iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Syria and Iraq: Wars Present and Past

Listen now 11 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Syria and Iraq: Wars Present and Past

11 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 13 November 2013

Two accounts of how war has shaped life in the Middle East - and still does so today. In Damascus, as the conflict between the Assad regime and armed rebels drags on, Lyse Doucet sees denial at work as people desperately try to cling to "normality" and routine - even down to their birthday parties and pavement cafe terraces. Many problems of the region today are still blamed on the Anglo-French Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, which dismembered the Ottoman Empire's territory and redrew any number of borders. The Kurds, a minority group, were split up betweeen Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq - and often suffered persecution in later decades. In Erbil, northern Iraq, Kevin Connnolly hears people still debating today how WWI shaped their lives - and whether an independent Kurdish state might ever emerge.

Presenter: Pascale Harter. Producer: Polly Hope. Photo credit: Traffic congestion in downtown Damascus, Nov. 2, 2006. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)


Free download

  1. Image for From Our Own Correspondent

    From Our Own Correspondent

    Insight, wit and analysis as BBC correspondents, journalists and writers take a closer look at the…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss