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60seconds Sam: My pick of the Our War exclusive films

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Sam Naz Sam Naz | 16:10 UK time, Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Our War, which starts on BBC Three tonight at 9pm, looks at the war in Afghanistan through the eyes of the military personnel who've served there. We've been given unprecedented access to their personal stories - filmed by the soldiers themselves.

For the series, I've helped to put together a series of 'Beginners Guides' to Afghanistan and the Taliban using animations and archive footage. You can find these on the Our War website along with other rare footage from the troops, their families back home and the Afghan people. This exclusive video collection provides a unique insight into the conflict and I wanted to pick out a few that really stood out to me.

First up, the troops describe how hard it is to spot members of the Taliban. Through footage from their helmet cameras, we're shown the challenges faced by soldiers trying to fight the enemy in 'their own back garden':

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Spending so much time away from loved ones brings challenges of a different kind. In this clip, the soldiers talk about how they cope with feeling homesick, the things they miss the most... and that all important 'morale board':

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The Taliban had also banned all forms of music - something very close to Sulaiman's heart. The 21-year-old has always dreamt of becoming a rock star and is now able to perform with his aptly named band 'Kabul Dreams'. This is his story:

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But what about the rest of the people caught in the crossfire? What is it like growing up in a war zone and how have things changed for the Afghan people? There were a number of hardline laws under Taliban rule. In particular, education for girls was outlawed. Despite this no longer being the case, many girls still risk their lives to go to school as insurgents continue to target them. You can find out more in my video guide, Afghanistan's Battle For Education.

Check out the Our War website for lots more personal stories from the war in Afghanistan and all of my animated guides.

Our War begins on BBC Three tonight at 9pm. Don't forget, you can let us know what you think of the series below by adding a comment or you can join the discussion about the programme on Twitter using #ourwar.

Journalist Sam Naz presents the 60seconds news bulletins on BBC Three.

Add your comment.


  • Comment number 1.

    Why on earth was this not shown on BBC1 ???? Very humbling and at last accurate on the ground account

  • Comment number 2.

    I thought this was an incredible programme - deeply moving - and I just want to say how humbling the whole thing was and how much I want to give my sympathy to Chris Gray's family, and to his friends. Thankyou for helping make such an important and moving programme.

  • Comment number 3.

    My thoughts go out to all who were involved with this programe. At last someone wants to show the truth. Never have i commented on a programe that has been on TV. I did not even have a bbc account untill ten mins ago. This was the most real programe i have ever watched about Afgan.

  • Comment number 4.

    Very emotive, thoughts are with all the families who have lost a loved one, how hard that must be. As a mum of a soldier on his 2nd deployment in Afghanistan I wasn't going to watch but am glad I did, these lads and girls are doing a difficult job with very little thanks, I applaud them and have great pride in them.

  • Comment number 5.

    Thank you for showing the programme "Our War". If anyone reading was moved by it at all, PLEASE have a quick look at our webpage and see what we are doing to raise money for registered charity "Care for Casualties". We are a group of army wives who appalled at the high death and casualty rate, made a pledge to each other that as long as our boys were being sent to place like Afghanistan, then we would raise as much money as possible to help the families of the falllen and the seriously injured. PLEASE donate even if it is only £1. Thank you in advance. The Rifles Angels.

  • Comment number 6.

    What a fantastic programme (Afgan) i for 1 would be happy to pay a pound a month for these guys. total respect lets get behind the British army once and for all. thank you guys and gals

  • Comment number 7.

    i really enjoyed this piece of journalism about the war in Afghanistan titled "Our War:10 years in Afghanistan." It has helped me understand a few things that were unanswered until i watched this piece. I have watched it on the BBC website, i wish more news corporations would have more projects like this one. This piece helped me see the humanity of all mankind even in times of war. i enjoy the inside look from the soldiers point of view. it really shows us that no matter what others may think we are only human. i hope there is more work like this done so that it can help change the perception these wars. Thank you BBC! -Your American Admirer

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    After spending 23 years in the Royal Navy I loved the honesty of the programme, the reactions of the lads in such a volatile place (who no one can criticize unless they've been in the same situation). It was a very moving programme & will be watching next week.
    Well done BBC3...

  • Comment number 10.

    "Our War" such a moving piece of footage. No body can dare say that the soldiers out in afghan our not doing there best, after 10 long years and an hour long snippet of the truth and reality of it out there for our soldiers, it must take such a strong, willing, brave and extraordinary person to go on "tour" ultimately ended up with those empty seats on the way home. I couldn't help but feel tears rolling down my face last night as Private Grey was shot, although i didn't know him the footage itself is enough to cause anyone to feel very emotional. my payers and thoughts go out to his family and his platoon whom tried to save him. May he RIP, along with other soldiers and their families, my thoughts go out to you all. I've always respected our armed forces, but after seeing the brutal reality for them out in these places, i just feel so passionate and cant even find the right words to say about these brave men. Their doing a great job, and finally i think our country is understanding the truth behind war, i certainly am. I'll have my tissues at the ready for the next weeks programme. Truly sensational.

  • Comment number 11.

    i just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of private grey and with all our boys and girls out there fighting. you are not forgotten and never will be. last night's programme touched me deeply and i hope that all our troops are brought home soon. i'm so grateful to our boys allowing us to see just a part of what they're going through. thank you.

  • Comment number 12.

    This was a thought provoking programme. As an ex-serviceman myself, I am glad the language was not edited/beeped out. It would have taken away from the impact.
    I am also not ashamed to admit, I shed a few tears. The men an women of the forces need more recognition, for the service they give our country.
    I also agree with Artillerybabe and wonder why this was not shown on BBC1?
    Looking forward to the next instalment.

  • Comment number 13.

    Wonderful footage and an inspiring depiction of the troops. A shame that the BBC narrator and writers had to add their political spin at the beginning, especially as it was an ignorant one -- they didn't even know that the reason why the Taliban reemerged in 2004 was that Pakistan's ISI began to sponsor it again (see eg the books on the subject by Ahmed Rashid). Before you do a project like this you should have enough respect for the troops to do some basic research.

  • Comment number 14.

    This programme was incredibly moving and gave me a rare insight into life on the front line. I hope it gives others an idea of the sacrifices made by and the bravery of British Troops. I am a member of a year-long national charity appeal called DecAid which is made up of young people aged 25 and under who are aiming to raise £350,000 for three service charities: SSAFA, BLESMA and Talking2Minds. We are also hoping to encourage the young people of Britain to stand up and support our Troops in the 10th year since British military operations began in Afghanistan. Our War is a wonderful programme and makes me so glad that I am doing something to help support British service personnel. Please support our Troops, and support DecAid. Thankyou.

  • Comment number 15.

    Great series. I've been to Afghan as an Officer and despite having a better understanding of the situation than most, I think this series is amazing. It highlights that whilst people at home are complaining of poverty because the Government isn't giving them enough in benefits, the people of Afghan live in horrible circumstances and we have young lads, not more than boys, trying to make a difference. I am however disappointed and frustrated that this series isn't being shown on prime time TV. In fact, I feel it should be compulsory viewing because this is the real world and people need to know what's going on out there. Who better to tell this story than those who are out there living it. A fantastic series and well done to all the guys who filmed. Thank you for sharing your tours.

  • Comment number 16.

    Just want to say how proud I was seeing my son Roy Stray tonight on Our War Exclusive serving with the Grenadier Guards. I was very moved by the program and it has made me understand more about what he and the other lads have gone through with regards to Jamie who was killed by an IED and being in Afghanistan.

  • Comment number 17.

    first let me thank the BBC for showing this programme and as previous comments have said this should have been shown on BBC1 .at last a true view of our soldiers doing their job in thier own words at first hand. a humbling, moving insight that shows the true side of war. to see normal men,dads,brothers ,sons loved ones in this way evokes such a range of emotions.i cried seeing the sad loss of life and my thoughts go out to all families who have lost someone they love in this war and any other.i laughed at their antics especially in camp in prog 2. i felt pride in their professional attitude towards what they had to do.was the war right? is something i dont want to question here as i dont believe it is the place, what i want to say is thank god we have men and women of this character who continue to show immense courage and tennacity to do a job that most would walk away from.we owe all these brave servicmen a huge respect and thanks for for doing what only afew special people really can do, yes they chose to be soldiers but lets just all say thank goodness they did and continue to give them all our support and never forget the debt we owe to all our service personal.

  • Comment number 18.

    When the papers are full of misfit sports stars, useless celebrities, and even more incompetent and self serving politicians, this program was a source of hope. Sergeant Doc came over as a man you would most want on your side if you were ever in a tight spot. In fact, I have to say, on the basis of this program, I couldn't think of a better role model for any young man, whether he wants to be a soldier on not. Maybe he should stand for Parliament.

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi thort the program was very moving so i decided to make a Facebook group here is the URL would like to reach at least 30 thousand here it is

  • Comment number 20.

    I also thought this was the most amazing programme. Unfortunately I missed the first one, so I hope it will be shown again soon.

    It ought to be on BBC 1 as it as a pretty compelling story and compulsive viewing, so should be seen by as many as possible. It easily beats anything various journalists and correspondents have produced.

  • Comment number 21.

    absolutely brilliant. I rarely comment on tv programmes, but both my boyfriend and I have been avidly watching this series, or recording it when we are not in to watch later. I could have watched more, so was sad to see it was the last episode last night. Like many posting here, we both agreed that this should have been shown on BBC 1, rather than Three - perhaps it will get a well deserved re-airing as I am sure many more people would benefit from seeing the real and unglamourised side of the war in Afghanistan.

    I have new found respect for all who are fighting out there and find it ridiculous that anyone can campaign to pull the troops out early - it is disrespectful to all the good work they are doing out there trying to rebuild schools, villages and people's lives. Well done to all who helped make this series - well thought through and brilliantly executed.

  • Comment number 22.

    Im trying to find out who did the soudscore to this series has anyone got any idea - i can see in the credits that the 'composer' is John Ketch but cant find any info about him anywhere - anyone got any ideas?


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