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Guest Editors - Anthony Minghella


The Guest Editors30th December: Anthony Minghella

After last year's success of inviting well known people to be a guest editor on the Today programme, we thought we'd do it all over again.

Can reconcilliation heal the deep wounds of war? Simon Fanshawe reports from Cape Town.

U.S singer Michael Franti was frustrated at the way the Iraq War was portrayed - so grabbed a guitar and video camera and flew to Baghdad to meet ordinary Iraqis.

Anthony Minghella believes war is a simpler than peace - So how easy is it to drive down the fractious road of consensus? - particularly in Israel which possesses a very controversial wall...
Anthony Minghella visits the Holy Sepulchre in Bethlehem to discover how stong the desire for peace is for the Israelis and Palestinians.
A tragic aspect of Africa's AIDS pandemic is the dramatic growth in the number of orphans - 10 million children have lost one or both parents.
Why are some conflicts impossible to resolve? Felipe Fernandez Armesto of the University of London, and BBC foreign correspondent, Fergal Keane.
Anthony Minghella reflects back on his programme and explains why war is 'linear' and peace is 'curvy'.
Hear Michael Franti's song...
Anthony Minghella

Anthony Minghella

The guest editors

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When the film director Anthony Minghella agreed to 'guest edit' Today he said: "This year I've travelled to more than twenty countries. As a result of so much travel, particularly to those countries touched by recent conflict, I was delighted  to accept this invitation from Today to investigate, in the Christmas season which celebrates Peace on Earth, why peace on earth seems such an elusive ambition".

To explore this theme he travelled to Jerusalem and the West Bank to see for himself what peace, if it were to happen, might look like in that crucible of conflict. He interviewed people involved on both sides of the argument, went to the largest IDF checkpoint at Ramallah, to Abu Dis where the barrier disects a Palestinian neighbourhood and to Bethlehem where the mayor told him, movingly, why there are no tourists at the Church of the Nativity this Christmas.

Perhaps the saddest aspect of Africa's aids pandemic is the dramatic growth in the number of orphans -  some 10 million children have lost one or both parents, according to the UN. Anthony Minghella asked our southern Africa correspondent Barnaby Phillips to visit the Dule Sentle orphanage in Botswana. He also commissioned our arts correspondent Mark Coles to record an interview - and some music - with Michael Franti, the hip-hop artist-turned-peace campaigner.

Franti recorded an acoustic version of his song 'Bomb the World' which we didn't have time to play on the programme but which you can find on the audio list opposite. Simon Fanshawe was asked by Anthony Minghella to report on the reconciliation process in South Africa.

Felipe Fernandez Armesto, professor of global environmental history at the University of London, and Fergal Keane, one of our more experienced foreign correspondents, were invited to discuss the various ideas which emerged during the programme.


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