A weekly showcase of one-hour documentary films from across the Al Jazeera Network.
Arabs Abroad: The Activist and the Entrepreneur | Al Jazeera World
Millions of people from the Arab world have migrated or taken refuge in other countries over the decades, to escape war and persecution or for economic, educational and family reasons.
Arabs Abroad meets those who have built successful lives in countries outside the Middle East, focusing not on their journey but on their destination.
This episode meets two women who have overcome great odds to find success in their new lives abroad - one a politician and social activist in Iceland, the other an award-winning Moroccan-Dutch businesswoman who has created a multimillion-dollar business but still finds time to help disadvantaged young people in the Netherlands.
Doctor of Hope in Syria, Yemen and Turkey | Al Jazeera World
Experienced consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Zouhair Lahna devotes most of his time to working as a volunteer in general and maternity medicine in places where there is little or no medical care.
In this film, he travels to Syria, Yemen and southern Turkey to perform surgeries, deliver babies and pass on his knowledge and expertise to the next generation of doctors, midwives and nurses.
Lahna’s voluntary work is inspiring as well as appreciated by everyone he meets, as he delivers a powerful, personal message of humanity and hope wherever he goes.
A Palestinian Israeli Crime Wave | Al Jazeera World
There is a dark underworld of Palestinian crime syndicates operating within Israel.
Al Jazeera Arabic’s Tamer Almisshal examines this rarely reported but growing phenomenon.
He meets victims, gangsters and those attempting to keep a lid on a spiralling trend of lawlessness directed at Palestinian citizens of Israel.
He asks how the organised crime gangs work, who protects them, where they source their weapons, why murder rates are increasing and, importantly, what the Israeli police are doing to protect the Palestinian citizens of Israel?
Some accuse Israeli authorities of turning a blind eye, or worse, colluding with and inﬁltrating the gangs for political reasons, while Benjamin Netanyahu announced a multimillion-dollar initiative to combat these crimes.
But until little has changed and Palestinian victims add this problem to their already challenging lives in Israel.
The Story of Al Jazeera: A Unique Path | Al Jazeera World
Twenty-five years ago, a new era in television news in the Middle East began when Al Jazeera Arabic started broadcasting from its headquarters in Doha, Qatar. Today, its news, current affairs and documentaries are seen and trusted by millions worldwide.
Al Jazeera began broadcasting in Arabic to an audience starved of free and independent news. It shook the Arabic-speaking world, tackling subjects previously thought too controversial or taboo.
The channel’s presence on the ground and its regional knowledge gave it an advantage over rival networks, as it produced bold journalism, reporting both sides of the story and often drawing harsh criticism from governments accustomed to a more compliant media.
In the past 25 years, Al Jazeera has won many awards for its fearless pursuit of the truth in an increasingly authoritarian world, continuing to hold power to account, while at the same time telling the human story - both on-air and online.
This documentary, made to mark the network’s 25th anniversary, tells the story of the Arabic channel's launch through the global events it reported in its first 10 years.
Senegal’s Pink Lake | Al Jazeera World
The Pink Lake in Senegal attracts tourists and is a vital local resource, but there are certain environmental issues that could threaten its existence.
Lake Retba, or Lac Rose, near the capital, Dakar, is the only pink lake in Africa. It is a top tourist attraction and the salt dug from its bed also underpins the local economy on which thousands of people in Senegal and West Africa depend.
But it is also right next to the Atlantic Ocean and a strip of constantly moving dunes - so blowing sand can cause siltation and disturb the lake’s ecosystem. Seashell mining also used to disrupt the flow of underground water to the lake and local rainfall has fallen due to climate change.
Some local experts are worried that the lake’s salt may be being overexploited. Although action has been taken to protect it – the government has banned seashell mining and the lake is now given an annual biological rest – there is still a risk that if the environmental situation were to deteriorate, the effects could be quite serious. Continued, unregulated urbanisation of the area, for example, could expose the lake to the nearby sand dunes and prevent rainfall from reaching its waters.
Such ecological changes would affect many people’s lives. Some scientists also believe the lake’s value is not only in its salt - its unusual ecology, they say, might provide valuable insights into the science of climate change.
The Pink Lake has been on UNESCO’s tentative heritage list since 2005, but this has still not materialised. However, if environmental protection is not maintained, significant harm could be done to the lake.
Samaritan Weddings: Signed, Sealed, Delivered | Al Jazeera World
The Samaritans are a tiny ethnic-religious community dating back almost 3,000 years – and they are a population in crisis. But perhaps not for long. Marriage agencies in Ukraine have arranged for more than a dozen women to marry into the Samaritan community in Palestine.
Many Samaritans live in a mountain village near Nablus in the occupied West Bank and face a worrying numbers problem. There are only 800 surviving Samaritans, where once they were counted in their thousands. Men outnumber women by three to one. Their custom is that a young Samaritan man can only marry a woman from within the community if he has a sister who he can offer as a bride in return.
Faced with a fight for survival, a Samaritan religious leader changed the rules to allow Samaritan men to marry women from abroad. While some traditional Samaritans initially resisted the arrival of several Ukrainian brides into this close-knit community, the women are adapting to their new surroundings and providing a population lifeline to this small community.