Culture & Society

Barely illegal: The changing face of Turkey's pleasure industry

Prostitution and escort services — often one and the same — are flourishing through aggressive promotions using hookup apps, social media and online marketplaces right under the nose of Islamists.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on September 28

How activists are confronting contract killings of Israeli Arab women

Activists within the Israeli Arab sector warn of growing violence and the murder of women, with five Israeli Arab women killed so far in 2016.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 28

Why Gaza's intellectuals are fleeing abroad

Lack of freedom of thought and expression is leading creative young Palestinians to flee Gaza in search of a place where they can work freely.
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 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on September 28

Egypt increases prison terms for female genital mutilation

Human rights groups applaud Egypt’s recent crackdown on female genital mutilation as a positive step, but also note political change must be accompanied by significant shifts in cultural and religious attitudes.
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 Safiaa Mounir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on September 27

Gazans aren't spared from iPhone frenzy

Despite the 10-year siege, iPhone mobile devices still make it into the Gaza Strip, where there is a high demand among the citizens who pay large amounts of money to own smartphones and keep up with technology.
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 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 27

Incitement, tensions rise over Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Controversial statements by Lebanese authorities point to growing frustration over the presence of more than 1 million Syrian refugees in their country.
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 Tom Rollins for Al-Monitor on September 28

How a kick rattled Turkey

Turkish women take to the streets to denounce conservative pressures after a young nurse is assaulted on a public bus for wearing shorts.
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 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on September 26

Culture minister steals show by blasting Israeli Oscars

When Arab-Israeli actors read a poem and held hands in a show of unity at Israel’s Academy Awards, a protesting Culture Minister Miri Regev walked out and returned to criticize the film industry’s “elitism” and threaten to cut funding.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on September 26

Why is Iraq not profiting from religious tourism?

While the number of Shiite pilgrims to Iraqi holy sites has been increasing significantly since 2003, Iraq has failed to benefit economically.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on September 26

How secondhand donations are funding development in Ramallah

A Ramallah shop is trying to do its part to help lessen Palestinians' reliance on foreign assistance for development.
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 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on September 26

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