One of the most striking reminders in Lyse Doucet’s new documentary, which takes us back to beginning of the conflict in Syria, is the sense of hope and excitement that characterised the early days, when protesters came onto the streets seeking a revolution.
In the first of the two-part film, which airs tonight, we’re introduced to Noura, a young activist in a lilac hijab, who lights up as she recounts the early freedoms of the revolution, despite the horrors we later find out she witnessed as a result.
Detained for six months by the regime, she was forced to watch as one of her friends was repeatedly tortured. But Noura appears to regret nothing, accepting that in fighting for change she was risking her life.
Doucet, who has become one of the faces of the BBC’s coverage of the Arab Spring, reporting from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya over the past seven years, says making the documentary was a nostalgic experience.
“For this generation, the magic and that sense of possibility,” she tells the Telegraph. “The Arab Spring – what a beautiful phrase! – and now of course it’s become a term of derision and mocking.”