Press Releases

eNCA presents a compelling documentary

Posted on: Mon 27 May 2013

WORKING IN A WARZONE: The Syrian conflict through South African eyes

Monday 27 May - Saturday 1 June on eNCA (Dstv Channel 403)

When an opportunity arose to accompany disaster relief group Gift of the Givers on an aid mission to Syria, Yusuf Omar couldn’t let it pass. The 24-year-old reporter dreamed of being a foreign correspondent. This could be his big break. He was well aware of the dangers that lay ahead for a team of South African medics sneaking into Syria. Or he thought he was. For two weeks in April, the young journalist travelled across northern Syria, ducking mortar fire, meeting victims of war and sharing meals with members of the Free Syria Army.

“It wasn’t the Syria I’d always imagined. I saw no vibrant souks or age-old mosques. Just destruction and despair.”

His documentary offers a raw and personal account of what it takes to tell a story from the edge of a civil war. It gives unique behind-the-scenes insight into life on the ground in battle-ravaged Syria – with all its ruined cities, refugee camps and deserted schools. From being smuggled across borders to doctors under fire mid-surgery, Omar’s documentary introduces farmers-turned-fighters and their children who are caught in the crossfire.

“In a town where heroes return from the front line, every child wants to wield a gun. To Syrians, blood is as common as coffee.”

Syrians have been at war since March 2011. They want President Bashar al-Assad – whose family has ruled the country for more than 40 years – to step down. As the violence continues month after month, the death toll has already surpassed 100,000.

“There is nothing romantic about being a war correspondent. The only thing that keeps you sane is finding the moments of humanity in all the madness.”

Broadcast schedule on eNCA (DStv Channel 403):

•         Monday 27 May at 20h30
•         Tuesday 28 May at 10h30 and 21h30
•         Wednesday 29 May at 15h30
•         Thursday 30 May at 09h30
•         Friday 31 May at 12h30
•         Saturday 1 June at 09h30