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BBC World Service - Fifth Floor


bbcff_2015zoomOriginal insights, playful perspectives and surprising stories from the World Service's 27 language sections. Every week with David Amanor. - Ein wöchentlicher Blick hinter die Kulissen der 27 Sprachdienste des Weltdienstes der BBC, moderiert von David Amanor.

Archivnummern: AP/m_mm1/bbcff_2015_(Sendedatum)
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Datei Datum Inhalt Dauer
0102 02.01 A box full of musical adventures from the past year on the Fifth Floor, including: 1) Can you pick a song that defines your country? From Ukraine to Cuba, then Tanzania - our Language Service journalists choose a track that describes how they feel about their nation. 2) Plus, how to sing the Ethiopian blues, the Sindhi street musician who made Karachi stop and listen for a moment, and a lesson in beatboxing Saudi-style. 3) There's also music and dissent - how Fela Kuti changed the way Nigerians see themselves, and the moment when musical instruments were shown on live Iranian state TV for the first time in 30 years. 49:59
0109 09.01 1) Struggles for cartoonists in the Middle East. Cartoons and caricatures can spark roaring laughter and sometimes fury. But this week they brought France to a standstill. The events there have shone a spotlight on the dangers facing political cartoonists around the world. Today we're focusing our attentions on the Middle East and the challenges for cartoonists past and present there. Abdirahim Saeed of BBC Arabic and Turkish journalist Seref Isler explain the challenges facing cartoonists in the Middle East. 2) Peeling Back the Layers of the Onion. Onions are eaten the world over but rarely make it into the spotlight. At least 175 countries produce an onion crop, well over twice as many as grow wheat. A UN league table of onion-eating nations contains some surprises. Libya comes out top, with Albania in second place, then Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. We find out how well BBC Language Service journalists know their onions. 3) The 8th Most Famous Tanzanian. BBC Kiswahili presenter Salim Kikeke ranks 8th in Tanzania in terms of Facebook followers, with more than half a million. He's constantly stopped on the street and asked to smile for selfies. Even in a hat and sunglasses, he's recognised from his voice. Salim shares the highs and lows of being a national treasure. 4) Life on Mount Sinjar. In the past year following attacks by the so-called Islamic State, Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq has become both a war-zone and a home to thousands of displaced Yazidi families. BBC Persia's Nafiseh Kohnavard, the first foreign journalist to gain access to Mount Sinjar in months, reflects on her visit and what lies ahead following the recent push back of IS forces by Peshmerga fighters. 5) A Song to Define Rwanda. Can you pick a song to define your country? It's a challenge we often set to our Language Service journalists on the 5th floor and this week the wheel turns to Rwanda. BBC's Ally Yusufu and Victoria Uwonkunda take us on a musical tour of their country. 49:58
0116 16.01 1) A fresh look at the week's global news from across the World Service's 27 language sections, with David Amanor The execution of a Pakistani man, due to take place this week, was halted after a BBC Urdu TV report highlighted shortcomings in the judicial process. Reporter Haroon Rashid describes his race against the clock to publicise the case of Shafqat Hussain. 2) Whistleblowers Following the launch of AfriLeaks - a whistle-blowing website which aims to expose abuses of power in Africa - BBC Africa's Lewis Machipisa and BBC Russian's Famil Ismailov discuss notable whistleblowers from their regions and the attitudes of their nations toward them. 3) Cleavage and Corruption: China Clampdown With the recent disappearance of cleavage from a new Chinese TV drama, and a threat to the appearance of scantily clad models at the Shanghai Auto Show, Yuwen Wu of BBC Chinese explains why the Chinese government is cleaning up 'decadent' popular culture. It's not just a crackdown on revealing outfits, it's part of a wider plan to target corruption. 4) The Widows of Kashmir Thousands of people have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir since an armed rebellion against Indian rule erupted in 1989. Although the violence has declined overall since the early 2000s, the scars are still borne by the widows of the conflict. BBC Hindi's Shalu Yadav met two Kashmiri widows on opposite sides of the conflict. 5) Cesaria Evora It's 3 years since the death of Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora. She spent time in an orphanage as a child before starting her career singing on cruise ships. She went on to become a huge international star, known as the "Barefoot Diva" for performing without shoes. As a new box set of CDs is released in tribute to her, David is joined by the BBC's Manuel Toledo and Zenaida Machado to discuss her music and what she meant to Cape Verdeans. 49:52
0123 23.01 1) President to Prisoner: Reporting Mubarak Four years after the revolution which toppled President Hosni Mubarak, BBC Arabic's Ranyah Sabry reflects as an Egyptian and a journalist on the man who dominated her country for three decades. She says the upheavals since then have opened deep divisions between Egyptians, including within her own family. 2) The Playgrounds of Nairobi There were shocking scenes in Nairobi this week when children were tear gassed after protesting to save their school playground. This is a city where space is at a premium and playgrounds are few and far between. David Wafula takes us on a tour of children's favourite spots to play in Nairobi. 3) Mangoes in Love and War Good news for mango lovers this week as the EU lifts its ban on Indian mangoes. But there's been a long standing debate in the region over who has the best mangoes - India or Pakistan? Vandana Vijay from BBC Hindi and Saqlain Imam from BBC Urdu discuss mango rivalry and how the fruit has been used as a diplomatic tool since the time of partition. 4) Parliamentary Punch-ups In a week which has seen angry clashes in Nepal's Constituent Assembly, the Fifth Floor takes a tour of other parliaments where shouting matches often turn into fist fights. 5) Witchdoctors of Tanzania Beware Following moves to ban witchdoctors across Tanzania, BBC Africa's Tulanana Bohela gives a personal insight into the men and women who promise male potency, fertility and enlarged hips all for the price of a spell. 6) Cartagena's Literary Festival This month the Hay Festival Cartagena will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. People from all over the literary world will once again be meeting up in Colombia to talk all things books. But what impact has it been having on local writers and readers and who are the Colombian writers to look out for? David Amanor is joined by Juan Carlos Perez Salazar and Arturo Wallace. 50:03
0130 30.01 1) The Search for Hidden Graves in Burundi BBC Africa's Maud Jullien and Bujumbura reporter Ismail Misigaro had to overcome suspicious villagers, obstructive officials and a lot of mud to investigate reports of military executions in Burundi. The army said that 95 rebels were killed in a five-day battle in the remote north-west. But after rumours that some rebels had been executed after surrendering, Maud and Ismail set off to look for hidden graves. 2) Remembering the Amia Bombing Controversy has swept across Argentina following the death of Prosecutor Alberto Nisman who had been investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires in which 85 people died. Natalio Cosoy of BBC Mundo was there that day. He recalls his memories of the aftermath of the bombing from helping to clear the wreckage to joining demonstrations calling for justice. 3) Chinese Puns China's print and broadcast watchdog has banned the use of puns in state media. BBC Chinese's Howard Zhang gives a crash course in Chinese wordplay and explains why punning could be seen as such a subversive activity in China. 4) Watching the Fall of Donetsk Airport You know that your city is in trouble when your gleaming international airport is reduced to smouldering rubble. Donetsk airport has been the focus of intense fighting in eastern Ukraine since May as pro-Russian separatists tried to seize it from Ukrainian government forces. Last week the Ukranian forces retreated from the terminal. Anastasiya Gribanova of BBC Ukranian grew up in Donetsk she shares her thoughts on what it means to see an icon of the city in ruins. 5) Fifi The best stories from around the world wide web with Fifi Haroon. 6) BBC Arabic's Music Box BBC Arabic celebrate their 77th anniversary at the weekend and as part of the festivities they are putting together a special programme of their musical highlights over the years. Nadeh Najjar, presenter of BBC Arabic's Music Box shares some of her favourite moments. 49:59
0206 06.02 1) Inside the Egyptian Courts Metal cages, glass cages and mass death sentences: Egypt's courts have become notorious for the rapid sentencing of hundreds of defendants. BBC Arabic's Marwa Nasser tells us how Egypt's justice system has changed in recent years, and what it's like to attend a trial. 2) PAKISTAN CONCERTS In Pakistan the music appears to have stopped as far as large public concerts are concerned. Such events are now rare due to both security concerns and claims by conservative hardliners that concerts are "un-Islamic". Nosheen Abbas and Ahmen Khawaja recall their great concert experiences and look into how and why things have changed. 3) BODYGUARDS They often hit the headlines either for acts of unfeasible bravery or for being involved in plots to assassinate their clients: this week we delve into the world of bodyguards. The bodyguard industry in Venezuela has grown by 70% in the last 2 years, middle class families are now hiring bodyguards to take their children to parties. We're joined by colleagues from Venezuela, from BBC Russian and BBC Arabic to find out who becomes a bodyguard, what do they do and how do you distinguish a Russian bodyguard from an Egyptian one? 4) BEIRUT SPACES There's a growing shortage of public spaces in the Lebanese capital Beirut. Most recently, one of the very last public beaches of the city - Dalieh beach - was fenced by its owners causing anger amongst Beirutis. BBC Arabic's Carine Torbey takes us on a tour of a built-up Beirut. 5) VIETNAMESE NEW YEARFor many parts of Asia, it's New Year on 19 February. As Vietnam prepares for its biggest celebration of the year, David Amanor is joined by two Vietnamese journalists from the Fifth Floor, Hami and Ly Truong, to find out how they would spend it. 6) FIFI Graffiti artists with bad grammar and the laws of the toilet, all the best stories from across the world wide web with Fifi Haroon. 50:00
0213 13.02 1) How to Report from a War Zone BBC Russian's Olga Ivshina and Nafiseh Kohnavard of BBC Persian compare frontline experiences - Olga in the rebel-held Ukrainian city of Donetsk, and Nafiseh in Kobane in Syria, recently recaptured from Islamic State by Kurdish fighters. Olga has come up with the term Donetsk Roulette to describe reporting from a battle zone where no-one can predict where the next shell will land. 2) A Fifth Floor Guide to National Dress As the fashion industry descends on New York for fashion week the Fifth Floor prepares its own sartorial guide to national dress. From the veshtis of Tamil Nadu to the elechek hats worn in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan we explore stories of iconic national dress and look at the relevance those customs still have today. 3) Learning to Speak Cricket BBC Pashto's Sana Safi is typical of many young Afghans - growing up during Taliban rule she only became aware of cricket when the national team started to hit the news in 2007. She is now on a mission to learn the language of cricket before the Cricket World Cup, and has even put on pads and helmet for a coaching session at Lord's in London, the home of cricket. 4) The story behind the Khorasan It's an ancient word used to define a historical region in Central Asia but this week Khorasan found its way into mainstream news. The term is being used by Islamic State to refer to an offshoot group in Afghanistan. But what was Khorasan and why is the name of this ancient region being used now? Journalists from BBC Afghan, Persian, Urdu and Arabic take us on a journey through Khorasan past and present. 5) TURKEY: HEAR MY COUNTRY Imagine all the music that's ever come out of your country then pick one or two songs that define your identity or experience of home. Not an easy task and today it's the turn of our Turkish journalists Zeynep Erdim and Seref Isler. 6) FIFI From bad robots to life saving bras, weird and wonderful tales from across the world wide web with Fifi Haroon. 49:55
0220 20.02 1) Amitabh and Me: Meeting a Bollywood Star Amitabh Bachchan is regarded as the best and most influential actor in Indian cinema history. He's starred in over 180 films spanning over 40 years. One of his many fans is BBC Urdu's Dino Ali, who got the chance to interview the actor when he came to the UK recently. So how did it go? 2) Keeping the Somali Language Alive In the run-up to a summit in Mogadishu to discuss protecting the nation's language, BBC Arabic's Abdirahim Saeed gives a guide to his mother tongue - Somali. From learning the language in exile to embracing its poetry to teaching his newborn child. 3) Questioning the Legend of Pancho Villa Some describe him as Mexico's Robin Hood, others say he was a common bandit. For many Mexicans Pancho Villa has been a much loved revolutionary hero. But a new book about his life reveals a dark side and uncovers an age-old family feud. BBC Mundo's Juan Carlos Perez Salazar and Mexican journalist Lourdes Heredia discuss the myths and legends around Pancho Villa. 4) Asylum Seekers in Papua New Guinea For two years, Persian TV's Fariba Sahraei has been following the stories of asylum seekers from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan trying to get to Australia via Indonesia. But since Australia toughened its immigration policy, boats have been intercepted and asylum seekers either turned away by the coastguard or put into a detention camp in Papua New Guinea. Fariba has been to remote Manus Island to investigate the lives of these detainees. 5) In Praise of Coffee Two very different perspectives on coffee from BBC Hindi's Shalu Yadav and BBC Arabic's Shahdi Alkashif. Shalu hates coffee but has had to drink an awful lot of it in the course of investigating why young middle class Indians have switched their loyalties from tea to coffee. Shahdi is based in Istanbul, and has been looking into the mysteries of Turkish coffee. It's familiar across the world and pervades every aspect of Turkish life - but it doesn't come from Turkey! 49:59
0227 27.02 1) Unusual Tales from the Colombian Peace Talks The peace talks between the Colombian government and the rebel group FARC have entered their 33rd round. The process has been eventful, from an abducted general to an invitation to Miss Universe to take part. BBC Mundo's Arturo Wallace reflects on the negotiations so far and asks how and if these talks will ever come to an end. 2) MY PRESIDENT What kind of image does your president have? Can anyone compare with Jose Mujica, the outgoing president of Uruguay, who lives in a run-down farmhouse and drives an old volkswagen? We took a trip across the Fifth Floor through Uruguay, Kenya, China, Ukraine and Argentina - to look at presidential styles. 3) UZBEK SONGS David Amanor talks to Ibrat Safo from BBC Uzbek who has produced a series of interviews called 'History of One Song' - ten episodes with ten different singers from Uzbekistan. Some have fallen out of favour or are banned. Ibrat introduces us to three singers, their music and the stories behind their songs. 4) Fifi Fifi Haroon selects her favourite stories from the web this week. 5) GREEN SHOOTS OF CULTURE IN SYRIA Assaf Aboud is the BBC's only reporter permanently based in Syria. It's nearly four years since the protests that started the conflict, and parts of the capital have changed beyond recognition. Assaf tells us that in spite of - or perhaps because of - the conflict, pockets of Damascus have started to see a revival of culture, with people congregating to listen to poetry and music. 6) THE BAMBA COMMUNITY Tales of romance and heartbreak have hit the airwaves in Sierra Leone with the launch of the radio drama 'Bamba Community'. The series aims to give Sierra Leoneans a better understanding of women's and girls' rights and entitlements. BBC Media Action's Yvette Olu-Garrick reveals how the drama creates compelling characters that connect with the audience. 49:57
0306 06.03 1) Tikrit: City of Palaces and Jihadis As the Iraqi army steps up its campaign to retake Tikrit from Islamic State, BBC Monitoring's Mina Al-Lami talks us through the history and significance of the city - famous as the birthplace of both Saddam Hussein and the mediaeval ruler Saladin. 2) A Very Presidential Award This week the world's most valuable individual award was presented to the outgoing President of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba. The Mo Ibrahim prize was set up in 2007 and was meant to be awarded annually but only four leaders have been deemed worthy of it since then. Farai Sevenzo is a film maker and regular columnist for BBC Africa. He ponders why Africa's leaders need prizes? 3) Rio at 450 Rio de Janeiro has just celebrated its 450th birthday with parties, celebrations and music. A lot of that music was probably Bossa Nova, a style born in the city that took the world by storm in the 1950s and 60s. From BBC Brasil, Monica Vasconcelos - a singer herself - and Ricardo Acampora, born and bred in Rio - tell the story of the city through their favourite Bossa Nova songs. 4) Overheard on the Ladies' Carriage To mark International Women's Day on Sunday, we're hearing tales of the strange and unique sisterhood encountered on all-women train carriages in three of the world's busiest cities. Shalu Yadav of BBC Hindi, Dina Demrdash of BBC Arabic and Pinta Karana of BBC Indonesia share stories from Delhi, Cairo and Jakarta. 5) Bengali Poetry Bangladesh is a relatively new country, created in 1971, but it has a long tradition of poetry, written in the Bangla language. To find out about the place of poetry David Amanor is joined by two BBC Bangla journalists and poetry fans, Manoshi Barua and Pulak Gupta. 49:58
0313 13.03 1) Libya: Living in a Lawless State In a country that is run by two separate governments with no central security infrastructure and an ever-increasing number of fractured militias controlling the streets, sourcing and reporting the news has become a more and more complex task. Rana Jawad has been based in Libya for more than 10 years. She takes us behind the scenes on reporting and living in such a troubled country. 2) Censorship in Russian Theatre and Film It is a challenging time to be in the arts in Russia. With court hearings over an opera offending Christians; theatres showing plays and films containing contentious themes being evacuated by the authorities; and talk of more legislation on the cards, is censorship on the rise? David Amanor is joined by Olga Smirnova from the Russian Service to discuss. 3) Marking Four Years Since the Syria Conflict This weeks marks four years since the start of the conflict in Syria, a war which has had a devastating impact on the country and the region. Four journalists from across BBC Turkce, BBC Arabic and BBC Persian talk about four of the most memorable experiences of reporting on the conflict. 4) The Journey of the Cinderella Story Disney releases its latest version of the Cinderella story this week. Their first animated film of the story was released in 1950 but the tale itself is a lot older and far more widely travelled. Versions of the Cinderella story, complete with evil stepmothers, princes and impossibly small shoes, have been told throughout the world for hundreds of years. We take a journey through China, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan to hear the different tales of Cinderella. 51:26
0320 20.03 1) Frontline Reporting in Syria and Iraq Being embedded in the military is probably the most extreme end of the work of our local reporters. And it doesn't get much more intense right now than the front line in the fighting with the so-called Islamic State. Jiyar Gol and Ahmed Maher have been at the forefront of the coverage of the battle. They share their stories of close encounters and the challenges of working with the military. 2) Quoting Quixote: The Story of a Spanish Classic This week what is believed to be the tomb of Spain's much-loved giant of literature, Miguel de Cervantes, was found nearly 400 years after his death. Valeria Perasso of BBC Mundo explains why his classic novel Don Quixote still stirs the heart and captures the imagination.3) Letter from Yemen Former BBC Arabic's Abubakr al-Shamahi reflects on the challenges of working in Yemen. As a British Yemeni, he had only previously visited for family holidays. He tells us what he learnt about himself and his country 4) Indonesia's Death Penalty Island The Indonesian island of Nusakambangan has a sinister claim to fame - it is where death row prisoners are sent for execution. Ten convicted drug smugglers were recently sent there, and international journalists gathered at the nearest port to report on their fate. BBC Brasil's Hugo Bachega was one of them. He tells us about the town where all they talk about is executions. 5) Afghanistan: My Singer, My Music To mark the beginning of spring and the New Year in Afghanistan, our colleagues in the BBC Afghan Service have put together a series of programmes called My Singer, My Music. Producer Hameed Qayommi and presenter Sana Safi shared their choice of singers with us here on the Fifth Floor. 50:01
0327 27.03 1) Enduring a Nigerian Election The election campaign in Nigeria began on 8th January and will finally come to an end with voting this weekend. For Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani this can't come a day too soon. She's dying to be able to talk about something other than politics. 2) The film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is a Bollywood institution. It's been running at one of Mumbai's main cinemas for an astonishing 20 years, ever since its release in 1995. When the cinema decided to stop running the film last month, there was an outcry with hundreds of calls from broken-hearted fans. The film is now showing again. Joining David Amanor to discuss the film's phenomenal success are BBC journalists and cineasts Vandna Dhand and Vidit Mehra. 3) THE PREMIER LEAGUE'S AFRICAN STARS This week the English Football Association has set out proposals to limit the number of non-EU players in the Premier League. This unleashed a flurry of football chatter through BBC Africa. Which African star has had the biggest impact on English football? We went to find out. 4) BARDO MUSEUM The Bardo Museum in Tunis is set to re-open its doors to all on Monday, after the brutal attack that left more than 20 dead. Sihem Hassaini reports for BBC Afrique from Tunis. She's been a loyal visitor to the museum since she was a child. In her letter from Tunis she looks at the significance of the Bardo museum and the place it holds in the hearts of Tunisians. 5) THE VOICE OF INDIAN WRESTLING In rural India, wrestling or maati kushti, as it is known locally, is a major sport and a route out of poverty. One of the sport's biggest stars is not a wrestler but a 65-year-old commentator with a roaring, commanding voice - his name is Shankar Rao Pujari. BBC Hindi's Rupa Jha met Shankar Pujari and learnt the story of how a poor boy from rural India became the voice of wrestling. 6)As the remains of King Richard III get a dignified reburial, we ask what famous figures from world history are still lying in unknown graves, despite efforts to find them. Peruvian Javier Lizarzaburu, formerly of BBC Mundo, tells us about the last Inca emperor Atahualpa, whose remains have never been found. And Temtsel Hao of BBC Chinese explains why another lost ruler - Genghis Khan - means so much to ethnic Mongolians. 49:58
0403 03.04 1) Yemen: A Nation Divided British Yemeni Abubakr al-Shamahi reflects on the pro and anti Houthi divisions within Yemeni families, including his own. He says Yemenis have remained loyal to their own kith and kin through all the upheavals of the past - until now, when deep rifts are opening up. He explains why supporting or opposing the Houthi movement has torn previously united families apart. 2) MY NILE There was a big breakthrough recently in the long-running dispute between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan over sharing the waters of the River Nile. The three nations signed an agreement on the construction of Africa's biggest hydroelectric dam, in Ethiopia. Putting politics to one side, the Fifth Floor brings together BBC journalists from the three countries to talk about what the Nile means to them. 3) ANIMAL NOISES Do animal sounds differ in different countries? Apparently yes! The dog goes woof in english, au au in portuguese and gav gav in Russian. Listen out for The Fifth Floor guide to how animals speak in different languages. 4) SYRIA: THE HARDEST JOURNEY Syrian Journey is a new BBC Arabic interactive digital project which aims to put the audience in the position of a Syrian refugee who wants to flee their country for safety in Europe. Mamdouh Akbiek gives an insight into the stories behind those journeys. 5) INSIDE "THE DEAD LAKE" Hamid Ismailov is not only the Central Asia Service Editor here at the BBC World Service, but he's also a respected writer. His novel The Dead Lake, about a Soviet nuclear testing site in rural Kazakhstan and its effects on the surrounding inhabitants, has just been long-listed for this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He explains to David Amanor the inspiration behind the book and how he used the Kazakh culture to explore new ways of storytelling 49:58
0410 10.04 1) Garissa: I Can't Describe What I Saw This week Kenya mourns the 148 people killed at Garissa University by the militant group al-Shabab. Bashkas Jugsodaay of BBC Africa gives a personal account of how the massacre unfolded. 2) THE ESSENTIAL CLASSICS FOR A DEGREE IN URDU Manchester Metropolitan has become one of the first universities in England to offer students the possibility of studying Urdu to degree level. But what should they have on their reading lists? The Fifth Floor brings together two journalists from BBC Urdu - Saqlain Imam and Khadeeja Arif - to battle over which are the seminal texts in their language. 3) AUSTRALIA'S AFGHAN CAMELEERS A little known chapter of Australia's history links the interior of the continent with distant communities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dawood Azami from the BBC Afghan Service brings them together in two documentaries he's made about the cameleers who migrated from Afghanistan in the 1860s to help open up Australia. He tells the Fifth Floor about the surprises and discoveries on the way. 4) LIVING WITH A WATER SHORTAGE What would you do if your tap ran dry? In south-east Brazil, people have been enduring their worst drought in decades and taking desperate measures. Rafael Barifouse of BBC Brasil tells the Fifth Floor a few survival techniques that Brazilians are adopting to cope with an unprecedented water crisis. 5) MYSTERY LYRICS In a week when the sale of the lyrics of American Pie re-opened discussions on the meaning of the song, we go round the Fifth Floor for examples of songs in other languages which have baffled listeners. Incredibly profound, or incredibly silly? Strange lyrics from Brazil, Turkey, Iran and Bollywood. 49:59
0417 17.04 1) No President, no cabinet. Who's running the country? For nearly a year, Lebanon has been without a president and Afghanistan without a full cabinet. How does a country function without the building blocks of government? What's the impact? And has anyone noticed? BBC Afghan's Daud Qarizadah and BBC Arabic's Carine Torbey compare the situations in their countries. 2) BEING A COW IN INDIAThe Indian President recently approved a bill which bans the slaughter of cows and the sale and consumption of beef in the western state of Maharashtra. Anyone found breaking the law will face a fine and up to five years in prison. From Delhi, BBC Urdu's Suhail Haleem has been looking at the moo'd amongst cows in India today from the retirement homes for the ageing bovine population to the consumption of cow urine for the cure of chronic diseases. 3) TIBETAN OPERA How do you keep a culture alive in exile? That's the challenge facing Nanga Lhamu, a Tibetan opera singer and custodian of a tradition which dates back over 500 years. BBC Hindi's Sumiran Kaur tells the Fifth Floor of her journey to Dharamsala where she spoke to Nanga Lhamu and Tibetan opera's most prominent supporter, the Dalai Lama, about how Tibetan people are preserving their opera in exile. 4) THE MEXICAN TOWN PROTECTED BY ALIENS Tampico Ciudad Madero is one of the prime spots in Mexico for UFO sightings. Legend has it that there is an alien base located deep under water 40 kilometres from the city's beaches. In 1988 a hurricane that was making a beeline towards the place quickly changed direction and hit further up the coast, and more recently residents were spared major damage when tropical storm Ingrid just missed them. Many in the town believe that they might just be being protected by aliens. Juan Paullier has been been investigating. 5) CARTOONS AROUND THE WORLD A group of young Ugandan animators have been beavering away to create Africa's answer to Mickey Mouse. They are confident that their wacky old man, Katoto, could be just the thing. But who is Katoto and who are the most beloved cartoon characters that dominate screens around the world? 6) UKRAINIAN ARTIST The work of the Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova has been hugely influenced by the ongoing crisis in her native country. One of her major pieces, a sculpture depicting the state of the country, is on display in London. From BBC Russian Elizaveta Podshivalova and Irena Taranyuk of BBC Ukrainian went to see it and talked about recent changes in art in Ukraine. 49:57
0424 24.04 1) Venezuela's Crisis: A Numbers Game This week saw Venezuela receive five billion dollars in finance from China. A big figure but just one of many that have been part of the larger story of the country's recent problems. From the 20,000 finger print scanners to be installed at local supermarkets to monitor food purchases to the eight hours a week spent in queues. Daniel Pardo of BBC Mundo tells the story of the numbers behind the problems facing Venezuela. 2) Renaming Ukraine Ukraine's legislators want to get rid of the country's Communist legacy by removing monuments and renaming streets and even towns and cities. No more Lenin Avenues or November 7th Streets. Vitaly Shevchenko of BBC Monitoring reflects on the disruption and controversy this would cause. He's joined by his Georgian colleague Noah Kankia, who tells us what his country went through when the same process was carried out there. 3) Mexican Literary Favourites Mexico was in the literary spotlight last week when book lovers from all around the world descended on London's annual Book Fair. And one book lover here on the Fifth Floor, who's been interviewing some of that country's great writers is Juan Carlos Perez Salazar, fresh from his time as BBC's Mundo's correspondent in Mexico. So who are his favourites? 4) The Ugly Side of The Beautiful Game in Brazil This week Brazilian football has seen the ugly side to the beautiful game as eight men were killed by gunmen at a football fan club in Sao Paulo. The men were Corinthians fans and part of a group of organised supporters. BBC Brasil's Fernando Duarte tells us how watching the game has changed since his days as a young Flamengo fan. 5) National Days As St George's Day celebrations are marked from England to Bulgaria The Fifth Floor hears how national days are celebrated in Brazil, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 50:13
0501 01.05 1) Turkey's War on Mules In a remote Kurdish village near Turkey's border with Iraq, the Turkish army has been carrying out a bloody operation - against mules. The region is a smuggling hotspot, with billions of dollars' worth of goods, particularly cigarettes, coming in from Iraq - carried by mules which know the route so well that they can make the journey on their own. BBC Arabic's Shahdi Alkashif has been investigating. 2) Shakespeare in Somaliland William Shakespeare has been described as the world's favourite writer. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is travelling the globe with his play Hamlet and has so far been sighted by Fifth Floorers in places as far afield as Somaliland, Kiev and Santiago. David Amanor is joined in the studio by two Shakespeare fans Chilean Constanza Hola from BBC Mundo and Syrian Soumer Daghastani from BBC Arabic to discuss his global appeal. 3) Nepal: Living and Reporting Through the Earthquake Just over 2 years ago the BBC Nepali team in Kathmandu was engaged in a training exercise on how best to communicate in a time of crisis - it was involved in a simulation of an earthquake in Kathmandu in preparation for the inevitable big one. When it hit, at 11.58 last Saturday, it sent the city and its surrounding areas into chaos. The death toll continues to rise and many thousands are still sleeping out in the open, afraid to return to their homes. Amongst them are members of the BBC Nepali team Jitendra Raut and Sanjaya Dhakal. They share their experiences of documenting and surviving the earthquake. 4) Whose wine is it anyway? When it comes to wine what does the drink tell you about the country that makes it? This week, as China has overtaken France to become the second-largest vineyard area in the world The Fifth Floor looks at the stories behind countries' relationships with wine from the ancient Persian city of Shiraz to popping the corks of Sovetskoye Shampanskoye, the Soviet "Champagne". 49:57
0508 08.05 1) My Friend Sabeen Mahmud Sabeen Mahmud, one of Pakistan's leading human rights activists was shot and killed in Karachi on 24 April 2015. She had just finished chairing a panel discussion about Balochistan, a province where separatists have fought a bitter insurgency for years. Sabeen's death sparked protests and vigils across Pakistan and in major cities around the world. BBC Urdu's Ziad Zafar was a close friend of hers: he talks about her life, her motivation and the impact of her death. And BBC Urdu head Aamer Ahmed Khan explains why the subject of Balochistan has been so contentious. 2) Horse Trading How do you form a government when there's no clear winner? The answer for most politicians is horse-trading - a reflection of the tough bargaining that goes on when horses are bought and sold. The Fifth Floor looks at the story behind horse-trading and how the term has extended into global politics. 3) Iranian Style Guide This week as Iran has moved to ban "spiky" hair styles as well as tattoos, sunbed treatments and plucked eyebrows for men, Camelia Sadeghzadeh and Nicholas Niksadat of BBC Persian provide a style guide for what to wear and more importantly not to wear in today's Iran. 4) Nepal Almost two weeks since the deadliest quake in Nepal in decades people across the country are still coming to terms with the impact of the disaster and finding a new normality after much of the country was so badly affected. Kamal Kumar is a producer with the BBC Media Action team in Nepal. He's kept a diary for us of a day living and working in the Lantang Hills in Nepal. 5) Abbos Kosimov The Doyra is a traditional drum played across the Middle East and Central Asia. One of the world's top players is Abbos Kosimov from Uzbekistan. He spoke to Ibrat Safo from BBC Uzbek about how being forced to play the instrument by his family led him to champion the doyra, bringing it centre stage and performing with musicians from around the world including Stevie Wonder. 49:59
0515 15.05 1) Burundi: A Day in the Life of the News This week reports broke of an attempted coup in Burundi as an army general sought to seize power from President Nkurunziza while he was out of the country. From one moment to the next, the news of who was in charge was constantly changing. The Fifth Floor stepped inside the BBC Africa newsroom to get a frame by frame view of how the news unfolded, through the journalists at the heart of the story and the sounds around them in the newsroom and on the airwaves. 2) Kawoon's Kabuli Cat Afghans are becoming pet owners, with pet food and toys and veterinary care all available in the capital Kabul. BBC Persian's Kawoon Khamoosh tells the Fifth Floor about his visit to the country's only rescue centre for cats and dogs. After negotiating with his family, he is now offering a home to Pluto the cat. 3) What happens when the lights go out in Ghana? A large demonstration is expected in Ghana on Saturday in protest at the ongoing energy crisis. Sammy Darko is BBC Africa's reporter in Accra and while he's been sitting in the dark he's been keeping track of some of the more surprising results of living without electricity. 4) An Ethiopian Armenian at Eurovision The Eurovision Song Contest marks its 60th anniversary this year. There's one entry that BBC Africa's Hewete Haileselassie from Ethiopia is going to be following closely and that is the song from Armenia. Why? Because Vahe Tilbian, a member of the Armenian group Genealogy, is an Ethiopian Armenian and also her friend. Hewete linked up with Vahe to talk about the ties between Armenia and Ethiopia, and his journey to Eurovision. 5) The Prophet Translated into over 50 languages and selling tens of millions of copies, The Prophet, by Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, has inspired the Beatles, John F. Kennedy and Indira Gandhi. Now it's been made into an animated family film which recently opened in Lebanon. David Amanor spoke to reporter Carine Torbey from Beirut and BBC Arabic editor Edgard Jallad. 6) Ukraine's Changing Dictionary Natasha Matyukhina of BBC Monitoring takes a look at how new words have sprung up in the Ukrainian and Russian languages since the start of the conflict in 2013. 28:55
0522 22.05 1) Following the Rohingya Boat People With thousands of migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar stranded at sea this week, the Fifth Floor follows their journey in search of new lives. BBC Bengali's Akbar Hossain has been reporting from the Bangladeshi port of Cox's Bazar, one of the main departure points. Rohmatin Bonasir of BBC Indonesian has followed crisis talks in Kuala Lumpur and visited centres in Indonesia where thousands of migrants are already being held. 2) Diplomatic Food Fights From the watermelon war between Iran and the UAE to the Russian clampdown on Ukrainian chocolate, Taraneh Millard of BBC Monitoring and Irena Taranyuk of BBC Ukrainian discuss why food can so often cook up diplomatic disputes between nations. 3) The Orange-robed Politicians of Thailand There's a tradition in Thailand of politicians retreating to monasteries when they find themselves in difficulties. After the military coup a year ago, protest leader and former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban was ordained a monk. BBC Thai's Thanomjit Phanichrat tells the Fifth Floor about her recent encounter with him. 4) Pakistan's cricket comeback International cricket is returning to Pakistan! For six years no test playing nation has visited the country and all international matches have been limited to the screen. But how have Pakistan's cricket lovers coped with this severe sporting diet? Mohamed Hanif, former head of BBC Urdu, explains. 5) Turning off the Gramafoon: The Clampdown on Egyptian Radio One of Egypt's top online music radio stations Gramafoon shut down earlier this month, raising questions about media freedom under a proposed law that would regulate all broadcasting in the country. Doaa Soliman from BBC Monitoring has been following the story from Cairo. 26:14
0529 29.05 1) Free to Learn: Educating Afghans in Iran Iran is home to an estimated three million Afghans, but for many years, undocumented Afghan children have been barred from government schools. Following the news that this ban is to be lifted, BBC Persian's Najieh Ghulami, an Afghan brought up in Iran, tells us about the barriers she faced at school, and describes what it's like to be an Afghan in Iran. 2) A His and Hers Guide to Marriage in India A "marriage squeeze" has hit India due to too many men and too few brides making the search for love all the more laborious. How do you find your future bride or groom in a country where family traditions compete with the latest dating apps? Shalu Yadav and Vikas Pandey of BBC Hindi share their thoughts on how love and marriage are changing in India today. 3) A Monument to Me Turkmenistan this week unveiled a massive gold-plated statue of President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov on horseback. It's 21 metres high and rests on a white marble pedestal in the capital Ashgabat. This tribute to the Turkmen leader is part of a wider personality cult among Central Asian presidents, which has also led to some extravagant building projects. Rustam Qobil of BBC Uzbek takes us on a tour. 4) Nigerian Power Dressers How will this week's changeover in the Nigerian presidency affect the way people dress? Writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani reflects on the very different styles of Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, and speculates on how outfits will have to change for the new power-dressers. 5) Today's Russian Literary Greats A recent Russian literary festival in London gave BBC Russian's Alexander Kan a chance to talk to some of the big names among contemporary writers. He shares his favourites. 27:45
0605 05.06 1) Mosul: One Year On It's one year since the fall of Mosul into the hands of the so-called Islamic State. Since then, the militant organisation has dominated headlines and has reportedly taken control of territory across a region the size of Belgium. Mina Al-Lami of BBC Monitoring has been following the propaganda arm of Islamic State and Basher Al-Zaidi has reported on their operations in his home city. 2) Notable Banknotes As the Bank of England searches for a new face for the twenty pound note, the Fifth Floor hears some of the more surprising and unusual tales of currencies past and present. BBC language service journalists share stories of monarchs replaced by mountains, banknotes with secret messages and hidden meanings and bills that sell for many times their real value. 3) #SalaSocial Ricardo Senra takes us on a tour of #SalaSocial, or 'the social room' - BBC Brasil's online coverage of what's trending on the country's social media. We hear about a new 14 year old fashion sensation who makes platform heels from bricks, learn the coded messages behind Brazilian prison tattoos and bust myths about a Brazilian town inhabited only by women. 4) 24 Hours Without Politics in Venezuela BBC Mundo's reporter in Caracas Daniel Pardo describes what happened when he tried to go a day without talking politics. Venezuela has always had a highly politicised society but Daniel tells how recent crises - inflation, security issues and public demonstrations - have made political chatter inescapable. 6) India's Women Rappers The music of Bollywood films has long dominated India's music scene and other newer genres have sometimes struggled to establish themselves. Now India has an emerging rap culture and some of its most celebrated stars are women. BBC Hindi's Vandana Dhand introduces us to Ish Kaur, the 18 year old rapper at the centre of the new scene. 29:48
0612 12.06 1) Reporting Accra's Petrol Station Inferno Ghana has been in mourning this week after a fire at a petrol station killed 150 people in Accra. Still more people died in the unprecedented floods that contributed to the fire. Now that the official mourning period is over and the floods have subsided, David Amanor speaks with fellow Ghanaian, Sammy Darko about his personal experience reporting on the disaster and how the city is recovering. 2) National Anthems A campaign is underway in Switzerland to change the country's national anthem. Critics of it say it is too religious and too long. This is not the first and surely wont be the last campaign to change an unpopular anthem. Fifth Floor colleagues share tales of anthems past and present. From those written on prison walls in blood and to others so complex that vast swathes of the population are forced to mumble along. 3) Baku 2015: Under The Spotlight With the inaugural European Games opening in Baku, the BBC's Rayhan Demytrie looks at how Azerbaijan has prepared for the arrival of 6,000 athletes. She also investigates the attitudes of ordinary Azeris, who are finding it harder than ever to make ends meet at a time when the economy is badly affected by falling oil prices. 4) Who's reading in Kenya? There's been ongoing debate in Kenya about why people are reading fewer books. The country produces internationally acclaimed authors such as Ngugi wa Thiongo and Billy Kahora but the culture of reading is in decline. David is joined by two Kenyan reporters from BBC Africa to find out what is on their bookshelves and to discuss why Kenyans are becoming less bookish. 5) An unusual solution to Bangladesh's peeing problem For years authorities in Bangladesh have battled to stop men urinating in public but the Ministry of Religious Affairs believes it has found a solution. It is replacing the signs in Bengali, asking men to stop urinating in public, with signs in Arabic. And this appears to be working, even though most are unable to read the language. Bangladesh is a mainly Muslim country and therefore Arabic text is seen as sacred. BBC Bangla's Akbar Hossain has been out on the streets of Dhaka to investigate. 6) Ethiopia's Edith Piaf Hewete Haileselasse celebrates the life of an Ethiopian icon, the singer Asnaketch Worku. She was beautiful and passionate, and her behaviour shocked conservative Ethiopia in the 50s and 60s. She died four years ago, but she and her music are still loved by Ethiopians. A recent film about her, Asni, is currently showing at South Africa's annual Encounters documentary festival. 23:00
0619 19.06 1) The Manden Charter: Mali's Magna Carta As the UK celebrates 800 years since the sealing of the Magna Carta, The Fifth Floor tells the story of a lesser known 800 year old document which enshrined the rights of noblemen and established an effective government across a kingdom - the Manden Charter. Established in the Malian Empire in the 13th Century, the charter established the laws under which Mandinka clans of West Africa would live. Ibrahima Diane of BBC Monitoring tells the story of the charter and what the ancient document continues to mean today, in West Africa and beyond. 2) Yoga Salutation June 21st is International Yoga Day. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is marking the event by promoting what is billed as the biggest single yoga session ever. While the virtues of yoga for mind, body and soul are being endorsed in India, the BBC's Suhail Haleem is keeping a low profile - the only way he has ever been able to touch his toes is with a selfie stick. For The Fifth Floor Suhail explains the great divide - of those who bend and those who can't. 3) The Fall of Morsi Following the confirmation by an Egyptian court of the death sentence on deposed President Mohamed Morsi, BBC Arabic's Ranyah Sabry tells the story of the key moments that took him from president to death row. 4) Tracking Islamic State Recruits Turkey is the main route to Syria for would-be Islamic State recruits, and the authorities receive frequent requests to look out for and intercept the nationals of third countries. Cagil Kasapoglu of BBC Turkish has been covering the journeys of the jihadists and explains why so many of them succeed in crossing the country undetected. 5) Burundi: Hear my Country After weeks of violence in Burundi over the president's controversial bid for a third term, two BBC journalists from the country - Prime Ndikumagenge and Robert Misigaro - pick the music that defines Burundi, past and present. It ranges from ancient inanga harp music to contemporary reggae. 23:04
0626 26.06 1) Presidential Staying Power In a list of the longest serving political leaders around the world, of the top thirty, at least a third are African. This is even though the majority of African countries limit presidential terms to two runs. The President of Burundi is controversially standing for election for a third term and in Rwanda a campaign is underway for the constitution there to be amended to allow President Paul Kagame to stand again. Why are African leaders such stayers? David Amanor is joined by BBC Africa colleagues to discuss. 2) Maradona: Made by the Hand of God He has been called the Sex Pistol of international football. To many he is a revolutionary, a friend to Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. This week it has been reported that Diego Maradona intends to run for the presidency of Fifa. Marcela Mora y Araujo explores the many sides of Maradona and asks why he still captures the imagination of the world. 3) Bahman Mohasses: The Persian Picasso Bahman Mohasses was one of the pioneers of modern art in Iran. He was a sculptor, painter, theatre director and translator. After the revolution, his work was considered too un-Islamic to be seen in public. BBC Persian's Negin Shiraghaei and Morad Montazami, curator of Middle Eastern Art at Tate Modern provide a guide to the man known as the Persian Picasso. 4) What to Watch this Ramadan It is the holy month of Ramadan - a month of prayer and fasting and for some also accompanied by a lot of television. TV soaps and dramas are commissioned for the season and often bring in the highest ratings. BBC journalist Doaa Soliman is something of a connoisseur of Ramadan TV. Not only has she watched a lot for pleasure, but in her current role with BBC Monitoring, she is also tasked with keeping a professional eye on the current selection. This is Doaa's guide to what to watch this Ramadan. 5) Life and Death Exams For millions of students around the world, there is one exam which can decide the future course of their lives. Countries including China, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan have a national university entrance exam in which students push themselves to the limit - or are pushed by their parents - to get the best chance of success. Zhuang Chen of BBC Chinese and Bismillah Momand of BBC Afghan share painful memories, and Pahlavon Sodiq describes the problem of fraud in the Uzbek system. 23:17
0703 03.07 1) Tunisia's Identity Crisis In the aftermath of the massacre of tourists at Sousse, Sihem Hassaini of BBC Afrique grapples with Tunisia's identity crisis. How can a young student like the Sousse attacker, Seifeddine Rezgui, be transformed from a music-loving breakdancer into a cold-blooded killer, pledging allegiance to Islamic State? Sihem shares insights she's gained from following the lives of other young Tunisians drawn to extremism. 2) Last Tango to Buenos Aires 80 years ago, celebrated tango singer Carlos Gardel died in a plane accident in Medellin, Colombia, but his eventful life story did not finish there. Six months after he was buried in Colombia his body was exhumed and taken on a momentous journey back to Buenos Aires by road, rail and sea. Natalio Cosoy, BBC Mundo's bilingual correspondent in Bogota, follows the infamous journey of the most renowned tango singer 3) Essential Reading for Chinese officials China's state media have urged officials to read more to develop sound values and avoid corruption - but what should be on the reading list? Yuwen Wu of BBC Chinese gives a guide to some of the essential texts every Chinese official should read. 4) What does your national animal say about your country? The Indian state of Maharashtra has declared the Blue Mormon to be the official butterfly of the state. The country boasts the tiger as its national animal, and if that's not enough it also has the elephant as its national 'heritage' animal. We take a tour of the Fifth Floor to hear about the animals that represent different countries and what they tell us about their homelands. 5) Reporting a Forgotten War As the world's newest nation, South Sudan, approaches its fourth birthday, there's no sign of an end to the fighting which has torn it apart since December 2013. The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza knows the country well and has reported on numerous peace initiatives which have always ended in failure. He describes what it's like to report on a war which is largely forgotten by the rest of the world as new conflicts seize the headlines. 6) African Film Award Nominations / Who Will Win at the "African Oscars" The nominations for the African Movie Academy Awards - the African Oscars- have just been announced. Now in their eleventh year, they are regarded as the most prestigious awards for the African film industry. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place in Nigeria in the autumn. Here to talk about movers and shakers, actors and directors, and the latest trends in African cinema today, David Amanor is joined by two Kenyans - Alice Muthengi and Frenny Jowi from BBC Africa. 23:19
0710 10.07 1) Surviving the Somali Civil War and the 7/7 attacks Abdirahman Koronto was on his way to work on the 7th July 2005 when he boarded the Number 30 bus at Tavistock Square but he changed his mind and stepped off again. Moments later the bus exploded in front of his eyes. As crowds fled the scene, he walked towards it, and set about administering first aid to the injured. It was a shocking but not altogether unfamiliar sight for him. Abdirahman is Somali and grew up in Mogadishu where he witnessed the height of the violence of the civil war in the 1990s. 2) Alice in Wonderland 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Since her first appearance in English, Alice has been translated into more than 170 languages. We hear about the impact she made in Arabic, Bengali and Russian from Angy Ghannam of BBC Monitoring in Cairo, Manoshi Barua of BBC Bengali, and Katerina Linnik of BBC Russian. 3) Spas, Mountains and Militancy: a tour of the North Caucasus Russia's North Caucasus has often been destabilised by rebellions and insurgencies. Now there's rivalry between the main militant group, the Caucasus Emirate, and so-called Islamic State, which recently proclaimed a new province in the North Caucasus. Meanwhile tourists from Russia and neighbouring countries continue to enjoy the region's spa waters and healthy mountain air. Leyla Akbar of BBC Monitoring in Baku takes us through the contradictions. 4) Urdu poetry and the tradition of the Mushaira For Urdu poets in Pakistan and India, the traditional way to show off their work is to attend a mushaira, or formal recital. The tradition goes back at least five hundred years to the Muslim rulers of India, and is experiencing a resurgence now far beyond the sub-continent. David is joined from Islamabad by journalist and poet Zafar Syed of BBC Urdu. 23:09
0717 17.07 1) Iran Nuclear Talks: Survivors' Tales A historic agreement was signed in Vienna this week between Iran and the so-called P5+1. The deal has been twelve years in the making and, especially in its final moments, meant some very long days and late nights for diplomats and journalists. But what goes on behind the scenes at these historic events? Fifth Floor journalists share their tips and insights on how to survive long haul talks. 2) Talking to the Giants of Brazilian Music Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil are back on tour and playing to full houses around the globe. Popularly known as Caetano and Gil, they shook the foundations of Brazilian music in the 1960s as co-founders of the Tropicalia Movement. Now both in their seventies, they packed out a London theatre earlier this month. In the audience was Julia Carneiro from BBC Brasil. She's joined by her colleague and musician Monica Vasconcelos to talk about the legendary vocalists and their massive reputation inside and outside Brazil. 3) What to Wear for Eid Families in Indonesia will be gathering this weekend for their end of Ramadan celebrations. It's a time for feasting and festivities and for this, people like to dress up. The build up to the event is keeping the fashion bloggers of Indonesia busy. Kiki Siregar from BBC Indonesian looks at the growing trend for online fashion advisors in the country to see if they can help her choose what to wear. 4) Digital Modi Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, even the Chinese name it, he is on it. Following the launch of the Narendra Modi phone app and his establishment as a star of Twitter, Vandana Dhand of BBC Hindi muses on the digital modes of India's first social media Prime Minister. 5)Relaxed, Natural, Styled: BBC Africa Takes a Trip to the Salon BBC Afrique's Genevieve Sagno and Leone Ouedraogo and BBC London journalist and hair blogger Valley Fontaine talk African hair from the changing fashions and styles, to the politically charged debates around natural versus relaxed. 23:08
0731 31.07 1) Meeting Mullah Omar Mullah Omar, the former leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan, was highly secretive and reclusive. Few journalists ever met him but one who did was Daud Junbish - an Afghan journalist with the BBC. He met Mullah Omar in 1996 and went on to interview him several times for the BBC. He told David Amanor about some of those conversations. 2) How to name a panda It's been a big week for the world's most popular zoo animal. The oldest-ever panda in captivity, Jia Jia, celebrated her 37th birthday in Hong Kong. And there was a first birthday party for the world's only surviving panda triplets. How do you name these animal VIPs? Carol Yarwood of BBC Chinese gives us six rules for naming a panda. 3) An end to enclaves BBC Bangla's Amitabha Bhattasali talks to us from the border between India and Bangladesh, where he's reporting on a historic exchange of territories. There are more than 100 Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh, and more than 50 Bangladeshi enclaves inside India. Enclave-dwellers are effectively stateless, with no provision of schools, hospitals, roads or electricity. The two countries have finally agreed to end this situation, from midnight on 31 July. 4) The new Suez Canal As Egypt prepares to open a new channel along part of the Suez Canal, BBC Arabic's Sally Nabil reflects on the place of the canal in Egyptian hearts and minds. It's iconic, revered and profitable, and officials have dubbed the new waterway 'the Great Egyptian Dream'. Sally tells us about her childhood images of the canal, and her feelings on reporting on this latest development. 5) Celebrating Runa Laila This year is her 50th in the music business. Runa Laila started her career at just 13. She was born in East Pakistan - now Bangladesh - and has built up a huge following. Some say she is the most popular singer in South Asia. Runa Laila was in London recently to sing at the Houses of Parliament. Pulak Gupta from BBC Bangla met and interviewed her and talks us through her enduring appeal. 6) Venezuela's obsession with predictions In times of political tension, Venezuelans flock to fortune tellers. These wise ones who claim to know the future have hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter, and TV shows and organisations pay them huge sums to go to social gatherings to share predictions for the country and members of the audience. BBC Mundo's Daniel Pardo seeks out Venezuela's favoured fortune tellers to find out what he might be reporting in the future. 22:50
0807 07.08 1) Cuba: No Internet, No Problem In Cuba, internet access is a rare commodity limited to expensive tourist hotels or a few wifi zones around major cities. So Cubans have come up with a unique way to share information without the internet, El Paquete Semanal, the Weekly Package - external hard drives filled with international and Cuban media passed from person to person. The downloading of international copyrighted material exists in a legal grey area in Cuba but would be illegal elsewhere in the world. In the first of a series of features about today's Cuba, BBC Monitoring's Emilio San Pedro heads to Havana, the home city of his parents, to find out how this simple act of passing hard-drives from household to household is changing the lives of Cubans. 2) African fashion on the Fifth Floor This weekend London plays host to Africa Fashion Week, Europe's largest catwalk event of African and African-inspired design. Some of that fervour for fashion has spilled over onto the Fifth Floor with BBC Africa launching a multimedia project to ask what African fashion means to an African audience. Two fashionistas from the team - Veronique Edwards and Uwa Nnachi - share tips and tales African style. 3) Who's watching Jon Stewart in Iran? So the US Comedian Jon Stewart hosted his final ever episode of the satirical news programme The Daily Show last night. He's spent nearly 17 years at the helm of the fake news desk, becoming the voice of liberal America but it's not just his American fans who will miss him because Jon Stewart also has a big following among Iranians. Why? BBC Persian's Bahman Kalbasi explains. 4) Inside Aden Afra Ahmed of BBC Arabic was born and brought up in Yemen's southern city of Aden. Houthi rebel forces entered Aden in Marchand and the city has been at the heart of the conflict between rebels and forces loyal to Yemen's exiled government. It is now back under government control. Afra tells us what it means to be an Adeni, and why the city means so much to her. 5) The Chinese art of making replicas China has one of the oldest art traditions in the world. However in recent years, it's become almost as famous for its ability to produce copies of famous art works. Da Fen village in Guangdong province specialises in making replicas of paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Salvador Dali. At the darker end of the industry is forgery. A Chinese curator was recently prosecuted for stealing more than 140 paintings by Chinese masters and replacing them with forgeries he painted himself. The BBC's Weiliang Nie and Xinyan Yu discuss China's relationship with replicas. 23:12
0814 14.08 1) Bands Battle over the Kenyan Airwaves The Kenyan government has announced plans that 60% of music on radio and TV stations in the country should be local. But is that realistic? And does it matter that Kenyan radios and nightclubs are so enamoured with Nigerian and other grooves? From the Fifth Floor, journalists Frenny Jowi from Kenya and Peter Okwoche from Nigeria share stories of the tracks that define nations and identity. 2) Postcard from Havana On the day John Kerry visits Havana to inaugurate the first US Embassy in Cuba for 54 years, BBC Monitoring's Emilio San Pedro takes us on a tour of the city and asks what the future holds for Cubans as they re-establish ties with the superpower over the water. This is the second in a series looking at Cuba on the edge of change. 3) The Taiwanese grandfathers on different sides of the war Tzu Wei Liu of BBC Chinese is from Taiwan, which was a Japanese colony until 1945. Her paternal grandfather was taught Japanese at school in Taiwan, while her mother's father was a child in China, hiding in caves from Japanese shelling. Tzu Wei has been investigating the hidden divisions in her family, and speculates that many other Taiwanese must share equally complicated identities. 4) A snapshot from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival Every year, the Scottish capital Edinburgh hosts the biggest arts festival in the world: over 50,000 performances from almost 50 countries. Pooneh Ghodoosi of the BBC's Persian service is in Edinburgh seeking out the Iranian talent on offer. 5) Hunting Tales As the debate about Cecil the Lion rumbles on, we go on safari on the Fifth Floor to hear about other trophy animals and the people who hunt them, from the Marco Polo sheep of Kyrgyzstan to the Anatolian lynx of Turkey. 23:10
0821 21.08 1) War on Error: Reporting Insurgency Journalists covering the latest attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria or the Taliban in Afghanistan have to unravel the truth from a mass of rumours, contradictory statements and propaganda. Dawood Azami of BBC Afghan has been dealing with the Taliban for two decades, as they transformed from government officials to insurgents. BBC Hausa's Jimeh Saleh is from Borno State in northern Nigeria, which has been at the heart of the Boko Haram insurgency. They share and compare their experiences. 2) Goodbye bellydancing? Egyptians say it has been in their blood for thousands of years. But are its days numbered? As a Cairo court considers the sentence on two famous bellydancers accused of inciting debauchery, BBC Arabic's Ranyah Sabry gives her verdict on the future of bellydancing. 3) Soweto in Edinburgh South Africa's famous township features strongly at this year's Edinburgh Festival, inspiring plays, musicals and choirs. Kim Chakanetsa discovers how Soweto has been represented with Nkululeko Vilakazi from Soweto Afro-Pop Opera, Zoey Martinson from Ndebele Funeral, and Morgan Njobo from After Freedom. 4) Mexico: Searching for the disappeared On 10th August, Miguel Angel Jimenez Blanco was found killed in Mexico's Guerrero state. He was an activist who helped families search for their missing relatives, including the 43 students who went missing in September 2014 in the town in Iguala. BBC Mundo's Juan Carlos Perez recalls a day spent with Miguel Angel searching for the disappeared in the hills of Iguala. He tells the Fifth Floor about the stories of the disappeared he has covered in Mexico and in his home country of Colombia. 5) Cuba: Take me out to a ball game Cuba and the United States disagree on many things but one thing that unites both countries is a love for baseball. Rumour has it that a young fastball pitcher called Fidel Castro earned the interest of many Major League baseball teams in his university days. In the latest part of his series on how life is changing in Cuba, BBC Monitoring's Emilio San Pedro steps up to the plate and meets Cuba's star baseball pitcher Yosvani Torres to talk about why Cubans love the game and what hopes they have for the sport as relations improve with the US. 23:33
0828 28.08 1) Beirut's 'You Stink' Protests Rubbish has been piling up on the streets of Beirut for over a month since the closure of the city's main landfill site. But protestors believe that the rubbish is just the tip of a huge iceberg of corruption. They are angry at the government's inability to maintain order and basic amenities in a country which has been without a president for the past 18 months. Carine Torbey of BBC Arabic is there among the bin bags. 2) Ode to the Monsoon Romance, poetry and the promise of plenty. As Pakistan enjoys monsoon rains after the burning heat of early summer, BBC Urdu's Amber Shamsi tells us why she loves this season. 3) Old Foxes: Insults Old and New in Iran The re-opening of the British embassy in Tehran has given new life to the traditional term of abuse the Iranians have used for Britain for at least a hundred years - the Old Fox. Parham Pourparsa of BBC Monitoring has been investigating other rhetorical terms used in the Iranian media. 4) Acrobatics in Edinburgh High jinks at the Edinburgh Festival with two acrobatic troupes - Kim Chakanetsa meets La Meute, the wolf pack, from France, and Ghana's Fanti Acrobats. The six daredevil members of La Meute catapult themselves into the air wearing little more than towels, and the Fanti Acrobats perform contortion, pan-spinning, limbo and traditional dancing. 5) Diary of a Cuban Poet One morning when BBC Monitoring's Emilio San Pedro was checking his post he found a letter from a listener with a copy of the diary of a young Cuban poet, Isidro Suarez Vega. Isidro was an acclaimed academic and writer who fled the country in the 1970s because he was gay. He lived in exile in the United Kingdom until his life was tragically cut short. On a recent visit to Havana, armed with Isidro's diary, Emilio decided to seek out people who knew him, to find out how the path of this talented writer led to a tragic end. 6) Yemen Before the Storm Gaith Abdel Ahad relives his experiences covering Yemen's disintegration into civil war and in particular the chaotic seven days in March preceding the Saudi-led air strikes. The South Yemenis believed that they were finally on the verge of independence from the North, only to see their dreams shatter around them. Gaith witnessed the retreat and the collapse of Aden into anarchy for his BBC film Before The Storm. 23:28
0904 04.09 1) Indonesia's Chilli Crisis A huge increase in the price of red chillies has caused uproar in Indonesia, where they are essential on every dinner table. But according to the BBC's Kiki Siregar, sales have not gone down. However high the price, Indonesians simply can't face life without chilli. 2) South Sudan: a poet reporting on war Last week saw a peace agreement reached between the warring factions in the South Sudan civil war. Since the war started in 2013 tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than a million displaced. BBC Monitoring's Akol Miyen Kuol witnessed the impact of this conflict on his homeland and lived through many years of civil war. He's also written about it. Akol is a journalist and a published poet. He talks to the Fifth Floor about telling the story of South Sudan. 3) Cuba: from rumba to reggaeton BBC Monitoring's Emilio San Pedro is in Havana taking the Fifth Floor on a tour of Cuban music from jazz to hip hop, rumba to reggaeton - with a few old classics along the way. 4) The Savitsky Museum A gallery in the far reaches of Uzbekistan holds the second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art in the world, second only to the Russian State Art Museum in St Petersburg. How did it get there? Hamid Ismailov from BBC Uzbek explains. 5) Tongues in a twist She sells sea shells on the Fifth Floor.. We find out how tongue-twisters are created in different languages and put on a display of international verbal gymnastics. 28:35
0911 11.09 1) Should Celebrities Run for Office? The first round of the Guatemalan elections has been won by a TV comedian. Jimmy Morales once played a blundering cowboy turned accidental president but now he's one step closer to the real thing. A couple of weeks ago US rapper and super celebrity Kanye West announced, in a rambling and probably not altogether serious speech, that he would run for US president in 2020 provoking a flurry of speculation on what he might bring to the White House. So what can celebrities do for the world of politics? David is joined by Fifth Floor friends to discuss 2) Why has a popular Tanzanian singer been banned? Tanzanian singer Shilole has been banned from performing by the country's National Arts Council and told that she cannot associate herself with music for one year. It goes back to an incident in Belgium when she had a wardrobe malfunction and revealed a little too much flesh. BBC Africa's Kulthum Maabad and Zuhura Yunus discuss what's been happening 3) ABC To mark World Literacy Day this week we traverse the Fifth Floor to hear the clever tricks and songs used in different languages to teach their ABCs. 4) Hissene Habre on trial As the former president of Chad appears in court accused of war crimes, BBC Afrique reporter Nathalie Magnien describes reaction in the capital N'Djamena to the long-awaited trial. Alongside Nathalie is her husband, former BBC journalist Mahamat Adamou, who experienced the fear and oppression of the Habre regime first-hand. 5) Nostalgia for King Farouk A milestone was passed this week when Queen Elizabeth II became Britain's longest-reigning monarch. She came to the throne in 1952, the same year that King Farouk of Egypt was forced off his. But why, 63 years on, are young Egyptians so nostalgic for an era they never knew? Angy Ghannam of BBC Monitoring in Cairo sheds light on Egypt's love affair with the past 23:07
0918 18.09 1) The Refugee Crisis as Seen from Syria At the heart of the migrant crisis is the war in Syria. But what is the reality of life in Damascus now? Assaf Abboud is the only person living and reporting from the country for the BBC. He paints us a picture of the city through the different districts, and tells us what residents are making of the coverage of the refugee story. 2) Inside an African Utopia The Africa Utopia Festival on London's Southbank came to an end last weekend. It was billed as featuring "some of Africa's greatest artists across music, dance, literature and the arts". The line-up included legendary drummer Tony Allen, one of the acknowledged co-founders of Afrobeat, Senegalese super group Orchestra Baobab, and lively talks and debates with a keynote speech by Africa Utopia champion and collaborator Baaba Maal. The BBC's Manuel Toledo, expert on African music, was there - as was DJ Rita Ray, a regular on Focus Africa. They will be sharing their insights and giving us their highlights. 3) Bangladesh's Truly Urban Farmer Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is a pretty busy bustling city with a population of nearly 15 million, so you can imagine how it might be hard to find space for a dairy farm in the heart of the old town. But one farmer in the city has come up with a bit of a novel solution. He keeps his cows on the roof. Farhana Parveen of BBC Bangla went to meet him and his cows. 4) Love Across the Frontline Natalya Moiseyeva is a Russian journalist working for BBC Monitoring. Earlier this year she moved to Kiev to marry her boyfriend and BBC colleague, Yuri Martynenko, from Ukraine. But when she left Moscow to start her new life it was with a degree of trepidation. Hostilities between the two countries are still intense and the level of anti-Ukrainian propaganda coming nightly from her Russian TV meant that even she, who is used to scanning a wide range of media, felt that she might have something of a difficult ride ahead. Natalia tells David about what she found in Ukraine and about organising a wedding with guests from two countries in conflict. 5) Changing Cuba: One Family's Story In Emilio San Pedro's final report from Cuba, he sets out in Havana to trace the history of Cuba through the story of his family. From the independence struggle led by Jose Marti through the 1959 revolution and now to the present day thaw in relations with the superpower over the water, the United States. 25:59
0925 25.09 1) Ghana's James Bond of Journalism He is a master of disguise, one day a wealthy investor in high heels, shades and lipstick, then a janitor mopping floors in a brothel who then switches again to dress up as a stone on the side of the road with just two peep holes for his eyes. His fans call him a modern day folk hero or the James Bond of journalism for his undercover work in exposing corruption and malpractice in Ghana and beyond. This week the name Anas Aremeyaw Anas has been splashed across all the front pages of the Ghanaian papers as his latest film claiming to expose corruption within the judiciary was shown to audiences across the capital, Accra. But who is the man behind the mask? What motivates him and are his means justified? We hear from BBC Africa's Ghana correspondent Sammy Darko. 2) Literary Heirlooms From the Hobbit and The Little Prince, to less celebrated children's books, the BBC's Uzbek, Russian, Hindi and Latin American services share the children's books they inherited from their parents, and the ones they'll pass on to their own children. 3) Indonesia's 1965 Anti-Communist Massacre It is 50 years since the purges in which an estimated half million suspected communists were killed. Eric Sasona is a contributor to BBC Indonesian. He was born after the massacre, but the killings were a powerful influence in his own background. 4) Taliban Honey A major joint investigation into the inner workings of the Taliban was published this week by BBC Afghan and BBC Persian and one of the revelations to come from this is that a significant source of earnings for the Taliban is - honey. We are joined by journalists from the region to find out just how honey helps the Taliban and why it is a treasured sweetener across the country 5) Sachli Gholamalizad Sachli Gholamalizad is an Iranian-Belgian actress and playwright. Her latest play, A Reason to Talk, was recently staged at the Edinburgh Festival, where she spoke to Pooneh Ghoddoosi about the effect of leaving Iran following the 1979 revolution, growing up as an immigrant, and the impact it had on her relationship with her mother. 27:45
1002 02.10 1) Kunduz: The Battle for my HometownBBC Afghan's Kunduz reporter Ahmad Yama describes the takeover of the city by the Taliban earlier this week, and tells us how he managed to escape to Kabul. We hear about the complex relationship between journalists and the Taliban, and the risks that led to his decision to get out of the city. 2) What to read in Guinea Conakry, the capital of the Republic of Guinea has been named World Book Capital for 2017. The African city follows in the footsteps of Buenos Aires, Bangkok, Bogota and New Delhi. But what does the title actually mean and will it encourage more people to read and write new literature? David Amanor talks to Genevieve Sagno of BBC Afrique about her love of books and how she found her Guinean roots from reading.3) Somaliland musicians Arrested for singing love songs in Mogadishu - this week one of Somaliland's most popular bands found itself in trouble when it arrived home after performing for Eid festivities in neighbouring Somalia. David Amanor speaks to journalists from the BBC's Somali service about why this story has generated so much interest in the Somali-speaking community. 4)10 years on from the Pakistan earthquake Tabinda Kokab's experience of the Pakistan earthquake brings a whole new meaning to the phrase 'living the story'. She was working as a teacher in a village in Pakistan-administered Kashmir when the earthquake hit 10 years ago. She was in class at the time and the building collapsed around her. Only she and a handful of children survived. After trekking through mountains to reach the capital and her family home, she learnt that her brother had also been killed. Tabinda now works as a journalist for BBC Urdu - she talks us through her memories of 10 years ago and the surprising positive outcomes from the devastation. 23:23
1009 09.10 1) Russia and Syria: Inside the Friendship As Russia steps up its attacks in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad, we take a long look at relations between the two countries. Soumer Daghastani of BBC Arabic and Famil Ismailov of BBC Russian share impressions and memories of a political friendship which started in the 1950s. Beyond military hardware and Cold War alignment, how did it impact on ordinary people in both countries? 2) Kenyan Country Music Country music is booming in Kenya, with a tv station devoted to country and lots of home-grown stars. BBC Africa's Kim Chakanetsa is a big country fan and she has been in Kenya to meet some of the top names. 3) Holiday Treats It's the time of year when people are returning from home leave, bringing with them delicious snacks to share with colleagues. We take a walk round the Fifth Floor to find out where peanuts are king, where biscuits combine taste and tradition, and where it's the bread from home that means the most. 4) A day in the life of reporting Burundi Prime Ndikumagenge is the BBC's reporter in Burundi, a country that has seen nearly half a century of violence. Just last week Prime became witness to one of the most shocking attacks he's seen in all those years - the murder of two money changers in the heart of the city. But what does that event tell us about the state of life in Burundi today? 5) Myanmar Election It's a month until the first openly contested election in Myanmar, also known as Burma, for 25 years. So how free and fair does the election look, and how are the ruling party responding to requests to become more media friendly? Soe Win Than is an editor in BBC Burmese and has been following the campaign. 23:00
1016 16.10 1) Reporting Ebola As Ebola returns to the headlines with the relapse of Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey, BBC Africa's Umaru Fofana looks back at the challenges of reporting on the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Since the disease was first reported in the country in May 2014, thousands have died, and Umaru had to live with the fear of Ebola invading his own home. He tells us about the impact of Ebola on himself and his country. 2) Kerala's Firsts The oldest mosque in India is going to be restored. It is in Kerala, and the state prides itself on its "firsts". It claims the oldest mosque, synagogue and church in India; the first non-European translation of Das Kapital and the first elected Communist government. Proud Keralan Zainul Abid tells David what it is about Kerala that makes it so open to new ideas. 3) Becoming Latino in California Being a Spaniard, BBC Mundo´s Los Angeles correspondent Jaime Gonzalez has always considered himself a Mediterranean European white man. But after arriving in California he is having to rethink. When told that Spanish is his mother tongue, his American friends identify him as 'brown' despite the colour of his skin. Jaime talks us through his personal journey through racial definitions unknown to him before. 4) Asian Football Why are there no great Asian players in international football? South America and Africa have fiercely contested domestic leagues and provide inspirational players for European clubs, so why not Asia? We sneaked into the South Asia hub planning meeting where the debate was reignited by the visit of footballing legend Pele to Kolkata. 5) Ska A little peek at what is to come at the weekend as David reveals his Ska roots and picks out some of the bands he features in his Global Beats programme. 6) Yared Zeleke Lamb is the first Ethiopian film to make the official selection at the prestigious Cannes film festival. BBC Africa journalist Hewete Haileselaisse is also from Ethiopia, and spoke with the director Yared Zeleke after the London showing of the film. Lamb tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who finds comfort in a pet lamb following the death of his mother. But it also celebrates Ethiopia itself - its landscape, culture and people 29:16
1023 23.10 1) Why Pakistan's Army Chief Has a Hashtag His face is one the back of trucks, he has had a mosque named after him and there are social media campaigns calling for an extension on his term. General Raheel Sharif is the army chief of Pakistan, but his popularity appears to exceed that of political leaders in the country. He's seen by some as a saviour who will eliminate terrorism, corruption and electricity shortages. But there has been a backlash - satirical tweets thanking Raheel Sharif for everything from good weather to a successful flirtation. But with Pakistan's history of a wobbly democracy is this just a spontaneous campaign? Amber Shamsi examines General Raheel Sharif's personality cult. 2) World Leaders in Art Earlier this month President Putin celebrated his 63rd birthday. The date was marked with a special exhibition of portraits of him in various different heroic guises from Putin as Batman to Putin as Gandhi and even Putin as Robin Hood. He is of course not the first world leader to have been set to canvas and immortalised. On the Fifth Floor this week we're looking at the most memorable depictions of world leaders in art and the long lasting effects of those images. We're joined by BBC Russian's Famil Ismailov and Egyptian journalist Dina Demrdash 3) Central Asia's Top Dogs With new research claiming that today's dogs can trace their origins to Central Asia, we hear about the region's most impressive breed - the Alabay sheepdog of Turkmenistan. Famous for being strong enough to fight off wolves, the Alabay is also a trusted member of the family. Mecan Navruzov, a Turkmen working with BBC Monitoring, grew up with them, and tells us why they are a source of national pride. 4) What Xi Should See As Chinese president Xi Jinping ends his 4-day visit to Britain, we go round the Fifth Floor for an alternative tour. No Buckingham Palace or trade exhibitions. Instead, he's recommended to dance the tango at a famous London meat market, or try his luck at the dog races. An insight into what Fifth Floorers have discovered and enjoyed since moving to the UK. 5)Mexico's Disappeared Women Lourdes Heredia is a Mexican journalist. She left her home country 20 years ago to follow her dream of becoming a journalist. On a recent visit back, she met an old friend, an investigative reporter who has been covering the story of Mexico's disappeared women. A story that is well documented internationally but very seldom reported inside the country. What Lourdes heard, changed the way she thought about her country, and about ever returning home. 6) In Praise of Urdu Poetry So which poet would you choose to represent your nation? This week Aliya Nazki challenges two colleagues from the Urdu service to a poetry duel. Their task is to decide which poet will best represent the Urdu language. For a region that is passionate about its poetry this is not an easy business. Aliya chose Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, her colleagues Hussain Askari and Qandeel Shaam respectively chose Jon Elia and Faiz Ahmed Faiz 23:08
1030 30.10 1) Nepal: A Country Still in Ruins It's 6 months since the earthquakes in Nepal which killed over 8,000 people and destroyed many of the country's buildings. Four billion dollars was pledged towards reconstruction, so why hasn't reconstruction started? BBC journalist Jitendra Raut sheds light on why Nepal is still a country of tents. 2) Arabic Film Festival The BBC Arabic Film Festival launches today with twenty new films and documentaries on the theme of rulers and ruled. BBC Arabic's Sheyma Buali, the festival director, discusses the insights they offer into this complex and troubled region. 3) Taiwan Ghosts It's Halloween this weekend and many countries will be celebrating with pumpkin carving, trick or treating, and elaborate costumes. Few people taking part will think about real ghosts. But in Taiwan and many parts of Asia, the belief in ghosts is taken very seriously - especially during the so-called Ghost Month, the seventh month of the lunar calendar. Cindy Sui, who reports from Taipei, tells us how she came to realise the power of ghosts in traditional Chinese society. 4) Living with Five Year Plans As China announces the details of its next Five Year Plan, we hear from Diloram Ibrahimova of BBC Uzbek and Amir Azimi of BBC Persian about the Five Year Plans they lived under. In Iran, they tended to fade away, while in Soviet Uzbekistan, they were promoted at every opportunity. Zhuang Cheng of BBC Chinese talks us through China's new plan and explains why it's being promoted in English with a cute video and catchy song. 5) Being a Career Woman in Afghanistan For career women in Afghanistan, the challenge is not just qualifications and job opportunities, it's where to live. Unmarried women are expected to live at home, and many parents forbid them to move away to take up a job in a different city. Tamana Jamily, who works for BBC Monitoring in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, tells us how hard it is to live an independent life. 40.30
1106 06.11 1) When the Refugee Crisis Becomes Personal Feras Killani is a reporter for BBC Arabic, he is also from Syria. He left the country in 2006. In recent months he has been covering the refugee crisis, the droves of people making their way from Syria to Europe. An unusual experience for him because one of the people on that journey was his brother Basem. He arrived in Berlin just two weeks ago and has now been reunited with his family. Feras and Basem joined David to talk about reporting and living as a refugee. 2) With Indonesian literature in the spotlight at the recent Frankfurt Book Fair, BBC Indonesian's Kiki Siregar joins her colleague Liston Siregar to discuss what books are attracting most attention - and how stories are conveyed in a country with so many cultures and languages. 3) The Strange Story of Shahram Amiri Now how is this for a Cold War spy novel? In 2009, an Iranian nuclear scientist disappears whilst on the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. A month later, he reappears on YouTube variously claiming to have been taken to the USA against his will, or to be studying in Arizona and having a great time thanks! A short while later he returns to Iran where the story becomes even more mysterious. This week Anahita Shams from BBC Persian interviewed the scientist's father. She tries to sort fact from fiction. 4) Kings of Africa As the Yoruba people of Nigeria celebrate the appointment of a successor to their late king, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, we ask who are the kings of Africa, what is their role, and why are they still so important? David Amanor talks to BBC Africa's Paul Bakibinga, who is from Uganda, and Nigerian Sola Odunfa. 5) Chinese Character Test A Chinese university teacher has come up with an unusual way of deterring his students from turning up late. He says latecomers should write a complicated character for the word 'biang' - which means a kind of noodle - 1000 times. The character requires 56 pen strokes. Sarah Wang of BBC Chinese assesses the challenge. 23:09
1113 13.11 1) Me and Aung San Suu Kyi Nita May of BBC Burmese tells us how her life has intersected with Aung San Suu Kyi's. Nita witnessed Suu Kyi's first public speech in 1988 and built up close contacts with her political party the NLD during the 1990 elections. After the elections, she ended up in the notorious Insein Prison because of those contacts. Over the 27 years of her connection with Suu Kyi, she says the journalism has always been mixed with the personal. 2) Bollywood in Afghanistan Bollywood films are massive in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban, Afghan film fans were forced to keep their enthusiasm for handsome heroes and happy endings a secret. Now the films are enjoyed openly, but can the burgeoning Afghan film industry compete against Bollywood's big hitters? We hear from Vikas Pandey, a BBC digital producer in Delhi who has been to Kabul with our Afghan colleague Nasrat Afzali. 3) The tale of two Ebolas Last Saturday Sierra Leone was officially declared to be Ebola free. In a country where even handshakes became a thing of the past for fear of infection, people took to the streets en masse to celebrate the end of Ebola. From Freetown Umaru Fofana has created a sound picture of a landmark day. Neighbouring Liberia was declared Ebola-free in September. But in Guinea the story continues. Alhassan Sillah describes the mood there as people continue to wait for the all clear. 4) Creation Myths A baby sent down the river to safety in a basket, and rescued by a reindeer; the reprobate son of a Lion King banished in a ship to a new land; and why eggs and rotten fish are still a crucial part of Egypt's Easter celebrations. We dip a toe into the creation stories of Egypt, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan. 22:38
1120 20.11 1) The Paris Attacks: A View from Beirut A week ago Beirut and Paris were hit by the deadliest attacks in their respective cities for decades. It began in Lebanon with a double suicide bombing hitting a market place, a school and a mosque killing approximately 40. And just a day later in Paris in a series of almost simultaneous attacks on a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars. 129 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. There followed a global outpouring of sympathy - world leaders sent messages of condolences, monuments around the world were lit up to show support and solidarity, but almost all of this was directed towards France. Many began to ask why the events in Lebanon had been forgotten. Nidale Abou Mrad works for BBC Arabic, she's Lebanese and has spent many years living and working in Paris and her reaction to what happened last week was complicated. 2) Reporting Raqqa After a weekend mourning the dead the French President Francois Hollande announced their heaviest bombing yet of the Syrian city of Raqqa, described as the "snake's head" of so called Islamic State by British PM David Cameron. But with no reporters on the ground, and where getting UGC content out is extremely dangerous, how do we report the story? We find out from Mohammed Abdul Qader in BBC Arabic Online who's become something of an expert at mining the web for reliable information on what's happening on the ground. And Lina Shaikhouni a journalist from BBC Monitoring. 3) The end of history in Vietnam Could history be coming to an end in Vietnam? It seems that's what's being proposed by the Ministry of Education, which wants history to be abolished as a discipline in its own right for children up to the age of 15. Instead, it will be one element of a new subject called Citizen and Fatherland, covering national defence, citizenship and history. The news comes in the same week as Teachers Day in Vietnam, and Ha Mi of BBC Vietnamese says it's the main topic for discussion among teachers. 4) The original Malala The film 'He Named Me Malala' is out on general release. It's a portrait of the now famous teenager shot by the Taliban for speaking up for girls education. Malala Yousafzai was named by her father after Malalai of Maiwand - a national hero of Afghanistan who rallied Pashtun fighters against the British troops at the Battle of Maiwand in 1880. She's credited with the victory over the British. Afghan journalists Najiba Kasraee and Meena Baktash tell us more about Malalai of Maiwand. 5) I love my toxic town During Soviet times the town of Dzerzhinsk was a centre of heavily polluting chemical and weapons production. Long after the breakup of the Soviet Union the industries dwindled, but in the 90s the town was still named by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the most chemically polluted city on earth; nearby cities would joke about the purple skinned two headed neighbours. But what journalist Tatyana Movshevich remembers is a magical childhood, and a city full of dreams as residents found their own ways to float free of the brutalist architecture. 6) Why Indian Writers are handing back their prizes More than 100 Indian writers and cultural figures have returned national awards over what they call rising intolerance in India following a series of recent incidents, including the killings of scholars, writers and rationalists. Earlier this month, Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy joined the growing list by returning a national award she had won in 1989. With Khadeeja Arif from BBC Urdu and Vandna Dhand from BBC Hindi in Delhi 23:04
1127 27.11 1) The Women Who Make the News The 100 Women Season on the Fifth Floor presented by Aliya Nazki. 2) Feminism in Egypt Where did feminism begin? Followers of Herodotus might argue that it was in Egypt. In his travels some two-and-a-half thousand years ago, he wrote that women in Egypt traded in the markets while the men stayed at home weaving. How have times changed? Egyptian journalist Marwa Mamoon from BBC Arabic tells us how social media has transformed women's lives, and describes her own online revolution. 3) Women in the news If an alien was monitoring the earth's media, what kind of impression would it form of the lives of the women? Do the headlines reflect reality, or do they paint a distorted picture? Award-winning Nigerian writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani lets her mind run riot to create a satirical imagining of a perception of life for women in Africa. 4) To discuss the rights and wrongs of the media's representations of women, we bring together Pakistani journalist Saba Imtiaz, deputy editor of the Africa hub Josephine Hazeley and from Yemen, Mai Noman. 5) Women and Language Soured milk, pickles, leftovers, just some of the words used to describe women around the world. How can we tear up those dictionaries and start again? 6) My Diva If you had to pick a diva, the finest songstress in the world, where would you begin? We take the microphone to Valeria Perasso from Argentina, Irena Taranyuk from Ukraine and Audrey Brown from South Africa to hear about the soulful and political voices of women in music. 7) My inspiration Who are the women who have inspired some of the BBC's language service producers? Uzbek producer Rayhan Demetrie chooses documentary film-maker Umida Akhmedova. BBC Senegal producer Laeila Adjovi chooses Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. And Aliya Nazki chooses her own favourite, the campaigner Parveen Ahanger from Indian administered Kashmir 29:59
1204 04.12 1) Putin and Erdogan: Head to Head With Russia and Turkey locked in an angry dispute since Turkey shot down a Russian jet, Emre Temel of BBC Turkish and Famil Ismailov of BBC Russian reflect on the personalities behind the row. It seems Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin have a lot in common, including a love of confrontation and a determination not to back down. Where does this leave the mutual respect they used to enjoy? 2) Taboos from head to toe Why is it so humiliating for prisoners in Thailand to have their heads shaved? Why is it unacceptable in Myanmar to sit with your feet pointing at someone? Tin Htar Swe of BBC Burmese and Issariya Praithongyaem of BBC Thai talk us through the traditions and taboos surrounding heads and feet in their cultures. 3) Grup Yorum Their followers defy definition by age or gender, but they come in their droves to see Grup Yorum - a hugely successful Turkish band that this year celebrates three decades of making music. They say they stand up for the oppressed and against the rules and regulations of the state. Turkish journalist Seref Isler explains how Grup Yorum have stood the test of time. 4) Sinjar revisited A few weeks ago, the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, which used to be home to thousands of Yazidis, was liberated from so-called Islamic State. BBC Persian's Nafiseh Kohnavard reported from Sinjar in the days following its liberation and she tells us that people feel unable to return to their ancestral home, because it has become a place of danger, division and retaliation. 5) Brazilian or Japanese? A question of identity As Japan celebrates its 120 year relationship with Brazil, we meet a product of those ties - Ewerthon Tobace. Ewerthon was born in Brazil to Japanese parents, and now lives in Tokyo, from where he reports for BBC Brasil. Ewerthon reflects on the complexities of belonging to two such different cultures, and the challenges facing the Brazilian Japanese community 22:59
1211 11.12 1) Bama After Boko Haram Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi was among the first group of journalists to visit the north-eastern town of Bama in Nigeria since it was liberated from militant Islamist group Boko Haram earlier this year. Bashir had reported extensively on Boko Haram and their occupation of many areas in Borno State for BBC Hausa, and heard many stories of the violence in the city during its occupation. But visiting the town still came as a shock: the level of destruction, and the hopelessness of the few remaining residents. He gives us an eyewitness account of the town today 2) Parkour in Kabul Parkour, also called free running, is a relatively new sport in Kabul. The Afghan Parkour Generation formed a "team" five years ago and could be seen tumbling, jumping and somersaulting in some of the quieter outskirts of the city. But now two thirds of the team have left the country for Europe, part of a wider youth exodus. Khalil Noori is a producer for the BBC's Afghan service based in Kabul and tells us about the rise, and faltering, of Parkour in Kabul 3) Svetlana Alexievich The Belarusian author and journalist, Svetlana Alexievich is the first non-fiction writer in 50 years to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Her writings focus on the human stories behind historic events which have shaped the post-Soviet era. Alexander Kan from BBC Russian, and Katya Rogatchevskaia from the British Library talk about the woman and her work 4) Living Through the Chennai Floods Muralidharan Kasi Viswanathan reports for BBC Tamil from Chennai and last week the news came to his doorstep, quite literally, in the form of water, lots and lots of water. Murali was at home in Chennai when the floods hit. He lives in a ground floor flat which was almost completely overrun by water. He managed to save some of his most precious books and papers but most of his belongings were destroyed 4) A Better Life than Today It is what millions of young people around the world are searching for, and it is the title of a Somali soap opera created by BBC's international development charity Media Action. Listeners to Maalimo Dhama Maanta can vote on the path the characters should take, and many are changing their own paths in life as a result. Project manager Hoda Hersi, who is based in Somaliland, tells us about the impact the drama is having 5) Confucius Confusion There was due to be a ceremony this week for the grand handover of the Confucius Peace Prize. This year it was awarded to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe prompting both outrage and bemusement but the organisers seem to be having trouble persuading their winners to come forward. Earlier this year it was reported that Mugabe had become the fourth recipient to refuse. Why? I asked Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese 22:46
1218 18.12 1) A Migrant's Story As migrants continue to make the dangerous sea crossing from Turkey to nearby Greek islands, one story in particular has hit the BBC Central Asian service. An Afghan couple, Sayara Samadi and Mohammad Qais Rahmani, lost their young son when their dinghy capsized as they tried to cross the Aegean sea. Sayara used to report in Uzbek for the BBC from Mazar-e-Sharif. One of her former colleagues, Rustam Qobil of BBC Uzbek, reflects on the impact her story has had on him 2) A Persian Children's Classic Many of us will remember a book that made a big impact on us as a child. For children who grew up in pre-revolutionary Iran, one of the most popular books was The Little Black Fish by Samad Behrangi. The book has now been translated into English. Two fans from BBC Persian are Mehrdad Farahmand and Pooneh Ghoddoosi. Once we were all sitting comfortably, Pooneh began with a reading from the story in Farsi.. 3) Bone Music Back in the 50s in the Soviet Union, Western music was banned. So what do you do if you're desperate to hear the latest release from Bill Haley and the Comets? Music lovers found an ingenious solution - they made bootleg pressings of their favourite tracks on discarded X-rays. They make for eerie looking records - with shadows of bones underneath the grooves. And it wasn't just western music but also other more local musicians who were banned. Alexander Kan from BBC Russian tells us the story of the bone music 23:05
1225 25.12 1) Festive Fun With Languages Join us for a festive Fifth Floor party celebrating languages and all the fun you can have with them. David Amanor has broken free of the studio and set up his microphone on the Fifth Floor of Broadcasting House where our language service journalists make it happen. The BBC's best linguists are stopping by to show off their verbal dexterity with tongue-twisters, puns, proverbs and party-pieces. We revisit some of the best language-themed items from last year's programmes, and find out what's lost - and gained - in translation when Shakespeare's performed in Urdu and Alice explores Wonderland in Arabic. And do people behave, think - even dream - differently in a second language? Party guests: Gulnara Kasmambet of BBC Kyrgyz, Najieh Gholami of BBC Persian, Irena Taranyuk of BBC Ukrainian, Dino Ali of BBC Urdu and Zuhura Yunus of BBC Swahili 23:07

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