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BBC World Service - Fifth Floor


bbcff_2016zoomOriginal 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_2016_(Sendedatum)
© Urheber

Datei Datum Inhalt Dauer
0101 01.01 1) Stories From Home A special New Year's Day programme themed around 'home' and the stories BBC language service journalists tell about where they're from. Umaru Fofana in Sierra Leone remembers reporting on the Ebola crisis in Freetown, and how he struggled to keep his family at home safe from the risks of his work. Can home be a place you've never lived? BBC Monitoring's Emilio San Pedro grew up in America where his parents were exiled from Cuba. He returns to Havana to discover more about his roots in the country his parents called home. What if your hometown is famous for all the wrong reasons? Tatyana Movshevich grew up in Dzerzhinsk, a town famed for its toxic chemical production, and joked about by neighbouring areas as being home to two-headed purple skinned monsters. And yet in spite of that it's a place she's proud to call home. When the Taliban overran Kunduz in northern Afghanistan last October BBC Afghan's Ahmad Yama had to flee. Since becoming a journalist, he fears the Taliban may have made him a target, and home is no longer a safe place. Nita May from BBC Burmese was forced to leave home when she was arrested and imprisoned in 1990, accused of violation of state secrets. And while in prison she gave birth to a baby boy. Plus how mangoes cure homesickness, how reindeers founded a Kyrgyz tribe, and how Amitabh Bachchan caused a rift in one journalist's home life. 49:59
0108 08.01 China's Mature Market Traders: 1) China's "Traders in Pyjamas" Drama on the Chinese stock exchange this week has been unsettling professional traders. But among those taking sharp intakes of breath are Vincent Ni's Auntie Jin. She, like many other retirees in China, chooses to spend her golden years playing the markets from her spare room, tapping away on phone apps as a "trader in pyjamas". Vincent Ni from BBC Chinese explores the phenomenon of China's mature investors 2) The Story of Somalia in Song Have you ever really listened to a signature tune? They are just muzic jingles aren't they? Not the signature tune of the Somali Service. It is one of the seminal songs of the country telling of the struggle for independence and freedom back in the 1950s. The song forms part of a tradition, to share the story of Somalia in music and poetry. With this in mind we set a challenge for BBC Somali's Farhan Jimale - to tell the history of his country through its songs 3) Nepal's "Integrity Idol" Corrupt officials, absenteeism, drinking on the job? Sounds like a job for Integrity Idol, a citizen supported campaign that first launched in 2014 to reward the most upright, and inspirational public officials and encourage more to step into public life. So why does Nepal need this social media and TV contest? Rama Parajuli from the BBC Nepali Service in Kathmandu sheds some light on the contest. And no, there is no prize money available! 4) Return to Garissa Garissa University College in Kenya is reopening eight months after the attack by militant Islamists from the group Al-Shabab that left 148 students dead. Bashkas Jugsoday of BBC Africa was at the scene covering the event that day and its aftermath. Garissa is also his hometown. This week Bashkas was back at the university as staff and students prepare for the new term 5) Indonesian Cinema The latest episode of the science fiction saga Star Wars became a hot topic of conversation in Indonesia when three home grown actors landed parts in the Hollywood blockbuster. But the home grown film industry faces many challenges. Kiki Siregar from BBC Indonesian, and journalist and film critic Eric Sasono explain 6) Egypt's Coptic Christmas For most Christians the festive period is well and truly over for the year, but for Orthodox Christians Christmas Day was on the 7th of January and the celebrations have only just happened. Mariam Rizk works for BBC Monitoring, and is part of the minority Coptic Christian community in Egypt. She shares her thoughts on how the festival is celebrated in Cairo 23:04
0115 15.01 1) Burundi: Living Inside a Crisis Prime Ndikumagenge is a BBC Africa reporter based in the Burundi capital Bujumbura. For the Fifth Floor he has recorded his experiences of living through the current crisis in the city, which came to a peak on 11th December with the killing of 87 people, and how citizens, including his wife, have developed app aptitude to stay safe from the violence. 2) Russia's love affair with Winnie the Pooh With Winnie the Pooh Day looming on 18 January, BBC Russian is celebrating one of their favourite characters. Soviet children first met A.A. Milne's famous bear in the 1960s, first with a translation of the stories and then with a series of cartoon films. The sayings, poems and songs of 'Vinni Pukh' are still popular today. BBC Russian's Yana Litvinova shares her own love of Pooh, and describes her recent pilgrimage to his home in Ashdown Forest. 3) Afghan Film Archive In the heart of Kabul is a unique collection of documentaries and Afghan made films showing Afghan life throughout the twentieth century. But of the thousands of hours of footage only a tiny fraction has been digitised, and the archive's location next to the NATO headquarters leaves it vulnerable to the increasingly frequent and accurate suicide attacks in the city's Green Zone. Karim Haidari and Mahjooba Nowrouzi from BBC Afghan shared their thoughts on the archive. 4) Ta'arof, or Iranian Etiquette We get a masterclass in the Iranian art of 'ta'arof' or civility which requires people to constantly offer things they might not want to give, and to refuse things they want to take. An Iranian shopkeeper may insist a customer takes his goods for free, and the required response is to insist on paying, several times if necessary. Complimenting someone's furniture may lead to them urging you to take it home with you. David Amanor navigates these complicated customs with BBC Persian's Siavash Ardalan and Camelia Sadeghzadeh. 5) Afghanistan and Pakistan - difficult neighbours As talks continue on how to resolve the 14 year long conflict between the Taliban and Afghan forces and their allies, there are any number of experts with views on the situation. But what do ordinary Afghans think - particularly about the role of their neighbour Pakistan, which denies accusations that it has sponsored the insurgency? BBC Urdu brought together two Afghans and two Pakistanis to hear what's being said on the streets. Haroon Rashid in Islamabad and Dawood Azami of BBC Afghan reflect on what came out of the discussion 23:02
0122 22.01 1) "Why Burkina Faso? Why now?" The people of Burkina Faso are still coming to terms with last Friday's Islamist attack in the capital Ouagadougou, which left 30 people dead. Leone Ouedraogo of BBC Afrique reflects on the impact of the attack, and the spirit of her fellow Burkinabe, who she says are powered by this motto: La patrie ou la mort, nous vaincrons - Homeland or death, we will win. 2) What does happiness mean to you? In the week of Blue Monday, when the Northern Hemisphere experiences what's said to be the most depressing day of the year, we take a microphone round the Fifth Floor to search for the secrets of a happy life. 3) Colombian Male Manicures There was outrage in Colombia last year when news broke that a group of prisoners had arranged for manicurists to visit them in jail. But it wasn't the manicures themselves that raised eyebrows: it just wasn't considered acceptable for convicts to have this sort of privilege while in prison. But for BBC Mundo correspondent Natalio Cosoy his astonishment ran along slightly different lines. His first thought, as an Argentinian, was "Men? Manicures?" He explores the strange phenomenon. 4) The booksellers of Hong Kong There has been anxiety in Hong Kong over the disappearance of five booksellers over the last few months, with many people wondering if the mainland authorities are involved. All five are connected with a bookstore which sells books banned in mainland China. Grace Tsoi of BBC Chinese grew up among the independent bookshops of Hong Kong, and she explains how tensions have arisen over the publication of so many 'forbidden books'. 5) India's Republic Day - will it feature camels? Camels have been a highlight of India's Republic Day celebrations since the first parade in 1950. They're part of the Border Security Forces from Rajasthan, and appear in the parade lavishly decorated with colourful pom-poms, carrying mustachioed soldiers playing brass instruments. But this week the media's been full of rumours that they've been dropped, and replaced by a team of army dogs and some French soldiers. So what's going on? Vandana Dhand from BBC Hindi has been investigating. 6) Algerian Television With more than 40 independent private television stations broadcasting in Algeria, viewers have more choice than ever before. But now the government has brought in sweeping new media laws in an attempt to regulate the industry. Some stations have been forced to close and others are under threat, Rachid Sekkai from BBC Arabic has been reporting on what's happening 25:31
0130 30.01 1) My Week in a Nepalese Survivors' Camp Bidhya Chapagain of BBC Media Action in Nepal has just presented a programme about her week living in a survivors' camp for villagers made homeless by last year's earthquake. Bidhya was hosted by a family in their makeshift shelter, and was joined in the camp by a government minister and a famous Nepalese actor. She tells us about an eventful and revealing week 2) Argentina: What's the Beef? For a country where beef is at the heart of social gatherings and the skill of the meat griller, or asador, is a matter of family honour, Argentinians are going through dark times. Soaring prices make beef almost unaffordable for many people. And, the demand for home-produced meat means consumers may have to commit the heresy of eating beef from another country. The BBC's Valeria Perasso, herself Argentinian, guides us through the intricacies of beef culture 3) Uzbek Opera Star BBC Uzbek's Ibrat Safo meets Najmiddin Mavlyanov, his famous countryman, who's the first internationally acclaimed operatic tenor to come from Uzbekistan. Najmiddin is currently playing the lead in Tosca, performing at the Royal Opera House in London 4) Life Under the Soviets in Kabul As the first Farsi translation of a historic text called The KGB in Afghanistan is published, we explore cultural life in Kabul under Soviet occupation. Abdullah Shadan of BBC Afghan was deputy minister for television in the early 1980s. He recalls the challenges of producing entertaining TV under the strict Russian guidelines, from obligatory mournful music after the death of Brezhnev to the imported entertainment of Abba and Boney M 5) Taiwan: After the Elections The BBC Chinese team which reported on the presidential election in Taiwan earlier this month included Tzu-Wei Liu, who is from Taiwan, and Yashan Zhao, who is from mainland China and was visiting the island for the first time. They share their experiences, and give a personal perspective on the difficult relationship between Taiwan and mainland China, which has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 22:52
0206 06.02 1) Benghazi: My Family Under Fire Libya has been in chaos since President Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011, with militias and jihadi groups vying for power, and two rival administrations. Muhammad Hussein of BBC Monitoring is from Benghazi, where the revolution started. Many members of his family are still there, living in constant danger from bombardment, violence and kidnapping. He tells us how they're coping 2) Bachelor Renters in India "Bachelor tenants strictly not allowed". What do India's landlords have against single people? Vikas Pandey from the BBC's Delhi office shares his own sorry experiences of trying to rent as a bachelor 3) Instagram Imams in Iran A popular new account on Iranian Instagram features photos of imams doing surprisingly everyday things. The snaps show imams riding motorbikes in the desert, taking a ski-lift, and playing basketball with schoolgirls. Is this a positive campaign to show that imams are ordinary people, or a cynical attempt at propaganda? Nooshin Soluch of BBC Trending has been following the debate 4) Thailand's Child Angels Thailand's Luk Thep or Child Angels are slightly creepy-looking dolls that have been blessed by Buddhist monks so that a wandering spirit is invited to inhabit the doll. They made world headlines after an airline ran a promotion offering to sell seats for the "Child Angels" to travel alongside their owners. Pinpaka Ngamsom from BBC Thai tells us that the dolls are believed to bring luck to their owners, many of whom lavish love and gifts on them 5) Mixing on the Fifth Floor The Fifth Floor is a place of strange synergies, where a Macedonian can work for BBC Persian, a Bangladeshi for the African Service, or a German for BBC Afghan. We explore the new cultures created in the melting pot of the BBC's language services 6) Embrace of the Serpent The Colombian film Embrace of the Serpent has been nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film award in this month's Oscars. We discover the story behind the film with BBC Mundo's William Marquez, a Colombian who is a former actor and film producer. We are also joined by Valeria Perasso, who covers the Oscars for BBC Mundo 22:54
0213 13.02 1) Kenya's Casino Craze This week in Nairobi a gambler was stoned to death by fellow players after he killed two casino employees. Casinos have been growing in popularity in Kenya in recent years and online betting is booming, but Abdinoor Aden from BBC Nairobi says some gamblers do not fully understand the risks involved 2) Pre-internet dating The World Service language services are running a series about which dating websites and apps are popular where. But how did people around the world find love in the pre-internet age? We speak to BBC Bengali, Kyrgyz and Arabic 3) Creating a Minister for Happiness The news that the United Arab Emirates has appointed a Minister for Happiness has prompted jokes and soul-searching around the region. Arabic social media has been full of suggestions for the new minister, while Egyptians have joked that they need a Minister for Depression. Doaa Soliman of BBC Monitoring in Cairo explains what the response tells us about the mood in the region 4) African dancing in Karachi We speak to BBC Urdu's Shamaila Khan who has been to Karachi to film leva dancers. The dancers are members of Karachi's Sheedi community who trace their heritage back to east African slaves and sailors brought to Pakistan around 200 years ago. The dancing involves fire breathing and dancers risk serious burns for their art 5) Uganda: hear my country Can you pick a song to define your country? In the run-up to this month's elections, three Ugandan journalists from BBC Africa - Paul Bakibinga, Rachael Akidi and Alex Jakana - share the songs that they think capture the spirit of their country 6) Russia and Ukraine: confectionery wars The president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, is outspoken against Russia, saying there's a real war between the two countries. However, he runs a confectionery business which includes a factory in Russia that is still in production. Slava Khomenko of BBC Ukrainian recently visited the factory. He reflects on how tiny sweets can whip up anger in both countries 32:15
0220 20.02 1) Policing Morality in Iran An app that allows Iranians to avoid the country's feared 'morality police' has been banned. Feranak Amidi of BBC Persian explains how these enforcers affect the daily lives of citizens. Feranak herself has fallen foul of them and was lashed for breaking their strict code of behavior 2) Censorship in Lebanon Lebanese artists have come under increasing pressure to censor their work. One example is the acclaimed playwright Lucien Bourjeily, who was recently denied a licence for his new play after he refused to make changes required by the country's Censorship Bureau. We speak to Anwar Hamed and Najlaa Abou Merhi from BBC Arabic 3) North-South Divides The north-south divide in Vietnam has been highlighted by the recent appointment of a northerner to run Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon - the main southern city. Nga Pham of BBC Vietnamese explains why this has created so much anger in Saigon, and compares notes with Afra Ahmed of BBC Arabic. Afra is from the southern Yemeni city of Aden, which has a long history of conflict and rivalry with the capital Sanaa 4) International Mother Language Day February 21 is commemorated across Bangladesh as International Mother Language Day. It has its origins in a street protest in Dhaka in 1952, when students rose up against the downgrading of their mother tongue. Bangladesh was then East Pakistan, and Urdu had been imposed as the state language. Several protesters were shot and killed by police, and their deaths are remembered every year. Akbar Hossain of BBC Bangla explains why the day is still so important to Bangladeshis 5) Still Kowtowing The recent publication of a photograph showing a Chinese man kowtowing to his parents has started a debate about this ancient way of showing respect. To kowtow means to kneel and touch your head to the ground, and it was part of the Confucian tradition of showing reverence to elders and rulers. Raymond Li of BBC Chinese reflects on the survival power of the kowtow 22:37
0227 27.02 Unpicking India's Caste System: 1) This week in India the capital Delhi faced a huge water shortage after protestors blocked the main canal into the city. The protestors were members of the relatively affluent Jat caste who are demanding to be categorised as a protected caste in order to gain better access to jobs and education. So how does the caste system actually work? Vaibhav Dewan and Sumiran Preet Kaur of BBC Hindi shed light on the complex subject 2) There's a controversy brewing in Hong Kong over a film called Ten Years. It's set in the year 2025 and paints a gloomy picture of a Hong Kong losing its unique identity. The film comprises 5 short stories produced with a low budget and non-starry cast but despite this it's been nominated in the best film category for the upcoming Hong Kong Film Awards. That could have repercussions though... Grace Tsoi of BBC Chinese explains 3) Arturo Wallace of BBC Mundo has a special interest in the Granada poetry festival. It takes place in his home country of Nicaragua, where his countrymen have a special relationship with poetry going back over a century. The festival organiser, and poet, is Gioconda Belli 4) Zuhura Yunus was in the Ugandan capital Kampala to cover last week's presidential elections for BBC Africa. And she got a bit of a scoop - an exclusive interview with re-elected Yoweri Museveni - the man who has been at the nation's helm for the past 30 years. He's not an easy man to get hold of - so how did she do it? 5) Have you come across the cartoon stick-man Bill? He's a sensible chap giving advice on his webpage about how to be a good person. And it seems he has international cousins including one in the Afghan language Dari called Qodos. BBC Afghan's Kawoon Khamoush does the introductions 6) BBC Thai has aired a video report looking at the changing faces of Thailand's Temple Boys. They're the children who once accompanied yellow robed Buddhist monks on their morning processions to collect gifts of food. But the boys it seems are no longer boys. Issariya Praithongyaem explains 7) And Fifi Haroon rounds up some surprising stories from the web.Photo: Protesters from the Jat community protesting for enhanced rights 22:53
0304 04.03 1) Syria's Trailblazing Kurdish women There's an extraordinary social change happening in Syria's Rojava region. Since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, the predominantly Kurdish area has revolutionised society, with the primary beneficiaries being women. There's an all female militia, female judges alongside male, and co-leadership at all levels of public administration. How did this come about? BBC Monitoring's Roj Ranjbar, an Iraqi Kurd, has visited the area and shares his insights. 2) African names From Ethiopia to Zimbabwe, Kenya to Burkina Faso, the Fifth Floor goes in search of the story behind the meaning of the names of our BBC Africa colleagues. 3) Mauritius bat cull There's been a huge bat cull in Mauritius. Normally bats are protected, but the government was forced to take action after fruit farmers complained about crop damage, and city dwellers about the noise they make at night. So what exactly does a bat munching on a mango sound like? Yasine Mohabuth from BBC Afrique has spent many hours listening and does a rather good impression. 4) Mahragan: Egypt's new music craze There's a popular new music style on the streets of Cairo and Egypt's big cities that seems to be dividing opinion. It's called mahragan and it started in the slums, but it's been gaining a mainstream following, as well as some critics. Ali Gamal El deen and Ranyah Sabry from BBC Arabic tell David more. 5) Hunting ghosts in India Kuldhara is a deserted village in northern India, said to have been haunted since it was abandoned by its inhabitants 200 years ago. The ruins have been partially renovated and declared a heritage site by the Indian government. BBC Urdu's Shakeel Akhtar, who recently visited Kuldhara, tells us about the mysterious disappearance of the entire population, and the legends they left behind. 22:53
0311 11.03 1) My Return to Kashmir BBC Hindi's Zubair Ahmed was a young journalist writing for the Times of India in the early 1990s. During that time he went to Indian-administered Kashmir several times to report on the mass migration of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits from the valley. It was a time of militancy, which in January 1990 erupted in violence against the Pandits. Last month Zubair returned after more than 20 years to revisit the area and he shares his impressions. 2) A Total Eclipse in Indonesia Indonesians have celebrated Nyepi, the Balinese Hindu New Year - known as 'the day of silence' - in style: with a total eclipse of the sun. Many people took advantage of the national public holiday to travel to the best vantage point for the eclipse, which plunged parts of the country into total darkness. BBC Indonesian's Kiki Siregar takes us through a dramatic day. 3) Mulatu Astatke: The Father of Ethio-jazz BBC Africa's Hewete Haileselassie and Manuel Toledo discuss the music and legacy of Ethiopian musician and arranger Mulatu Astatke, known as the father of Ethio-jazz - a fusion of traditional Ethiopian styles of music, with funk, jazz and soul. 4) Brazil: The Country of the Future Two short years ago Brazil was flying high with a booming economy, a popular president and the football World Cup about to arrive on its shores. Since then, sporting, political and economic reversals have hit the nation, and now the Zika virus is causing widespread concern. BBC Brasil's Paula Adamo Idoeta tells the Fifth Floor why the outlook of the nation has become a little less optimistic since 2014. 5) The Return of BBC Chinese For the first time in six years, BBC Chinese has been permitted to report from the National People's Congress in Beijing, where the country's political and economic agenda is thrashed out. Jiangchuan Wu is there for the BBC, and he tells us about other important stories he is been covering - like the over-capacity in Chinese industry. 6) I Don't Like Cricket...I love it As the T20 World Cup gets into full swing, the Fifth Floor hears why passion for the sport runs deep amongst the BBC Language Services. 49:21
0318 18.03 1) Prayers, Pilgrims and Power The Imam Reza shrine in the Iranian city of Mashhad is a spectacular complex visited by millions of pilgrims every year. It's also spectacularly wealthy, and part of a huge business empire worth an estimated $20 billion. So the person who runs it has considerable power. Earlier this month that person changed. BBC Persian's Najieh Ghulami, who's from Mashhad, discusses the change of guard and shares memories of the shrine. 2) The rise of the Siamese Foxes Leicester City football club, the Foxes, are the surprise leaders of the English Premier League, having come close to relegation last year. They're known as the Siamese Foxes in Thailand, where they have a big following because the club owner is Thai businessman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. So how much of their success is due to the Thai influence? Issariya Praithongyaem of BBC Thai has been investigating. 3) How the Ankara bombings are changing Turkey A Kurdish militant group has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in the Turkish capital Ankara last Sunday in which 37 people were killed. It's the third bomb attack in the city in just six months. BBC Turkish journalist Mahmut Hamsici told David how the country's mood has changed. 4) The first Saudi rom-com The first romantic comedy made in Saudi Arabia is about to hit screens. Not in Saudi Arabia though where cinemas and public theatres have been banned since the 1980s. The film is called Barakah Meets Barakah. So who is Barakah and who is Barakah? David spoke to Mai Noman from BBC Arabic in London and Ahmed Omar from the BBC Cairo Bureau. 5) Georgia's women chess champions The Georgian women's chess team are current world champions, and they follow in the footsteps of other celebrated Georgian women champions who came before them. Georgian journalist Nina Akhmeteli, of BBC Russian, explains why her countrywomen are so good at the game. 6) Happy New Year BBC Persian journalists left their studios this week to treat their audiences to a different kind of show. On a windswept balcony at the top of Broadcasting House, they performed a traditional song for Nowruz - Persian New Year - for broadcast on 20 March. They tell the Fifth Floor why the spring festival means so much to them. 23:01
0325 25.03 1) Sierra Leone: Remembering the Civil War It's 25 years since the start of the civil war in Sierra Leone. Two BBC Africa reporters, both from Sierra Leone, were caught up in the violence and cruelty, and their lives were changed forever. David Amanor talks to Umaru Fofana and Alhassan Sillah. 2) Hear My Country: Russia Can you think of a song that captures the spirit of your country? This week Natalia Touzovskaya and Nikolay Voronin of BBC Russian choose tracks that remind them of home. 3) The Egyptian Cinderella Marwa Mamoon looks after audience engagement for BBC Arabic, but she has another life presenting a new weekly radio programme called Story Shop. Marwa ransacks history books and internet sources to find stories for listeners, like the tale of the Egyptian Cinderella. 4) Ukraine's political women Her youthful face has captured the imagination of Ukraine's pro-European movement. Nadia Savchenko is the helicopter pilot who sang defiant songs in a Russian court as she was sentenced to 22 years in jail. Irena Taranyuk of BBC Ukrainian explains why Savchenko has become a hero to many, and a contender for the country's hall of female fame. 5) From Delhi to Abuja Rupa Jha is a BBC journalist from India, now working for BBC Media Action in the Nigerian capital Abuja. She tells Fifth Floor that Abuja is starting to feel like home: she is picking up pidgin and getting her hair braided. 28:26
0401 01.04 1) Why did this woman join Boko Haram? In February two young women entered a camp for internally displaced people in north east Nigeria and blew themselves up. They were from the militant islamist group Boko Haram, and killed nearly 60 people. But there was meant to be a third woman taking part. Bashir Sa'ad Abdullahi from BBC Africa was among the journalists who secured an interview with her. So what motivates people to join Boko Haram? 2) Central Asia's Strongmen As the people of Tajikistan prepare to vote in a referendum to make their leader Emomali Rakhmon president for life, we look at the strongmen in charge in much of Central Asia. What do they have in common and what has kept them in power for so long? From Almaty in Kazakhstan, Abdujalil Abdurasulov shares his insights. 3) Street Art in Tehran For decades the only visible art in the streets of Tehran were revolutionary murals. Now the mayor has relaxed regulations and allowed a group of young artists to exhibit in public. It's a unique opportunity for art students to showcase their work. However, there is still an active underground scene of non-sanctioned graffiti artists. Negin Kooteni of BBC Persian joins Paul Bakibinga in the Fifth Floor studio. 4) Myanmar's Quiet Man In the week that the new president of Myanmar, Htin Kyaw, was sworn in, we ask what we should expect from this quiet man who has always remained in the background. Soe Win Than of BBC Burmese explains Htin Kyaw's long friendship with Aung San Suu Kyi, and the web of connections which binds his family to hers. 5) All change in Egyptian school textbooks Egyptian parents are bemused at the recent disappearance of former vice president Mohamed El Baradei from their children's school books. Until recently, he was held up as one of the country's Nobel laureates. Now his name has been removed. Angy Ghannam of BBC Monitoring in Cairo says that politics is behind this - and many other textbook changes. 22:55
0408 08.04 1) "I saw their silhouettes with the guns" On Sunday 13th March, as people gathered to enjoy the beach at the Grand Bassam resort in Ivory Coast, militants opened fire causing chaos and killing at least 19 people. BBC Ivory Coast reporter Valerie Bony was at the resort that day and she shares her memories of the attack. 2) Nostalgia for a shared identity Tatyana Movshevich grew up in Soviet Russia at a time when a shared culture was encouraged, from Kazakhstan to Latvia. But since the dismantling of the Soviet Union that shared identity has been eroding. And for Tatyana, the contest for Ukraine to choose its entry for this year's Eurovision Song Contest brought that change home. 3) Punjab's centuries-old epic poem The epic poem Heer Ranjha is a love story which goes back centuries in Punjabi folklore. It was popularised in the 18th century by Waris Shah, who took it from town to town and village to village. We hear from BBC Urdu's Asad Ali Chaudhry and Sana Gulzar how the tradition lives on today. 4) How much unity can we expect from Libya's Unity Government? In the past week, Libya has gone from having three governments to two, and then back to three. It's evidence of the challenges the United Nations faces in trying to bring to an end five years of conflict and promote the new Unity Government. We ask Libyan Muhammad Hussein of BBC Monitoring what the prospects for unity are, in a country with three governments and nearly two thousand militias. 5) Stories from the salon How important is it to be well groomed in the Arabic-speaking world? BBC Arabic's Marwa Al-Nagar shares the stories she discovered for the BBC documentary The Salon, including encounters with a Lebanese refusenik who won't straighten her hair - to the despair of her family - and an Iraqi refugee who can no longer afford the salon and relies on her ex-policeman husband to cut her hair. 23:05
0415 15.04 1) Court, Bomb Factory and Slave Market The Syrian town of Shaddadi has been recaptured from the so-called Islamic State group by Kurdish forces, backed by US airpower. The BBC's Feras Kilani was one of the first journalists to be allowed into the town. He gained a unique insight into how an IS town operates, with a bomb-making factory, evidence of a modern-day slave market, and even a gym for fighters. 2) Nepal Earthquake, One Year On Bhagirath Yogi of BBC Nepali travels to the badly affected Sindhupalchok region and reflects on the challenges facing thousands of earthquake survivors. Next week, the Fifth Floor travels to Kathmandu to get insights and personal stories from the BBC Nepali team. 3) Saudi Dance Craze A dance video from Saudi Arabia has gone viral. Called 'the Barbs', it's a mix of hip-hop and 1980s-style break dancing, put to Arabic rhythms. It has triggered the wrath of the conservatives in Saudi Arabia, with some saying the video is evidence of how Western influences are ruining society. Kindah Shair and Hala Hindawi of BBC Arabic explain why it's so controversial. 4) Fears for the Dying Rivers of Bangladesh Bangladesh has one of the most complex river systems in the world, with around 435 active rivers. But now almost 80 could be at risk of dying. The waterways represent an historical landscape and an important trade route. BBC Bangla's Masud Khan has criss-crossed the country and shares his stories of how the rivers which are an essential part of life for millions of people are being destroyed. 5) Somali Clan Insurance For generations, Somali culture has relied on the clan structure to organise large one-off payments for clan members, like bride money or blood money. In more recent times, the clans have also looked after car insurance. Abdi Bidhaan Dahir of BBC Somali tells us how increasing car ownership and rising accident rates are putting the system under strain. 23:06
0422 22.04 1) Rebuilding Nepal This week The Fifth Floor comes from the studios of BBC Nepali in Kathmandu. It's a year since the devastating earthquake of 25 April 2015, which left more than 8000 people dead and half a million homeless. The BBC Nepali team share memories of living and reporting the disaster. Producer Gani Ansari was the only person on duty and had to take shelter under a desk. Editor Rabindra Mishra was driving when the earthquake struck and had no idea whether his family had survived. Once team members were reassured that their families were safe, they all headed to work. To mark the anniversary, reporters have travelled to the worst-affected areas to find out how survivors are trying to rebuild lives and livelihoods. BBC Nepali's Sanjaya Dhakal has been further afield, flying to Santiago, Chile to ask why Chile leads the world in earthquake preparedness. David also asks what it means to be a Nepali. In a country of more than one hundred ethnic groups and as many languages and dialects, is there a national identity? Gani Ansari explains Nepal's miteri friendship system which builds bridges between communities. When he was 5 years old, he became the 'mit' of a 5-year-old Hindu boy in his village, as organised by the two grandmothers. Gani is Muslim, but he and his mit are totally accepted in each others' families. A year on from the earthquake, reconstruction is still painfully slow. Presenter David Amanor visits the BBC Media Action programme Sajha Sawal, or Common Questions, that lets ordinary Nepalis hold their leaders to account. He spoke to presenter Bidhya Chapagain about their recording this week with the head of the National Reconstruction Authority. 40:43
0429 29.04 1) The Frontline in the War on Corruption Can you change a nation's attitude to corruption? It seems both Tanzania and Brazil are trying to prove that it's possible. In Brazil, President Dilma Roussef is fighting for political survival in the wake of the Petrobras scandal. In Tanzania, President John Magufuli has promised to sweep corruption away. BBC Brasil's Camilla Costa and BBC Africa's Zuhura Yunus compare notes on how you get rid of a culture of corruption. 2) Fleeing Chernobyl In the week that the world marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, BBC Ukrainian's Anastasia Zanuda remembers her flight from Kiev after the explosion. The authorities had blocked roads to stop people leaving, but her father was a mushroom picker and his knowledge of back roads enabled them to get to the Crimea, away from the deadly radiation. 3) Radio listening in Syria Regular power cuts make it difficult for Syrians to get their usual television shows, so radio is filling the gap. Some of the space is filled by social programmes giving advice on how to get by in war conditions. Where to find tomatoes for instance, how to cope with intermittent water supplies, or even tips on how to give birth at home. Amira Galal from BBC Monitoring has been looking at the explosion of FM stations across the country. 4) In praise of the shehnai It's a hundred years since the birth of legendary Indian musician Bismillah Khan, whose name will forever be associated with the shehnai. This is an instrument similar to the oboe, which he made famous in post-independence India. He was only the third classical musician ever to be awarded India's highest civilian honour - the Bharat Ratna. Fifth Floor fans of Bismillah Khan and the shehnai - Rupa Jha of BBC Media Action and Vandana Dhand from BBC Delhi - share their enthusiasm. 23:02
0506 06.05 1) "I cannot take it anymore" It's a week since the death of Omid Masoumali. The 23 year old Iranian asylum seeker set fire to himself in protest against his detention on Nauru Island and died of his injuries. A Somali woman followed suit, and remains in a critical condition. The incidents have highlighted Australia's controversial offshore immigration processing policy, and the plight of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Islands. It's a story that's been followed closely by Fariba Sahraei of BBC Persian as many of the detainees originate from Iran, she tells us about the impact of the latest developments in both camps on their audience. 2) All Aboard....the Fifth Floor's Greatest Train Journeys In February this year the first direct cargo train travelled from China to Iran - a 10,399km journey taking 14 days, a revival of the ancient silk trade route. This grand trans-Asian enterprise prompted our journalists to share stories of their most memorable train journeys across the region - from Mongolia to Moscow, calling at Taiwan and Uzbekistan. With BBC Uzbek's Hamid Ismailov, Giang Nguyen from our Vietnamese language service, Martin Yip of BBC Chinese, and James Cowling from BBC Africa. 3) Kiev street art For the past year Kiev, capital of Ukraine, has seen a boom in street art. It has been appearing on old factories, office blocks and huge apartment buildings around the city. BBC Ukrainian journalists Roman Lebed and Anastasia Soroka report. 4) Brazil's 'Lebanese' president-in-waiting President Dilma Rousseff will find out next week whether she's to face an impeachment trial in Brazil. If she's suspended, Vice-President Michel Temer will take over. That's of great interest in Lebanon, the home country of Mr Temer's parents. Tariq Saleh is a Brazilian-Palestinian who reports for BBC Brasil from Beirut, and he explains why Mr Temer is such big news there. 5) Who are the Night Wolves? A Russian biker gang are trying to get to Berlin in time for the 9 May Victory Day celebrations in Moscow. But they're leaving a trail of protest and controversy along the way. Who are the Night Wolves, why are they supported by President Vladimir Putin, and what do Russians make of them? Questions for Yuri Vendik of BBC Russian. 25:30
0513 13.05 1) The Names Behind the Numbers This week Firuz Rahimi of BBC Afghan is working on a report about the unidentified migrants who have died at sea trying to cross the Mediterranean. He has been to Greece, Turkey and Afghanistan to trace the families behind headstones sometimes marked only with numbers. It was an experience that has changed his outlook on the migrant story. 2) Venezuela meltdown Things are getting hot in Venezuela, there are water shortages, an energy crisis, soaring prices, and cuts in the working week. The opposition has been out on the streets of the capital mobilising dissent to try to oust President Nicolas Maduro. There have been rubber bullets and teargas this week. Can things get any worse? Daniel Pardo is BBC Mundo's watchman in Caracas. 3) Ethiopian Road Trip BBC Africa's Hewete Haileselassie takes us on a mountainous drive from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to the northern border with Eritrea, through villages untouched by the trappings of modern life. She tells us what she discovered about her origins and the country itself. 4) My Cultural Revolution Yuwen Wu of BBC Chinese was nine years old when the Cultural Revolution started in 1966. For the 50th anniversary, she has created an online gallery of 10 objects which sum up that time - from the famous Little Red Book of Chairman Mao, to the 'big-character posters' denouncing officials and teachers. Yuwen shares memories of a world turned upside-down. 5) Digital Palmyra As a gesture of defiance against the destruction at Palymra carried out by so-called Islamic State, experts have launched a project to digitally preserve heritage sites, objects and artefacts. Two BBC Arabic journalists following the story are Reda El Mawy, who is also a trained archaeologist, and Kindah Shair. They explain how the project works. 25:28
0520 20.05 1) "All they want is to have their daughters back" This week a girl called Amina was rescued from the Sambisa Forest in north east Nigeria. She was the first of 219 Chibok schoolgirls to be seen since their abduction by the militant group Boko Haram. It was an emotional event for Amina, now with a baby, but also for BBC Africa's Abdullahi Kaura Abubakar - he's been reporting on the tribulations of the Chibok families for the past two years. 2) Celebrating Vyshyvanka Day This Thursday, Ukrainians around the world celebrated being Ukrainian by wearing vyshyvankas. What's the significance of these traditional embroidered shirts and what do the designs say about who you are and where you're from? BBC Ukrainian editor Marta Shokalo provides the answers - and describes what the vyshyvanka means to her. 3) Indonesia's Communist fish Did you hear the one about the fish in Indonesia that got arrested for displaying a hammer and sickle on its head? Not really - it was a spoof. But the Facebook story posted by photoshop artist Agan Harahap highlights the continuing tension in the country in addressing the 1965-6 Communist purges. Eric Sasona is a contributor to BBC Indonesian, and explains why the story has touched a nerve. 4) Nagorno Karabakh The "frozen conflict" between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the contested Nagorno Karabakh region fired up into hostilities last month, leaving dozens of troops from both sides dead. As the leaders meet in Vienna to discuss the fragile ceasefire and future prospects of peace, the BBC's Rayhan Demytrie sheds light on the centuries-old background to the conflict, and her own recent visits to the region. 5) Does Brazil have a problem with women? The announcement that Brazil's interim President Michel Temer has appointed a male-only cabinet has caused uproar in Brazil and led many to question why women are so under-represented in public life. BBC Brasil's Silvia Salek and Paula Adamo Idoeta share their thoughts on how sexism impacts on everyday life in the work place and in the corridors of political power. 6) New voices from Russia Two prize-winning Russian writers caught the attention of the Central Asian service recently. Alisa Ganieva and Guzel Yakhina are from the republics of Dagestan and Tatarstan. They both use their regions as the backdrop to their works and their novels have made an impact on the Russian literary scene. Ibrat Safo caught up with them recently at the London Book Fair. 23:30
0527 27.05 1) Parched Lands and Parched Lives This week temperatures hit 51C in Rajasthan. India is feeling the heat, and also the absence of monsoon rains to cool things down. There's been three years of drought affecting around 300 million people. BBC Hindi's Ajay Sharma travelled nearly 7,000 km around the country to find out what happens to rural people when the rains fail year after year. He found people despairing for lack of water and mounting debt. 2) The Town Running to Success It may be a small village in the highlands of Ethiopia, but Bekoji has produced some of the best runners in the world, including seven Olympic medal-winners. So what's the secret to their success? BBC Africa's Emmanuel Igunza went for a run with the new breed of young stars - so how did he get on? 3) Tehran Book Fair This month saw the Tehran International Book Fair take place in Iran. To mark the occasion a group of independent Persian publishers from across Europe came together in London for the first time to take part in an alternative book fair, the Tehran Book Fair Uncensored. BBC Persian's Majid Afshar and Anahita Shams provide a guide on what can be found at both book fairs in London and Tehran. 4) Lunch for a President President's don't often eat on a budget, so Barack Obama's $6 Vietnamese meal in Hanoi this week generated a lot of interest. So where would the denizens of the Fifth Floor take the President for good cheap eats if he were to visit their country? With Firuz Rahimi from BBC Afghan, Irena Taranyuk from BBC Ukrainian, Hussein Askari from BBC Urdu and Mexican Lourdes Heredia. 5) Dominicans in Lesbos What are 46 people from the Dominican Republic doing in a migrant camp in Lesbos? Their presence came to the attention of the Spanish speaking press during the Pope's recent visit to the island. Intrigued, BBC Mundo's Arturo Wallace went there to find out. 39:40
0603 03.06 1) India's mixed religious communities Religious strife is never out of the headlines - and unfortunately India has seen its unfair share, especially between Hindus and Muslims. However, in Rajasthan in northern India there's a community of people who follow the traditions of both Hinduism and Islam. Shakeel Akhtar of BBC Urdu has been to meet some of them. 2) Pele and Pop Culture He was the world's most loved footballer and hero to a nation. As Pele prepares to sell his sporting memorabilia, the Fifth Floor's Bruno Garcez remembers the movies, music and comics which made Pele a star of Brazilian pop culture. 3) "Attitude adjustment" in Thailand In Thailand, critics of the military regime are not finding it easy to share their views. The United Nations has criticised the current crackdown on public debate, including the practise known as "attitude adjustment" - essentially a brief period of incarceration by the military. Issariya Praithongyaem of BBC Thai explains what's going on. 4) Rembering May 35th... Activists in China have had to find creative ways of referring to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and the brutal army crackdown on June 4 because key words and dates are blocked. This year, one man used word play on a label for 'Sichuan Wine' as an oblique reference. Howard Zhang from BBC Chinese takes us through the code-words and shares memories of the day itself. 5) A Saudi and Iranian cyber spat There are reports this week that Saudi Arabia and Iran have been involved in a series of back and forth cyber attacks which have seen websites on both sides taken down, insults posted on official pages and pictures of Saddam Hussein posted on Iranian pages. BBC Monitoring's Shahin Azimi logs on with David to shed light on the story behind this skirmish on the world wide web. 6) The poets of BBC Uzbek All but one member of the BBC Uzbek team are poets. The country has a long poetic tradition that survived the Soviet era to permeate modern literary culture - and it even touches current affairs journalism. David Amanor speaks to Pahlavon Sodiq, who is a well-known published poet, and Rustam Qobil, who is not. 40:28
0610 10.06 1) Closing Kenya's Dadaab Refugee Camp Following the recent announcement by the Kenyan government that it plans to close the massive Dadaab refugee camp this November, Bashkas Jugsodaay goes back to the moment in 1991 when the first Somalis arrived. Bashkas reports for BBC Africa from nearby Garissa, and he's followed the lives of the refugees through three generations. He shares insights into camp life, and explains what its closure would mean to residents and Kenyans. 2) Lapis Lazuli The brilliant blue precious gemstone, lapis lazuli, has been prized for millennia, and the best quality stones come almost exclusively from Afghanistan. A report this week highlighted the extent to which armed groups, including the Taliban, are using lapis to fund their operations, but what does the gemstone mean to ordinary Afghans? Over to BBC Afghan with Hameed Shuja and Najiba Feroz. 3) Nepal Hear My Country Think of your country, think of a song, close your eyes and marry the two. It's our much loved feature Hear My Country, and this week the task goes to our journalists at the foothills of the Himalayas. So what songs can BBC Nepali come up with to express their country's cultural identity, maybe we might also learn something about the way music styles travel around the globe. Sewa Bhattarai, Binita Dahal and Surendra Phuyal of BBC Nepali take up the challenge. 4) BBC Persian in China Feranak Amidi of BBC Persian is fascinated by China. Its influence over world affairs is growing, and politically and economically China and Iran have been very close over the past decades because of sanctions. However, a lot of myths about China grew up because Iranians couldn't travel there. So Feranak was very excited to visit the country and meet the people, and see for herself what modern China is like. 5) Riding a rickshaw with the Mexican ambassador The Mexican ambassador to India has started using a humble auto rickshaw instead of a car. Her aim is to promote public transport and highlight air pollution in Delhi. BBC Urdu's Suhail Haleem has buckled up for a journey with the ambassador, hoping to navigate the traffic and the pollution that comes with it in a diplomatic fashion. 39:59
0617 17.06 1) A Childhood on the Rubbish Tips Namak Khoshaw is a freelance producer for BBC Persian. He's made several films with the BBC about his birthplace, Iraqi Kurdistan, but his forthcoming documentary Life on the Rubbish Dump, about the child rubbish pickers on Erbil's main tip, is very close to home. As a child Namak and his brothers were also rubbish pickers following the Kurdish uprising. He tells us about that time, and about the refugee children he filmed working on the rubbish dump now. 2) The power of the headscarf With headscarves being reclaimed as a style statement by young South African women, we take a walk around BBC Africa to find out about headscarf traditions and trends across the continent. 3) India's Dalit Romeo and Juliet How has an anti-Bollywood, low-budget regional language film made by a Dalit (formerly untouchable caste) filmmaker, become India's biggest sleeper hit of the year? The film is called Sairat, which means wild, and is about the often cruel and unsettling consequences of falling in love in India. The BBC's Khadeeja Arif and Sushant Mohan shed light on this unusual hit. 4) Searching for the Disappeared BBC Mundo's Valeria Perasso shares her story of following a ground-breaking Argentine forensics team to Medellin, Colombia to search for the bodies of those who disappeared in the country's conflict between left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups. 5) Following my father's tastebuds Juicy mangoes, dhal puri, potato balls, curry, chowmein... Carinya Sharples grew up hearing her father's mouthwatering memories of life in Guyana. How he would go and pick a mango off the tree in his garden, and buy 'shave ice' from street vendors. Now Carinya has returned to her father's homeland, and she takes the Fifth Floor on an exploration of the country through taste. 40:47
0624 24.06 1) Iran's Forgotten Province The remote and impoverished province of Sistan Baluchistan is usually in the Iranian news for negative reasons - drug smuggling, rebel groups, or acute deprivation. But a story of courage and self-sacrifice recently caught the public imagination. BBC Persian's Negin Shiraghaei tells us about a Baluch teacher who died trying to save his students when part of his school collapsed; why this struck such a chord in Iran; and how it links to her own family history. 2) Mar Mar Aye Legendary Burmese singer Mar Mar Aye will be 75 this year, and she has been performing since she was 8. She went into exile in the late 1990s and became politically active. Now her situation is very different. We hear about her life and her long-lasting appeal from Zeyar Phyo and Maung Maung Than of BBC Burmese. 3) Russian Dream Projecting a glamorous, wealthy lifestyle is arguably what social media is all about, but journalist Tatyana Movshevich was recently struck by the discord between her Russian friends' real lives and their opulent online personas. She calls it the Russian dream, and argues that its roots go far back into Russian folklore. 4) Reporting South Africa With violent protests in Pretoria, bitter divisions within the African National Congress, and the unsettling impact of high unemployment, the BBC's Milton Nkosi reflects on the challenges of reporting in South Africa today and the changes he has lived through. 5) Women in news in Bangladesh Nurjahan Begum, editor of Bangladesh's first women's magazine "Begum" for 65 years, died recently aged 91. It was a pioneering magazine that created a female readership for the first time, provided a rare outlet for women writers, and inspired a future generation of women to enter journalism. To mark her death, BBC Bangla looked at the role of women in journalism today. Shahnaz Parveen from BBC Bangla tells us more. 49:02
0701 01.07 1) Life in Turkey Since the Istanbul Ataturk Airport Attack This week the attack at Istanbul's main airport got the world's attention. The shocking images and the rising number of dead and injured added to Turkey's unenviable toll of recent terror attacks. Two Turkish journalists who felt the impact professionally and personally are Mahmout Hamsici of BBC Turkish and Pina Sevinçlidir of BBC Monitoring in Istanbul. They share their feelings on what the ongoing attacks mean for their country. 2) Afghan Ramadan This year Ramadan has fallen during the summer months and right in the middle of exam season in Afghanistan. With temperatures reaching 45 degrees, students in the Balkh region took to the streets to demand that the university shut for Ramadan. But they haven't found much sympathy from the older generation whose own education was fitted in around civil war and the Taliban. Firuz Rahimi of BBC Afghan explores the story, and remembers his own student days in Balkh. 3) BBC Ghazal Performers After receiving a tip-off that a couple of colleagues from BBC Urdu and BBC Hindi had been overheard singing ghazals recently, we thought it only right to track them down. We have brought together Ziad Zafar - who decided against singing on air but knows all about ghazals - and Samrah Fatima, the real songbird among their number. 4) Tbilisi Zoo During a devastating flood last year, Tbilisi Zoo hit international headlines. Pictures of a hippopotamus roaming the streets were sent worldwide. Hundreds of animals died in the disaster, as well as three zoo employees. As the zoo welcomes new animals and prepares for a new site, BBC Russian's Nina Akhmeteli remembers the flood and tells us about the place of the zoo in her life. 5) Sunni-Shia Marriages and 'Sushi ' Children The historic division between Sunnis and Shias is an increasingly important element in conflicts in the Middle East. An unlikely topic for humour, but a Saudi sketch show called Selfie has taken aim at this sensitive issue with a comic story of babies swapped at birth. BBC Arabic's Kindah Shair, who was brought up in Saudi Arabia, discusses reactions with Ghazanfar Hyder of BBC Urdu, whose parents married across the divide. 40:30
0708 08.07 1) Myanmar: the Long Road to Peace Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said peace is one of her government's main priorities. The country has 135 official tribes - some of them in direct conflict with the government, and most of them demanding equality and self-determination. Ko Ko Aung of BBC Burmese has been investigating this complex issue for many years, including a trip to the Thai border in search of a legendary rebel leader. He shares his insights. 2) The militarisation of Russian rock festivals As thousands of rock fans head for the annual open-air Nashestvie festival in Russia this weekend, the Fifth Floor's resident expert on Russian rock takes us back through changes in the festival style in recent years. For example, the presence of howitzers, armoured vehicles, and lots of men in uniform... Alexander Kan explains why military patriotism is now an essential part of Nashestvie, and what bands and fans make of this development. 3) Gilgit Baltistan disappointment Pakistan's region of Gilgit Baltistan is often referred to as the "other" north. It's beautiful, rich with heritage, and has a unique culture. Education levels are high, women are involved in business and public life, and many practice the Ismaili religion. So BBC Urdu's Iram Abbassi leapt at the chance to visit. But things didn't quite work out as hoped. 4) Remembering Abbas Kiarostami Iranian cinema has been saying goodbye to one of its most influential film makers, Abbas Kiarostami. He wrote and directed many influential films, including Taste of Cherry for which he won the top prize at Cannes, the Palme d'Or. Maghsood Salehi of BBC Persian is a fan, and shares his insights into the director's influence. 5) How to shop Nairobi style Sharpen your elbows and get your handbags ready! BBC Africa's Frenny Jowi takes us on a tour of Nairobi's second hand clothes markets to show us how to get the best deals on designer fashion. 40:32
0715 15.07 1) South China Sea: What's in a Name? With the recent international ruling against Chinese claims to rights in the South China Sea, the Fifth Floor delves into the linguistic battles that underlie this territorial dispute. For a start, is it the South China Sea, or the East Sea, or the West Philippine Sea? Our guide is Giang Nguyen of BBC Vietnamese. 2) Zimbabwe: flags and protests More and more Zimbabweans are joining a social media campaign protesting about the country's economic problems. From Harare, the BBC's Brian Hungwe tells us what has brought public anger to a head, and what's new about the current protest. 3) Egypt: Hear my Country Marwa Maamoon and Mohamed Yehia of BBC Arabic share the songs that sum up their country for them. 4) Building bridges in Brazil People in the Brazilian town of Barra Mansa have been waiting for a bridge for 20 years. A creek divides the town, and residents have had to make a 2 kilometre detour to reach the other side - just 25 metres away. The government quote for a footbridge was $81,000, so a local group took matters into their own hands and built one for a modest $1,500. BBC Mundo's Gerardo Lissardy shares their story. 5) The Sapeurs of BBC Africa This week saw BBC Africa celebrate all things dandy, debonair and dashingly dressed as they launched their own Société d'Ambianceurs et de Personnes Elégantes, SAPE. So what does it mean to be a sapeur? The Fifth Floor explores the history of the fashion movement and finds out which journalists' sartorial stylings are of the highest standard. 49:19
0722 22.07 1) Cairo Calling It's sixty years since the nationalisation of the Suez Canal, the event that marked Egypt's decisive break with its colonial past. BBC Arabic journalists share their thoughts on how that iconic moment shaped modern day Egypt, and how it still influences Egyptian and Arab identity today. 2) How to be an Egyptian Presenter David Amanor goes on a crash course on How To Be An Egyptian. Angy Ghannam teaches him how to joke like an Egyptian. Dina Aboughazala gives him tips on how to speak like an Egyptian. And Ahmed Nour takes him to the nearest café for a lesson on how to hang out like an Egyptian. Our BBC Arabic panel of experts contribute their own favourite jokes, and debate the eternal Egyptian café question: who should pay? Meanwhile Mehrdad Farahmand, who reports from Cairo for BBC Persian, shares his frustrations at trying to master Egyptian slang. He also gives us an Iranian perspective on life and politics in the Middle East, and tells us which stories his audience enjoy most. 3) My Tahrir Before the 2011 Revolution, Marwa Nasser of BBC Arabic was working in an IT recruitment call centre. Within a few short weeks, she was reporting on the revolution and her face was on the cover of Time Magazine. She shares her personal story of how she found her voice, her calling and her husband in those days in Tahrir Square. 4) After Tahrir: Whatever happened to citizen journalists During the 18 days of protests in Tahrir Square, a wave of citizen journalism reported on the police battles, placards and street-level populism that formed the Egyptian Revolution. Yet in recent years, that spirit of citizen journalism has all but disappeared - BBC Arabic's Radwa Gamal, Wael Hussein and Sally Nabil discuss what happened to those impromptu reporters, and share insights into the challenges facing journalists reporting in Egypt and across the region today. 40:13
0729 29.07 1) Turkey: The Army and the People Two weeks ago an attempted coup in Turkey marked the latest chapter in a complicated relationship between the Turkish people and their army. Pinar Sevinclidir of BBC Monitoring and Cagil Kasapoglu of BBC Turkce join the Fifth Floor to discuss the role the army play in public life and how the history of coups in the country sheds light on what is happening in Turkey today. 2) The story of leprosy in Brazil Lais Modelli is a freelance journalist for BBC Brasil but the main focus of her journalistic career has been on the story of leprosy in Brazil, meeting those who have lived with the effects of the disease throughout their lives and visiting the leprosy colonies that still exist today. 3) My Favourite Street Last week BBC Arabic focused attentions on Rasheed Street in Baghdad - it's one of the oldest streets in the city and was celebrating it's centenary. It was known for being something of a melting pot in a troubled country where people of many different faiths lived together. With this is mind we set the Fifth Floor microphone to work to seek out the stories of some of the most memorable streets from around the world. 4) Catching the train, missing the toilet BBC Urdu's man in Delhi, Suhail Haleem reflects on the trials and tribulations of trying to use the lavatory on India's railway system. 5) Nairobi Spoken Word The art of the Spoken word has taken over Nairobi. Anthony Irungu from BBC Swahili takes the Fifth Floor on a trip to packed venues and street corners to hear poets and spoken word artists all around the city. 41:04
0805 05.08 1) Nicaraguan First Lady Rosario Murillo 2) Harry Potter´s mutilingual appeal How Harry Potter casts a spell in French, Ukrainian and Hindi Do you believe in magic? Has anyone waved a wand at you recently and turned you into a frog? Well JK Rowling's popular boy wizard Harry Potter is still doing his thing and filling seats at a new stage show in London. He now works for the Ministry of Magic and is a father of three. But does the Potter magic travel around the world? Is there a Hindi Harry, a French Hogwarts, or maybe quidditch in Ukraine? Let's take it to the Fifth Floor language services to find out! 3) Khartoum in short stories Talking to the animals Wouldn't you just love to be able to understand what animals were saying? Well apparently now you can - donkeys anyway. Fifi Haroon handpicks some of her favourite stories from the web this week: chatting donkeys, statue cover ups, and ice-cream cops. 40:56
0812 12.08 1) Columbia: living with the peace 2) Two Syrian footballers A Tale of Two Footballers In early 2011, two young and talented Syrian footballers were both tipped for great things. One a 19 year old goalie for Al-Karamah in Homs, the other a prolific goal-scorer for Al-Futowa in north east Syria. Then the Syrian revolution broke out, and their lives spiralled in radically different directions. So what light do their stories shed on the ongoing conflict in Syria? BBC Monitoring Middle Eastern analyst Elma Hasum tells their stories. 3) Tajikistan's banned words What did you say? Tajikistan in Central Asia is campaigning against what the authorities describe as 'incomprehensible' words. Journalists who use them have been threatened with fines. After the Soviets created the Republic of Tajikistan in the 1920s, the Farsi spoken there became known as Tajik and was written in the Russian cyrillic script. A Russian influence was preferred to Persian or Arabic, in an effort to make the language distinct. It's a battle that's still being fought, according to Dariush Rajabian of BBC Persian, who's from the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe. 40:12
0819 19.08 1) Lashkar Gah: City on the Edge 2) An Emoji for a nation Smiley face! Can emojis sum up a country? Smiley faces, ice-creams, kittens - an emoji for every occasion. But can an emoji sum up a whole country? Over to our Fifth Floor colleagues: Famil Ismailov of BBC Russian, Hewete Haileselassie of BBC Africa, Gulnara Kasmambet of BBC Krygyz and Leyla Khodabakhshi of BBC Persian give us their suggestions on how to represent their home countries in emoji form. 3) Political Dynasties in IndiaKeeping it in the family: Why is Indian politics dominated by dynasties?Following speculation in India that Priyanka Gandhi of the Nehru Gandhi family will be the face of the campaign for the Congress Party in forthcoming elections, Zubair Ahmed and Vandana Dhand of BBC Hindi discuss why family dynasties play such a big role in politics in the country. 40:37
0826 26.08 1) Discovering Mauritania This year Mauritania hosted the Arab League Summit. Mauritania is often overlooked by the Arab world, a large country with a tiny population, geographically isolated in the far west of the African continent, and a long way from Arab centres of influence. So when BBC Arabic's Hanan Razek got the chance to cover the summit, she was not sure what to expect. But what she found was a unique culture where women hold divorce parties, and a country in the grip of a gold rush. 2) Too Plump for Television? In Egypt, eight female state TV presenters were recently suspended from their jobs and given a month to come back slimmer. A week later and the action is still provoking furious chatter on social media. Fifth Floor held its own debate with two Egyptians - Angy Ghannam of BBC Monitoring and Sally Nabil who has been following the story from BBC Cairo. 3) Glorious Grannies In praise of grannies everywhere and the knowledge they have passed on. From tales of revolutions and wars with BBC Uzbek's Rustam Qobil; resilience and strength in Ethiopia with Hewete Haileselassie; and secluded gardens, cooking and memories of an older Bangkok with Issariya Praithongyaem. 4) Remembering the Arctic Convoys BBC journalist Natalia Golysheva is from Arkhangelsk, or Archangel, in the Russian North, where this weekend sees the annual celebration in honour of the Arctic convoys which transported supplies and arms to the Soviet Union during World War Two. The British Merchant Navy and their escorts, along with other Allied vessels, braved enemy ships and atrocious weather. Natalia tells us why her mother Valentina made it her personal mission to preserve the stories of the veterans, and how that has changed her life. 5) Beirut's Metro al-Madina Before the civil war in Lebanon, the neighbourhood of Hamra was considered Beirut's cultural heart - home to poets, academics and revolutionaries. Today, that artistic spirit has taken a new form in the shape of the Metro al-Madina club, known for its spectacular cabaret shows and performances - and for nurturing some of the city's new talent. Carine Torbey and Rami Ruhayem tell the Fifth Floor why it is the place to go in Beirut. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:32
0902 02.09 1) Reporting the Disappeared 30th August is International Day of the Disappeared - a day to recognise those who have gone missing around the world through war, political conflict and natural disaster. But how do you tell the stories of the disappeared when they are shrouded in mystery and often heavily burdened with emotion? From Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Kaura Abubakar, Haroon Rashid and Thirumalai Manivannan share their experiences. 2) Kiranmala, warrior princess A fictitious warrior princess has got such a hold on imaginations in Bangladesh that fights have broken out between rival fans. Kiranmala is the heroine of an Indian-made television drama named after her, which has become wildly popular. What's the appeal, and why's it causing Bangladeshis to come to blows? Over to Shahnaz Parveen of BBC Bangla. 3) The Lakes of Tears Marwa Mamoon presents a weekly radio programme for BBC Arabic called Story Shop. She ransacks history books and internet sources to find stories for listeners, like one she shares with the Fifth Floor this week - the legend behind an annual marriage festival in the mountains of Morocco. 4) Meeting the Iron Lady of Manipur This week, Indian protester Irom Sharmila left hospital and returned to normal life after 16 years on hunger strike. Irom is from the state of Manipur, bordering Myanmar, where there has been an insurgency since the foundation of modern India. BBC Hindi's Vandana Dhand travelled to Manipur to report on the end of this extraordinary protest. She shares her impressions. 5) Art of Soviet Living During the Soviet era, enormous and soulless grey apartment blocks were built across the vast territory - and they're still home to many people today. But despite their dark corridors and bleak iron staircases, these blocks were, and indeed continue to be, a source of inspiration for a whole range of artists across the former Soviet Union. Tatyana Movshevich and Alexander Zhuravlyov from BBC Russian explain. 40:41
0909 09.09 1) Life under Karimov This week Uzbekistan got a new leader, the prime minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev become acting president following the death of Islam Karimov one week ago. For 25 years Karimov ruled the former Soviet Republic with an iron hand. His time in power was marked by allegations of state violence and elections derided as a sham. But what was life like for the Uzbeks he ruled over? Rustam Qobil and Pahlavon Sodiq of BBC Uzbek share memories of life under Karimov. 2) Who are you calling a brother-in-law? Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte raised a few eyebrows, and the political temperature, this week with his less than presidential language about President Obama. But aside from being rude, was he missing a trick? We take the microphone on a tour of the 5th Floor to investigate what more creative, nuanced and intriguing insults he might have deployed instead. 3) Saadat Hasan Manto Saadat Hasan Manto was one of the most respected writers of short stories in the Urdu language. His work documents the struggles of life in post-partition India and Pakistan, but he remains relevant today. A biopic is about to be released in India about him, hot on the heels of a Pakistani film about his life. Indian author Aakar Patel, who also edits and translates Manto's work, and BBC journalist Haniya Ali, who is from Pakistan, explain his enduring appeal. 4) Slovyansk Library In 2014, Slovyansk in Ukraine was briefly occupied by pro-Russian rebels. It's in the Donbass region, a Russian-speaking, Russian-leaning area at the heart of fighting between pro-independence rebels and government forces. So it came as a surprise to Anastasiya Gabonova of BBC Ukrainian, herself born in the region, to discover that since that occupation, the city is seeing a flourishing of interest in Ukrainian language, arts and culture, and driving it all are the staff of Slovyansk library. 5) Beware the Little Pink What do the pop star Lady Gaga, the Australian Olympic swimmer Mack Horton and the President of Taiwan have in common? They have all been victims of xiao fenhong or "little pink", a group of young Chinese who use the internet and social media as a battleground for patriotism, attacking those who they believe have disrespected China. Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese provides a guide to the postings and posturings of this online group. 6) And Fifi Haroon takes a turn around the stranger offerings to be found on the internet this week. 39:53
0916 16.09 1) Kashmir: The Continuing Conflict Indian-administered Kashmir has been living through some of the worst violence for years. It is a dispute that goes back almost seventy years, and the latest trouble follows the recent killing of Burhan Wani, a 22 year old militant with a huge social media following. Mobile communications have been cut, landlines are unreliable, and contact with the local BBC reporter has been intermittent. But BBC Urdu presenter Aliya Nazki, herself from Kashmir, has been following developments closely. 2) World Nomad Games Dead goat polo, hunting with eagles, building yurts against the clock - it must be the World Nomad Games! Gulnara Kasmambet of BBC Kyrgyz has been covering the games in her home country, and she shares her personal highlights with the Fifth Floor. 3) The Kenyan band fighting domestic violence Award-winning Kenyan urban Afro band Elani have released a single calling on women to take a stand against abuse in relationships. The song, and the accompanying graphic video, is called 'sirudi', meaning 'I am not coming back' in Swahili, and they have had a huge impact on social media. BBC Africa's Anthony Irungu and Sophie Ikenye from Focus on Africa discuss the band and the issue. 4) Behind the ghoonghat BBC Hindi's Sumiran Preet Kaur takes the Fifth Floor on a journey from the bright lights of New Delhi to the rural village Mirzapur in Haryana. There she meets a group of women campaigning to live their lives without wearing the ghoonghat, a traditional veil worn by Indian women for centuries. 5) A Soap for Syria Can you change hearts and minds in a conflict through a soap opera? Even one as bitter and traumatic as Syria's civil war? BBC Media Action and BBC Arabic are giving it a try - with a new radio drama call Hay El Matar, Airport District. The drama aims to humanise people seen as other, or different, or on the other side - whether Shia, Sunni, Christian or Alawite. BBC Arabic's Lina Sinjab, who's from Syria, told the Fifth Floor about the drama, and the associated discussion programme which she produces. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of weird and wonderful stories from across the world wide web. 40:05
0923 23.09 1) Timbuktu: A Case of Cultural Destruction Next week sees a judgment in a landmark case brought before the International Criminal Court. The man in the dock, Ahmad al-Mahdi, is facing up to 11 years prison for the destruction of nine mausoleums and a mosque door in Timbuktu four years ago. But the case has also drawn criticism that more value is placed on stones and earth than on the human lives destroyed by Al-Mahdi's militant group. BBC Afrique's Abdourahmane Dia and BBC Monitoring's Mina al Lami come together to discuss the impact of cultural destruction has on a nation, its history and its people. 2) Graduate Weddings in Kenya A suggestion from Kenya's Higher Education Loans Board to refuse wedding certificates to graduates who haven't paid off their student loans has outraged many prospective brides and grooms. But not reporter Frenny Jowi, who's Saturday mornings have long been disturbed by Nairobi's noisy nuptials. 3) Russia's New MPs United Russia, the party backed by President Vladimir Putin, this week won a large majority in the country's parliamentary election. Famil Ismailov of BBC Russian introduces us to some of the larger than life MPs, and outlines what this new parliament tells us about the state of Russian politics today. 4) Remembering the Music Man Mandoza South African musician Mduduzi Tshabalala, known as Mandoza, died last week at the age of 38 from a brain tumour. His untimely death prompted a stream of tributes from pauper up to president. BBC Africa's Milton Nkosi and South African arts critic Bongani Madondo discuss the music and the legacy of one of their nation's most loved musicians. 5) Guyana: Land of Six Peoples Guyana has long been proud to call itself the 'Land of Six Peoples'. For generations African, Indian, Amerindian, Chinese, European and Portuguese have called the small South American country home. Yet racial tensions are high, even now, 50 years after independence. BBC Mundo's Carinya Sharples tells the story of Guyana through its diversity, ethnic politics and racial identity. 6) And Fifi Haroon brings us her pick of extraordinary stories from the world wide web. 39:57
0930 30.09 Remembering Aleppo Before the Bombs The Syrian city of Aleppo has come under heavy aerial bombardment since the partial truce deal disintegrated last week. It's a city with a rich culture and a unique historic centre going back over two thousand years, and the war has taken a heavy toll. BBC Monitoring's Lina Shaikhouni tells Paul Bakibinga the story of the people who have taken to social media to post pictures of their home city before the destruction. The Yaaku people in northern Kenya only number about 4,000 these days, but they're still clinging on to their traditional ways. One of which is beekeeping. BBC Africa's Emmanuel Igunza has been to meet them. A Chinese state TV reporter was suspended for wearing sunglasses and carrying an umbrella whilst on camera. Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese, Olga Y Ivshina of BBC Russian, Rustam Qobil of BBC Uzbek and Bilkisu Labaran of BBC Africa share their dos and don'ts for reporting in the field. The first ever Afropunk festival has just happened in London and many big names turned up to celebrate alternative black culture and fashion. Mayeni Jones of BBC Africa was one of them, and she gave us a run down of the event and the movement. This weekend Colombians will vote in a referendum to decide whether or not to accept the peace agreement signed between their government and the left-wing Farc rebel group. The prospect of peace has stirred up some awkward issues for BBC Mundo's Hernando Alvarez. BBC Africa's Catherine Byaruhanga reports on the new Disney film, Queen of Katwe, which tells the true life story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl living in a Ugandan slum with an amazing talent for playing chess. 40:15
1007 07.10 1) Yemen's Forgotten Victims BBC Arabic's Nawal al-Maghafi planned a two week visit to Yemen to make a programme about the impact of the ongoing fighting on the country's children: one in three are at risk of malnutrition. It made shocking viewing. But her visit was also unexpectedly extended to two months when a lull in the fighting broke down, and she had to wait to be evacuated by the UN. She tells David Amanor about the impact of such an extended visit on her understanding of the crisis. 2) UnIndian One of the fastest bowlers in cricket history has made an unlikely career move - starring in a Bollywood-style romantic comedy. UnIndian is directed by Anupam Sharma and shot in Sydney. The male lead, played by Australian cricket legend Brett Lee, falls in love with a single mother played by Bollywood star Tanishtha Chatterjee. Is the film too UnIndian to appeal to Indians? Insights from BBC Hindi's Sushant Mohan, and Mumbai-based journalist and actor Chirantana Bhatt. 3) Party Like A... The new Robbie Williams song Party Like A Russian has upset some Russians, who accuse him of promoting a stereotype of vulgar oligarchs. We find out what it means to party like a rich Russian, and take the microphone around the Fifth Floor for other party experiences. 4) Living through the Turkish crisis The Turkish authorities have arrested or detained around 100,000 people suspected of links with exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the government alleges masterminded the attempted coup in July. Universities and schools associated with Gulen have been closed. How much are ordinary Turks affected by this purge and what are they saying about it? Questions for Rengin Arslan of BBC Turkish in Istanbul. 5) India's stray dogs Delhi is home to around 400,000 stray dogs, and they don't always get a good press, portrayed as either villains who bite and maul, or victims of human cruelty. Vikas Pandey of BBC Online in Delhi is a dog lover, and has been uncovering friendships between some of the city's strays and the people who cherish them. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of weird and wonderful stories from across the world wide web. 39:45
1014 14.10 1) Afghan Refugees: An Uncertain Future What happens when a government tells 3 million refugees within its borders that they have to go home? Many Afghan refugees in Pakistan have spent all their lives there, and established homes and businesses. The Pakistani government argues that militants are hiding among them, and the departure of all refugees is a necessary part of its security strategy. BBC Urdu editor Haroon Rashid is from Peshawar in northern Pakistan, home to many Afghans. He tells us about his personal memories, and the impact of what's happening today. We also hear from BBC journalist Zarghuna Kargar about the years she spent as an Afghan refugee in the city. 2) Chinese detective with a British flavour A new, big budget Chinese TV drama is being made with Chinese TV's biggest star in the title role. The significance of Judge Dee is that it's scripted by British screenwriters. To discuss the appeal of the Judge Dee stories in China and why they're being repackaged with a British flavour, Paul Bakabinga is joined by two BBC journalists - China analyst Kerry Allen and Yashan Zhao from BBC Hong Kong. 3) Farewell to Venezuela BBC correspondent Daniel Pardo is leaving Venezuela with mixed emotions. From the delicious smell of his neighbour cooking the traditional vegetable sauce sofrito, to the frustrating bureaucracy at the bank - he reflects on what he will and won't miss about the place he called home for three years. 4) Egypt's Nubians, yearning for home The Nubian community in Egypt were forced from their villages in the 1960s when the Aswan Dam was built on their land. Many resettled in cities in the north of the country where they upheld their traditions and customs, whilst maintaining the hope that they would someday return home. However, a new restricted military zone designated by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi is part of the Nubian homeland. Angy Ghannam of BBC Monitoring in Cairo tells us how the Nubian community has reacted, and describes their place in Egyptian society. 5) 75 this week BBC Bangla celebrates its 75th birthday this week. For the first years, output was simply a translated newsletter. Then in 1944, the two founding staff members arrived by ship from India - in Glasgow! They had to make their own way to London and struggled to find hotel accommodation. Manoshi Barua tells us what she's discovered about those pioneering days. 6) Fifi Weird and wonderful stories from the world wide web curated by digital diva Fifi Haroon. 39:22
1021 21.10 1) US Election: the View from Miami Guest presenter Emilio San Pedro heads to Miami's Little Havana district and its famous Versailles cafe to talk politics with Ivette Leyva and Luis Fajardo of BBC Mundo and Rafael Abuchaibe of BBC Monitoring. Later he watches the final presidential debate at the BBC bureau as the Mundo team pick out what is of most interest to their audience and watch for reaction on social media. 2) Eating and voting with Miami's Colombians and Venezuelans Emilio referees a food competition: Colombians Claudia Plazas and Rafael Abuchaibe versus Venezuelan Patricia Sulbaran. Whose 'arepas' are better? They also reflect on the recent No vote in the Colombian referendum on the peace deal with Farc rebels, and the significance of the vote from Colombians in Miami. 3) Multiple Choice For decades, Chilean teenagers had to sit the Academic Aptitude Test in order to apply for university. Chilean writer Alejandro Zambra has gone back to this stressful time for his latest novel, Multiple Choice. Constanza Hola of BBC Mundo, who sat the test herself, puts Alejandro through his paces. 4) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:27
1028 28.10 1) Bashiqa: Beyond the Battleground For Iraqis, Bashiqa used to be synonymous with arak, sesame oil and picnics. Now it is in the headlines as a key battleground in the campaign to retake Mosul from so-called Islamic State. BBC Arabic's Basheer al-Zaidi is from Mosul, and he shares memories of Bashiqa. 2) Yawning? Must be Hungry It is well known that words get lost in translation, but what about body language? Colleagues from the Fifth Floor give us the inside track on how to avoid cross cultural-confusion. 3) Summer Holidays in Crimea For Anastasia Gribanova of BBC Ukrainian, childhood summers meant a seaside holiday in Crimea. Since Russia annexed the territory, many Ukrainians refuse to go to Crimea on principle, or are put off by checkpoints and long queues. Anastasia shares her memories. 4) Rat Hunting in Jakarta People in the Indonesian capital are excited by news that a generous bounty could be offered for dead rats, in an effort to get the population under control. Liston Siregar of BBC Indonesian explains why the city authorities might rethink their offer after calculating just how much it could cost. 5) Artistic Differences Between India and Pakistan How have military tensions between India and Pakistan affected arts and entertainment? BBC Hindi's Vandana Dhand and Ziad Zafar of BBC Urdu describe the fall-out, from a ban on Pakistani actors in Bollywood to the removal of Indian programmes from Pakistani TV. 49:08
1104 04.11 1) Saudi Religious Police Under Scrutiny It's been six months since Saudi Arabia curbed the powers of the religious police or mutaween. They can no longer arrest people and they have been instructed to be "gentle and kind". So do people still live in fear of upsetting them? Kindah Shair from BBC Arabic has experienced the mutaween's strict discipline first hand. 2) Mombasa night weddings Night weddings are a traditional part of Swahili culture in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa and parties can go on for many days. But recent attacks on guests have led to a curfew, effectively banning night weddings. Maryam Abdalla of BBC Swahili says the tradition is now changing. 3) Kyrgyzstan's missing constitution When the government of Kyrgyzstan sought to amend the constitution last month, they were surprised to find that they'd lost the original. Kyrgyz people took to the internet to mock this apparent carelessness. Venera Koichieva of BBC Kyrgyz tells us about the frustrations that underlie the humour. 4) Graduation for the students without a university Recent graduation photographs for the University of Benghazi in eastern Libya show joyful students throwing their caps in the air at the campus entrance. But most of the university is in ruins after nearly two years of fighting. Muhammad Hussein of BBC Monitoring is from Benghazi and tells us how students have managed. 5) Hausa Writing Award BBC Hausa has announced the winner of its first women's short story writing contest. She's Aisha Muhammad Sabitu, with a story called Refugee Camp - Sansanin Yan Gudun Hijira. To discuss this and the wider reading habits of Hausa women, we hear from two BBC journalists in Abuja: Mohammed Kabir Mohammed and Halima Umar Sale. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the worldwide web. 39:26
1111 11.11 1) The World View on President-Elect Donald Trump "Ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement... of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs." The words of President-elect Donald Trump at the end of an extraordinary, and successful, run for the White House. David Amanor gathers together Hernando Alvarez of BBC Mundo, Hanan Razek of BBC Arabic and Dawood Azami of BBC Pashto to reflect on the campaign. 2) Ivan the Terrible rides again He was a leader and visionary - and one of the most feared tyrants in history. Opinion is divided about Russia's first Tsar, Ivan the Terrible, who ruled in the 16th century. That hasn't stopped the authorities in the town of Oryol erecting a statue of him. Vsevelod Boika of BBC Russian was there for the unveiling. 3) Makdous: the Syrian soul-food struggling for survival It's a delicious mix of aubergines, chillies and walnuts, and an essential part of a Syrian breakfast. This is the time of year when Syrian women would usually be surveying rows of newly bottled makdous, having spent days boiling and stuffing kilos of aubergines. But as Alma Hassoun of BBC Monitoring explains, war has seriously disrupted this process. 4) Goat Days Goat Days by Indian author Benyamin is the best-selling true story of the exploitation of a migrant worker from Kerala in Saudi Arabia. The significance of the book is explained by BBC Trending's Megha Mohanin and Zainul Abid of BBC Monitoring, both Keralite by birth. 5) Impressions of Kashmir In recent months, there's been a surge in tensions between Pakistan and India over the disputed region of Kashmir, with deaths on both sides of the de facto border. BBC Urdu's Suhail Haleem visited Indian-administered Kashmir for the first time to report on the crisis. He shares his impressions of what used to be a favourite holiday destination for many Indians. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:36
1118 18.11 1) What Next for Kenya's Dadaab Refugees? As the Kenyan government announces a six month delay in closing the vast Dadaab refugee camp, BBC Africa's Bashkas Jugsodaay tells us about the plight of the Somalis whose story he's been reporting on for 25 years. Bashkas is based in nearby Garissa, and has recently travelled to Somalia to see what's happening to refugees who have already returned home. 2) Battle of the Russian parades An ironic, anti-patriotism "Alas" parade in St Petersburg this month sparked a series of follow up parades in Russia. After "Alas" came "Wow!", and after "Wow!" came "Ah well". Prompting the question - what's with the parades and the bad titles? BBC Russian contributor Tatyana Movshevich tells us more. 3) India's lavish weddings Cross-border marriages, and taxmen turning up uninvited to check out the party. BBC Hindi's Shakeel Akhtar secures himself an invitation to a lavish Rajasthan wedding between a Pakistani bride and an Indian groom, one of the few to go ahead during the current crisis over Kashmir. 4) Oaths and Swearing In Hong Kong After Hong Kong's regional elections, a number of elected officials defied and insulted the Chinese government during a swearing-in ceremony with swearing of a much ruder kind. The spectacle highlighted the political rifts between the two, but did it also highlight cultural differences? Howard Zhang of BBC Chinese, who's from Beijing, and Cho Wai Lam, who's from Hong Kong, discuss the cultural gulf. 5) Iran's champion fencers Fencing was banned in Iran after the Islamic Revolution but has made a dramatic comeback since the ban was lifted. Now Iranians are celebrating their team's recent win in a World Cup tournament, and fencing has become a source of national pride. BBC Persian's Nicholas Niksadat tells us what the mixed fortunes of a minority sport can tell us about Iran. 6) Plus Fifi Haroon's chooses some of the odder offerings on the world wide web. 39:52
1125 25.11 1) Political Parables and Proverbs Election fever is hotting up in Ghana, and supporters decked out in their party's colours are everywhere. Working out who the highly influential traditional leaders support is more difficult, and involves deciphering parables and proverbs. To help us through is BBC Africa contributor, and main opposition NPP member, Elizabeth Ohene. 2) Memories of kite-flying A big kite festival is planned for this weekend in Kabul, bringing back childhood memories for BBC Afghan's Emal Pasarly, who as a boy spent every moment he could flying kites with his two brothers. 3) Male shoppers A shopping centre in Shanghai has opened a special 'husband nursery' for men who can no longer bear to shop with their partners. So how does the gender split work when it comes to shopping in other cultures? 4) Ten years on: Nepal's civil warThe ten year Maoist insurgency claimed nearly sixteen thousand lives, and many Nepalis still don't know what happened to loved ones who were killed or who disappeared. Nepali journalist Bhrikuti Rai shared her thoughts after visiting a recent exhibition of war photographs in Kathmandu. 5) Did a monkey in Libya really start a battle? Six days of fighting between two tribes in the south Libyan town of Sabha left at least 16 people dead and many more injured. Reports claim the conflict was started by a monkey, which attacked a girl and removed her head scarf. BBC Monitoring's Amira Fathalla has been covering news in Libya since 2010 and unpicks the truth. 6) Hindi comics then and now Hindi language comics have long captured the imagination of young Indians, with Hindu gods depicted as superheroes and tales of moral righteousness. Now comics are adapting to modern India to tackle today's social problems. The BBC Hindi's Sushant Mohan and Geeta Pandey, both comic lovers, discuss this new trend. 7) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 40:47
1202 02.12 1) Unravelling an Uzbek Mystery Whatever happened to Gulnara Karimova, favourite child of the late President Islam Karimov, who fell from grace two years before his death? She disappeared from public view and is said to be under house arrest. BBC Uzbek's Diloram gained rare insight into her fate when she and her colleagues obtained an interview with Gulnara's son - we hear what she discovered. 2) Palestinian women singers Palestinian folk traditions have a clear divide between the songs of men and women. BBC Arabic's Nahed Najjar - a Palestinian from Lebanon - grew up with the songs of her mother and has retained a lifelong love of Palestinian folk music. She explains what makes women's songs so distinct from men's. 3) Afghan Kitchen There are thousands of Afghan refugees in India, and life can be especially difficult for widows and single mothers. Sumiran Preet Kaur from the BBC's Hindi service has been to visit a group of these women in Delhi, who are cooking their way out of poverty and introducing India to the joys of Afghan food on the way. 4) Castro's tracksuits In the aftermath of Fidel Castro's death, Emilio San Pedro of BBC Monitoring looks into the archive to see how the Cuban leader's outfits changed during his decades in power. What do his evolving fashion choices say about changes in the image he wanted to project? 5) Iran's Koranic reciter scandal BBC Persian recently ran a story about allegations of sexual abuse made against one of Iran's most high profile Koranic reciters. The allegations - which he denies - prompted much debate inside and outside the Islamic Republic. Majid Afshar is one of the journalists who worked on the story. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 38:23
1209 09.12 1) Gambias political earthquake BBC Africa's Umaru Fofana is just back from reporting on the elections in the Gambia and the surprise defeat of the president of 22 years, Yahya Jammeh. He shares the stories that could not be told during the voting, and describes one of the biggest upheavals he has seen in African politics. 2) Guyana's Outdated Dress Codes In Guyana, where the temperature rarely falls below 30 Celsius, many public and government buildings enforce strict dress codes. Even the president has called the rules "archaic" and "backward". The Fifth Floor's Carinya Sharples describes her daily dress dilemmas. 3) Dastangoi Shumaila Khan of BBC Urdu has been investigating Dastangoi, a popular form of storytelling between the 16th and 19th Centuries. It is currently enjoying a revival in Shumaila's hometown, Karachi in Pakistan. 4) Bus Fares and Politics in Bogota The ex-mayor of Bogota, Gustavo Petro, a former left-wing rebel who lowered bus fares whilst in power, has been fined US$70 million for the consequent loss of income for the city. Rafael Abuchaibe of BBC Monitoring explains the politics behind the story.5)Egypt's Sugar Craving These are hard times for sweet-loving Egyptians, with sugar shortages and price rises. This weekend sees the celebration of Moulid an-Nabi, the Prophet's birthday, when lots of sweets are traditionally consumed. What's the impact of the sugar crisis, and why do Egyptians have such a sweet tooth? Questions for Angy Ghannam at BBC Monitoring in Cairo. 6) Wiki Edit-a-thon Wikipedia is the internet's largest reference library, but women are under-represented, both as the subjects and authors of articles. In response, the BBC's language services embarked on an edit-a-thon to improve the balance. The Fifth Floor finds out about the women who are getting a long overdue write-up. 40:36
1216 16.12 1) Searching for a Fake News Factory A year ago, videos and photos started to appear on social media, apparently showing Ukrainian troops training with so-called Islamic State. These then contributed to fake news stories about alleged links between the two. Andrey Soshnikov from BBC Russian tells us about his year-long investigation into the videos and what he discovered. 2) Gambia elections – revisited A week ago, BBC Africa's Umaru Fofana told Fifth Floor how astonished he was that President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia conceded defeat so swiftly to his election rival Adamo Barrow. But soon afterwards, the President rejected the election results, causing a political crisis in the country. Umaru is back in the Gambia - and gives us his reaction. 3) Armenia's Daredevils of Sassoun In July this year, Mark Grigorian, who reports for BBC Russian from Armenia, dismissed as a storm in a teacup the occupation of a police station by an armed group calling themselves the Daredevils of Sassoun. Mark explains why he was so wrong, and why Armenia is still talking about the events of July. 4) Inside the Polygon The vast Soviet nuclear test site in Kazakhstan, known as the Polygon, has left behind it a legacy of health problems passed down from generation to generation. Its long isolation has also turned it into a time-warp of Soviet life. BBC Uzbek's Rustam Qobil has been there to make a documentary, The Polygon People, which goes out this Sunday. 5) Work-out Dakar-style There's a beach promenade in Dakar, Senegal which has become part of a daily mass work-out. Hundreds of people head there at the end of the day to go running or do improvised gym routines. Clarisse Fortuné of BBC Afrique has been to join them. 6) And Fifi Haroon's pick of the world wide web. 38:59
1223 23.12 1) Saudi Women: Small Steps Towards Change A year after Saudi women participated and voted in municipal elections for the first time, BBC Arabic's Hanan Razek has been back to see what's changed in the kingdom. She also tracked down the 'Niqabi Comedian' to find out why this mystery woman is making so many people laugh. 2) Odd insults There's been a lot of heavy news in 2016, but on the Fifth Floor we like to spread a bit of happiness, and when one of our morsels of merriment was picked as a "laugh out loud moment of 2016", it seemed the right moment to share it again. So in a year where political insults took a rather undiplomatic turn, we asked colleagues for more creative and nuanced insults from their home countries. 3) Highlights and happiness 2016 has been an eventful year on the news agenda. We ask Famil Ismailov of BBC Russian, Fernando Duarte of BBC Brasil, Victoria Uwonkunda of BBC Africa and Hanan Razek of BBC Arabic for their stand out moments, and the good news stories that sometimes get left behind. 4) Jihadi daughters' fashion Why has a fashion magazine article about three stylish Afghan women caused such a stir in Afghanistan? It turns out two of them come from prominent jihadi families, and photographs of them without their heads covered have broken a social taboo. Mariam Aman of BBC Persian has been looking at the reactions - positive as well as negative. 5) Why the Chinese love "Titanic" A full size replica of the Titanic is being built in the landlocked Chinese province of Sichuan, complete with bars and ballrooms. The Chinese obsession with the Titanic relates more to the film than the ship, and after its 1998 release there it became a pop culture phenomenon. Yashan Zhao of BBC Chinese is a fan, and explains why the film had such massive appeal. 40:37
1230 30.12 Watching the World Caversham Park is the home of BBC Monitoring which for over 70 years has been the eyes and ears of the BBC, watching, translating and analysing the world's media and social media. David Amanor visits the former stately home to meet some of the journalists who've witnessed history unfold in their own countries, from the Cold War to the Syrian conflict. Senior Editors Simona Kralova and Chris Greenway take us back in time to tell the story of how this grand house become a hub for information gathering, from the era of morse code and typewriters to satellites and social media. Sifting information from misinformation has always been part of the service's DNA. Ukrainian Vitaliy Shevchenko, Iraqi Mina al-Alami, and Source Manager and morse code man Al Bolton discuss the challenges of sourcing reliable information in the past, and today. Watching distressing news from home is part of daily life for many journalists. Vesna Stancic from Bosnia, Syrian Lina Shaikhouni and Pinar Sevinclidir from Turkey discuss the personal impact of living the story. There are also lighter moments to be enjoyed at Caversham, particularly for the musical, including Co-ordinating Editor Tom Mulligan, and Iranians Arash Ahmadi and Mahtab Nikpour, who do a good turn on the guitar, jaws harp and drums when not analysing Iranian politics and tales of chubby Chinese squirrels. 40:28

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