Frontline World

Stories By Region: Middle East

July 2009

Jailed In Iran
A reporter's story

This is not your expected tale of a three-week stint in an Iranian prison. Photojournalist Iason Athanasiadis-Fowden was in Iran covering the recent elections when he was arrested and charged with espionage. He spoke to us over Skype from his parents home in Greece shortly after being released. read more

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June 2009

Egypt: Middle East, Inc
The next generation of entrepreneurs

In Egypt, a country that suffers from the highest rate of youth unemployment in the world, FRONTLINE/World reporter Amanda Pike finds an organization trying to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurs. She follows along as it pits the best student companies against each other in a nail-biting competition. read more

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June 2009

ROUGHCUT

Iran: The Stem Cell Fatwa
Science and religion's unlikely union

While headlines about Iran barely get beyond religious extremism and nuclear bombs, this FRONTLINE/World story reveals that the staunchly conservative theocracy has married science and religion to become a world-class hub for embryonic stem cell research. read more

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May 2009

Iraq: Living in Hiding
Inside a secret women's shelter in Baghdad

Photographer Mimi Chakarova travels behind the closed doors of a secret women's shelter in Baghdad, where victims of rape find a rare security from the dangers outside. read more

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November 2007

Egypt: Extraordinary Rendition
Investigating the CIA's secret detentions

Four years ago, award-winning journalist Stephen Grey left his job at The Sunday Times in London to investigate one of the darkest sides of the Bush Administration's war on terror -- the CIA's controversial rendition and interrogation program. read more

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September 2007

ROUGHCUT

Dubai: Night Secrets
The oldest profession in the newest playground

Known as the Las Vegas of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is a boomtown where men outnumber women three to one. Prostitution is illegal but rampant. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova goes undercover to investigate. read more

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August 2007

ROUGHCUT

Iraq: The Alcohol Smugglers
Kurds deliver contraband liquor to Iran

With Iraq mired in a chaotic civil war, those who can get out are doing so. According to the latest United Nations figures, 50,000 Iraqis a month are now leaving their country. Those who remain try to survive any way they can, like the resourceful Kurdish smugglers in this week's Rough Cut. read more

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June 2007

Kuwait: The 99
Superheroes of the Muslim world

Move over Batman and Superman; the most popular comic book in the Arab world today is The 99, tales of Muslim superheroes based on Islamic culture. It was created by Naif al-Mutawa, a 36-year-old from Kuwait who was educated in the United States. FRONTLINE/World reporter Isaac Solotaroff follows al-Mutawa as he markets his comics across the Middle East, hoping to spread a moderate, modern image of Islam. read more

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March 2007

News War: War of Ideas

In the fourth hour of News War, FRONTLINE/World reporter Greg Barker travels to the Middle East to examine the rise of Arab satellite TV channels and their impact on the "war of ideas" at a time of convulsive change and conflict in the region. His report focuses on the growing influence of Al Jazeera, and the controversy around the recent launch of Al Jazeera English, which U.S. satellite and cable companies have declined to carry. Barker also visits the "war room" of the State Department's Rapid Response Unit, which monitors Arab media 24 hours a day, and meets with U.S. military officers whose mission is to engage the Arab news channels in debate. read more

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March 2007

News War: Requiem

At a time when fair and accurate news coverage is more essential than ever, 2006 marked one of the deadliest years on record for journalists. Surprisingly, despite the fierce fighting in Iraq, most of the slain journalists did not die in combat. They were deliberately targeted, hunted down, and murdered for investigating corruption, crime, or human rights abuses in countries around the world. In Requiem, FRONTLINE/World essayist Sheila Coronel looks at the dangers journalists confront as they try to tell their stories and pays special tribute to reporters working in the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, Zimbabwe, China and Iraq who have been killed, jailed, or exiled for daring to speak truth to power. read more

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December 2006

ROUGHCUT

Iraq: Law and Disorder
On patrol with Kirkuk's police chief

This will be the third "Rough Cut" Karzan Sherabayani has produced for FRONTLINE/World from his native city of Kirkuk. To show what residents and the police must face in an increasingly violent city, Sherabayani goes on patrol with the city's police chief, a man he introduces as the most-wanted policeman in Kirkuk, because of the many insurgents who would like to kill him. read more

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September 2006

ROUGHCUT

Vacation From War
Life on base in the Persian Gulf

In this week's Rough Cut, we head to the Persian Gulf on a military tour with Chicago rock band Hello Dave. Traveling with the group to six bases in five Muslim countries over 11 days, filmmakers Aliza Nadi and Cerissa Tanner capture an intimate and unstructured portrayal of soldiers snatching a few days' R&R before returning to duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. read more

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August 2006

ROUGHCUT

Iraq: The Fight Over Kirkuk's Oil
Who will control the region's most valuable asset?

In his second Rough Cut report for FRONTLINE/World, Kurdish exile Karzan Sherabayani returns to his hometown of Kirkuk to investigate Iraq's growing oil crisis. With insurgents targeting fuel supplies and Iraqi oil output down to a trickle, Sherabayani reports on the rising tension and violence over the country's most valuable asset. read more

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May 2006

Palestinian Territories: Inside Hamas
After winning the vote, can they govern?

FRONTLINE/World correspondent Kate Seelye travels across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to investigate Hamas, the militant Islamist group responsible for scores of suicide bombings and missile attacks on Israel -- and the surprise winner of January's Palestinian elections. Gaining access to Hamas's political leadership and to its secretive military wing, Seelye builds a portrait of an organization teetering between a political awakening and a familiar cycle of bloody resistance. read more

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March 2006

Israel: The Unexpected Candidate
The political conversion of Ehud Olmert

In the wake of a stunning electoral victory by the militant Palestinian group Hamas and with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a deep coma, veteran producer Ofra Bikel travels to Israel on the eve of the March 28 elections to take the measure of Ehud Olmert, the man widely expected to succeed Sharon. read more

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January 2006

Iraq: Saddam's Road to Hell
A journey into the killing fields

As Saddam Hussein faces trial for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and the country he once ruled slides into potential civil war, veteran filmmaker Gwynne Roberts and a team of human rights investigators set off on a dangerous journey across Iraq to find out what exactly happened to 8,000 Kurdish men and boys who went missing in the early years of Saddam's rule. read more

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September 2005

ROUGHCUT

Weight of the World
Rebuilding Afghanistan in the gym

In newly opened gyms in downtown Kabul, young men are rebuilding Afghanistan one muscle at a time. They are pumping iron and dreaming of Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is not what you'd expect to find in Afghanistan, a country that is still one of the poorest in the world and remains an unsettled and perilous place after 25 years of war. But some 35 gyms have sprouted in the capital city since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001. read more

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August 2005

ROUGHCUT

Occupied Minds
A Palestinian and Israeli on the road

Occupied Minds is the personal odyssey of two journalists -- Jamal Dajani, a Palestinian American, and David Michaelis, an Israeli citizen -- who travel together to Jerusalem, where they were both born, "to face the hard realities of our shared land." Their journey is a road trip across a grim and divided landscape, but it is leavened by gallows humor and a heartfelt desire to find solutions. read more

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June 2005

ROUGHCUT

Return to Kirkuk
A Kurdish exile's journey home

Karzan Sherabayani is a Kurdish exile living in Britain, an activist and an actor. Twenty-five years ago, when he was 19, Sherabayani escaped from Iraq, where he had been imprisoned and tortured by Saddam Hussein's secret police. In January 2005, he returned to his hometown, Kirkuk, to vote in the first national elections since the overthrow of Saddam's regime. Swiss producer Claudio von Planta went with him to film the story for the BBC. His 16-minute film, "Return to Kirkuk," has never been shown in the United States. read more

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May 2005

Iran: Going Nuclear
Legal power or illegal weapons?

FRONTLINE/World and BBC reporter Paul Kenyon travels deep into Iran to investigate charges that Iran is secretly developing a nuclear bomb. With exclusive access to a U.N. inspection team, Kenyon visits Iran's most sensitive nuclear sites and reports on the escalating diplomatic tensions surrounding the discovery of the facilities. read more

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May 2005

Lebanon: The Earthquake
An assassination sparks a revolution

Following the recent assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri -- and decades of Syrian hegemony over Lebanon -- hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Beirut, suspecting Syrian involvement in Hariri's murder and demanding the withdrawal of Syrian troops. It was an unprecedented display of Lebanese solidarity. FRONTLINE/World reporter Kate Seelye -- the daughter of an American diplomat who has lived in Lebanon and Syria for much of her life -- navigates the forces in play and asks whether democracy or war will be next for Lebanon. read more

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April 2005

Punk Rock in the Holy Land
Israelis find freedom in a thriving punk scene

In Israel, a vibrant punk scene has emerged in a society torn apart by the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. In these four candid video interviews, FRONTLINE/World reporter and filmmaker Liz Nord talks to the musicians driving the movement. read more

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January 2005

Iraq: Reporting the War
Trying to cover the world's most dangerous place

Nick Hughes visits the chaotic streets of Baghdad for FRONTLINE/World to find out how journalists survive in a war in which they have become targets. He travels with men and women whose quest for the story not only requires body armor as a tool of the trade, but also can lead to sudden death. read more

January 2004

Iran: Forbidden Iran
A reporter's undercover journey

A harrowing report from inside Iran, where FRONTLINE/World reporter Jane Kokan risks her life to secretly film shocking evidence of the torture and murder of students and journalists opposed to the regime. Kokan, in disguise, escapes the constant surveillance of Iranian authorities to interview underground and jailed activists. read more

May 2003

Iraq: The Road to Kirkuk
After Saddam's terror can Kurds and Arabs live together?

In February 2003, FRONTLINE/World correspondent Sam Kiley went to Iraq to cover a war that everyone knew was coming. He was reporting from the northern front, an area controlled by the Kurds since the first Gulf War. In the weeks Kiley spent in Kurdistan, he would discover a land and a people haunted by Saddam Hussein. read more

May 2003

Lebanon: Party of God
A reporter's search for the real Hezbollah

As the Bush administration presses Syria to sever its ties to terrorist groups, FRONTLINE/World offers a rare glimpse inside the radical Islamic movement that Syria has armed and trained for years: Hezbollah. Reporter David Lewis travels to Lebanon to find the group, known as the "Party of God," which some in Washington consider "the A-team of terrorists." read more

March 2003

Israel/Palestinian territories: In the Line of Fire
When journalists become targets

FRONTLINE/World reviews the dilemmas and dangers reporters have faced covering the violence in the West Bank and Gaza over the past several years. Canadian TV producer Patricia Naylor interviews Palestinian cameramen and other journalists who say they have been shot by Israeli soldiers. read more

September 2002

Iraq: Truth and Lies in Baghdad
A reporter's journey inside Saddam's regime

Reporter Sam Kiley goes inside Iraq to investigate Saddam Hussein's weapons program, the impact of sanctions on Iraqi civilians, and reports of shocking human rights abuses. FRONTLINE/World reveals what it's like for a journalist trying to gather information in a country hostile to the press. read more


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