Category Archives: Syrian Voices

Held Hostage in Syria

Speaking together for the first time, four European hostages of so-called Islamic State talk to Lyse Doucet about their period of incarceration between March 2013 and June 2014. Aid worker Federico Motka, journalists Didier Francois and Daniel Rye, and blogger Pierre Torres were all held for between 10 and 14 months each. Continue reading Held Hostage in Syria

Syrian Voices: Raed Saleh

Syrian Voices: with Lyse Doucet

Raed is from the town of Jisr al-Shughur in northwestern Syria. He worked as an electrician before 2011. He now leads the ‘White Helmets’ Syria’s Civil Defence. In this interview Raed remembers the initial excitement of the Arab spring and the journey which has led him to leading the White Helmets. This year the group of 3,000 volunteers was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Ninety-five White Helmets have been killed while on rescue missions, and they estimate they have rescued over 60,000 people since 2013. “We’re trying to give people hope… that the future will be better than now.”

This interview has never been broadcast.

Produced by David Prest
A Whistledown Production for Making Light

Syrian Voices: Sam

Syrian Voices: with Lyse Doucet

Sam has stayed in his home city of Deraa and believes the Government is doing its best to support the Syrian people. He studies English Literature, even though many of his teachers, and his fellow students, have left the country. He finds solace in his books, reading Hamlet and writing poetry. At night, he often listens to music to drown out the sounds of warfare around him.

Producer: David Prest
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Syrian Voices: Abdul Halim Hariri

Syrian Voices: with Lyse Doucet

Abdul Halim Hariri is a musician and also runs one of Aleppo’s best known arts and music organisations for young people. Throughout the conflict, and the destruction of his city, he has continued to play, teach and host cultural events. His home city is suffering, but like a mother dying of cancer, he says, she cannot be abandoned.

Producer: David Prest
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Syrian Voices: Khadija

Syrian Voices: with Lyse Doucet

Khadija Kamara came to Britain to escape civil war in Sierra Leone. Her son Ibrahim was just a week old when she had to flee from her village as the bullets flew around her. In 2014, without her knowledge, he travelled to Syria and joined an Islamic terrorist group. A few months later he became the first British jihadi to be killed in Syria when a US drone strike targeted the house where he was staying.

Producer: David Prest
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Syrian Voices: Alia

Syrian Voices: with Lyse Doucet

In this series of interviews, five Syrians discuss the situation in which they find themselves.

Alia lives in a rural area which is in the hands of rebel forces. Her son joined up to fight the regime, but was killed. His body was brought back to the village. “Even though he had died twelve hours earlier, he was still bleeding,” she says, “that is how I know he was a martyr.”

Producer: David Prest
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4