Culture & Society

Iranian tourists flock to Turkish border towns

While Turkey's tourist industry is affected by Russian and European tourists no longer traveling to its shores in the large numbers seen previously, Iranian tourists party the night away in border towns such as Van.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on March 23

How Egypt's religious institutions are trying to curb atheism

Egyptian court records show thousands of women have filed for divorce over their husbands' atheism — even though religious authorities maintain there are only 866 atheists in the country.
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 N.A. Hussein on March 23

Gaza circus schools juggle raising funds, training children

Two young men from the Gaza Strip established their own circus schools to teach children and amateurs the art of circus, as a way to express themselves under siege.
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 Hana Salah on March 23

What does it mean to be a Jerusalemite?

While Israel's Supreme Court recognized Palestinians' continued "resident-native" affiliation to Jerusalem after extended absences, Israel Prize judges gave this year’s award to a person who has dedicated his life to replacing Palestinian residents with Jews.
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 Akiva Eldar on March 23

How TV series can create new reality for traumatized Turks

Riding the populist wave of patriotism, Turkey’s entertainment sector has tuned to stories of bravery on the battlefield.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on March 22

How did humanitarian funds end up in Hamas' pockets?

Israeli authorities are accusing Hamas of stealing funds from humanitarian organizations working in the Gaza Strip, but any action to stop the embezzlement could harm the Gaza population the aid is intended for.
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 Shlomi Eldar on

Nowruz becomes opportunity for dialogue in Iraq

During Nowruz this year, the Baha’i community in Iraq has launched a social dialogue initiative to establish a foundation of dialogue and coexistence in all components of society.
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 Saad Salloum on March 21

On Nowruz, massive pro-Kurdish rallies flood Turkey's Diyarbakir

Despite the wide repression their politicians have faced, Turkey's Kurds seem unintimidated as thousands gathered in Diyarbakir to celebrate Nowruz and raise their voices in defiance.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on March 21

European court ruling on headscarves sparks ire in Ankara

Turkey to provide legal assistance to women affected by a European ruling that allows companies to ban employees from wearing headscarves.
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 Riada Asimovic Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 21

Israeli police raid map center outside East Jerusalem

Though past Israeli ministers promised the Palestinians their Jerusalem institutions would be preserved, the venerable Orient House has been closed and the map department it once housed has been raided outside the city limits.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on March 21

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