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(generated from captions) that has the Islamic world in a spin. And the mystical dancing (Children laugh) OK, I can do it. Look. is beyond instruction. but at least one of his pupils adore their teacher, REPORTER: The children of Mghrar in the Middle East. Juggling for peace I really am. I really am. I'm terrified. of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Tonight - back to the heart This program is captioned live. 801

the exploded reactor. which is surrounding You can see the sarcophagus from this point on. extraordinarily careful And we just need to be of radioactive dust particles. the possibility because there is always and keep our hoods up leave on our masks, that we, at all times, I am suggesting to everybody Get out? Yeah? in which nobody is allowed to live. surrounding the reactor It's a 30km zone known as the 'exclusion zone'. We've actually entered the area right over to the Chernobyl reactor. where we hope to actually go to the Ukrainian boarder, We are heading down SOMBRE MUSIC are still spiralling out of control. birth defects and cancer rates where infant mortality, congenital about life in the region today, She uncovers the truth Mary Ann De Leo. from American film-maker an Oscar-winning report Tonight we bring you time has not healed the wounds. But tragically, in the tens of thousands. has been estimated and the death toll since then More than 500,000 were evacuated, 90 times greater than Hiroshima. The locals were exposed to radiation the world's worst nuclear accident. It was - and still is - just north of here, exploded. since the Chernobyl nuclear plant, It's 19 years today Hello. I'm Emma Griffiths in Ukraine. to pray - and whirl - together. men and women REPORTER: He encourages

(All converse in foreign language) We are going to talk to them now. Stop. This was the shop. these kinds of readings. that would be giving us that there was a leak today My only concern is levels like this before. I have never seen I'm stunned. getting the readings inside. I can't believe that we are still we all pull out, OK, guys? so I am suggesting that we would be really foolish, ..if we stay any longer, Anything... We're in extreme danger now. background level of radiation. than the normal This is 1,000 times greater or in Dublin, in Ireland. that you get in New York background radiation 12 is your average 11,000. What's the reading now? radiation is invisible. because, I mean, of what came out of there, that shows the sort of violence You know, there is nothing under the age of five. half of which are children the destruction of 9 million lives, that building has caused over there - that innocuous little complex It's just to think that really, to be honest with you. more emotional than terrified, But I am actually probably I really am, I really am. I'm terrified. do you get scared? REPORTER: When you come here, will be Chernobyl itself. that the next Chernobyl And the scientists say which is a very scary thought. still remaining inside, and the balance is actually about 3% of its full potential, And yet in 1986, it only spewed out is about to collapse inside. and the roof And it is literally hanging through the cracks. which comes in as rainfall untold quantities of water, There is, like, in a very fragile condition. it is actually in a hurry but because they had to build it the radioactivity inside, to try and control They built this cement tomb

to radiation? do you think it's related have that aren't born healthy, And the problems that the kids REPORTER: Is this baby healthy? (Baby cries) (Cries out repeatedly) we are here, so what can we do? It's not the first year that a reading of that level? Are you worried about it will be in their children. in the older generation here, while they might not arise So the health problems, I mean, it's potassium. because your body thinks is that it lodges in the muscles And the main problem with Cesium 137 with Cesium 137. I mean, this is very contaminated any level is dangerous. Well, I mean, How dangerous do you think 91 is? Because we don't know. What's the radiation level here? Tell us the truth.

There's a good girl. this little girl. I just want to hold Which is the best way? just to hold her. I'd like to hold her, Can I just hold her? on to the back of her head. It is actually a separate entity within her skull. and her brain is not who is four years old, This is Julia, called Dasha. This is a lovely little girl Look at this little sweetheart. Look at you, chicken. Look at you. before Chernobyl. and this home did not exist for abandoned babies in Minsk, This is the number one home this year we lost 30 children. So it's...it's very sad because my feeling getting worse every year. I started my job 12 years ago and Yes. working in this hospital? Do you get sad her genetics. No, because we can't treat REPORTER: No? future has not good prognosis. Now, she is 2 months old, but her with genetics damage. Now we have many patients since Chernobyl accident. children with small weight, It's a big problem, with his lungs. He has serious problems Yeah. His age is 27 weeks. REPORTER: Premature? with small weight. This baby was born

But it has affected his legs as well. You can see his legs - there is no mobility there. And he is the most gorgeous baby. We've known him for a long time. REPORTER: Can they do anything? No, they can't. They can't. Not now, anyway. Do you know what is going to happen to him? (Sighs) Nobody knows. Are all these kids mentally ill? It is a mixed unit all together, so you can find that you have children in here that are, you know, that are perfectly normal, but they have physical disabilities. And that is kind of sad, and this to me is the saddest unit of the entire building, really. And, like, they live inside these little cots. It is their whole world. The kids that will get to be 17 or 18, they're unfortunately sent over to the adult mental asylum, which is a part of it that's also a semi-prison, and it's a dangerous place. This is one It's his kidneys inside and that. It's too late. You can't operate. for him? REPORTER: Can she do anything when he was younger. Much better than he did How is Eugene? He looks so well. is the best thing for her either. although I'm not sure if that that she is still alive, I feel some relief to see of the new children, yeah. A little girl from the Number 1. She's lovely. The number 1 home for abandoned babies. When they're about four years of age, if they're still alive, they end up coming here and this is their permanent home then. Do you know when a baby comes in if the baby was affected by Chernobyl? Nobody can ever say categorically whether a child has been affected by Chernobyl or not. All we can say is that the defects are increasing. The illnesses are increasing. The genetic damage is increasing. Places like this didn't exist, really, before Chernobyl, so it speaks for itself in the statistics. But nobody will ever say for sure that this child or that child was definitely affected. But we just know from what we see. Like, he is literally skin and bone. Oh, don't be so rough. Just relax. God, the poor little boy. Yeah, I know. It's OK, you poor little pet. Oh, I know. Don't be so rough. Oh, just don't do that, please. I mean, really - no, just leave him be. Oh, my God. He's not... he's not comfortable like that. What we'll do is we get one of our nurses to come in on it. Yeah, just leave him. Oh, mother of divine God, just leave him be. This is the Thyroid Centre in Minsk, which is the biggest thyroid centre in Belarus, possibly the biggest in the world, because they have the biggest number of cases of that particular cancer. I was born on 3 April, 1986, and Chernobyl disaster was on 26 April, also 1986. So I think...because of this, I have some problems with my neck. Do you know what's wrong with you? Do you have thyroid cancer? Not exactly. Does he know? He is going to tell you later on, not in here. Do you need an operation? Yeah. I'll have operation on Wednesday, I think. And then you will be OK? Yeah, I think. (Laughs) Both, they have cancer. One has been operated on and one is still... They don't know? No, they don't know. You didn't tell them? Their parents know, but not the kids. Are they going to be OK? This is my ventilator. I'm taking it downstairs. This little girl, she is 13 years old, almost 14. She had two holes in her heart which, according to the Ukrainians, is the defect that they describe is a Chernobyl heart. This the right ventricle. This is where the hole is. I don't think there's any way on God's green earth to show you this hole. You can see a hole, though? Uh-huh. I hope so. (Laughs) Because if I can't, we're in big trouble. Relax, Michael. They are putting in the BSD patch, so that will close the hole between the right ventricle and the left ventricle. What is it made of? Gore-Tex. This patch will last her for her entire life. And the heart just keeps growing? Yeah, the heart just grows around the patch. The patch doesn't have to stretch or anything like that. Is that where the patch is? It's on the inside of the heart. The patch isn't expensive, is it? It's very expensive, yeah. Tell her how much one of these costs, Martina - one Gore-Tex. $300. So, you know, in a country where the average monthly income for the physicians is only $100 or less, a $300 patch is pretty expensive. Once we get this hole closed, it will let the blood actually go to the lungs where it's supposed to. How are you? (Laughs) Tell her that she is fine, OK? You're welcome. So they are going to take the tube out in a little while, and she'll be able to talk to her. OK? And tell her that this diagnosis that she received in the other hospital about not being a candidate for operation, was incorrect. OK, OK. OK? OK! You're welcome. So, any questions? Does Mom have any questions for me? Is this Dad? Thank you very much. You are welcome very much. Any questions? No questions? Well, tell her that we were very happy to do that. That's OK. Alright, OK. So are you used to that - people kissing your hand, hugging you, crying? Yeah, they do that all the time, actually. And I can't...I don't handle it very well, obviously. How come? Because this is what I do. I mean, I understand... You know, I appreciate that to them, you know... You know, this is a bit of a miracle for them. But, you know, this is what we do, so it's very difficult for me to accept that degree of gratitude, because I feel like we have a certain responsibility to these kids. So these things, you know, they shake me up a little bit when the parents are that way. Now, tomorrow they'll be fine, you know. But, anyway, let's see if we can catch this elevator. You know, the other thing is whether or not the elevator actually even comes. GEIGER COUNTER CLICKS RAPIDLY Our next story comes from Israel, but for once it's not a tale of conflict and war. My colleague, Jane Hutcheon, has spent some time with an Australian expat who's discovered the secret to a peaceful life is just clowning around. 'YOU'RE JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE' PLAYS If Dharma the Clown had his way, life would be one big circus. (Child babbles) LAUGHTER In a place so often consumed by conflict, today's a welcome occasion for a little fun. LAUGHTER Part of his troupe is here to entertain crowds at a local festival in Northern Israel. Do you live close to here? Dharma the Clown is otherwise known as David Berry, a Gentile or non-Jew, who came to Israel from Australia 15 years ago. You don't like booming sounds? What are you doing in the Middle East? (Laughs) (whistles) Underneath the make-up he is also the artistic director of the Israel Circus School. But the former ballet dancer has brought with him what he calls some Australian qualities. I think I've bought a sense of non-prejudice with me. I don't judge people according to their the skin colour or their religion or their sex. I wish there were a few more anti-discrimination laws effective here in this part of the world. But OK, that's a political point. You don't like to be political, do you? No, actually, I don't. I think I'd just like to touch people where they really are, which is very simple. MUSIC PLAYS Hoping to adapt circus skills for more practical purposes - to bring children of different backgrounds together - David went in search of a partner. He found one among the idyllic olive groves of the Arab village of Mghrar. TRADITIONAL MUSIC PLAYS You have to be human, more than you talk, And if you listen You have to listen to the others. not just only to yourself. all the time, to listen to the others

this electric environment David and Adnan feel a full-time circus school. towards establishing the first major step its permanent home a year ago - The school only moved into It's your new fashion from America? Israel Circus School. where they join David Berry's of Kfar Yehoshua come to the nearby Israeli town the youngsters of Mghrar Twice a week, (Laughter and applause) OK, I can do it, look. pupils is beyond instruction. ..but at least one of his adore their teacher... The children of Mghrar 14-year-old son Bashar. is his softly-spoken and trainers One of his prize performers (Squeals) both my kids and the Jewish kids. We want to be safe - We want to live together. of helping a fractured society. Developing a circus is his way and writer. Adnan is a theatre director is loyal to the Jewish state. Arabic-speaking community this close-knit, largely Distinct from the Palestinians, an Arab minority living in Israel. Adnan Tarabshe is a Druze - how to make balance. You have to know yeah. We divide it as everybody needs, our oil afterwards also. We share our food as we share of Israel's olive oil supply. The town produces one third to harvest olives. extended family comes together Every year, Adnan Tarabshe's other people. you can make peace with

performing with Jewish kids." "Oh, you were first going to be when you just heard, when you first met them, What did you think of them Bashar feels the same way. without seeing them. and it's very hard to live a week like one big happy family I'm feeling that we are all Mm-hmm! (Laughs) You mean, compared to Israelis? Mm-hmm. They are very polite. and we ate and sat on the floor. to the salon and they brought all the food and cushions, and they have a really big salon Yes, I came to a house once to the way they live and you live? Do you think there's any difference APPLAUSE has opened new horizons. working with Arab children in front of grateful audiences, and the opportunity to perform While they enjoy the training LAUGHTER to keep this audience in stiches. have honed their skills enough Israeli teenagers Hemda and Tomlee the young performers. The idea has clearly won over MUSIC PLAYS "Just kids." We have a saying in the school: or "You're Arab". not as, "Oh, you're Jewish" as kids, they actually look at one another or juggling or different things, to practise acrobatics or clowning and are given an opportunity And when they come together they all watch MTV. They all wear jeans, in front of people. they can't perform They don't trust each other, they HAVE TO - rely on each other. And Jewish and Arab they can - you have to touch your partner. In the circus, of coexistence. can build a lasting atmosphere

founded the sect here in Turkey a Muslem mystic Several centuries ago, TURKISH MUSIC PLAYS the Whirling Dervish. in the Islamic world - mystical and mysterious sects is also home to one of the most Today Turkey's largest city the gateway between east and west. Istanbul has, for centuries, been of the Ottoman Empire, Once the heart HAUNTING TURKISH MUSIC women are starting to join in. has been put into a real spin - the ancient male-dominated tradition But these days, the whirling dervishes. spectacular rituals in Islam - to witness one of the most Evan Williams visits Turkey Finally tonight, It's stupid. Yes! (Laughs) ..share the same land ? and... in the same place, why can't you live instead of being friends, why do you have to fight and I don't understand - everybody are just people, It's like, because I don't understand it. about the fighting I always thought different about the ongoing conflict. on the way its young students feel a profound affect it's already having may be a work in progress, Though the circus school the next level of professionalism. to take the young performers to acting skills Adnan Tarabshe now works on (speaks Hebrew) And what happened? Yes. Were you worried about that?

it's a meditation a link to God, But whirling is not just TURKISH MUSIC PLAYS looks down through the ages. the poet and mystic who today in the 13th century by Mevlana, The Sema was brought to Turkey TURKISH MUSIC PLAYS of the individual ego. the black cloak of death the white symbolic of purity, the right clothes - The Sema first requires (Speaks Turkish) (Speaks Turkish) as the Sema. a practice known in Turkey H's a Whirling Dervish, HORN PLAYS Alun is pursing a mystical goal. his material future, but when he's not planning his own business, One day he'd like to start booming tourist industry. is studying for a job in Turkey's 22-year-old Alun Cakmut (Traditional singing) of segregating the sexes. the Islamic tradition by challenging is creating religious rucions on the nature of the world. following that path Today, one of the groups as the Whirling Dervishes. that's become known in the west

from the main section of the mosque. and even turned away during prayer women are segregated from men Turkey is a male-dominated society, TURKISH MUSIC PLAYS in the search for paradise. But there's trouble DRUMS BEAT might confuse dizziness with God. He rejects suggestions that whirling a Sufi musician. of whirling by his father, Alun was brought into the world (Speaks Turkish) But in a quiet Istanbul suburb, one Sufi leader is offering an alternative. Hassan Dede is a Muslim mystic. Once a week his adherents come to hear a very practical message. But the Semazens aren't here just for a religious pep talk, this is a ritual that starts with an ancient prayer. (Man chants) (Crowd repeats chant) FLUTE PLAYS As the Dervish music moves the mystical heart, the whirling or Sema starts. (Singing) They first receive the blessing of their master, Hassan Dede, who explains how the circle is a symbol of inclusion. (All sing) At the heart of the Mevlana Sufism At the heart of the Mevlana Sufism lies a controversial difference to mainstream Muslim belief. Such humanist thought is opposed violently in many parts of the Islamic world, but Hassan Dede remains unbowed by the mainstream. Hassan Dede's teaching is controversial for another reason. He encourages men and women to pray and whirl together. TURKISH MUSIC PLAYS One of the devotees is 22-year-old Deniz, who feels fortunate to have found the group that looks beyond gender. (Speaks Turkish) But not everyone agrees. Back at the other Dervish centre, two new devotees are taught the practicalities of mystical whirling. The nail is used for the pain of self-sacrifice and the salt keeps the wound clean. Their teacher, or Dede, is a spritely 74. Here, strict segregation is employed - men and women whirl separately. (Speaks Turkish) (People sing) Tonight, Hassan Dede's group has come to Istanbul's old railway station to perform for tourists. TURKISH MUSIC PLAYS For Deniz, mixed-sex whirling even here offers no distractions to the true seeker of the way. It may also seem odd that such an intensely spiritual experience is performed so publicly for tourists who pay to see mystical Islam. They may have their critics, but dervishes like Deniz just aren't going to listen. We will always do this. REPORTER: And what do you say to them, though, who say that you shouldn't do it together with men? I say only - we won't give up! (Laughs) And that's our program for tonight. Hello, I'm Evan Williams. As Australian troops start to deploy, I'm in southern Iraq with the men training to take over the long-term security of a country still wracked by a violent insurgency. STIRRING MUSIC When British troops head out then, they take no chances. STIRRING MUSIC That's Foreign Correspondent next Tuesday night at 9:20 right after 'The Bill'. And if you'd like to follow up any of our stories from tonight, you can go to our website at - Thanks for watching. See you next week. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International. They're patrolling one of Basra's busiest markets. Any one of these people could be an enemy seeking a close-range kill. It's very tense, and it's very hard work.