Culture & Society

Critical film unnerves Egypt's religious scholars

Many Egyptian clerics are up in arms over a new film that takes on the nation's sheikhs and mosque preachers, saying it harms the reverence and respect they are due and calling for it to be pulled from theaters.
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 Salwa Samir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 20

What is Turkey’s problem with Darwin?

The elimination of the theory of evolution from Turkey's high school textbooks seems to be the latest round in the country's century-old culture war.
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 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on January 20

Israeli far-right's new target: Arab bus drivers

Activists of the far-right Lehava have launched a hate campaign against Arab bus drivers.
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 Shlomi Eldar on January 20

How Turkey went back to square one 10 years after murder of Armenian intellectual

On the 10th year anniversary of the murder of prominent Armenian-Turkish intellectual Hrant Dink, Turkey appears further from reconciling with its past.
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 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on January 20

Talk of Kurdish autonomy still makes Syrians squirm

In Syria, traveling from Damascus to Qamishli can prove complicated, as suspicions about Kurdish aspirations of autonomy persist.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on January 20

US pastor in Turkish jail while Gulen dominates talks

Turkey’s prime minister has asked the US president-elect to hand over exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen in the interest of furthering US-Turkey relations even as Ankara continues to hold American Pastor Andrew Brunson on terror charges.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on January 19

Israeli Bedouin blame government for recent violence

After an Israeli police officer was killed when a villager ran over him with his car, Israeli Bedouin claim that policemen are carrying out demolitions like military operations.
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 Shlomi Eldar on January 20

Gaza's electricity protests are bold sign of dissent

Qatar pledged to donate $12 million to help ease the Gaza Strip's electricity crisis, following a wave of massive protests against Hamas' ineffectual running of the electricity sector in the Strip.
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 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 19

How Egypt is trying to stop looting at ancient mosques

Islamic archaeological monuments are constantly subjected to looting, and the Ministry of State for Antiquities has responded by ordering the contents of an ancient mosque be transferred to the ministry’s warehouses.
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 Khalid Hassan on January 20

Egypt’s graffiti artists struggle to bring women to street walls

The Women on Walls project is supporting female graffiti artists, who are still facing many challenges, including sexual harassment, when creating art on the streets in Egypt.
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 Menna A. Farouk for Al-Monitor on January 19

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