Talking About Jane Austen In Baghdad

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20110904 (BBC7)

In 2005 a BBC journalist emails an academic about life in Baghdad.

20110903 (BBC7)

By John Fletcher.

In 2005 a BBC journalist emails an academic about life in Baghdad.

They become friends.

Though neither foresees the imminent events that will change their lives.

20110904 (BBC7)

By John Fletcher.

In 2005 a BBC journalist emails an academic about life in Baghdad.

They become friends.

Though neither foresees the imminent events that will change their lives.

01Getting To Know You20110829

By John Fletcher.

An email friendship between a BBC journalist and an Iraq-based academic.

Episode 1 - Getting to know you.

2005.

Bee, a London journalist, contacts May, an Iraqi academic, about life in her battle-scarred country.

Neither foresees the dramatic events that will change their lives.

May - Souad Faress

Bee - Fenella Woolgar

Ali - Zubin Varla

Justin - Stephen Hogan

Eva/Ayasha - Deeivya Meir

Militia Man/Official/Minister - Peter Polycarpou

Newsnight director - Jonathan Forbes

Lawyer/Octavia - Elaine Claxton

Director - Peter Kavanagh.

02Secrets20110830

A curious friendship has grown up between journalist Bee Rowlatt and May Witwit.

Episode 2 - Secrets.

2005.

May Witwit is an English Literature lecturer at Baghdad University specializing in Jane Austen.

Bee Rowlatt works at the BBC World Service in London as a reporter.

For some time they've been exchanging emails initially as part of Bee's work and a curious friendship has grown up.

May - Souad Faress

Bee - Fenella Woolgar

Ali - Zubin Varla

Justin - Stephen Hogan

Eva/Ayasha - Deeivya Meir

Militia Man/Official/Minister - Peter Polycarpou

Newsnight director - Jonathan Forbes

Lawyer/Octavia - Elaine Claxton

Director - Peter Kavanagh

03An Escape20110831

May pleas with Bee to help her and her husband escape.

Episode 3 - An Escape.

2005.

May Witwit is a lecturer at Baghdad University, Bee Rowlatt a reporter for the BBC World Service.

For many months they've conducted a curious and moving correspondence by email.

At last, faced by continuous threats to her life, May pleas with Bee to help her and her husband escape.

Bee decides to discuss it with her husband Justin, a reporter for 'Newsnight'.

This is a true story.

May - Souad Faress

Bee - Fenella Woolgar

Ali - Zubin Varla

Justin - Stephen Hogan

Eva/Ayasha - Deeivya Meir

Militia Man/Official/Minister - Peter Polycarpou

Newsnight director - Jonathan Forbes

Lawyer/Octavia - Elaine Claxton

Director - Peter Kavanagh.

04Getting It Right20110901

Bee and May realise that they must plan May's escape far more professionally.

Episode 4 - Getting it right.

Bee, a British journalist, has been helping May, an Iraqi university teacher, to escape from the terrible violence in Iraq.

Their first attempt was poorly planned and a failure.

This time they realize they must be more self-disciplined and plan things far more professionally.

Bee, whose just had her third baby Elsa, goes to see an immigration lawyer.

May - Souad Faress

Bee - Fenella Woolgar

Ali - Zubin Varla

Justin - Stephen Hogan

Eva/Ayasha - Deeivya Meir

Militia Man/Official/Minister - Peter Polycarpou

Newsnight director - Jonathan Forbes

Lawyer/Octavia - Elaine Claxton

Director - Peter Kavanagh.

05 LASTA House In Chawton20110902

May's name has appeared on a terrorist death list.

May and Ali must get to Jordan.

Episode 5 - A House in Chawton.

She and her husband Ali are desperate to escape from Iraq.

Bee, a British journalist, has managed to arrange a university place for May, but to get to Britain they must first get to Jordan.

At the last moment Ali's Jordanian visa is refused.

May resolves to go by herself to Jordan and sort out the problem.

This is a true story.

May - Souad Faress

Bee - Fenella Woolgar

Ali - Zubin Varla

Justin - Stephen Hogan

Eva/Ayasha - Deeivya Meir

Militia Man/Official/Minister - Peter Polycarpou

Newsnight director - Jonathan Forbes

Lawyer/Octavia - Elaine Claxton

Director - Peter Kavanagh.