Tag Archives: Documentaries

Qatar: Inside The Emirate’s Culture & Traditions (DW)

On the surface, Qatar is a dazzling and colorful Arab country, home to sheikhs and big business. But migrant workers without Qatari citizenship make up nearly 90% of Qatar’s total population – the highest such rate in the world.

Anyone traveling to Qatar arrives with plenty of prejudices: that it is a corrupt, filthy-rich emirate full of forced laborers who have no rights; that it is home to businessmen whose practices are, at best, questionable. But for the Qataris themselves, and the millions of guest workers from all over the world who live there, the picture is more nuanced.

Yes, Qatar is a dictatorship with an emir who enjoys almost unlimited power. But at the same time, Qatar is remarkably open and progressive. The emirate is tiny, and yet tremendously fascinating – with its vast desert landscapes, its bizarrely-shaped mountains and its picturesque sandy beaches.

Analysis: The Future Of Energy Policies In Europe

DW Documentary – Energy is life – these days, Europeans are experiencing that first-hand. For far too long, Europe has depended on coal, oil and gas imports from around the world. Not only have these fuels been driving the climate catastrophe, but they also serve as a dangerous bargaining chip for geopolitical interests.

Energy is essential — and it is a major problem. The war in Ukraine has shown just how dependent Europe is on fossil fuels. This has weakened Europe and given export countries – frequently governed by authoritarian rule – a geopolitical means of leverage. Now, war on the European continent has eclipsed concerns over the climate Crisis. The increased consumption of harmful fuels is creating economic and political problems.

Yet, against the odds, decarbonizing Europe remains a widespread priority, and alternative solutions are already available. In France, Denmark and Ukraine, civil initiatives are taking energy supplies into their own hands and investing in the joint production of their own solar energy. In some cases, privately produced solar energy has proven much cheaper than what national solar energy providers offer.

These initiatives show that decentralizing energy production could be the key to transforming our energy supply. Poland still depends heavily on coal, but is offering re-training programs for employees in the mining business to help them transition to green jobs. An estimated one million such green jobs are expected to be created in Europe by 2030. Green hydrogen, currently still in the development stages, could be a sustainable and profitable alternative for industries in the future.

Across the continent, workable alternatives are emerging. The current quick succession of political crises has now joined the ongoing climate crisis to show just how important it is to act now.

Views: How Venice Was Built On A Swamp (NOVA)

Building a city on a lagoon has its challenges. Here’s how the citizens of Venice accomplished this task centuries ago.

Rising sea levels and sinking land threaten to destroy Venice. Leading scientists and engineers are racing against the clock and battling the forces of nature to try to save this historic city for future generations. Discover the innovative projects and feats of engineering currently underway, including a hi-tech flood barrier, eco-projects to conserve the lagoon, and new efforts to investigate erosion beneath the city. This is Venice as never seen before, at a critical moment in its rich history.

Archaeology: Neolithic Village Of Ba’ja In Jordan

DW Documentary – The Neolithic village of Ba’ja in Jordan

is a famous archaeological site. It was one of the world’s first known settlements, founded some 9,000 years ago. The site has produced magnificent finds including an ancient necklace made of 2,500 beads. What prompted our Neolithic ancestors to settle down? Why did they change their nomadic, hunter-gatherer lives so radically?

As is so often the case in archaeology, it is tombs that tell us the most, while also raising new questions. One of the most magnificent finds at the Ba’ja archaeological site is the richly furnished tomb of a young girl. In 2018, as the excavation team was about to depart, beads emerged from beneath the slab of a nondescript tomb. The team kept working until they finally recovered around 2,500 beads.

Further research showed the beads belonged to an elaborately crafted necklace that had been buried with the girl. The team affectionately christened her Jamila, “the beautiful one.” Jamila’s necklace is a sensation, and has been put on display at the new Petra Museum. There, the entire history of the country is presented, beginning with Ba’ja and humankind’s decision to leave behind the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

Along with other finds from Ba’ja, Jamila’s finely wrought necklace calls into question much of what we thought we knew about the Stone Age. In recent decades, the burial site in Jordan has helped us see Neolithic people through different eyes. One thing seems clear: They were able to invest time in aesthetics, jewelry and furnishings because their food supply was secure.

Wildlife: The Black Rhino’s Comeback In Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, the mighty rhino is making a comeback. In southern Africa, the animal was poached to near extinction in recent decades. We visit a wildlife sanctuary, with an elite anti-poaching team, to see how the animal is being bought back from the brink.

It’s one of the most successful rhino conservation projects in Africa. In south-eastern Zimbabwe, a private wildlife sanctuary is working hard to bring endangered rhinos back from the brink. In decades past, the mighty Black Rhino was poached to near extinction in southern Africa. Its horn, almost worth its weight in gold, makes it a target for organised poaching gangs.

In 1998, the privately-funded Malilangwe Trust had a population of 28 white and 28 black rhinos, imported from South Africa. Today its rhino population numbers in the hundreds. Reporter Michael Davie, an Australian born in Zimbabwe, returns home to witness this extraordinary wildlife success story. He spends time with the sanctuary’s highly trained anti-poaching team, the Malilangwe Scouts, the tip of the spear against the ever present poaching threat.

“Individually you can’t win against poaching and we need every one of us to fight against poachers,” says Patrick, a Sergeant in the Scouts. “You have to be a team, a strong one.” Davie captures all the incredible action of the hectic “rhino ops” where specialists dart the animals from helicopters then move in on 4WDs as they dash across the park. Led by ecologist Sarah Clegg, the rhino ops team collect vital data on the herd.

“They’ve got this reputation of being bad-tempered and dangerous and they are, but I think it’s mostly that they’re just such emotional creatures,” says Sarah, who’s studied the animal for more than two decades. “They’re just insecure, you know? And so they need more love.” Malilangwe increased its rhino population to such an extent that last year, it relocated some of its Black Rhino herd to nearby Gonarezhou National Park — a former killing ground for rhinos.

“It’s what we all aim for in our careers as conservationists,” says Sarah. “It’s a wild park, so being able to put the rhino back into that park is like waking it up again.” This visually stunning story has a powerful message of hope. “Everyone needs to know the rhino is special,” says Patrick.

Africa Views: Failure And An Enduring Crisis In Mali

Northern Mali fell into the hands of armed jihadists in 2012. This resulted in the launch of the French-led “Operation Serval,” designed to liberate the occupied territory. But the crisis only worsened. The crisis in Mali is a story of failure.

The failure of a state, as well as the failure of the international community. This failure created a breeding ground for jihadists. How did it come to this? The crisis began in the early 2000s with the arrival of Algerian jihadists in Mali. At the time, their arrival did not worry those in power, who believed they would be safe if they left the jihadists alone.

As problems arose, the international community looked the other way, continuing to view Mali as an example of democracy at work in Africa. When the jihadists finally took control in the north and introduced Sharia law, France sent in the army. But without a political solution, the army was stymied. Aid money was embezzled and corruption was pervasive.

As France looked for an off-ramp, the crisis in Mali crossed the border into both Burkina Faso and Niger. In all of this, civilians are the forgotten victims. The violence in the Sahel has created more than two million refugees – a number that has quadrupled in less than two years. These refugees are settling wherever they can, as they struggle just to survive.

Droughts: Competing With Nature For Water

Climate change is causing rising temperatures, extreme weather events and more and more drought. And, in this changing reality, everyone needs more water. Humans are competing with the natural world for water. What does this mean for biodiversity? Fewer and fewer countries still have an abundance of water. The climate crisis, overpopulation and overexploitation are the root of this global problem. And, in a warming world, everyone is using more water: people, agriculture and industry. In Germany, streams and ponds are disappearing, forests and soils are drying out. What does this mean for biodiversity? And how do people cope with drought in countries that have even less water — for example, in the USA or Mexico? What happens when our water dries up?

National Geographic: The Bermuda Triangle Myth

The Bermuda Triangle, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, is an urban legend focused on a loosely-defined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. 

For centuries, scientists have struggled to explain why hundreds of ships disappear when they reach the Bermuda Triangle. This area in the Atlantic Ocean is home to approximately 300 vessels, with several of these ships capsizing under mysterious circumstances. Today, experts are diving into these crystal clear waters to visit some of the abandoned shipwrecks and determine why they never made it to dry land.

Views: Snowdrops From The Caucasus, Georgia

Khatuna Jakeli loves snowdrops. Not only because they’re pretty, but because they provide her with an income. Every year in April and May, she treks through the Caucasus mountains of Adjara and collects the wildflower bulbs. The bulbs are then sold to the Netherlands, from where they are shipped to flower stores throughout Europe.

The Caucasus delivers 22 million snowdrops to the Netherlands every year, including 15 million wild snowdrops. A lucrative business, from which little remains for Khatuna Jakeli. Yet it is her most important source of income. A report by Juri Rescheto.

Historical Views: Ponte Vecchio In Florence, Italy

The Ponte Vecchio is one of the most iconic bridges in Florence, Italy. It is the oldest bridge in the city (Ponte Vecchio literally translates to “old bridge”), and one of the oldest segmental arch bridges in the world. Since the Middle Ages, the base of the Ponte Vecchio has consisted of three stone arches and two piers.

The stone structure was completed in 1345, and was built over the course of twelve years. It replaced an earlier wooden structure that collapsed in a flood in 1333. Originally, the buildings on the Ponte Vecchio housed apartments and workshops, as well as butcher shops. Later, the business premises were given to goldsmiths and silversmiths, who added several structural changes to the buildings, such as bay windows and balconies.