Journey In The Danger Zone: Iraq

In 2003, as a young soldier in the Royal Engineers, Adnan Sarwar was part of the British forces occupying southern Iraq. Now a journalist and writer he returns, 15 years after the invasion. 

Journey In The Danger Zone: Iraq

Adnan Sarwar initially viewed his mission in Iraq as liberating the country’s people from Saddam Hussein. But when parts of the population turned against the allied forces, Adnan saw first-hand how driving Saddam from power led to more violence and ultimately the creation of ISIS. Now, with ISIS gone, he is travelling back to Iraq to discover the country afresh, beyond the headlines and wars to meet everyday people rebuilding their lives. 

On a journey from Mosul to Basra, from snowy peaks to arid deserts, Adnan ventures through ancient hilltop villages, ISIS tunnels, and magnificent gorges. He experiences the danger of the mine clearing teams in Mosul, where people are returning to their homes, and joins wildlife conservationists releasing bears near one of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces. He meets pop-singers, all-female fighting units, archaeologists, oil-workers, LGBT activists and ordinary Iraqis from all walks of life.

But with sectarian violence, ISIS sleeper cells and deadly bomb attacks still a daily reality, Adnan explores whether the country can break its cycle of violence and forge a better future.

“Adnan Sarwar is a gift to the sometimes-ghoulish genre of conflict zone travelogue: not just an articulate and intelligent presenter, but a former British soldier (turned journalist)” ✰✰✰✰✰ Financial Times 

“Sarwar’s ease with people is a valuable asset” -The Guardian 

Daily Mail  ✰✰✰✰

“Sanguine, unromantic and objective, Sarwar is also a compassionate reporter capable of finding heartrending human stories wherever he goes, which he often leavens with humour” -The Observe

“There are glimmers of optimism, but Sarwar does not shy away from the blasted landscape of west Mosul, or the constant threat from ISIS sleeper cells. His sense of responsibility towards the country shines through, but this is not a sentimental journey, just a revealing one” -The Sunday Times 

“Sarwar is a TV natural: enthusiastic, compassionate and with an inner steel” -The Times

“The best travelogues convert abstract names in news reports to living, complex places. So it is here.” -Radio Times

“The best documentary of the year so far” ✰✰✰✰✰ TV Times


Production Detail

Broadcaster: BBC2

Year: 2018 

Length: 2 x 60 mins