30 episodes

A weekly showcase of one-hour documentary films from across the Al Jazeera Network.

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A weekly showcase of one-hour documentary films from across the Al Jazeera Network.

    • video
    President Jovenel Moise: What is next for Haiti? | Talk to Al Jazeera

    President Jovenel Moise: What is next for Haiti? | Talk to Al Jazeera

    Haiti was the first black republic in the 19th century, created by a revolution that overthrew slavery maintained by French colonial rule.

    But independence came at a cost, and Haiti had to pay billions in compensation which left the country bankrupt since its creation.

    Added to the nation's bankruptcy, high levels of inequality and poverty have persisted over the years, and political attempts to fight corruption have not ended well.

    Jean Bertrand Aristide, the country's first democratically-elected president in 1994, was removed from office twice when he confronted the country's elite.

    In 2010, a powerful 7.0 earthquake left the country destroyed and killed between 200,000 and 300,000 people. The earthquake left over 1.5 million people displaced and the international community saw the disaster as an opportunity to rethink foreign aid.

    But little has changed in Haiti, a decade after the devastating earthquake.

    Haiti's President Jovenel Moise talks to Al Jazeera about reconstruction efforts and what is next for the country.

    "We must not confuse the post-earthquake crisis with the socio-economic crisis that we are currently going through in Haiti. The socio-economic crisis is a permanent crisis.The state we have today is a predatory state that is governed by a few corrupt oligarchs who seek to control the key areas of development," Moise explains.

    Over $13bn were pledged to help Haiti recover from the earthquake. But only half of that money was released, according to the UN, and Haitians only received half of the money they were promised by donors led by the United States. Much of the funds were spent on short-term programmes to assist people with food, water and healthcare.

    "This money should have been spent on building villages around Port-au-Prince, villages which would provide homes for I would say, tens of thousands of families. In terms of results, no reconstruction has actually taken place and I am someone who believes in lasting structural development," says Moise.

    Last year thousands took to the streets to protest against corruption, demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.

    "Today it is as if I am being crucified, people are shouting: 'Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!'," Moise says arguing that he has been fighting against corruption despite the accusations from protesters.

    Moise was mentioned in a corruption scandal involving the PetroCaribe fund, a strategic oil alliance signed with Venezuela where Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas, bought subsidised oil from Venezuela. The Haitian government was supposed to use the extra money for social programmes and to advance the economy.

    But billions from the fund were embezzled by those in charge and President Moise was mentioned in a 600-page investigation.

    "I was placed on a cross and I descended from it to talk to the people to tell them that is was not my aim to work against them and now the people are beginning to understand," he says.

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    • 24 min
    • video
    The Shame of My Name | Al Jazeera World

    The Shame of My Name | Al Jazeera World

    Filmmaker: Sameh Mejri

    The Shame of my Name is the story of how some Algerians during the colonial period were forced to change their names by French colonial authorities at the time. Many of the names these Algerians were forced to carry hold demeaning and even vulgar meanings.

    The burden of these forced names is still carried by some Algerians to this day.

    The names were in the local Algerian Arabic dialect and cover a range of vulgar words, including descriptions of bodily functions and genitalia.

    In this film, we meet several of these individuals whose families were forced to carry names which translate as "Arse," "Runny Nose" and even more offensive monikers. One contributor finds her name so offensive that she cannot bring herself to utter it. She has since changed her name.

    “I go home and rest my head on the pillow. I pray to God to rid me of that ugly name which had become a curse in my everyday life,” Messaoud Bakhti tells Al Jazeera.

    Bakhti’s forefathers were forcibly called "Gahroum" which in the Algerian dialect means "Arse" - a name having nothing to do with the heritage of his ancestors.

    In 1882, 50 years after the French colonisation of Algeria, the French introduced the Civil Status Law. This allowed the authorities to impose approved names on Algerians arbitrarily. The decree stated that names would be in the “European style”, with a first name followed by the family name, which was quite different from traditional Muslim names.

    But beyond this, the law was frequently interpreted by some officials in ways that demeaned and insulted Algerians. And assigning European-style names to Algerians, whether offensive or not, had another important side effect. It muddied the waters of land ownership, making it difficult for some Algerians to prove their rightful title to their land.

    All of which means that now the spotlight is on France, with many Algerians saying that it is the responsibility of the French government and theirs alone, to pick up the pieces of this particular French colonial policy.

    Some say a full apology is long overdue and that reparations should be paid.

    “Yes, the French colonisers are responsible for this. But I also believe post-independent Algeria is responsible too,” Amel Ali Lhadfi, a former victim of obscene naming, says.

    She believes Algerian authorities could make it easy to settle this problem if they wanted to or at least the process should not take such a long time.

    "Whoever decides to change their name has to realise it may take 10 years.”

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    • 47 min
    • video
    Fayez al-Sarraj on arms, war and peace in Libya | Talk to Al Jazeera

    Fayez al-Sarraj on arms, war and peace in Libya | Talk to Al Jazeera

    With Libya's civil war now in its sixth year, world leaders gathered at a summit in Berlin in an attempt to restore stability and peace to Libya.

    The summit was aimed at a stronger commitment from world powers and regional actors to non-interference in the oil-rich North African state and to genuinely support a fragile ceasefire.

    All participating parties pledged to respect a UN-imposed arms embargo that has so far failed to stop an influx of troops, money and weapons to the country.

    Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who leads the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, and renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, who heads the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), attended the talks, but not in the same room.

    "The main cause of the Libyan crisis is the hostile foreign interventions," Fayez al-Sarraj told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview.

    "Violations to the arms embargo have been taking place for years. This is what led the opposition to believe that they have military power and pushed them away from finding a political solution. This is because of its excessive military and security support."

    Al-Sarraj says a political solution is the only way to end the conflict and that they don't want to become "another Syria or a source of conflict or a proxy war on Libyan soil".

    "We know that some countries, including Russia, have interests and ambitions in Libya ... We wonder why the UAE is building a military base in eastern Libya, sending its planes and supporting one side at the expense of the other ... It is not correct to recognise a party and then support the other party the way they are doing it."

    "Libya, in its current situation, leads to security problems and terrorism, uncontrolled borders and violence. This can impact neighbouring countries, too," he warned. "Everyone is now talking about stopping the flow of arms to Libya. We hope that this will be the last conference. And hopefully, the Libyan crisis will finally be resolved."

    Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj talks to Al Jazeera about the Berlin summit, foreign interference in Libya and his hopes for the future.
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    • 24 min
    • video
    Juan Guaido interview: 'All Venezuelans want change' | Talk to Al Jazeera

    Juan Guaido interview: 'All Venezuelans want change' | Talk to Al Jazeera

    In January 2019, Juan Guaido, the almost unknown president of Venezuela's opposition-controlled national assembly took his country and the world by surprise: Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela.

    The justification was that President Nicolas Maduro was not a legitimately elected leader but an usurpator and dictator.

    Venezuelans, desperate for economic and political change, rushed to show their support. And with the US leading the charge, nearly 60 countries followed suit.

    But 12 months later, the promise of political change seems to have evaporated.

    With help from China, Russia, Iran and others Maduro has circumvented harsh economic sanctions meant to force him out. Negotiations to allow new presidential elections have failed miserably, as has Guaido's appeal to the army to support regime change.

    Maduro has retaliated by arresting or exiling scores of opponents.

    Driven by worsening poverty and hyperinflation, disheartened Venezuelans have joined the unprecedented exodus of millions of their compatriots to neighbouring countries.

    On January 5, soldiers surrounded parliament to block Guaido's reelection as speaker of the house while the pro-government minority named someone of its choosing.

    While much of the international community calls the latest conflict escalation a sham, and continues to recognise Guaido as the leader of Venezuela's only independent institution, the crisis seems to be reaching a new tipping point. And the possibility of regime change seems like a very distant possibility.

    So, what is next for Guaido and Venezuela? Has Guaido underestimated Maduro's resilience? And how can Guaido stop the military-based government from consolidating its power?

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    • 26 min
    • video
    Arabs Abroad: The Paralympian and the Bone Maker | Al Jazeera World

    Arabs Abroad: The Paralympian and the Bone Maker | Al Jazeera World

    Filmmakers: Mohammad Amr and Nasser Farghaly

    Al Jazeera World with a series of films titled Arabs Abroad sources emigration success stories from all parts of the world. This film documents two Arabs abroad whose life and work reflects people with disabilities.

    The Paralympian

    Abderrahman Ait Khamouch represents his adopted country Spain as a Paralympic athlete, gaining accolades and awards including three Olympic silver medals.

    His story begins several hundred kilometres to the south, with a traumatic childhood accident in the small Moroccan village where he was raised. He was just eight years old when his right arm was burned by a bonfire, after which he jumped into a well to quell the pain. He suffered a severe fracture and infection which resulted in his arm being amputated.

    “When the doctor saw me, he told my brother I had just 24 hours to live. That night, the doctor amputated my right arm,” Abderrahman Ait Khamouch tells Al Jazeera.

    As a young adult, Ait Khamouch migrated to Spain in a small boat along with 40 other people. He later became a world-class long-distance runner, despite facing challenges finding work as a person with a disability.

    “I was motivated by the goal of helping my family in the village of Melaab. I also wanted to prove to myself that one day I could be successful and to show the others I could do it.”

    The Bone Maker

    Dr Hala Zreiqat is a Jordanian living in Sydney, Australia’s biggest city. She has become a world leader in regenerative medicine, designing synthetic bone implants using 3D printing.

    She uses cutting-edge technology and ceramic material to create bone implants which have been successfully tested in animals. Human trials of her 3D printed bones are just around the corner.

    “My ultimate goal is to see our inventions used by people so that humanity can benefit from our work,” Zreiqat tells Al Jazeera.

    Her work reflects the future of 3D printing technology that may include better treatment options for millions of people around the world.

    Zreiqat is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Sydney in Australia and has earned recognition in her adopted country. In 2018, Zreiqat was named New South Wales Woman of the Year for her outstanding contribution to medical research.

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    • 47 min
    • video
    Nickolay Mladenov : ' There is no Middle East peace process' | Talk to Al Jazeera

    Nickolay Mladenov : ' There is no Middle East peace process' | Talk to Al Jazeera

    The Middle East peace process is a term that has been used by world leaders time and time again.

    It refers to efforts by the international community to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    One of the most significant events of the past 50 years was the Oslo Accords, a set of agreements that were first signed in 1993 by the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
    It put in place a series of procedures based on United Nations (UN) resolutions for the eventual goal of an independent Palestinian state.

    To oversee this agreement the UN established the office of the special coordinator for the Middle East peace process. The coordinator's mandate is to lead the UN system in all political and diplomatic efforts related to the peace process.

    But nearly 30 years since its establishment, how has it affected Palestinians, Israelis and the broader region? And is there hope to achieve peace in the region?

    "There is no Middle East peace process," says Nickolay Mladenov, who has been the UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process since 2015. "I don't think either the Israeli or the Palestinian side - for various different reasons - are in a position to actually currently engage in meaningful negotiations.... I feel that a lot of our work currently is focused more on preventing war in Gaza ..., preserving the consensus internationally as much as possible on how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be resolved, and really working quietly to build conditions for the future leadership on both sides to hopefully come back to the negotiating table in a meaningful manner."

    He points out that despite changing realities on the ground and ongoing conflict, "ultimately ... you have two million people in Gaza, three million people in the West Bank - and they are not going anywhere. As much as Israel has a right to stay ... in the land between the river and the sea, so do they."

    Mladenov shares his concerns about the future of the region and the situation in Gaza, and he says, "I am very fearful; if you look at the rest of the Middle East, if you look at Iraq, if you look at Syria. If you leave a community long enough marginalised, and disempowered and disenfranchised and segregated and closed, that community collapses and becomes a breeding ground for radicals. We don't want to see that happening," he says.

    "I fear every single day that we are just days away from another war in Gaza."

    The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, talks to Al Jazeera about Jared Kushner's Middle East plans, Israeli settlements, and the challenges facing the Middle East.
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    • 25 min

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