Documentaries

World Stories

The documentaries in this five part series are made by BBC producers across the organisation's language services - from Pashto and Dari, Sinhala, Uzbek, Spanish American to Persian.

World Stories are tales told from a local point of view. Click on the tabs below to hear the stories.

Part Five - Iran

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Revolutions in Iran

Iran is facing a media revolution through blogs, social networking sites and mobile phone technology.

Ideas and pictures are reaching people across the globe every day in a matter of seconds.

But Iran has faced a media revolution before.

Across the country in the late 1970s, families and friends would sit together to listen to, read and share subversive material.

Then, it was in the form of cassettes, pamphlets and whispers behind closed doors that spread the message of the Islamic Revolution quickly and effectively across the country and beyond.

Old and new revolutionaries explore how the two movements compare.

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Afshin Dehkordi works for the click BBC's Persian Service

This documentary is broadcast from 22 September, 2010

Part One - Kabul

The Rollercoaster of Life in Kabul

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In the last five decades the capital of Afghanistan - Kabul - has witnessed at least seven regime changes and the people there have endured harsh periods of civil war.

In that time neighbourhoods have been destroyed and thousands of lives have changed beyond recognition.

But what has that meant for the people who live there?

Meena Baktash, born and bred in Kabul, tells the story of the city she grew up in.

Her life became a rollercoaster ride of shifting rules and violence, but the environment she lived in was place of beauty with a vibrant culture and populated with inspiring people.

Against a backdrop of a city that is erupting into violence, Meena tells the age-old and intimate story of a family growing up and evolving, celebrating birthdays and weddings.

Hear more from Meena with click this audio slideshow

Meena Baktash works for the click BBC's Persian Service

This documentary is broadcast from 25 August, 2010

Part Two - Sri Lanka

A Widow's Journey

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In 1989 Appapillai Amirthalingam was assassinated at his home in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.

He was a politician - the most prominent democratically-elected leader of the Tamil community.

Throughout his career, he had been determined to campaign for political rights by peaceful means, but Tamil Tiger rebels branded him a stooge and killed him.

Twenty years on, the Tamil Tigers have been defeated by the military.

Appapillai's wife and son travel back to their homeland in search of his legacy in an attempt to understand what the future holds for Sri Lanka's Tamil people.

For an outline of this story, go to click A Widow's Journey: Audio Slideshow

Saroj Pathirana works for the click BBC's Sinhala Service

This documentary is broadcast from 1 September, 2010

Part Three - Afghanistan

Afghanistan's Dancing Boys

Listeners may find parts of this documentary upsetting.

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Bacha is a term for a teenage boy who dresses up as a girl and dances for men at parties in Afghanistan.

In a society where the sexes are strictly segregated, it is common for boys to dance for men at weddings and traditional gatherings.

However, it is what happens after the party that is the most disturbing. Many of the boys, some as young as 12 years old, are taken to hotels and sexually abused - sometimes by several men.

This is a practice that is dramatically at odds with the kind of society that the country's Western partners hope to encourage but - according to some reports - it is also a phenomenon that is growing.

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Rustam Qobil works for the click BBC's Uzbek Service

This documentary is broadcast from 8 September, 2010

Part Four - Miami

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The Children of Pedro Pan

Between 1960 and 1962 a total of 14,000 Cuban children were sent away by their parents to live in the US.

This move was an attempt to seek a better life for Cuba's younger generation, whose parents feared the emerging communist regime.

Now, 50 years later, many of the Pedro Pan children are still living in the US. Even today the project is still the subject of much controversy.

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Luis Fajardo works for the click BBC's Spanish American Service

This documentary is broadcast from 15 September, 2010

Audio slideshows and features

World Stories 2009

Documentary Archive

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