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The Fifth Floor

BBC World Service

14
Followers
5
Plays
The Fifth Floor

The Fifth Floor

BBC World Service

14
Followers
5
Plays
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About Us

A fresh look at the stories of the week with journalists from our 41 language sections, with presenter David Amanor.

Latest Episodes

The self-styled prophet of Siberia

In September FSB soldiers descended in helicopters on a remote Siberian village to arrest a religious leader, Vissarion. They arrived with guns, but were welcomed by his followers, who don't believe in conflict. BBC Russian journalist Nataliya Zotova travelled to deep into the forests of Krasnoyarsk Territory to meet followers of the Church of the Last Testament and find out more. Thailand's "CIA" food hawkers Thailand's pro-democracy protests have sprung up all over Bangkok, but in every location it seems the food hawkers were already set up and ready for business. BBC Thai's Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai set out to crack the mystery of the self-styled "CIA" food hawkers. Image: Vissarion meets with his followers Credit: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

23 min3 d ago
Comments
The self-styled prophet of Siberia

Explaining Tigray

The crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has continued to intensify, but what are the repercussions for ordinary Tigrayans? Hana Zeratsyon of BBC Tigrinya tells us how the conflict is affecting her friends and family back home. And where did the tensions begin? The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza, who was based in Addis Ababa for many years, explains. Keeping a precious text alive La Galigo is an ancient text which tells the creation story of the Bugis people of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, and is described by UNESCO as the most voluminous literary work in the world. Very few people understand the archaic language it's written in. Callistasia Wiyaya of BBC Indonesian has been hearing about efforts to keep La Galigo alive. Image: Ethiopian refugees who fled fighting in Tigray province Credit: ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images

24 min1 w ago
Comments
Explaining Tigray

Kenya's camel-back clinic

Last year BBC Africa TV reported on the big challenge of getting medicines and healthcare to Kenya's Maasai, Samburu and Turkana people, who are often on the move with their livestock. Christine Njeri discovered how camels have been enlisted to help with transport. Saris in lockdown Chinki Sinha, who's a contributor to BBC Hindi in Delhi, returned to the family home in Bihar for lockdown. As time went by, friends and followers on social media started to notice an eye-catching series of fashion shoots, with Chinki, her aunt and her mother, dressed in a succession of beautiful saris. Image: Christine Njeri with medical camel caravan Credit: BBC

18 min2 w ago
Comments
Kenya's camel-back clinic

Turkey’s Armenians under pressure

The Nagorno Karabakh conflict has put Turkey’s Armenian community in a predicament. The disputed territory is an Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan controlled by separatist Armenians. Turkey backs Azerbaijan while Armenia backs the separatists. But beneath these allegiances lie even deeper divisions that affect ethnic Armenians in Turkey. BBC Turkish journalist Esra Yalcinalp helps unpick this knotty issue. My home town: Kigali Felin Gakwaya of BBC Great Lakes takes us home to Rwanda's capital Kigali. Sent back to Ghana Being 'sent home' is a frequent threat for many first generation children of West African parents. Mark Wilberforce of BBC Africa was 'sent back' to Ghana, his parents' native country, when they felt his behaviour was getting out of hand in the UK. He tells us how he felt about it then and now. Image: Turkish car rallies support Azerbaijan Credit: Turkish woman waves Azeri flag in pro-Azerbaijan car rally in Istanbul

24 min3 w ago
Comments
Turkey’s Armenians under pressure

Inside the schools that chain boys

A BBC Arabic investigation has uncovered systemic child abuse inside Islamic schools in Sudan, known as khalwas. It found that boys are routinely chained, shackled and beaten; in some khalwas there was evidence of sexual abuse. The BBC’s Mamdouh Akbiek worked with a local investigative journalist on the story. Boston's Brazilian party-goers Boston’s large Brazilian community has stirred up controversy by holding huge outdoor parties despite Covid-19 restrictions, as BBC Brasil’s Ricardo Senra explains. Somali storm in a teacup A social media star was deported from the self-declared republic of Somaliland because of a cup of tea. Bilal Bulshawi is from Somalia, and posted a picture of himself drinking tea decorated with the Somalia flag, whilst in Somaliland. BBC Somali’s Bidhaan Dahir tells us about the online storm which followed. Image: Sudanese schoolboy chained Credit: BBC

24 minOCT 30
Comments
Inside the schools that chain boys

The battle for Florida’s Latino voters

Florida makes or breaks the US presidential election, and Spanish language ads have been bombarding Latino voters. BBC Monitoring journalist in Miami Luis Fajardo analyses the tactics and tunes being used by both Republicans and Democrats to swing the state. Egypt’s septuagenarian record breaking footballer Ezzeldin Bahader recently entered the record books as the world’s oldest professional footballer aged 74. BBC Arabic sports reporter Marwa Helmy has followed the inspiring story. A trip to a Russian banya Yulia James of BBC Russian shares her love of the famous Russian bath house, the banya: a place to warm up, cool down and relax with friends. Image: Poll worker at a ballot drop box in Miami Beach, Florida Credit: EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP

24 minOCT 30
Comments
The battle for Florida’s Latino voters

Raucous rude and simultaneously translated!

How do you simultaneously interpret a live US presidential debate, when the candidates are talking over each other, and throwing in the odd insult as well? Over to BBC Persian’s top team, Siavash Ardalan and Nicholas Niksadat. Image: BBC Persian's simultaneous interpreters, alongside President Trump and Joe Biden Credit: BBC

18 minOCT 16
Comments
Raucous rude and simultaneously translated!

India's secret soldiers

This year armies from India and China clashed along the disputed border between Indian-administered Kashmir and China. A recent funeral with full military honours on the Indian side revealed an intriguing story. Nayima Tanzin was a Tibetan refugee, who his family say was serving with a covert Indian regiment, the Special Frontier Force, a force never acknowledged by Indian authorities. The BBC’s Aamir Peerzada travelled to Ladakh to find out more. Flights to nowhere Here’s an odd phenomenon. Airlines in South East Asia are offering “flights to nowhere” – you fly, you don’t land, you come back. So what’s going on? Hong Kong-based BBC Chinese journalist Martin Yip fills us in. Hotels of Pyongyang Why would South Koreans be interested in a new book showing photographs of hotel restaurants and reception areas? Because these hotels are in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. The BBC’s Julie Yoonnyung Lee tells us more about the fascination of the photographs for Koreans. Image: Funeral with full military honours of Tibetan refugee Nayima Tenzin in Ladakh Credit: Nisar Hussain

24 minOCT 9
Comments
India's secret soldiers

The battle over Nagorno-Karabakh

As fighting flares again over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, we ask why it's so hard to resolve this conflict, and why a chunk of Armenian-controlled territory came to be inside Azerbaijan in the first place. BBC Russian editor Famil Ismailov is originally from Azerbaijan, and has followed this story for decades. Pot plants and plant influencers in Indonesia Houseplants have become a trend among urban Indonesians keen to ease the boredom of lockdown. There’s an industry of plant “influencers” and experts to feed the fascination, shared by BBC Indonesian’s Astudestra Ajengrastri. The fund-raising campaigns to free captured IS families Stories are emerging of donation campaigns by so-called Islamic State and Al Qaeda aimed at freeing the wives and children of IS fighters from detention camps in Syria. Abdirahim Saeed of BBC Monitoring tells us what he’s discovered from jihadist social media groups, which are raising funds to smuggle the women out. Picture: Elderly woman in Nagorno Karabakh Credit: European Photopress Agency

23 minOCT 2
Comments
The battle over Nagorno-Karabakh

Music and Memory

This week, the World Service marked World Alzheimer's Day with a BBC Music and Memory project, exploring the power of music to reach sufferers with the disease. It launched a website of global tracks to trigger memories, compiled with the help of the BBC's language services. Behzad Bolour compiled BBC Persian's list, his father suffered from dementia, but still sang with him. He also explores Iran’s complex relationship with music. But what tracks does the rest of the world dance and remember to? We hear from BBC Arabic's Nahed Najjar, Adedayo Owolabi of BBC Yoruba, Kateryna Khinkulova of BBC Russian and Partha Prasad from the Indian languages hub in Delhi about some of the tracks they contributed to the world music database, and why. Image: Elderly Indian lady listening on headphones looking at smartphone Credit: BBC

23 minSEP 25
Comments
Music and Memory

Latest Episodes

The self-styled prophet of Siberia

In September FSB soldiers descended in helicopters on a remote Siberian village to arrest a religious leader, Vissarion. They arrived with guns, but were welcomed by his followers, who don't believe in conflict. BBC Russian journalist Nataliya Zotova travelled to deep into the forests of Krasnoyarsk Territory to meet followers of the Church of the Last Testament and find out more. Thailand's "CIA" food hawkers Thailand's pro-democracy protests have sprung up all over Bangkok, but in every location it seems the food hawkers were already set up and ready for business. BBC Thai's Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai set out to crack the mystery of the self-styled "CIA" food hawkers. Image: Vissarion meets with his followers Credit: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

23 min3 d ago
Comments
The self-styled prophet of Siberia

Explaining Tigray

The crisis in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has continued to intensify, but what are the repercussions for ordinary Tigrayans? Hana Zeratsyon of BBC Tigrinya tells us how the conflict is affecting her friends and family back home. And where did the tensions begin? The BBC's Emmanuel Igunza, who was based in Addis Ababa for many years, explains. Keeping a precious text alive La Galigo is an ancient text which tells the creation story of the Bugis people of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, and is described by UNESCO as the most voluminous literary work in the world. Very few people understand the archaic language it's written in. Callistasia Wiyaya of BBC Indonesian has been hearing about efforts to keep La Galigo alive. Image: Ethiopian refugees who fled fighting in Tigray province Credit: ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP via Getty Images

24 min1 w ago
Comments
Explaining Tigray

Kenya's camel-back clinic

Last year BBC Africa TV reported on the big challenge of getting medicines and healthcare to Kenya's Maasai, Samburu and Turkana people, who are often on the move with their livestock. Christine Njeri discovered how camels have been enlisted to help with transport. Saris in lockdown Chinki Sinha, who's a contributor to BBC Hindi in Delhi, returned to the family home in Bihar for lockdown. As time went by, friends and followers on social media started to notice an eye-catching series of fashion shoots, with Chinki, her aunt and her mother, dressed in a succession of beautiful saris. Image: Christine Njeri with medical camel caravan Credit: BBC

18 min2 w ago
Comments
Kenya's camel-back clinic

Turkey’s Armenians under pressure

The Nagorno Karabakh conflict has put Turkey’s Armenian community in a predicament. The disputed territory is an Armenian-populated enclave inside Azerbaijan controlled by separatist Armenians. Turkey backs Azerbaijan while Armenia backs the separatists. But beneath these allegiances lie even deeper divisions that affect ethnic Armenians in Turkey. BBC Turkish journalist Esra Yalcinalp helps unpick this knotty issue. My home town: Kigali Felin Gakwaya of BBC Great Lakes takes us home to Rwanda's capital Kigali. Sent back to Ghana Being 'sent home' is a frequent threat for many first generation children of West African parents. Mark Wilberforce of BBC Africa was 'sent back' to Ghana, his parents' native country, when they felt his behaviour was getting out of hand in the UK. He tells us how he felt about it then and now. Image: Turkish car rallies support Azerbaijan Credit: Turkish woman waves Azeri flag in pro-Azerbaijan car rally in Istanbul

24 min3 w ago
Comments
Turkey’s Armenians under pressure

Inside the schools that chain boys

A BBC Arabic investigation has uncovered systemic child abuse inside Islamic schools in Sudan, known as khalwas. It found that boys are routinely chained, shackled and beaten; in some khalwas there was evidence of sexual abuse. The BBC’s Mamdouh Akbiek worked with a local investigative journalist on the story. Boston's Brazilian party-goers Boston’s large Brazilian community has stirred up controversy by holding huge outdoor parties despite Covid-19 restrictions, as BBC Brasil’s Ricardo Senra explains. Somali storm in a teacup A social media star was deported from the self-declared republic of Somaliland because of a cup of tea. Bilal Bulshawi is from Somalia, and posted a picture of himself drinking tea decorated with the Somalia flag, whilst in Somaliland. BBC Somali’s Bidhaan Dahir tells us about the online storm which followed. Image: Sudanese schoolboy chained Credit: BBC

24 minOCT 30
Comments
Inside the schools that chain boys

The battle for Florida’s Latino voters

Florida makes or breaks the US presidential election, and Spanish language ads have been bombarding Latino voters. BBC Monitoring journalist in Miami Luis Fajardo analyses the tactics and tunes being used by both Republicans and Democrats to swing the state. Egypt’s septuagenarian record breaking footballer Ezzeldin Bahader recently entered the record books as the world’s oldest professional footballer aged 74. BBC Arabic sports reporter Marwa Helmy has followed the inspiring story. A trip to a Russian banya Yulia James of BBC Russian shares her love of the famous Russian bath house, the banya: a place to warm up, cool down and relax with friends. Image: Poll worker at a ballot drop box in Miami Beach, Florida Credit: EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP

24 minOCT 30
Comments
The battle for Florida’s Latino voters

Raucous rude and simultaneously translated!

How do you simultaneously interpret a live US presidential debate, when the candidates are talking over each other, and throwing in the odd insult as well? Over to BBC Persian’s top team, Siavash Ardalan and Nicholas Niksadat. Image: BBC Persian's simultaneous interpreters, alongside President Trump and Joe Biden Credit: BBC

18 minOCT 16
Comments
Raucous rude and simultaneously translated!

India's secret soldiers

This year armies from India and China clashed along the disputed border between Indian-administered Kashmir and China. A recent funeral with full military honours on the Indian side revealed an intriguing story. Nayima Tanzin was a Tibetan refugee, who his family say was serving with a covert Indian regiment, the Special Frontier Force, a force never acknowledged by Indian authorities. The BBC’s Aamir Peerzada travelled to Ladakh to find out more. Flights to nowhere Here’s an odd phenomenon. Airlines in South East Asia are offering “flights to nowhere” – you fly, you don’t land, you come back. So what’s going on? Hong Kong-based BBC Chinese journalist Martin Yip fills us in. Hotels of Pyongyang Why would South Koreans be interested in a new book showing photographs of hotel restaurants and reception areas? Because these hotels are in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. The BBC’s Julie Yoonnyung Lee tells us more about the fascination of the photographs for Koreans. Image: Funeral with full military honours of Tibetan refugee Nayima Tenzin in Ladakh Credit: Nisar Hussain

24 minOCT 9
Comments
India's secret soldiers

The battle over Nagorno-Karabakh

As fighting flares again over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, we ask why it's so hard to resolve this conflict, and why a chunk of Armenian-controlled territory came to be inside Azerbaijan in the first place. BBC Russian editor Famil Ismailov is originally from Azerbaijan, and has followed this story for decades. Pot plants and plant influencers in Indonesia Houseplants have become a trend among urban Indonesians keen to ease the boredom of lockdown. There’s an industry of plant “influencers” and experts to feed the fascination, shared by BBC Indonesian’s Astudestra Ajengrastri. The fund-raising campaigns to free captured IS families Stories are emerging of donation campaigns by so-called Islamic State and Al Qaeda aimed at freeing the wives and children of IS fighters from detention camps in Syria. Abdirahim Saeed of BBC Monitoring tells us what he’s discovered from jihadist social media groups, which are raising funds to smuggle the women out. Picture: Elderly woman in Nagorno Karabakh Credit: European Photopress Agency

23 minOCT 2
Comments
The battle over Nagorno-Karabakh

Music and Memory

This week, the World Service marked World Alzheimer's Day with a BBC Music and Memory project, exploring the power of music to reach sufferers with the disease. It launched a website of global tracks to trigger memories, compiled with the help of the BBC's language services. Behzad Bolour compiled BBC Persian's list, his father suffered from dementia, but still sang with him. He also explores Iran’s complex relationship with music. But what tracks does the rest of the world dance and remember to? We hear from BBC Arabic's Nahed Najjar, Adedayo Owolabi of BBC Yoruba, Kateryna Khinkulova of BBC Russian and Partha Prasad from the Indian languages hub in Delhi about some of the tracks they contributed to the world music database, and why. Image: Elderly Indian lady listening on headphones looking at smartphone Credit: BBC

23 minSEP 25
Comments
Music and Memory
success toast
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