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tv   Our World  BBC News  December 31, 2016 4:30am-5:01am GMT

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in response to washington's expulsion of 35 russians. writing on social media mrtrump said: police in rio dejaneiro are questioning the greek ambassador‘s wife and two other people on suspicion of involvement in the envoy‘s killing. investigators say the ambassador‘s body was found in the boot of a burnt—out car. the nationwide ceasefire in syria is now over 2a hours old. while it appears to be holding in most areas — moscow says it calls on the un security council to back the deal and support new peace talks. and 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
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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
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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 have been killed 7
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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 0rchestra for arabic music. issam took over the orchestra in 2003 and conducted them for ten years, touring europe
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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syria. like his parents, the majority of the orchestra live in syria, where they still rehearse and perform in damascus. mais and her husband rashid both play with the orchestra. she is a singer and he is the lead violin. and for mais, these concerts have a special significance.
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but it is almost impossible for mais and rashid to get visas to leave the country. 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 is a huge logistical challenge 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.
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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. the reunited orchestra contains members from across the political and religious spectrum. what was interesting about syria 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
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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 a 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,
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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 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 updated about the tour.
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but the show must go on without him. in his absence, rachid has had to step up as conductor. the most important thing is to get the orchestra, we've got people who haven't played for up to five years.
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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. we are from syria, the music makes me feel like i am in damascus. it makes me miss my
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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. some contrasting weather conditions to close out our final few days of 2016. take, for example, yesterday.
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it was cold and foggy in the south—east pretty much all day for some of us. temperatures just a couple of degrees above freezing, and not much to be seen from the london eye. by contrast, into the south—west, it was a beautiful afternoon with plenty of sunshine, as seen by this weather watcher's photo in st ives. 12 degrees the high here, and it was mild in the north and west of scotland as well. but it is going to turn increasingly wet and windy. high pressure, though, into the south just hangs on, and so fog certainly going to be an issue. it is certainly worth bearing in mind if you are out and about on the roads early on, there could be further disruption to travel, as that fog may well be dense in places. so temperatures struggling just a couple of degrees above freezing, and it will be a pretty murky start. mild to the northwest, but that rain is on its way. but let's concentrate with the fog across east anglia, down into the south—east corner, and to the south of the m4 corridor. here, some of the fog could be dense in places. so it is going to be a cold, grey start, eventually that fog lifting to low cloud.
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there will be a little bit of brightness, though, across much of wales and the north of england. you should get to see some sunshine, and that will stay with you for much of the day. across northern ireland, southern scotland, the winds picking up, the rain into the northwest, some of that turning quite heavy for a time, and that will gradually drift its way south through the day. we should get to see a little bit of sunshine into the north of england and north wales. hopefully the fog lifts away, and it may well feel just that little bit milder. a bit more of a breeze around, at eight or nine degrees here, ten or 11 further north. now, as we go into new year's eve celebrations, unfortunately that weather front a bit of a nuisance through northern ireland and northern england, perhaps into north wales as well. so it means a wet end to the year. behind it, colder, and there will be some snow showers. so i suspect, as the clock ticks towards midnight, that weather front will be sitting, really, through the north of england and into wales. to the north of it, showery, those showers turning increasingly wintry. to the south of it, it stays mild and quiet. now, eventually, as that front
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sinks south once again, the colder air digs in from the north. so we start off new year's day with some wet weather moving your way through the midlands, eventually pushing into the south—east corner. so a pretty miserable new year's day here. further north, it stays cold and showery. it will be a colder day on monday, but at least there will be some decent spells of sunshine, and it stays largely dry as well. a warm welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to our viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm gavin grey. our top stories: brazilian police question the greek ambassador‘s wife on suspicion of involvement in her husband's killing. as russian diplomats prepare to leave the united states, donald trump praises president putin for not expelling us staff in retaliation. 2a hours on, syria's ceasefire is generally holding.
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the un security council will be asked to endorse the agreement and back new peace talks. and recognition for excellence in sport, fashion and public life, we'll have a look at queen elizabeth's new year's honours list.
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