Syria’s decade of conflict: The battered champions of Aleppo

The Documentary Podcast

By BBC World Service

Syria’s decade of conflict: The battered champions of Aleppo

Thursday, 27 May

Syrian born reporter Lina Sinjab presents a special series from Assignment’s award winning archive on the ten years of civil war in her country. This week she introduces Tim Whewell’s programme from 2016 about what happened to a local football team in Aleppo province in the early years of the civil war: A fuzzy team photo from the 1980s sent Tim on a journey to track down the football players in the picture; the men who were once the champions of Aleppo province. Mare’a, their small hometown in northern Syria, had by then become a war zone - bombed by the Assad regime, besieged by Islamic State, even subjected to a mustard gas attack. And the civil war had torn through what was once a close knit band of friends - some had become pro-rebel, some pro-regime. They were scattered across Syria and beyond, some were fighting near Mare'a, some were living in refugee camps abroad. In this moving story about how war fractures and divides a community, Tim hears about the ordeals the men had suffered since they won that football cup and asks whether they could ever be reunited? At the end of the programme, Lina catches up with Tim to find out what’s happened to the team members since 2016. (Image: Mare’a’s cup-winning football team, 1983. Credit: Mare'a football team’s archive)
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