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The Fifth Floor


David Amanor presents The Fifth Floor, a brand new weekly programme that revels in the variety and range of stories produced by the BBC World Service's 27 language sections.

David Amanor presents The Fifth Floor, a brand new weekly programme that revels in the variety and range of stories produced by the BBC World Service's 27 language sections.
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David Amanor presents The Fifth Floor, a brand new weekly programme that revels in the variety and range of stories produced by the BBC World Service's 27 language sections.




Being Thai

Thailand encompasses a large geographical, ethnic and cultural range, so is there such a thing as 'Thainess'? BBC Thai colleagues Watchiranont Thongtep, Thitipol Panyalompanun, Thanyarat Doksone and Jiraporn Kuhakan consider the question. Image: A crowd celebrating Songkran, or the Thai New Year, in Bangkok Credit: LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA/Getty Images

Duration: 00:11:07

Reporting Mosul: A Journalist's Story

Three years ago, a lightning advance by about 800 jihadist fighters in northern Iraq morphed into a global threat. Nafiseh Kohnavard of BBC Persian has followed the fight against so-called Islamic State, and she witnessed the toughest battle for Iraqi forces, to retake Mosul. Image: Nafiseh Kohnavard sitting wearing helmet and flak jacket in Mosul Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:10:41

Insulted and spurned: Somali Gabooye

Qalib Barud of BBC Somali recently reported on discrimination in Somali society against a group of clans commonly referred to as the Gabooye. Image: A shoemaker, one of the Gabooye clans, mends a shoe Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:07:46

Apples, Dams and the Taliban

It's a short but risky journey from Kabul to the centre of neighbouring Wardak province - much of which is under Taliban control. BBC Afghan's Auliya Atrafi looked beyond conflict on his recent reporting trip - to the university local people built for themselves, and new power from an old hydro station. Image: Landscape in Chak Valley, Wardak Province, Afghanistan Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:09:20

India's Deccan Queen

The Deccan Queen train links Pune in the hills with Mumbai down on the coast, and is older than the state of India itself. It's also India's only train to have a dining car. BBC Marathi's Mayuresh Konnur is from Pune and knows it well. Image: Train sign for Deccan Queen Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:06:00

Kenya's Election Drama

The Kenyan presidential election took another surprising turn this week. The crisis has seen protests, a shock intervention from the judiciary, and now the surprise withdrawal of the main opposition candidate. Kenyans Esther Kahumbi and Dickens Olewe from BBC Africa share their stand-out moments. Image: Kenya election protests: crowds protesting on streets, watercannons firing jets Credit: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

Duration: 00:10:39

Cameroon's Ghost town protests

Ghost town is the name Cameroonians have given to a civil disobedience action where daily life is brought to a standstill. It began last year as an expression of dissent in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon, but tensions between them and the Francophone dominated government go back to the 1960s. Last week a number of protestors demanding independence were shot dead by gendarmes. BBC Africa's Randy Jo Sa'ah was in Bamenda following the story. Image: Demonstrators in Bamenda, the...

Duration: 00:09:15

Rwandan BBC journeys

Prudent Nsengiyumva and Didier Bikorimana are colleagues at BBC Great Lakes, a journey that began for Prudent entertaining his family with dining table news reports, and for Didier listening to the Great Lakes Lifeline programme which tried to reunite families separated by the 1994 genocide. Image: Rwandan boy listening to transistor radio Credit: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Duration: 00:09:16

New Comic Book Heroines

Two new super-heroines have been launched recently in comic book form. Pakistan Girl joins her established superhero colleague Pakistan Man, and in Nigeria a character called Ngozi joins Marvel's family of mutant super-beings. Can they make a difference in their neighbourhoods? David Amanor finds out from Halima Umar Sale of BBC Hausa and BBC Urdu's Henna Saeed. Image: Pakistan Girl cartoon in library Credit: FAROOQ NAEEMAFP/Getty Images

Duration: 00:08:47

The Uphill Battle For Hearts And Minds

Winning hearts and minds has always been a high priority for the US-led coalition which invaded Afghanistan nearly sixteen years ago. But the campaign hasn't always gone to plan, as with a recent airdrop of leaflets that caused so much offence that people rioted in the streets. Moheb Mudessir from BBC Afghan explains. Image: Afghan Shepherd Boy Credit: GETTY IMAGES/HOSHANG HASHIMI

Duration: 00:07:35

Afghanistan's Volatile North

In Northern Afghanistan, a ferocious and complicated fight has been raging for years with little attention from the outside world. In the remote Darzab distict in Jowzan province the Taliban, so called Islamic State, government forces and local warlords fight for control. It's a very difficult place to access as a journalist, but BBC Uzbek's Firuz Rahimi grew up in the area, and recently returned. Image: Rohingya Muslim Refugees Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Duration: 00:09:14

What's in a Name?

Geeta Pandey recently reported on a rare move by women in an Indian village to challenge the practice of wives never saying their husbands' names; a tradition her own parents observed. In Afghanistan a social media campaign #Whereismyname asserted the right for women to be known by their own names and not just by their relationship to a male relative. Shekiba Habib of BBC Afghan and Geeta Pandey in Delhi tell us what happens when traditions are challenged. Image: couple holding hands with...

Duration: 00:10:36

Damascus Nightlife

It's Saturday night, bars and pubs are busy, and loud music pumps out of nightclubs. BBC Arabic's Omar Abdel-Razek tells David Amanor about discovering a surprising side to life in the Syrian capital Damascus, where six years into the civil war a new nightlife has emerged. Image: barman pouring shots in Damascus Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:08:56

On the world's highest battlefield

The Siachen Glacier is the world's highest battlefield, straddling the disputed border between India and Pakistan in northern Kashmir. Thousands of soldiers have died there - mostly, since the 2003 ceasefire, from the harsh conditions. BBC Urdu's Abid Hussain paid a rare visit. Photo: Pakistan army drills on Siachen Glacier, credit: BBC

Duration: 00:09:03

It all started with a letter

In 2007, BBC Urdu's Arif Shamim made a documentary based on letters he discovered after the death of his great-uncle in Lahore. They were written in 1947 by the original owner of his uncle's house, who fled to India after Partition. He was unable to trace the writer or his family, but the story has now moved on. Arif told Faranak Amidi how it all started. Image: Letter and envelopes. Credit: Arif Shamim/BBC.

Duration: 00:08:46

Graffiti painting of Che Guevara

Image: Graffiti painting of Che Guevara Credit: EITAN ABRAMOVICH/Getty Images

Duration: 00:07:50

Brazil: Facing the Legacy of Slavery

Cais do Valongo, or Valongo Wharf, was recently designated a world heritage site. It's an old stone pier in Rio de Janeiro built for the landing of almost one million enslaved Africans in the 19th century. It was unearthed a few years ago and has brought to the fore difficult questions about the legacy of the slave trade. Fernando Duarte of BBC Brasil, who's from Rio, feels it's a story that's been hidden from view for too long. Image: People passing the Valongo slave wharf in Rio de...

Duration: 00:08:30

Inside Myanmar's Rakhine State

This week a Thai court convicted 60 people for human trafficking, with victims including Rohingya people. Rohingya are a muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, but the Burmese government doesn't recognise them as citizens, and five years ago large numbers began to flee their homes after becoming victims of widespread violence and abuse. Rohmatin Bonasir of BBC Indonesian recently went to Rakhine State, where many of the Rohingya live, to visit an Indonesian funded school there,...

Duration: 00:10:11

Taking Journalism to New Heights

BBC Urdu's Aliya Nazki and Suhail Haleem talk us through their reporting trip up a mountain in Indian-administered Kashmir - to visit the remarkable Haji Public School. The only way up was on foot or on horseback. So they saddled up, and tried not to look down... Image: Aliya Nazki Credit: BBC

Duration: 00:10:20

Biafra War 50 Years On

This week marked the 50th anniversary of the Biafra war. Millions died, mostly from famine, as Nigerian government forces defeated attempts by the Igbo people in the south east to claim an independent Biafran state. You might think an event of such magnitude would be burned into the nation's memory, but it's not a part of history that many young Nigerians know much about. BBC Africa's Tomi Oladipo has been filling in some of those gaps. Image: Biafran flag painted on a wall Photo credit:...

Duration: 00:08:51

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