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tv   Nightline  ABC  April 8, 2021 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, signs of hope amidst the fear. two sisters surviving the horrors of isis. >> it looks like the bullets perhaps went through her. it's an absolute miracle malaki is alive. >> a reunion for our ian pannell. returning to iraq to follow this saga. how a seed of hope grew from so much suffering. >> what are you going to be, malak? going to be a doctor? plus, curtains up. for the first time in forever. ♪ for the first time in forever ♪ >> safely reopening theaters during the pandemic. we go behind the scenes. >> it was this moment that i'd dreamt about, literally dreamt about, for months. >> when it comes to restarting
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broadway, what america can learn from our neighbors from oz. [sfx: thunder rumbles] [sfx: rainstorm] ♪ comfort in the extreme. ♪ the lincoln family of luxury suvs. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ thanks for joining us. tonight, president biden walking a fine line, hoping to prevent a resurgence of isis in iraq.
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as the u.s. and iraq continue talking about drawing down american troops in the middle east. now the journey back to iraq by abc's ian pannell, reuniting with two sisters, searching for hope after surviving the horrors of isis. >> reporter: for the musa family, home is now a painful memory. they fled baghdad almost 20 years ago to escape the war. coming here to qaraqosh in the north. it was supposed to be a safe haven, but the war found them again. isis occupied the city and burned their home. i mean, the walls are still
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absolutely coated. and what's left of it, from the fire here, everything is gone. what does it feel like to be back in your home, to see what isis did? >> reporter: it's been four years since iraqi forces retook this predominantly christian city. it had been under isis control since 2014. for now, the militants are gone. but the pain and the scars run deep. they're just one family among thousands struggling to rebuild their lives in a country that remains incredibly fragile. iraqis are still fighting and protesting against foreign interference, corruption, and terror. an oil-rich nation trying to stand on its own two feet, working for economic and political stability while still reeling from the aftermath of decades of war. and that makes the struggle for
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fareed moussa, his wife and their two children, harder. 2014, they were all taken active by isis. he was separated from his family, who was kept inside this small house, used as a prison by the militants. kneeling down, he showed us how he was held and beaten. how long were you kept like this? >> reporter: he says he repeatedly begged the guards to let him check on his wife and daughter who were being held in a different house just up the street. mariana, who was just 12 at the time, tells us how the leader of isis in the city wanted to take her as a sex slave, or so-called isis bride, as happened to so many other girls and women. her mother pleading with them repeatedly not to take her daughter.
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after many attempts, the family eventually escaped. finally safe, but their lives changed forever. there's no therapy for the family, no support or care. and the scale of need here is overwhelming. the family may be physically free, but the nightmare of what happened to them is never-ending. and it's not just the terror of the past that scares them, it's the fear that it could return any time. both america and iraq declared victory over the islamic state. but today, there are thought to be between 8,000 and 16,000 fighters still active here and in syria. the caliphate may be gone, but the u.s. military and expert analysts are now warning, isis today has the makings of a growing and dangerous insurgency.
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if you look, you can see dozens of military vehicles on daily operations against isis. and every day, iraqi government forces are still out battling the militants. we caught up with one shia militia group heading across the desert, hunting down the extremists with more than 100 men. their commander telling us that just today, they found bombs planted by isis. >> reporter: these videos, filled by the fighters, show just some of the battles they've had with the terror group since victory against isis was declared. are you not tired of this battle?
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>> reporter: the black scourge of isis has left a stain that lingers throughout parts of iraq. family after family sharing similar stories of lives shattered and the difficulties of rebuilding. one story above all stands out. the tale of a little girl called malak and her family who live in what used to be the it's case capital in iraq, mosul. by first met her in 2017 during the war, she was just 6 years old. she and her big sister delau and the family were used by isis as human shields, forced to run directly into the line of fire. their father was killed. both girls horrifically injured. malak's eye was damaged, impa impairing her vision. scars from her bullet wounds visible. you can see three clear, distinct scars there. it looks like the bullets perhaps went through her. it's an absolute miracle that malak is alive.
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and her name in english means "angel." despite the trauma, body girls remained hopeful for the future. dalau told us she dreamed of becoming a teacher. today we return to mosul to find out what became of these two young girls. it's the first time we've seen them in four or five years. hello! hello! hello? malak is now 10, quieter and shy, but still strong. in spite of the fact that she's now lost all sight in her wounded eye. her older sister, dalau, now a young woman, 19 and married. but still suffering from the wounds she endured four years ago. >> how is the hand feeling? do you still get pain? >> reporter: and their mother has to struggle every day to be
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both mother and father to her children. now isis is gone but what's the atmosphere like in mosul? she tells me, things are better since the last time we saw them, but her daughters still feel the loss of their father every single day. isis robbed them of the people they love, and their dreams for the future. dala unfortunately, last time we saw you, you wanted to be a teacher, you were telling me? her sister, malak, has been able to attend school, but their mother is concerned about her daughter's health. today malak is going for a checkup at the local hospital. the health care system has been decimated by the war. the doctors tell us they have some of the expertise, but almost none of the equipment. >> we don't have plastic surgeons, we don't have eye surgeons -- >> reporter: malak needs to
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travel elsewhere for care. she needs reconstructive surgery and specialist eye care to see if her sight can be restored. but of course, that requires money the family doesn't have. the family still remains hopeful that both girls will be able to get surgery and build better lives for themselves. dalau now dreams of having a healthy child. as for malak? are you going to be a doctor, scientist, engineer? she whispers to her sister that she wants to be a doctor. doctor, i can see that. dr. malak. so many iraqis have lost so much. their health. their homes. their childhoods. they're owed a great deal, yet
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many only ask for one thing. >> our thanks to ian. coming up, when will broadway come back? australia may have the answer. opening for business for the first time in forever. ♪ for the first time in forever ♪ [♪] when you have diabetes, managing your blood sugar is crucial. try boost glucose control. the patented blend is clinically shown to help manage blood sugar levels. boost glucose control products contain high quality protein and key nutrients to support immune health. try boost. we do it every night. like clockwork. do it! run your dishwasher with cascade platinum. and save water. did you know certified dishwashers... ...use less than four gallons per cycle, while a running sink uses that, every two minutes. so, do it with cascade. the surprising way to save water. i've got moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
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the pandemic managed to darken the lights on broadway,
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but there are glimmers of rebirth. now the lessons america could learn from australia. welcoming back theater fans with a few twists to the playbill. here's my "nightline" coanchor byron pitts. >> reporter: musical theater fans around the world -- ♪ for the first time in forever ♪ >> reporter: waiting for this very moment, a return to the stage. ♪ nothing's in my way ♪ >> when i walked out for the first time on the stage -- ♪ don't let them in ♪ >> i got emotional. this amazing theater, we're - here, this is happening. >> it was so exciting. it was this moment that i'd dreamt about, literally dreamt about, for months. >> reporter: broadway shows like "frozen" and "hamilton" finally opening their doors for audiences in australia. since the beginning of the pandemic, australia has successfully contained the virus, reporting 29,000 cases
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total. less than 1,000 deaths. about 150 active cases. >> welcome back to the capital theater -- >> reporter: all of this making it possible to welcome back theatergoers after nearly nine dark months. >> the cast comes rushing on stage in their costumes. and there's this beautiful moment that they've decided to open up the castle up that's been locked away. and i realize, oh my god, "frozen" is about this. >> what did it do to your heart? >> we all burst into tears. >> reporter: as they say, the show must go on. with audience members sitting shoulder to shoulder and actors performing unmasked on stage, australians have adapted to protocol developed by their department of health and epdeal on thes. preopening was no small feat. >> the production team, performers, musicians, crew, wardrobe, are tested every day. >> reporter: new audience procedures including contact tracing and preordering refreshments. >> we use a protocol which we call arrival windows. they have a time before the show
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that we'd like them to arrive. trying to minimize the time that people are spending face-to-face in the foyers and theater. >> reporter: over 150,000 audience members have passed through the capitol theater's the only disruption happened around christmas when "frozen" chose to cancel four shows as cases spiked locally. >> we're getting high compliance with all of the protocols. and i can't thank the theatergoers enough. >> reporter: "frozen" put dozens of actors and dancers back to work in sydney. the production is part of the walt disney company, the parent company of abc news. after "frozen's" successful opening, other marquee shows began following suit. "harry potter and the cursed child" began bewitching children in february. >> harry potter! >> reporter: then in march, lin-manuel myr lin-manuel miranda's "hamilton." how have you had to reimagine
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what theater will look like in this new world we're all entering? >> when you look at what happened for us in australia, the audience is waiting to engage. they want to engage safely. they want the performers and the musicians and the crew to be safe. >> reporter: thomas shoemaker flew 22 hours and quarantined two weeks to oversee "frozen's" grand opening >> thoughtful and nimble and safety-minded. we can protect the actors on stage, protect the people in the orchestra pit, protect everyone backstage, and do our best to protect the audience. >> reporter: for the actresses who play princess anna and elsa, being backstage feels the same. >> seeing these beautiful ensemble members running out, feeling that sense of community, it was just beautiful. and very literal to what was going on. ♪ but it's only for today it's only for today ♪ >> reporter: but actually performing on stage presents a different experience and a challenge. >> what we can see as performers
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out into the auditorium, we can see everyone wearing masks. so you're not seeing the smiles. >> you're feeling the smiles, though, i would have to say. >> you still hear the cheers, you still hear the laughter, so you're not completely disconnected in that sense. ♪ no matter your sin you're welcome here ♪ >> reporter: the next show fans anticipate in australia is tomeny-nominated mu lin rouge, set to open in august. ♪ the moulin rouge is a state of mind ♪ >> reporter: that show, like every theatrical production, has been dark in the u.s. for an entire year. a pain felt across broadway. the still-empty streets of manhattan's theater district. shoemaker is using australia's success as a model for broadway's reopening. >> it's a blueprint. not a literal blueprint. we won't do the exact same protocols. we're going to work things out. australia is not us. >> reporter: promises from u.s. politicians that the show will go on in new york for the 97,000
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new york cast and crew members who lost their jobs last march. >> the show must go on. and the show will go on on broadway. >> will it be tomorrow? no. will it be in five months? hope so. >> reporter: will it be challenging? >> we need to put tickets on sale in advance. we need to rehearse the company. >> take me back to march 2020. what was it like for you when broadway went dark? >> we didn't understand how deep this was going to go and how deep the impact was going to be. for every worker, seen and unseen, in the theater. that's been profound. >> reporter: the great white way strategizing to rebuild and recoup major losses. >> last season we were up, a record-breaking season. it's going to take time to get tourists back. >> any estimate how much money has been lost, the cost of this pandemic? >> it's enormous. and i don't have that number at my fingertips because it keeps shifting every day. >> reporter: but hope is on the horizon. >> the crowds will come back.
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the people will come back. the artists will be back on stage. having paid a very heavy cost, but they will come back on stage. >> tickets are now on sale for limited fall shows in new york. ♪ her prince is by her side ♪ >> reporter: including a new york broadway show centered on princess diana. what does this moment say about history about the human spirit, about theater, that this awful pandemic that took people that we care about, didn't break us? >> art is the chronicle of all history. that's how we hold it in our hearts. when you come to that first performance, you want to have some kleenex with you. i promise are you. >> our thanks to byron. up next, who was dal yo fong? meet the strangers honoring the life of one woman killed in a senseless shooting. ♪
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♪ finally tonight, gone but not forgotten. >> may you rest in peace. >> strangers from all walks of life taking the podium at a
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funeral service to remember dayo fong, a 44-year-old chinese national killed in last month's mass shooting in atlanta, georgia. fong buried on sunday without any close friends or family. ♪ covid travel restrictions preventing loved ones in china from attending. a community instead stepping in to honor one of their own. dal yo fong. tonight we say her name. that's "nightline." thanks for staying up with us. good night, america.


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