Pakistan Famine Crisis

Thar is one of Pakistan's most remote regions. It's a desert area in the south, around 200 miles from Karachi, and has recently been hit by a devastating drought and famine. It's reported that since December around 100 children have died due to malnutrition. Riaz Sohail has been in Thar for BBC Urdu and gives his personal insights of reporting such a challenging and upsetting story.

No English Please, We're Gambian
The Gambian President Yahya Jammeh announced this week that he wanted to get rid of what he calls a colonial relic - the English language. He's not yet specified whether he is going to replace English with Mandinka, Wolof or Fula, the other three main languages in the country. Nearly six months ago President Jammeh announced that his country would be pulling out of the Commonwealth. BBC Africa's Esau Williams explains.

How's Your Pidgin?
Finding a common African language has been the subject of discussion for years across the continent. In Nigeria there was a move to create a language like an African version of Esperanto but it never got off the ground. But there's another language that was born out of necessity that crosses the boundaries of West African countries and that is pidgin. Peter Okwoche and Akwasi Sarpong give us a masterclass.

Kyrgyzstan's Robot Dancing Sensation
Atai Omurzakov has become an internet sensation with his incredibly robot-like dance. The 21-year-old has also been a hit with judges, winning Cesko Slovensko Ma Talent (the Czech and Slovak version of the Got Talent franchise) and getting to the finals of Ukraine's Got Talent with his jerky "electric boogie". His performances have gained him a reputation across the world and he's hailed as a hero in Kyrgyzstan. His latest appearance has been on BBC Kyrgyz here in Broadcasting House. Gulnara Kasmambet will tell us how the 'Atai' went down on the fifth floor and why he's doing it all for his mum.

Hear My Country: Syria
It's the third anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict and with that in mind we bring together three Syrian journalists from the Arabic Service to reflect on the music that defines their nation now. With Soumer Daghastani, Kassem Al Mazraani and Mamdouh Akbiek. The tracks played are: Al Rosana performed by Sabah Fakhri, Wadi Al-Safi and Simon Shabeem & Quantara; Ala Mowj El Bahr by Lena Chamamyan and Sha'amu performed by Fairuz.

No Home, No Vote
BBC Hindi's Nitin Srivastava is on the election trail travelling across India talking to voters ahead of next month's general election. His latest stop is Uttar Pradesh, where more than 40,000 people, mostly Muslims, were displaced after violence erupted with Hindus last year. Nitin planned to go to a refugee camp to find a case study of someone who now can't vote because they didn't have time to pack their identification when they fled their home. Instead of finding one, he has found hundreds and hundreds of families with the same story. Nitin will send us a report of what he's discovered on his journey through the refugee camps.

Online Greatest Hits
Fifi Haroon gives the low down on the top-hitting stories across the Language Service websites, including naked tourists in Peru and reluctant Sri Lankan hangmen.

Image: Pakistani drought-affected people receiving food aid from an NGO
Credit: Getty Images

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55 minutes

Last on

Sat 15 Mar 2014 02:06 GMT

The Fifth Floor Podcast

Graffiti in Santa Marta

Listen back to eclectic and insightful stories from the international language services.