nightclub in istanbul. another a0 have been wounded. up to 600 people are thought to have been inside the reina club when the shooting happened. the city's governor has called it a terrorist attack. the united nations security council has unanimously welcomed efforts by russia and turkey to stop fighting in syria, and says it supports the start of a political process. peace negotiations are due to begin next month in kazakhstan, which have the backing of russia, iran and turkey. london has marked the start of the new year with a spectacular fireworks display on the river thames. tens of thousands of people crowded on to the banks to watch. revellers are expected at times square in new york to join the celebrations in a few hours‘ time. security has been stepped up in major cities around the world. now on our world, a symphony for syria. first broadcast last summer, it's a touching story of four syrian musicians as they prepare for a ground—breaking series of reunion concerts.
over ten years ago, a remarkable orchestra played in damascus, performing arabic music at the highest level. but when war broke out in 2011, some of the musicians were forced to flee syria. this is the story of an attempt to bring the orchestra back together for a once—in—a—lifetime tour, in the hope of changing the world's perspective of this nation. since the beginning of the war
in syria, an estimated 9 million people have fled their homes in search of a new life. one of them is issam. he claimed asylum in america in 2013 after being invited to teach music in a university here. i watch bombs, i watch all kind of military issues, and nobody knows when the bomb will come. did you know people
that have been killed? a lot, you know, a lot of my friends, a lot of relatives as well. his father and sisters are still living in damascus. he hasn't seen them since he left. syria, what does syria mean for me, actually, family, you know? hopefully this will be, like, a bad dream, maybe, and to have a better life, so... accent. before the war, he, his sister and brother all played in the syrian national orchestra for arabic music. issam took over the orchestra
in 2003 and conducted them for ten years, touring europe and the middle east. when he left, he didn't know if he would ever lead them again. but that could be about to change. international organisers are trying to bring the orchestra to europe for a one—off tour that would reunite musicians from inside syria and those now living abroad, like issam. this is ourdream, actually, my dream. his friends are helping him prepare. issam wrote this piece for the orchestra while he was still living in damascus.
but the tour hangs in the balance. since the outbreak of war, it is almost impossible to get visas for syrians to leave the country. he is very stressed, because he was so busy lately writing all this stuff and worried about the music, the visa. so, yeah, you can see, look, he lost a lot of weight. he lost a lot of weight, i hate him. i gave it to him. issam might also be unable to travel. with his ongoing asylum claim, there is a risk he won't be given permission to leave the us, but that hasn't stopped him from working on the music. how will you feel if the visa doesn't come through? do you want me to cry now? i mean, for sure, it is out
of my hands or anybody‘s hands, but it is better to try and keep fingers crossed, so hopefully i will be there. hopefully. like issam, many members of the orchestra are now refugees. more than 100,000 syrians have applied for asylum in germany since the war began. and it is now home to violinist susan, originally from aleppo. # hello, guten tag...#.
she has settled into life in germany and teaches music to refugee children recently arrived from syria. since becoming a refugee, music has become even more important to susan. she joined the orchestra as a music student in damascus and hasn't played with them for four years. while music has helped susan, for some refugees it is simply a painful reminder of everything they have lost.
this man is from northern syria. he played in the orchestra before fleeing to sweden with his young family in 2013. he is one of the foremost kanun players in syria and for him the upcoming concerts are an important way of preserving the country's culture. but rehearsing for the tour is difficult as he has to look after his young sons while his wife is at work. and he struggles to explain to his children why the family left syria. like his parents, the majority
is the lead violin. and for mais, these concerts have a special significance. she sings but it is almost impossible for mais and rashid to get visas to leave the country. they haven't left syria since the start of the war. and with a week to go before the tour, they still don't know if they will get permission to travel. getting 30 people out of syria is a huge logistical challenge for the concert organisers, which has taken six months of negotiation. it was very, very, very difficult, just communicating with people in syria, getting the visas. they had to go to beirut to get visas, then there were all sorts of hiccups along the way, suspicions of what we were doing.
there were fears over whether people would stay over. at every level it was complicated. the first stop of the tour is amsterdam, and it's a nervous wait to see who will arrive. some musicians did not get permission to travel, and others were only issued with visas at the last minute. at last, they are here, and the years of separation are over. finally, the orchestra can start playing together.
before the revolution was the way that everyone was so mixed and it was very harmonious between the christians and the sunnis and the shia. there were tensions but people were together. the orchestra reflects that, there are people of different strands, different religions, different views on what has happened over the last five years. they have all come together in music. the tour is masterminded by the creator of gorillaz, damon albarn. he played with them before the war. he wanted to bring the orchestra back together. i wanted to bring them over here so that physically people could see them, they could see syrians doing something other than having their few possessions in a muddy field in macedonia,
you know what i mean? something positive, positive and beautiful about syria. it's tangible, a tangible thing, music. music is always a good starting point to open a dialogue. one member of the orchestra is not here. the conductor, issam, did not get a visa. his sisters have come from damascus to sing in the choir, and they cannot believe he is notjoining them. they are keeping him
the orchestra, we've got people who haven't played for up to five years. to get them playing with each other and communicating the dynamic of the orchestral work. it's going to be a very... it's a very organic thing. rehearsals carry on late into the night. after four days of intense practice, it is time for the orchestra to perform. it has been exhausting.
thank you very much, everyone, it's been an absolute pleasure and privilege to work with you. she sings we are from syria, the music makes me feel like i am in damascus. it makes me miss my family in syria. the orchestra are joined by artists from across the world. there were three guys crying in front of us
at the first part, already. we were like, this is so big! but now, their thoughts are starting to turn to home. good morning and a very happy new year to you. the change of year brings a change in the weather. if we take a look at the recent satellite picture, you can see this strip of cloud sinking its way southwards. there is rain coming from this cloud. it is associated with a weather front, and in fact, it is a cold front. and as that continues to journey southwards and eastwards through new year's day, we will see increasingly cold air digging in from the north. and that really is the pattern for the next couple of days. but back to the here and now, the first part of new year's day increasingly wet across southern parts of the british isles. so this is the story at 9:00am this morning. across south—west england, some quite heavy bursts of rain.
that's stretching up through the south midlands and into east anglia. to the south—east, a mild start. seven degrees in dover. a lot of cloud, but the main body of rain won't have got here by this stage. and then, on the back edge of the weather front, with cold air starting to dig in, and we could see sleet, possibly some wet snow developing, particularly up over high ground, the pennines. wintry showers for northern scotland. rain close to the coast, but inland, over high ground, some snow. windy here, potentially some icy stretches on untreated roads, as there could be in the north—west and northern ireland. then for wales, we're back into our weather front, with rain and wintry weather up over high ground. remember, cold air is digging into the back of the weather front. and our front essentially stalls across south—eastern areas, so here we can expect rain throughout new year's day. but further north, some bright skies, some sunshine, and wintry showers, particularly for exposed coastal areas. and a really chilly day, four or five degrees, mild air holding on across the far south and south—east.
but then, as we go through the night, that cold air works its way southwards across all parts of the country, as we finally push our weather front away. and we will see quite a widespread frost, as well, and potentially icy stretches, particularly where we see showers through the night on exposed coasts. and these are increasingly turning wintry, even to quite low levels. some of these will continue into monday. for most for monday though, it is a beautiful day with sparkling sunshine. however, it won't do much for the temperatures, 3—6 degrees at best. as we go deeper into the week, high pressure is in charge of the weather, particularly out to the west. a north—westerly wind, so not a particularly warm wind direction, but slightly less cold air will work into the mixture on tuesday and wednesday. with it, a fair amount of cloud, but for many it will stay dry. just a few showers for exposed coasts. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm gavin grey. our top stories:
massacre in turkey — at least 35 people are killed in a gun attack at a packed nightclub in istanbul. a0 others are wounded. the city's governor described it as terrorism, and a brutal and merciless attack on innocent people celebrating new year. in other news — the un security council unanimously votes to support russia and turkey's latest efforts to end violence in syria. london rings in the new year in style with a huge fireworks display on the river thames.