National Geographic Channel Announces Spring Line-up

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The National Geographic Channel, which recently celebrated its 15th Anniversary, has announced its spring 2016 lineup which includes specials on extremism in Fighting ISIS and poaching in Battle for Virunga and the critically acclaimed documentary He Named Me Malala.

He Named Me Malala, the story of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate winner, Malala Yousafzai, as told by Oscar Winning documentarian Davis Guggenheim, “An Inconvenient Truth” will be presented commercial free on Monday February 29, 2016.

The story of Malala Yousafzai, pre Nobel Peace Prize Laureate winner, an outspoken 15 year old, advocating the rights of girls to be educated in Pakistan was targeted by the Taliban and ultimately shot at point blank range, in an assassination attempt, is not what one would expect after the harrowing experiences she has faced.

As told by David Guggenheim, who had unprecedented access to the household and lives of the Yousafzai family, He Named Me Malala, begins with the internationally known and acclaimed Malala in a montage of broadcast interviews.

Walking with her father, who is more than the champion of her cause, he is her support, strength and foundation, the audience is introduced to her family.

Malala, a charming, intelligent and beautiful young woman, introduces her brothers and shows her great affection for them. They are a joy to her even as she seems unsure of how to show the abundance of love she feels.

Guggenheim, the son of documentarians, expertly weaves together Malala the girl in transition and Malala the advocate and activist. Her recovery is well documented with actual footage secured from the hospital.

He named Me Malala is enchanting as it is presented with the use of animation. While the story and interviews are first person live action, the history of the Yousafzai’s name and life in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, a beautiful lush environment destroyed by the advancement of the Taliban is presented in beautiful animation.

He Named Me Malala, provides viewers with a first person view of a clearly traditional family thrust into the global limelight and modern world. Guggenheim brings in the destructive forces of the Taliban and the mind controlling tactics the extremists use to control the people.

He Named Me Malala, from Fox Searchlight Pictures and Participant Media, continues to charm audiences around the world.  He Named me Malala will be seen in 171 countries and translated into 45 languages.

Malala, once the shy girl, embolden by a desire, a thirst, a drive to learn has taken her cause to the world where girls everywhere now understand an education is their right has, through intense suffering realized her dream of advocating for girls everywhere.

He Named Me Malala will be presented Monday February 29, 2016. Check local listings for National Geographic Channel and NatGeo MUNDO in the United States.

Explorer: Fighting ISIS

The National Geographic Channel is also introducing, through the critically acclaimed documentary series Explorer, a monthly series and in conjunction with the National Geographic Magazine continues to gain unprecedented access when reporting on crucial topic.

Fighting ISIS, with National Geographic Reporter, Neil Shea, an upcoming documentary that goes deep into Kurdish country to explore why the Kurds have been able to hold the line against an ever growing, vicious and relentless evil enemy.   

From the time Jihad John raised a knife to the throat of American journalist James Foley, the world has come together in an escalating battle against ISIS.

With each graphic, brutal and unprecedented evil attack, the effort to dismantle and destroy ISIS has dominated world headlines.

In the wake of the November 2015 attacks in Paris, President Hollande stood for the world, when he said it is an act of war.

For countries neighboring the Islamic State’s Syrian base of operation, the threat has been ongoing for some time. In June 2014, ISIS fighters swept across the Syrian border and tore into Iraq threatening Kurdistan.

The Kurds are an ethnic minority with their own culture and language, spread across the mountainous regions of Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq.

Kurdistan is a mini version of the entire Middle East living side by side, with blurred border lines and blended cultures. World religions blend into a culturally rich, integrated people. This cross-culture balances the persecution of ancient traditions with an aggressive modernization campaign creating a region where luxury hotels stand next to traditional teahouses.

Award winning National Geographic writer Neil Shea embeds with the Kurdish military, the Peshmerga, a relatively small but battle hardened fighting force, on the front line of a brutal ground war with ISIS, to investigate why this often persecuted community continues to hold the lines against a brutal enemy while a coalition of western countries with how best to respond to a growing global threat.

Explorer: Fighting ISIS premieres Sunday March 6, at 8/7 central.

Explorer: Battle for Virunga

In terms of natural resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Yet, over 50 percent of the country’s populations live son less than $1.25 per day. For the 4million desperately poor residents living in and around Virunga National Pa arbitrary distinction and conservation is just another term for the rich and powerful taking the nest for themselves.

Armed militias also use the park and its vast resources as a means of power in an ongoing and bloody conflict regional conflict.

In 2007, after seven silverback gorillas were senselessly slaughtered in the park photographer Brent Stirton captured weeping villagers carrying their bodies like royalty to a burial park, in a series of images that ran in newspapers and magazines around the world.

The murders of the intelligent, unassuming animal’s ignited international outrage. But can the needs of the impoverished locals somehow align with the preservation of the land on which they live?

Explorer correspondent Justin Hall ventures into Virunga to meet park director Emmanuelle de Merode and veteran park ranger Innocent Mburanumwe, both recipients of the 2015 Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year Award for a candid interview about the rebel groups and militias roaming the parks jungles, the slaughter of the parks protected species the western oil giants seeking to extract the park’s vast resources and the park rangers who have been murdered in the line of duty.

To better understand the conflict, Hall spends a dangerous night embedded with a band of militants, the notorious Mai Mai, who consider poaching critical to their survival and claim to have the park and its peoples best interests in mind.

Explorer: Battle For Virunga premieres Summer 2016.

Other Episodes premiering in spring 2016 on National Geographic Channel Include:

Explorer: Eyes Wide Open on Sunday February 14, 2016

Michael Stevens explore the many ways eyes ensure survival and how they inspired incredible emerging technology.

Explorer: Death and its Effects - Premieres April 2016

Explorer investigates what happens to our bodies after we die. Most people will get cremated or embalmed and buried but there is now a search for alternatives; burial practices that are less expensive less environmentally impactful and some that are certainly less mainstream from getting launched in to space to being liquid in a vat of acid.

All information and images gathered from The National Geographic 15th Anniversary Gala held in conjunction with the Television Critics Association annual Spring Conference in Pasadena, California January 2016.

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