Syrian civil war

AP Photo

Since the start of the Syrian war, a remarkable 100,000 people have gone missing - a distinct figure from the estimated 400,000 confirmed killed.

Of the missing, some may be alive and held secretly in prisons controlled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Most are probably dead, and their bodies are often buried in unmarked mass graves in territory controlled by Assad or until recently, the Islamic State.

But with the Islamic State nearing defeat in Syria and Iraq, investigators are gaining access to more and more of these graves. That raises the prospect that the massive task of identifying the thousands of bodies of they contain will soon start.

This is important work as it not only gives resolution to families of the missing, but can also provide important evidence of war crimes.

On this edition of Global Journalist: a close look at the challenges of finding and identifying Syria’s disappeared.


(Image of Syrians protesting from "The War Show")

The level of violence against civilians in the Syrian civil war has made it extraordinarily difficult for journalists to cover. That's meant many of the images we have from inside Syria come from citizen journalists documenting the conflict on their smartphones.

That technique is used to great effect in "The War Show," a documentary about the conflict that screened at the True/False Film Festival in Missouri and premiered on U.S. television on PBS last month.

 Yet rather than focus on the war's gruesome violence, "The War Show" shines a light on the emotional toll of the conflict on its protagonist Obaydah and other young Syrians.

On this special edition of Global Journalist we present an extended interview with producer and Syrian refugee Alaa Hassan. In the interview, Hassan discusses how the internal lives of Syria's young people changed as hope-filled protests turned to a dark cycle of violence.


A number of documentaries have highlighted the gruesome violence against Syrians amid that country's civil war. But "The War Show," a new film that screened at this year's True/False Film Festival, highlights the emotional toll of the conflict on Syrian young people.

On this special edition of Global Journalist, Syrian producer Alaa Hassan discusses the film and the internal damage to those who lived through the heady days of protests against the Assad regime to the current dark cycle of extremism and state-sponsored violence.