Why was only one Palestinian publishing house at Cairo book fair?

The Cairo International Book Fair, the most prominent in the Arab world, saw the attendance of only one Palestinian publishing house, among dozens of other Arab and international publishers.
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 Ahmed el-Komi on February 20

Egypt turns to Japanese model to reform education

Egypt, whose educational system is seen as widely lacking, is seeking to invigorate its school system by adopting aspects of the Japanese whole child educational model.
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 Menna A. Farouk for Al-Monitor on February 19

Erdogan presses for 1.5 million new jobs ahead of key vote

Faced with a worsening economic downturn, Turkey’s president scrambles to achieve some improvement, even if transient, ahead of a critical referendum in April.
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 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 19

What can memorizing the Quran buy you in Gaza?

Gazans who have memorized the Quran can have their weddings paid for through a new, controversial program in Gaza.
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 Rasha Abou Jalal on February 17

Can economic opportunity bring Turkey, Egypt closer?

Turkey and Egypt are making investment overtures toward one another despite lingering political animosity that is unlikely to be resolved.
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 Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 17

Resumption of Iranian oil shipping off to slow start

While many are hailing Iran's first oil tanker reaching European shores as an important development, the country's energy sector must still overcome several more hurdles.
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 David Ramin Jalilvand for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 16

Gaza barber plays with fire

A Palestinian barber in Gaza is giving his clients a unique haircut by straightening and styling their hair with fire.
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 Najlaa Eskafi on February 17

Do Iranian MPs want to send working women back home?

The Iranian parliament’s approval of a law to allow women to apply for early retirement after only working for 20 years triggers heavy criticism of the economic and social consequences.
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 Alireza Ramezani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 14

Controversy surrounds hijab during Swedish visit to Iran

Iranian hard-liners took the government to task for allowing an event where female Swedish diplomats did not wear the hijab, while the Swedish women faced blowback at home too.
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 Rohollah Faghihi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 14

Syrian actors look for fresh start in Egypt

Dozens of Syrian actors who were forced to leave Syria because of the conflict are trying to reassemble their lives and careers in Egypt.
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 Mohammed Othman on February 14

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