Alhurra Television interviewed ISIS defectors and their families as part of a two-part documentary series debuting March 25th. Alhurra cameras were exclusively allowed into Mitiga prison in Libya to interview two female defectors for Women With ISIS and husband and wife defectors for A Father’s Agony.
“This is an important story that needs to be told. The defectors share first-hand accounts of what it was like living under ISIS and the horrors they witnessed,” stated MBN President Brian Conniff. MBN manages and oversees Alhurra Television. “These documentaries capture the pain felt not only by the defectors, but also by their families.”
The first documentary, Women With ISIS tells the stories of Waheda, an independent Tunisian woman who was preparing to get her Master’s Degree. She followed her husband to Libya and then Turkey, it is only then that she realized he was taking her to join ISIS. After Waheda got to Syria, she realized things where not like she thought and begged her family to come save her. As she sits in a Libyan prison, she says she lost everything in her life: her husband, her son’s health and her freedom. Through Alhurra, she record a video message to her mother begging for forgiveness for ruining her life.
Women With ISIS also profiles Gofran, who went to Syria on her own volition, looking to support ISIS and what she believed they stood for. She was married off to an ISIS militant her first day in the country. As time went on and she learned more about ISIS, she questioned their rhetoric and way of life. She found that “everything was a lie” and that ISIS fighters were killing Muslims. Gofran also talks about her harrowing escape, which ultimately left her husband dead and a life sentence in prison for her. Women With ISIS will air on Saturday, March 25 at 20:00 GMT.
In the second documentary, A Father’s Agony, Akram and his wife Asma, speak out from a Libyan prison about what drew them into ISIS. Once they got to Syria, Asma talks about being shocked at what she saw and soon wanted to leave. She shared the hopelessness that they felt, because they knew if they returned home it would mean prison. The documentary also interviews Akram’s family, who talked about the astonishment they felt when he left to join ISIS. Through Alhurra, Akram is able to talk to his family for the first time since he left for Syria. They share their pain of knowing they may never see him again. A Father’s Agony debuts Saturday, April 1st at 20:00 GMT.
Both programs will also be streamed via Facebook Live when they debut on Alhurra. Women with ISIS and A Father’s Agony was produced by the same team that produced Alhurra’s award-winning documentary series Delusional Paradise.
Alhurra Television is an Arabic-language television network that broadcasts to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa via satellite. It is operated by the non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency. The BBG serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.
(Source: Alhurra press release)