Since re-launching the critically acclaimed documentary series Explorer (natgeotv.com/explorer, #NatGeoExplorer) as a monthly series in August 2015, National Geographic Channel, in conjunction with National Geographic magazine, continues to garner unprecedented access when reporting on crucial topics affecting our planet. This month, Explorer embeds with writer Neil Shea (@neilshea13) on the front lines of the battle to keep ISIS out of Kurdistan, a liberal bastion in a region awash with extremism.
Explorer: Fighting ISIS premieres Sunday, March 6, at 8pm ET/PT on Nat Geo Mundo, in addition to National Geographic Channel in the U.S., with a global rollout planned within a week in 171 countries and 45 languages.
The escalating battle against ISIS has dominated world headlines in the wake of the November 2015 attacks in Paris. But for countries neighboring the Islamic State's Syrian base of operations,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 microcosm of the entire Middle East living side by side. World religions coalesce into a culturally rich, integrated people. This cross-culture balances the preservation 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 line against a brutal enemy while a coalition of Western countries wrestle with how best to respond to the growing global threat.
Over the course of its original 25-year run, Explorer took viewers inside North Korea; on the trail of one of the world's most dangerous gangs, MS-13; to the gambling dens of Japan's Yakuza gang; on the hunt for the mysterious Afghan Girl, whose striking eyes mesmerized readers of National Geographic magazine in 1985; and to the heavily guarded warehouses of Brazil's wild animal trade. The original series was honored with nearly 60 Emmys and hundreds of other awards during its run from 1985 to 2010. Over the course of more than 2,000 films, Explorer took viewers to more than 120 countries, opening a window on hidden parts of the world, unlocking mysteries both ancient and modern and investigating stories of science, nature and culture.
Explorer is produced for National Geographic Channel by National Geographic Studios. For National Geographic Studios, executive producers are Jared Lipworth and Dave Snyder, vice president of production is Brian Lovett and executive vice president is Jeff Hasler. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Robert Palumbo; vice president of production is Matt Renner; and president, original programming and production, is Tim Pastore.
For more information, visit www.natgeomundo.com and follow us on Facebook (Nat Geo Mundo), Twitter (@natgeomundo) and Instagram (@natgeomundo).