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Al Jazeera Documentaries

Season 2016 2015 - 2016

  • 2015-12-31T21:00:00Z on Al Jazeera
  • 50 mins
  • 1 day, 11 hours, 0 mins
  • Qatar
  • Documentary, News

Watch the best of Al Jazeera's documentaries from around the world.

43 episodes

2016x01 AJEats - Istanbul: Turkish cuisine at a crossroads

  • Season Premiere

    2015-12-31T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

We explore how a new generation is keeping Turkey's centuries-old culinary traditions alive in a modern world.- Subscribe to our channel: http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera- Check out our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

How the financial crisis turned into an opportunity to revive culinary traditions and revolutionise Icelandic cuisine.- Subscribe to our channel: http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera- Check out our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

Visitors to London could be forgiven for thinking that they are seeing a quintessentially English city. In fact, behind the picture postcard facade of some of its most recognisable monuments, the English capital is one of the most multicultural places in the world.More than a third of Londoners belong to an ethnic minority group, making the city of more than eight million people one of the world's most linguistically diverse. According to 2011 census data, almost every borough is home to at least 100 different languages.Nowhere is this more evident than in the city's East End, an area that has experienced centuries of migration as the traditional first port of call for migrants. In fact, in the 19th century, London became the biggest city in the world t

Egypt has long been called Umm al-Dunya, or the 'mother of the world'. Ancient Greeks described it as 'the gift of the Nile' whose flooding each year provided two rich harvests. Egyptian wheat fed the pharaohs and was used by the Roman state to supply the free bread which kept its citizens loyal.With one of the oldest agricultural economies in the world, Egypt has for centuries been an economic and cultural powerhouse in the region, and at the heart of this is its capital, Cairo. Street life in the sprawling metropolis is vibrant and much of the city functions as a marketplace. Although international chains such as KFC and McDonald's exist, their offerings are often too expensive for locals who prefer their own versions of fast food bought at carts arou

We explore the role of traditional, cheap dishes in promoting healthier eating and tackling inter-tribal differences.- Subscribe to our channel: http://bit.ly/AJSubscribe- Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish- Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera- Check our website: http://www.aljazeera.com/

An in-depth look at the most famous whistleblowers of the 21st century and what drives them to speak out.

An in-depth look at the most famous whistleblowers of the 21st century and what drives them to speak out.

Exploring the cultural diversity exemplified throughout the vibrant street food scene in New York City.

2016x09 Brexit: Britain At The Crossroads

  • 2016-06-22T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

All eyes are on the UK, as Britons head to the polls on Thursday to decide whether they want to stay in the European Union, or leave.The UK is fiercely divided on the issue, with all living former British prime ministers, from both political parties, backing the 'Remain' campaign.But nearly half of the Conservative Party's MPs are backing the 'Leave' campaign, with Michael Gove, the secretary of state for justice, and Boris Johnson, the former London mayor, joining ranks with the far-right, anti-immigration party UKIP and its populist leader Nigel Farage.On the continent, the vote is being watched with much more concern, with fears that a 'leave' vote could deepen the crisis facing a continent already struggling with economic weakness, a refugee crisis and growing geopolitical instability.Apart from disrupting financial markets, a leave vote could bring far more dramatic change, along with many uncertainties.In this Al Jazeera special, Barnaby Phillips looks at the key issues surrounding Thursday's vote that could shape British-EU ties for generations.

Sicilian judge Antonino Di Matteo is one of the most threatened - and protected - men in Italy.As the chief prosecutor in Italy's 'trial of the century', he has more than 20 bodyguards, ensuring his safety around the clock.On trial are 10 men who stand accused of being part of a conspiracy between the mafia and the state. Five of the defendants are mafia bosses and five are members of the political establishment, including senior police chiefs and politicians.Central to Di Matteo's case is the story of Italy's most famous anti-mafia judges, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.During the 1980s they prosecuted hundreds of Cosa Nostra members in what was known as the Maxi Trial, the largest mafia court case in history. Four-hundred-and-seventy-five mafiosi were brought to court and 346 were found guilty.'For over 130 years in Italy we pretended the mafia didn't exist. Not until Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino did we have magistrates in Sicily who said, 'No. The mafia in Italy exists. The mafia in Sicily exists. And it's the judiciary's duty to fight and try to destroy the mafia',' says Saverio Lodato, author of Forty Years of Mafia.The Cosa Nostra 'boss of bosses', Salvatore 'Toto' Riina, had been tried in absentia and sentenced to life in prison. After the trial, Riina allegedly sought revenge.Judge Giovanni Falcone was assassinated on May 23, 1992 near the mafia heartland of Palermo. Two months later, while investigating Falcone's murder, Judge Paolo Borsellino was also killed by a massive car bomb in Via D'Amelio, a residential street in Palermo.Inspired by these two judges, Di Matteo is now taking up where they left off. He is trying to shine a light on Italy's so-called season of terror from 1991 to 1994, when the mafia organised a series of bombings and murders to force a negotiation with the government.'I was brought up with the legend of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino. I was a law student when they were working on the Maxi Trial. In those men ... I saw a chance to fight back,' Di Matteo says.He has received a series of death threats. In an attempt to halt the trial, Riina, who is now behind bars, called for Di Matteo's assassination. He was caught on a prison CCTV camera telling a fellow prisoner: 'So if we can, kill him. It'll be an execution like we used to have in Palermo.'Many Italians have taken to the streets in solidarity with the judge. But there has been a notable silence from political leaders.'We citizens are angry. The more we realise that no one is interested in Dr Di Matteo, the angrier we become,' says Linda Grasso, the founder of Civilian Bodyguards, a movement to protect the prosecutor.'I want to know the reason for this silence. What are they frightened of Why are they silent We can't allow this man, a hero to us, to suffer this silence and indifference from the institutions.... We want to protect our judges while they're alive, not commemorate them after their deaths.'The threat to Di Matteo hasn't prevented the magistrate from attending the courtroom. The trial is ongoing and all of the accused deny the charges against them. 'I am conflicted. To give up would be a personal defeat. But it would offer respite for me and my family. Finally, a margin of freedom. Maybe even tranquillity. But only maybe. Even if I gave up, it doesn't mean I would get fewer death threats,' Di Matteo reflects.'We knew from the beginning that it would be an uphill struggle. A road littered with attacks, pitfalls, moments of difficulty.'I believe the truth about these massacres, which have made all decent Italians weep, can be found in the stories we are trying to open up. If we don't uncover our history we can't progress. We run the risk that this disease of the past that still plagues us today could infect our future.'A Very Sicilian Justice, narrated by Helen Mirren, is an intimate portrait of an Italian judge living under constant threat as he tries to take on the mafia. Among those profiled in the film are a former mafia assassin-turned-state witness as well as Borsellino's brother, and the son of late former mayor of Palermo Vito Ciancimino, who was also known as 'Don Vito'.

2016x11 Walls Of Shame: The Us-mexican Border

  • 2016-07-09T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

US-Mexico border wall: The great wall of AmericaA border of more than 3,000 kilometres separates the US from Mexico - but it is defined not only by physical barriers made of concrete and steel but by an immigration policy which is failing to address the issues behind illegal migration.Despite the US spending billions of dollars on border enforcement, the lure of work sees illegal migrants enter the country at a rate of 850,000 a year.A series of walls along the Mexican border were designed to stem this flow but based on current estimates it has failed. Instead, the walls have re-routed human traffic into remote desert areas where people risk their lives in deadly conditions attempting to enter the US. This film shows what US immigration policy looks like on the ground for the people making the perilous journey for a better life, and for the Americans who call this borderland home.Update: Since this film first aired on Al Jazeera English in 2007, the US continued to increase spending on border security. At no other time in history has there been as many border patrol officers on duty as there are today.And now the authorities are bracing for a new challenge: children. Since 2014, the number of families and unaccompanied children apprehended at the border keeps skyrocketing. Young people are filling family detention centres near the border, having fled poverty or extreme violence in Central America.And today the issue is taking centre stage in this US presidential election, with Donald Trump calling for more walls, leading some migrants to say they will cross the border now before it may be too late.

The city of Ceuta is the southernmost outpost of fortress Europe. Yet it is on mainland Africa - opposite the Straights of Gibraltar. It is one of the last vestiges of Spanish rule in northern Morocco.Madrid insists it will never relinquish control and has cordoned it off - prompting comparison with other walls of shame.However, there are growing demands for a more constructive approach to the problem of illegal immigration. One man has already started a grass-roots initiative that proved much more successful than walls and fences.But within the town of Ceuta is another divide - a social division that is religious and economic - between the wealthy Christian Spaniards and their poorer Muslim compatriots of Moroccan descent.This episode of Walls of Shame first aired in November 2007.Update: 2015 was the deadliest year on record for migrants and refugees attempting to get into Europe. Over 3,700 people died - the majority on sea crossings between Libya and Italy or Turkey and Greece.Almost ten years ago, when the film first aired, the number of migrant deaths on Spanish territory had reached its peak. The world's media only started to take notice when the drowned bodies of African migrants began washing ashore on the tourist beaches of the Spanish Canary islands. Spain's response was to stiffen its border security, but despite all the effort and expense spent on beefing up its borders, migration is on the rise.Migrants, hoping to be among the lucky few to reach the other side, have often rushed the border fence - sometimes with tragic consequences. On one occasion in Ceuta in 2014, at least 14 African migrants drowned when trying to swim their way from Morocco to Spain.Those who made it alive were deported back to Morocco, on the other side of the wall.Today this no longer an issue isolated in a faraway Spanish enclave. The number of people hoping to reach Europe has swelled by a huge wave of refugees from wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.Thousands of people are testing Europe's borders, by the sea from Libya to Italy, and from Turkey to Greece, and then continuing over land to Europe's more affluent countries.In response Europe is building more walls. Today there are five existing fences across the continent, with at least another six either in construction or scheduled.Most of these walls separate EU nations from countries outside the European Union, but some fences are planned between member states - a move that's against the spirit of the EU, according to the EU's foreign policy chief.'Europe was built on the idea that walls have to come down. It was built on the idea of coming together. Of overcoming differences. Of united. Walls are never the solution,' said Federica Mogherini, the EU High Representative, Foreign Affairs. Without a political solution in sight, migrants and refugees remain undeterred, taking on increasingly dangerous routes into Europe.

It matters little what they are called - whether walls, barriers or fences - the intention is the same: to redefine human relations into 'us' and 'them'.The Walls of Shame series is about division, and about the barriers that men erect, in calculation or desperation, to separate themselves from others, or others from them. When diplomacy and conciliation fail, this is the alternative, and not since medieval times have walls been so in demand around the world.Tens of new walls, barriers and fences are currently being built, while old ones are being renovated. And there are many types: barriers between countries, walls around cities and fences that zigzag through neighbourhoods.This series will look at four examples of new and extended walls around the world. It will examine the lives of those who are living next to them and how their lives are impacted. It will also reveal the intention of the walls' designers and builders, and explore the novel and artistic ways walls are used to chronicle the past and imagine the future.Taking its name from John F. Kennedy's reference to the Berlin Wall in his state of the union address in 1963, this series will examine four new walls: The one on the American-Mexican border, the West Bank wall, the Spanish fence around Ceuta, and the walls inside the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland.The Unity of the Separation WallIn this episode of Walls of Shame, we look at the plight of Palestinian farmers whose land has become inaccessible because of Israel's 700km security wall.Most ancient cities had so-called 'protective' walls - and while we see some around Jerusalem dating back to the 16th century, the wall erected by Israel in the last few years not only looks different - it serves a completely different purpose. Israel claims the wall is vital for its security, but according to the International Court of Justice it is in clear violation of international law.This episode also looks at the real intention of those who first drew its outlines and their highest priority was not the security of Israel. Update: Since this film first aired in 2007, Israel has continued to expand the wall more than 200km, despite condemnation from the UN and most recently the EU. It’s a measure that has continued to cause outrage, even from some of Israel's own citizens. Among these protesters are Israelis. We spoke with Jonathan Pollack, an Israeli activist who is part of the movement against the wall.

The modern history of Northern Ireland has been dominated by one thing, 'The Troubles' - a violent, bitter conflict, both political and religious, between those claiming to represent the predominantly Catholic nationalists and those claiming to represent the mainly Protestant unionists.But what Northern Ireland has now is not so much 'peace' as 'an absence of conflict' after the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998. Far from disappearing, the walls have grown. Instead of reconciliation, there is partition - an ill-tempered stalemate of separate identities and separated lives.Broadly speaking, the nationalists - also called 'Republicans' - want Northern Ireland to be unified with the Republic of Ireland while the unionists want it to remain part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Wales and Scotland.This episode of the Walls of Shame series looks at life on both sides of the barriers between the warring communities.Update: Al Jazeera returned to Belfast, almost a decade after this film first aired in 2007, to touch base with Catholic muralist Danny Devenny. As the walls of separation - or 'protection' as some view the barriers - start to come down, much of Danny and his muralist friends' work is also being destroyed, with calls to 'reimagine' their art. The government has vowed to destroy the walls but the community is reluctant, scared and not appreciative of attempts to gloss over a difficult past.

2016x15 The Caliph - Part 1: Foundation

  • 2016-07-13T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

For almost 13 centuries, from the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 to the overthrow of the last Ottoman caliph in 1924, the Islamic world was ruled by a caliph.Translated from the Arabic ‘Khalifa’, the word ‘caliph’ means successor or deputy. The caliph was considered the successor to the Prophet Muhammad.It is a term that has, at times, been abused.In June 2014, a militant group calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIL or ISIS) declared the establishment of a caliphate and proclaimed its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a caliph. This proclamation was rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims.ISIL had attempted to appropriate a title imbued with religious and political significance – and in doing so had cast a dark shadow over a rich history.This is the story of the caliph, a title that originated 1,400 years ago and that spanned one of the greatest empires the world has ever known. In this episode of the Caliph, Al Jazeera tells the story of the caliphate, providing a fascinating insight into how the first caliphs of Islam built and expanded their empire.

2016x16 The Caliph - Part 2: Division

  • 2016-07-20T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

For almost 13 centuries, from the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632 to the overthrow of the last Ottoman caliph in 1924, the Islamic world was ruled by a caliph. Translated from the Arabic ‘Khalifa’, the word ‘caliph’ means successor or deputy.The caliph was considered the successor to the Prophet Muhammad. It is a term that has, at times, been abused. In June 2014, a militant group calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIL or ISIS) declared the establishment of a caliphate and proclaimed its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a caliph. This proclamation was rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims. ISIL had attempted to appropriate a title imbued with religious and political significance – and in doing so had cast a dark shadow over a rich history. This is the story of the caliph, a title that originated 1,400 years ago and that spanned one of the greatest empires the world has ever known.In this episode of The Caliph, Al Jazeera tells the story of the caliphate, looking at the Sunni-Shia divide, and how this split arose from a dispute over who should succeed the Prophet Muhammad.

2016x17 The Caliph - Part 3: Decline

  • 2016-07-24T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

Al Jazeera tells the story of the 1,300-year-long struggle for the caliphate and looks at how different dynasties rose and fell - ending with the decline of the Ottoman caliphate.

A film by Sasha Djurkovic and Alex NiakarisGood primary care is pivotal in a healthcare system - it is an aspiration for countries around the world desperate to keep costs down and reduce pressures on their hospitals.The UK boasts nearly 10,000 local doctors' practices, providing primary healthcare to some 60 million people.Britain's National Health Service was founded in 1948 with the ethos that healthcare should be free at the point of need.Primary care is critical to making this a reality; today it delivers 90 percent of all healthcare for only 8.5 percent of the total health budget.With the ever-increasing costs of care and an ageing population, doctors are under a lot of pressure to keep everyone healthy.Through the lives of the doctors and patients at Killick Street Health Centre, a busy London doctors' practice that opened its doors 17 years ago, we explore their crucial role in the health system and the challenges they face.

2016x19 My Cuba - Luis Silva: Being Panfilo

  • 2016-08-21T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

Luis Silva, 37, spends much of his time in character as Panfilo Epifanio, a 78-year-old man. Panfilo is the protagonist of Vivir del Cuento, which roughly translates as 'surviving by your wits', a sitcom regularly voted the most popular programme on state-operated Cuban television for its humorous take on the struggles of life in Cuba. Even President Barack Obama wanted to meet Silva's much-loved Panfilo; they filmed a sketch together in Havana during Obama's historic visit to Cuba in March. Cuban audiences tune in each week to watch Panfilo's skits about the changes and realities of daily life in the country. 'Will this character make people laugh Maybe he'll make them cry, because the issues he raises can really make you cry,' says Silva about his character's social criticism. 'I try to give Panfilo small misfortunes, ups and downs, constant problems with bread, with the ration book, with groceries, with potholes. I try to approach it in a funny way, in a way that you can say, he is bringing this issue to light,' Silva says. 'We Cubans laugh at our problems.' A former mathematics professor at the University of Havana, Silva now performs stand-up routines nearly every night at local nightclubs. The stage name, Panfilo, comes the word 'pan', or bread, and grew out of jokes with friends about the poor state of the daily bread Cubans receive with their ration books. In a country in which celebrity endorsement is a still nascent concept, Silva's brother is launching a line of Don Panfilo peanut bars, while his mother makes meringues under the same brand. From his nightclub performances to his home, from the everyday locations where he films skits for Vivir del Cuento, to the baseball pitch where he plays with a team of comedians- 'frustrated baseball players', he explains, who happen to have found success in theatre - Silva takes us into his dual world to show us how Panfilo pushes the envelope to critique Cuban society - one joke at a time.

2016x20 My Cuba - Laura Rodriguez: To Dance

  • 2016-08-28T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

Laura Rodriguez Quesada is one of 25 dancers with Acosta Danza, a new Havana dance company founded by Carlos Acosta, the famous ballet dancer and Cuban star of the Royal Ballet in Britain. Acosta Danza's vision is to meld the traditionally separate worlds of classical and contemporary dance. Rodriguez lives with her boyfriend Jesus Corrales in Centro Havana, the most densely populated neighbourhood in the Cuban capital. They moved there from Camaguey after successfully auditioning to join Acosta's company. Both are thrilled to be able to work with Acosta as competition to get in is stiff. Each year, 300 world-class ballet dancers graduate from schools across Cuba. 'We never imagined either of us would be in Carlos' dance company,' Rodriguez says. 'In the beginning it was a bit difficult for me because when I danced with him [Acosta] I didn't know how to address him. How formal to be with him. But he ... gives you that confidence,' Rodriguez explains. Acosta, in turn, is humbled by the talent found in Cuba. 'Cuba dancers, they are passionate, they are hungry for it. They really love what they do and they give you their life, and I think it's very contagious, and it is really inspiring to work with them,' Acosta says. Among her peers, Rodriguez is considered a rising star. Dancing and performing for an audience is what she loves most. 'I think nerves are part of each presentation. I once heard someone saying if you don't get nervous it's because something is failing, because you are no longer excited, no longer motivated. But I think my reaction is different from others. I tend to be very calm,' she says. Rodriguez is set to dance with Acosta in the company's premiere at the Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso in Havana. A knee injury might make it impossible, however, and Rodriguez isn't sure if she'll be ready to dance in time. As she strives to be fit for the premiere, this film gives us an intimate look into the simple, daily lives of Rodriguez and Corrales, and the world of Cuban ballet, as the two dance alongside the country's best.

Every Christmas, fierce rivalry between Remedios' two neighbourhoods erupts into a festival called 'Las Parrandas'.

In Matanzas' poorest neighbourhood, one woman is challenging the tradition of rumba by getting girls to play the drums.

Exploring the cultural diversity exemplified throughout the vibrant street food scene in New York City. Known as the Big Apple, New York City is home to about nine million people [≈ population of Honduras, nation] and hosts an additional 40 million visitors every year, which makes for a lot of stomachs to feed. Quick snacks, above all the hot dog, are as synonymous with New York as yellow cabs and skyscrapers and reflect the city's eclectic ethnic mix. Yet few people realise that many of the city's thousands of street vendors - including Brooklyn's famed 'Falafel King' - face a daily struggle that belies the city's wealthy and glamourous image. As the first signs of Manhattan's morning hustle and bustle surface, the city's street vendors have already been at work for many hours. Storage garages are busy with the sound of these business owners cleaning and gleaming, stocking and getting things in order for their long days ahead. Although there are many vendors native to NYC, there is a significant number of immigrant owners - many of whom have run their businesses for decades. Their food carts symbolise a lot more than a quick and convenient snack for the hundreds of thousands that pound the pavements of the city. They are a chance to live life on their own terms, often after escaping political turmoil or significant economic instability in their homelands. But the challenge is far from ideal. Obstacles to a successful business range from finding the perfect selling spot - in spite of an unspoken brotherhood between the vendors that can and has led to rivalries - and adhering to legislation surrounding health and safety, to liquidity and endless working hours. On the other side of the river, street vendors in Brooklyn and Queens face an even tougher uphill battle. Catering to a rougher demographic, and often without the means - both financial and otherwise - food cart owners, many of whom are new to the US, tend to find themselves operating illegally and, at times, even dangerously. Follow this episode of Street Food to get a glimpse into the good, the bad and the delicious of New York's vendors. Editor's note: This film was first broadcast on Al Jazeera English in 2008.

The Indian Ocean is one of the world's oldest and largest free trade zones. For centuries, trade and migration have marked the history of the many communities living along its shores. But the name of one place on the coast of Africa has long captured people's imagination: Zanzibar, also know as the spice island. For centuries, merchants of of all colours and creeds came to the island off the Tanzanian mainland on wooden vessels - and each of them left their own mark on the island. As a result, Zanzibar has one of the richest and most diverse food cultures in East Africa encompassing influences from Arabia, India and Europe. Street food is a term often interpreted literally as food served on the streets, but in Zanzibar the real roads are the ocean, dhows are the link between sea and the land, and the presence of seafood is everywhere on the menus. The island's wealth was largely founded on the spice trade. Zanzibar's original settlers were Bantu-speaking Africans. But Arabs, especially Omanis, had a huge influence. They set up trading companies in Zanzibar in the 17th century, ending 200 years of Portuguese dominance on the island. In 1832, the Sultan of Oman moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar, which had become a major slave-trading centre. He encouraged the commercial farming of cloves, so when the slave trade was abolished in 1873, the spice trade continued to flourish - giving Zanzibar wealth and prestige as well as its legendary name, the spice island. As anti-colonialism spread across Africa, Zanzibar gained independence in 1963. The following Zanzibari revolution, which aimed to give power back to Africans, became one of the bloodiest chapters in the island's history. 'Most of the Omani people were killed, more than 14,000 people were killed, tortured, cut into pieces, murdered, butchered,' says Nassor Mazrui, a businessman. Professor Abdul Sherif from the Zanzibar Ocean Research Institute explains that Arabs were targeted in particular because 'they were the big land owners in the 19th century, who also owned slaves, so the ideology of slavery was revived to serve in the politcal struggle of the 1960's.... If something like that would happen now, we would call it ethnic cleansing.' The island's Indian community also suffered during the unrest.The aftermath of the revolution saw an exodus of the Asiatic community, but the trading port lost not only its traders, its whole identity was under threat too. In 1964, after the bloody revolution, Zanzibar hastily entered a union with Tanzania. The union was designed to prevent the spread of chaos in the region, but for many in Zanzibar, this was the beginning of Zanzibar's decline as one of the most prestigious trading ports in East Africa. In the last four decades, Zanzibar's spice trade has gone into sharp decline. Today, the spice island, once the world's largest clove producer, is more of a tourist resort. Its cultural heritage has given Zanzibar a rich and varied cuisine, and it continues to inspire the islanders in their struggle for greater autonomy and a new identity. Al Jazeera visits the island to discover its turbulent history, its culinary heritage and the changes taking place. Editor's note: This film was first broadcast on Al Jazeera English in 2008.

2016x25 Scent from Heaven

  • no air date — 50 mins

A journey of discovery in search of Oud, one of the world's rarest and most expensive commodities and the basis of some of its most exclusive perfumes.

Alexis Martinez Pena, 52, was a schoolteacher for 14 years in the city of Bayamo. He loved working with children, but found the system to be too rigid and dogmatic. So he left and moved to San Pablo de Yao, a village of just over 1,200 in the Sierra Maestra mountains of eastern Cuba. He has now found satisfaction working as a shoemaker. He is the only one in the area. 'I ended up here, quietly. A cobbler with my degree in a drawer,' he says with a laugh. 'This is a job that won't make anyone rich, but I don't complain,' he says. 'Although I don't have high profits I know to value all this as profit, because emotionally and spiritually it gives me a very pleasant lifestyle.' Martinez lives on his own with his puppy. His two daughters, who study elsewhere, visit him whenever they can. He is largely self-sufficient and grows fruit, vegetables and coffee on his plot of land; he finds anything else that he needs in his small village. But while he may have left teaching, he still maintains his connection with children - performing as Piruli the clown in the neighbouring villages. We follow him as he prepares to perform in neighbouring Maguaro, where many of the children will be seeing a clown for the first time.

As new business opportunities open in Cuba, we meet one of the country's new type of entrepreneurs.

Ten years ago, in November 2006, Al Jazeera English was launched. To mark that anniversary, we've created REWIND, which updates some of the channel's most memorable and award-winning documentaries of the past decade. Filmed against the dramatic backdrop of Doha's iconic Museum of Islamic Art, our team finds out what happened to some of the characters in those films and asks how their stories have changed in the years since our cameras left. In this episode, we're spooling back to Afghanistan in early 2011. NATO's war against the Taliban was still in full swing at the time, with neither side disposed to show the other much quarter. As a result, every day added to the numbers of combatants and civilians being wounded or killed in the conflict - many of them in remote communities cut off from emergency medical facilities or in exposed positions right on the frontline. Few people understood what this meant in practice better than the medevac personnel, who were helicoptering out across the country to pick up casualties and often coming under fire themselves. To find out what it was like on board one of these units, veteran cameraman spent two weeks with the paramedics of the US Army's 214th Aviation Regiment. His extraordinary footage was made into Blood and Dust, a much-acclaimed episode of People and Power, which revealed both the shocking reality of war and the remarkable even-handedness of those providing care. As previous viewers may remember - and new ones will see - the film contains some deeply disturbing images right from the start. But it also introduced us to a truly memorable character, Sergeant Tyrone Jordan, whose composure, compassion and skill under pressure was quite remarkable to behold. Now five years on, Tyrone Jordan has agreed to tell REWIND how his life has moved on.

2016x29 The Hannibal Directive

  • 2016-10-06T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

We investigate a secret order that allowed Israel's army to kill Palestinian civilians to stop the capture of a soldier.

2016x30 Taliban Oil

  • 2016-10-07T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

The little-known story of secret negotiations between the Taliban and the US to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.

2016x31 ISIL Deserters Speak Out

  • 2016-10-12T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Thomas Dandois and Francois Xavier Tregan, published by Al-Jazeera broadcasted as part of Al-Jazeera Witness series in 2016 ISIL deserters and the men who helped them escape from Syria reveal testimonies of life and death under the armed group. In southeast Turkey, a few dozen kilometres from war-torn Syria, a secret network, at great risk to themselves, is rescuing fighters who have decided to leave ISIL. For the first time, these deserters have agreed to give a detailed account of the roles they played and what life was like under ISIL. Most of them have lived in Raqqa, ISIL's political and military stronghold in Syria. Personal accounts of this sort are extremely rare because, in general, ISIL deserters go into hiding and keep quiet. If they give themselves up to authorities, they are immediately imprisoned and can no longer have any contact with their lawyers or families. The smuggling network, made up of long-term fighters of the Free Syrian Army, agreed to reveal a few of its working methods. By helping the deserters to flee and by collecting their testimonies, they want to denounce ISIL's lies, its false promises, its cult of violence and its widespread corruption. The members of the network are convinced that, in doing so, they will discourage future candidates and block recruitment channels.

2016x32 Shadow War in the Sahara

  • 2016-10-14T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

'War on terror' or competition for natural resources? A look at the US and French military presence in Africa.

2016x33 Syria: Witnesses for the Prosecution

  • 2016-11-18T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

Collecting bomb fragments, taking toxic samples and filming mutilated bodies. The story of the evidence hunters - the unsung heroes of the Syrian conflict.

Investigating allegations that private security companies are being hired to murder organised crime gang members.

We investigate Colombia's backstreet cosmetic surgery trade and the scams that leave victims scarred for life.

2016x36 Thailand: In the Footsteps of the King

  • 2016-12-05T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

A look at the life and legacy of Thailand's King Bhumibol and the challenges facing his successor.

Investigating an apparent culture of impunity that allows some in Mexican law enforcement to detain and kill at will.

Investigating allegations of corruption involving one of Latin America's wealthiest Roman Catholic societies.

Investigating child trafficking and sexual exploitation along the border between Bolivia and Argentina.

An investigation into the origins and ideology of the rebel group and its bloody rise.

Investigating allegations of slave labour and exploitation in the garment industry.

2016x42 The Disappeared of Syria

  • 2016-11-12T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

A look at the invisible weapon of Bashar al-Assad's regime: the kidnapping and torture of tens of thousands of Syrians. When Syrians first protested in the Spring of 2011, their only weapons were banners and songs and a deep desire for freedom. Syria has been ruled by a strong, strict and often merciless regime, handed down from father to son since 1970. "We, the old guard, couldn't believe it. Protests like that? In the state of Hafez al-Assad? In Syria? For the old guard, it was impossible. Forty-five years of rule had brainwashed us. When the revolution began, our orders were to shoot," says Munir al-Hariri, a former member of the Syrian intelligence service.

2016x43 Sykes-Picot: Lines in the Sand

  • 2016-05-26T21:00:00Z — 50 mins

The story of the secret deal between the British and French, concluded in May 1916, which aimed to carve up the Middle East in ways that most benefited the two European powers. Modern world history has been heavily influenced by events in the Middle East, whose strategic importance has been magnified by both a global dependence on oil and the Israel-Palestine conflict. A hundred years ago, World War I saw Britain, France and Russia locked in combat with Germany, Austro-Hungary and the Ottomans. As the war in Europe fought itself almost to a standstill, Britain cast a strategic eye towards key areas of the Ottoman Empire. Should the allies be victorious, it would be important to claim the most strategically valuable territory - Greater Syria and Mesopotamia - particularly in relation to the French.

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