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Gift of Sight (Al Jazeera)

–A Nepalese doctor takes an Indonesian woman under his tutelage and brings the gift of sight to the world’s destitute.–

Nepal’s Himalayan mountain range is one of the most picturesque places in the world. But its stunning beauty is fading from view for many of the villagers who call the region home. Exposure to ultraviolet rays at such high altitudes is causing many to lose their sight.

Ophthalmologist Dr Sanduk Ruit has made it his life mission to bring sight to everyone who needs it, regardless of their ability to pay. Known in Nepal as the “God of Sight”, Ruit has helped more than 100,000 people blinded by cataracts see again. His surgeries often take him into the remote mountains, where patients are too poor and weak to travel to his clinic in the capital, Kathmandu.

In such isolated landscapes, the doctor and his team set up eye camps, performing free, astonishingly fast surgeries using a stitch-free simple surgical technique called ‘Ruitectomy’, which he pioneered. The procedure is now replicated across the developing world.

His assembly line-like surgeries are astonishingly fast. During his time in the Bamti district, he aims to complete 50 surgeries each day while doctors in the West only do 10 to 15 on a busy day.

Now, a young female doctor from a remote Indonesian island is travelling to the Himalayas for a month-long boot-camp with Dr Ruit, hoping to acquire the skills to bring back the gift of sight to her people.

From Nepal to Indonesia, 101 East visits communities paralysed by preventable blindness and meets the doctors whose mission is to restore sight, and more importantly hope.

Watch on the 101 East website or on vimeo

Lebanon’s Hip Hop Revolution (SBS)

Growing up in Tripoli isn’t easy. In one of Lebanon’s most volatile fault lines, the conflict passes from generation to generation.

This Tuesday, Dateline’s Yaara Bou Melhem tells a story on an unlikely friendship between two boys from warring neighbourhoods in Lebanon’s troubled north.

The boys, one Sunni and one Shia, are both rappers, and have found hip hop to be a way to overcome the sectarian divide.

Watch on the SBS Dateline website.

 

The Greste Verdict (SBS)

Detained Australian journalist Peter Greste has been sentenced to seven years in jail in Egypt.

Greste and two other Al Jazeera journalists were detained for falsely portraying Egypt as being in a state of “civil war” since president Mohamed Morsi’s overthrow by the army last July.

Egyptian prosecutors have demanded the maximum penalty of 15 to 25 years in jail for all defendants.

Greste’s family say they will remain strong and hopeful “for Peter’s sake’ in the lead up to the decision.

SBS Correspondent Yaara Bou Melhem, was in Cairo with Peter’s brother, Andrew as the verdict was handed down.

You can send messages of support to Peter Greste via this email address:freepetergreste@gmail.com

See more on the Dateline website.

© 2011 Yaara Bou Melhem