

His life has been transformed by that adolescent prank. He has lost friends and relatives, including his father. And Syria has been changed forever.

The Trump Show

Fault Lines: The Trump Show (25:19) 

From his long, unwieldy press conferences to the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice on prime time TV, Donald Trump delivers on spectacle.

There is conflict, there is humiliation, and there is supreme confidence - dramatic elements pulled straight out of a reality TV playbook that for Trump has been years in the making. The Apprentice, a show fronted and co-produced by Donald Trump, established him as a gospel of success, despite being plagued by bankruptcy and scandal.

Building on this image, and through similar projects, Trump has arguably become a brand unto himself, endearing himself to a segment of the American public that supported him all the way to the White House.

Josh Rushing explores Trump's reality TV rise from a C-list New York celebrity to the most powerful office in the world.

Going Back to Pakistan: 70 Years After Partition

WITNESS: Going Back to Pakistan - 70 years after partition (25:04) 

Krishan Kumar Khanna grew up just outside Lahore, Pakistan's second-largest city. After a childhood he remembers fondly, his life changed dramatically in August 1947.

As Britain left the Indian subcontinent, colonial planners hastily split it into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan.

Khanna was forced to join one of the largest migrations in human history, as sectarian violence erupted and millions fled in both directions to save their lives.

He has dreamed of going back ever since and, after trying for several years, Khanna finally obtained a visa to return to Pakistan.

Despite deep tensions, he's determined to show that people in the neighbouring nations still have much more in common than that which divides them.

Taking Back Marawi

ISIL captured the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines in order to turn it into a new province of the so-called Islamic State. It was an audacious move that took the government and military by surprise.

A fierce and deadly war ensued, signalling the group's determination to bring its battle from the Middle East to Southeast Asia. Ground and aerial bombardment have left Marawi in ruins, and nearly 1,000 people have been killed; 160 of them soldiers.

101 East joined the Philippines military in their final battle to take back the city.

The Cut: Exploring FGM

Al Jazeera Correspondent: The cut - Exploring FGM (48:11) 


At least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, also known as "cutting". 

The practice has no health benefits, but besides causing severe pain, FGM has serious immediate and long-term health consequences, including complications during childbirth, and can even lead to death.

"It was while making a web documentary for Al Jazeera about female genital mutilation that I realised how deeply rooted it is in many cultures, including my own," says Fatma Naib, a journalist whose family are from Eritrea where FGM is common, but who grew up in Sweden where the practice is illegal.

She went on a personal journey - from Somaliland and Kenya to Sweden - to explore the traditions and controversies inherent to FGM.

Balfour Declaration at 100: Seeds of Discord

A hundred years since Britain's infamous declaration, its repercussions are still felt across the Middle East today.

The Balfour Declaration was a public promise by the British government during World War One, announcing support for the establishment of "a national home for the Jewish people" in  Palestine

The declaration has had a profound impact on the Middle East and its people. For Palestinians, it represents the moment an  imperial power  promised their land away to another people. They hold Balfour responsible for their expulsion, displacement and occupation.

Inside Syria's War: Arms and Resistance in Jobar

People and Power: Inside Syria's war - Arms and resistance in Jobar part 1 (25:59)  

Lying just a couple of kilometres east of the centre of Old Damascus and some of the city's best-known ancient monuments - and just a couple more from the pompous modernistic monolith that is the Syrian presidential palace - the suburb of Jobar was once a peaceful and modestly prosperous place.

Then came the Arab Spring, the Syrian uprising of 2011 and the devastating war that followed. As in other parts of the capital and the country, many residents of Jobar joined the early peaceful demonstrations against President  Bashar al-Assad , seeking democratic reforms and policy changes.

The brutal response from state security services that these protests provoked and the subsequent armed rebellion that broke out across Syria saw Jobar caught up in events, and before too long the municipality found itself on the front line between Assad's regime and those trying to bring him down.

This two-part series is the inside story of how the people of Jobar have defended their homes against the might of the Assad regime. 

Source: Al Jazeera