Our Man In The Middle East

Episodes

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A Strike To The Heart20170612

The impact of 9/11, recalled by Jeremy Bowen in his personal history of the Middle East.

The dark days following 9/11, watching how the US would react, recalled by BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen. America's enemies were about to feel its anger. "The hard years of war that followed might have been easier - and more effective," he says "if the attacks had been treated as the actions of a dangerous but small group of conspirators. But Al Qaeda earned a new status on 9/11"

Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. In this series, he combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - one of the worst days, he says, in his life.
Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

The impact of 9/11, recalled by Jeremy Bowen in his personal history of the Middle East.

The dark days following 9/11, watching how the US would react, recalled by BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen. America's enemies were about to feel its anger. "The hard years of war that followed might have been easier - and more effective," he says "if the attacks had been treated as the actions of a dangerous but small group of conspirators. But Al Qaeda earned a new status on 9/11"

Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. In this series, he combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - one of the worst days, he says, in his life.
Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Guns And Olive Branches20170615

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen looks back over the life of Yasser Arafat. Thousands of his supporters turned out when the Palestinian's body was flown back into Ramallah on the West Bank. "Love him or hate him, he was Mr Palestine," says Bowen. "In death as well as in life he was the symbol of the Palestinian people and their struggle for independence - much more than a politician." The Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's view was that Arafat was ' a murderer and a pathological liar'.
Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. In this series, he combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic Additional recordings courtesy of Hugh Sykes.

Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen looks back over the life of Yasser Arafat. Thousands of his supporters turned out when the Palestinian's body was flown back into Ramallah on the West Bank. "Love him or hate him, he was Mr Palestine," says Bowen. "In death as well as in life he was the symbol of the Palestinian people and their struggle for independence - much more than a politician." The Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's view was that Arafat was ' a murderer and a pathological liar'.
Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. In this series, he combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic Additional recordings courtesy of Hugh Sykes.

Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Missiles And The Ballot Box20170616

Jeremy Bowen looks back over 25 years, covering one of the world's most troubled regions.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Jeremy Bowen explores Gaza, the Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement. It's not a place you would chose for a Mediterranean holiday, though the Palestinians used to dream of developing a tourist industry, he says. "Israel could recapture Gaza in days if it wanted to. But then it would be responsible for around a million children and about the same number of angry adults. Palestinians can't destroy a state as strong as Israel. But Israel can't bludgeon Palestinians into submission either."

Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 10: The Nearness Of Death20170526

Jeremy Bowen, the BBC's Middle East correspondent, remembers the day he came under fire.

Jeremy Bowen describes the incident as the worse day of his working life - the day he and his colleagues came under fire from the Israeli Defence Force. Bowen's driver Abed Takkhoush was hit when the crew of an Israeli tank fired a shell across the border wire into Lebanon. It hit the back of his Mercedes taxi while he was sitting in the driver's seat phoning his son. Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition.
Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 16: A Taste Of Fire And Smoke20170619

The impact of religious divisions across the Middle East, witnessed by Jeremy Bowen.

The impact of religious divisions across the Middle East, witnessed by the BBC's Jeremy Bowen. "The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a huge jolt to the Middle East's system," he says, "and its consequences are still being felt. It touched off a civil war between Shia and Sunni Muslims that inflamed sectarian divisions from the Gulf to the Mediterranean"

Bowen, the BBC's Middle East editor, has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

The impact of religious divisions across the Middle East, witnessed by Jeremy Bowen.

The impact of religious divisions across the Middle East, witnessed by the BBC's Jeremy Bowen. "The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a huge jolt to the Middle East's system," he says, "and its consequences are still being felt. It touched off a civil war between Shia and Sunni Muslims that inflamed sectarian divisions from the Gulf to the Mediterranean"

Bowen, the BBC's Middle East editor, has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 17: A Flash Of Nail Varnish20170620

Reflections on Iran and its place in the Middle East by Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on Iran's strategic position in the Middle East and its attitudes to the West. "Give Iran a chance," he says. "The United States and its allies are easily strong enough to take action if it looks as if Iran is not keeping its nuclear promises. Show them it's in their interest to open up and do business."

Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century". He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Reflections on Iran and its place in the Middle East by Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on Iran's strategic position in the Middle East and its attitudes to the West. "Give Iran a chance," he says. "The United States and its allies are easily strong enough to take action if it looks as if Iran is not keeping its nuclear promises. Show them it's in their interest to open up and do business."

Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century". He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 18: The Revolving Revolution20170621

The popular revolution in Egypt during the Arab Spring, remembered by Jeremy Bowen.

The popular revolution in Egypt during the Arab Spring, remembered by the BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen. "Not for the first time in history," he says "the passion of the streets was outdone by organization of long established groups - in Egypt, the military, and the Muslim Brotherhood"

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

The popular revolution in Egypt during the Arab Spring, remembered by Jeremy Bowen.

The popular revolution in Egypt during the Arab Spring, remembered by the BBC's Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen. "Not for the first time in history," he says "the passion of the streets was outdone by organization of long established groups - in Egypt, the military, and the Muslim Brotherhood"

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 19: Unfollow The Leader20170622

Jeremy Bowen looks back over 25 years covering one of the world's most troubled regions.

The overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, remembered by the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Jeremy Bowen looks back over 25 years covering one of the world's most troubled regions.

The overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, remembered by the BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 20: Crossing The Line20170623

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Jeremy Bowen on the dramatic eruption of opposition to the Assad regime in Syria. "The rebels found a lot of recruits among young Sunni men who'd been driven off the land to the cities by years of drought. The regime had done nothing to help them, and they were angry." The civil war that resulted has created chaos in a country which has a central role in the region.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Cara Swift and Ben Crighton.

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

Jeremy Bowen on the dramatic eruption of opposition to the Assad regime in Syria. "The rebels found a lot of recruits among young Sunni men who'd been driven off the land to the cities by years of drought. The regime had done nothing to help them, and they were angry." The civil war that resulted has created chaos in a country which has a central role in the region.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Cara Swift and Ben Crighton.

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 21: A Mini World War20170626

Jeremy Bowen considers the many complex layers of war in Syria.

Jeremy Bowen considers the many different layers of war in Syria, which have seen Bashar al Assad remain in power. "The outside world wrote off Bashar al Assad from the beginning," he says. "The assumption was that he'd fall, like the dictators who'd been overthrown already in the Arabs' short spring before the onset of a long winter. But that ignored his genuine support."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Cara Swift and Ben Crighton.

Jeremy Bowen considers the many complex layers of war in Syria.

Jeremy Bowen considers the many different layers of war in Syria, which have seen Bashar al Assad remain in power. "The outside world wrote off Bashar al Assad from the beginning," he says. "The assumption was that he'd fall, like the dictators who'd been overthrown already in the Arabs' short spring before the onset of a long winter. But that ignored his genuine support."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Cara Swift and Ben Crighton.

Part 22: Oil And Water20170627

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

Jeremy Bowen analyses the conflict in Yemen and the role of Saudi Arabia. "The war has been catastrophic, bending and breaking Yemen, which was already fragile," he says. Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign of bombing and shelling in Yemen because of fears of Iranian involvement with its poor and divided neighbour. "A glance at relatively recent history might have told the Saudis that there is no such thing as an easy war in Yemen."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Ben Crighton and Cara Swift.

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

Jeremy Bowen analyses the conflict in Yemen and the role of Saudi Arabia. "The war has been catastrophic, bending and breaking Yemen, which was already fragile," he says. Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign of bombing and shelling in Yemen because of fears of Iranian involvement with its poor and divided neighbour. "A glance at relatively recent history might have told the Saudis that there is no such thing as an easy war in Yemen."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Ben Crighton and Cara Swift.

Part 23: The New Sultan20170628

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

Jeremy Bowen on Turkey's dramatic changes under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has undone Ataturk's legacy of a secular state with the army at the centre of power. "For the first time since Ataturk died in 1938, the Turks have a charismatic leader who is remaking the country," he says. "Erdogan's loyalists are delighted with their new country....The secular half of the country is in despair."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Ben Crighton and Cara Swift.

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

Jeremy Bowen on Turkey's dramatic changes under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has undone Ataturk's legacy of a secular state with the army at the centre of power. "For the first time since Ataturk died in 1938, the Turks have a charismatic leader who is remaking the country," he says. "Erdogan's loyalists are delighted with their new country....The secular half of the country is in despair."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Ben Crighton and Cara Swift.

Part 24: Cruelty Without Borders20170629

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen looks back on the rise and fall of the Islamic State group. "It looks now as if the battle against the jihadists of Islamic State is being won, they made the mistake of uniting their enemies against them," he says. But "their defeat will not be the end of the jihadist ideology."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Cara Swift and Ben Crighton.

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen looks back on the rise and fall of the Islamic State group. "It looks now as if the battle against the jihadists of Islamic State is being won, they made the mistake of uniting their enemies against them," he says. But "their defeat will not be the end of the jihadist ideology."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Cara Swift and Ben Crighton.

Part 25: Through A Glass Darkly20170630

Jeremy Bowen looks back over 25 years, covering one of the world's most troubled regions.

Jeremy Bowen looks at some of the lessons of the past 25 years to find out what happens next in the Middle East. "Millions of lucky Europeans sun themselves on Mediterranean beaches this summer," he says. "None of us can afford to ignore what is happening just beyond the horizon, in the Middle East."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Cara Swift and Ben Crighton.

Jeremy Bowen looks back over 25 years, covering one of the world's most troubled regions.

Jeremy Bowen looks at some of the lessons of the past 25 years to find out what happens next in the Middle East. "Millions of lucky Europeans sun themselves on Mediterranean beaches this summer," he says. "None of us can afford to ignore what is happening just beyond the horizon, in the Middle East."

Jeremy Bowen reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Cara Swift and Ben Crighton.

Part 6: Crossing The Divide20170522

How a gas container explains the divide between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

How a gas container explains the divide between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Jeremy Bowen, the BBC's Middle East Editor, was only trying to warm his home during the winter in Jerusalem. During the process, he discovered that the Palestinians are even at loggerheads over simple things like heating. "It's a place where the conflict is always in your face. So is religion, " he says.

Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.
Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 7: Death On The Nile20170523

Jeremy Bowen finds himself in Sudan on the trail of Osama bin Laden.

On the trail of Osama Bin Laden. BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen follows his journey from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan via a ranch on the banks of the Nile. "1998 was the first time that anyone who wasn't expert in the growth of radical jihadist violence had heard of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda," he says. "Reports on the BBC website at the time referred to him as 'Mr Bin Laden, an exiled Saudi dissident'. Years later there was no need to find a form of words to describe him and the BBC was no longer calling him Mister."

Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 8: The Final Frontier20170524

Jeremy Bowen is in Baghdad as the west sends bomber planes to punish Saddam Hussein.

The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen looks back to December 1998, when the West sent bombers in to Baghdad to punish Saddam Hussein. In four days and nights the Americans and the British dropped 415 cruise missiles and 600 bombs. "We journalists suspected that tips off about the timing of attacks were to distract Americans from the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, which was at its height," he says.

Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.
Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Part 9: A Blunt Instrument20170525

The impact of sanctions in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, witnessed by Jeremy Bowen.

BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen recalls his tricky dealings with the Iraqi Ministry of Information as he covered the impact of Western sanctions against Saddam Hussein. "The regime didn't mind us reporting about sanctions," he says. "It was real news, and it made their enemies look bad. It was much harder to report the brutality of the regime."

Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

The Drums Of War20170613

The invasion of Iraq and its fallout, as reported by Jeremy Bowen.

Jeremy Bowen considers the fallout from the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The BBC's Middle East editor delayed going to Baghdad after the allied attack. He was still having nightmares dating back to the First Gulf War and decided it would be a step too far. He eventually flew out to Iraq after President Bush famously appeared on a US warship which displayed a banner reading 'Mission Accomplished'. Bowen discovered an Iraq in turmoil. His questions about weapons of mass destruction, directed at Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, went unanswered.

Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. In this series, he combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.
Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

The invasion of Iraq and its fallout, as reported by Jeremy Bowen.

Jeremy Bowen considers the fallout from the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The BBC's Middle East editor delayed going to Baghdad after the allied attack. He was still having nightmares dating back to the First Gulf War and decided it would be a step too far. He eventually flew out to Iraq after President Bush famously appeared on a US warship which displayed a banner reading 'Mission Accomplished'. Bowen discovered an Iraq in turmoil. His questions about weapons of mass destruction, directed at Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, went unanswered.

Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. In this series, he combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.
Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

The Unravelling20170614

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen reflects on what went wrong as Iraq descended into chaos in the months after the US invasion in 2003. "Before the invasion," he says "an advisor to the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had predicted that Iraq was going to be a 'cakewalk'. The American soldiers were finding out how wrong he had been." The people around George W Bush who had pushed hardest for regime change wouldn't listen to repeated warnings, he says. "These days there is plenty of nostalgia in Iraq for life under Saddam Hussein."

Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. In this series, he combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic Additional recordings courtesy of Hugh Sykes.

Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

Jeremy Bowen's personal history of the Middle East.

The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen reflects on what went wrong as Iraq descended into chaos in the months after the US invasion in 2003. "Before the invasion," he says "an advisor to the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had predicted that Iraq was going to be a 'cakewalk'. The American soldiers were finding out how wrong he had been." The people around George W Bush who had pushed hardest for regime change wouldn't listen to repeated warnings, he says. "These days there is plenty of nostalgia in Iraq for life under Saddam Hussein."

Bowen has been reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. In this series, he combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic Additional recordings courtesy of Hugh Sykes.

Produced by Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

01All Flesh Is Grass20170516

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen recalls the devastation of the first Gulf war.

BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen recalls the devastation of the first Gulf War as he witnessed the aftermath of the bombing of a shelter in Baghdad, which killed 400 civilians. "In a war life does get scythed away like grass," he says. "There were so many bodies, and blackened pieces of bodies, that they piled up in the corridors, the entrance hall and the yard outside."

In this series, Jeremy reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.
Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.
Music: Brahms's German Requiem, Opus 45.

01Jerusalem20170518

The allure and political challenge of the Holy City, as experienced by Jeremy Bowen.

BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen reflects on the allure and intractable challenge of the Holy City. "The tectonic plates of religion and culture come together in Jerusalem," he observes. "When they move, we all feel it."

In this series Jeremy reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.
Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

01Recipe For Disaster20170519

The assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, remembered by Jeremy Bowen.

How the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin changed the region's history, as remembered by BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen. "No political killing in the twentieth century was more successful," he argues, observing the dramatic effects on the Oslo peace process. "Perhaps there was a moment for peace, and it came, and went."

Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.
Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

01Retreat To The Mountains20170517

The story of the Kurds of Iraq, told by BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.

The story of the Kurds of Iraq, told by BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen. They were brutally oppressed by Saddam Hussein after rebelling against him in 1991. "In towns and villages men and boys were taken away and killed," he remembers. "25 years ago I visited a Kurdish village that had no males over the age of 12." Today, Iraq's Kurds enjoy independence in their own de-facto mini-state in the north of the country.

In this series, Jeremy reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. Bowen started reporting on the region in the lead up to the Gulf War back in 1990. Since then, he has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.
Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

0101The Giant Awakens20170515

BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen begins a personal history of this troubled region.

BBC Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen on America's dramatic intervention in the region during the massive military build-up to the first Gulf War. "Watching it happen I had the feeling that a great military giant, chastened since its defeat in Asia 15 years before, was shaking itself, and waking up to fight again," he says.

Over these 25 programmes, Jeremy reflects on the present and the past of the Middle East, after reporting from the region for more than a quarter of a century. He combines first-hand accounts from the front line with an in-depth look into the region's history. He has witnessed endless wars between individuals, religious groups and full-sized states, jostling for military, political and economic power. He has interviewed dictators, fanatics and fundamentalists as well as the ordinary people caught up in their dangerous games. In that time, the past has always been present, providing motivation and political ammunition. Bowen has made headlines himself and he has paid a personal price, coming under fire and losing a colleague in the course of reporting - on the worst day, he says, in his life.

Producers: Mark Savage and Cara Swift.

0102All Flesh Is Grass20170516
0103Retreat To The Mountains20170517
0104Jerusalem20170518
0105Recipe For Disaster20170519
0106Crossing The Divide20170522
0107Death On The Nile20170523
0108The Final Frontier20170524
0109A Blunt Instrument20170525
0110The Nearness Of Death20170526