Middle East

12:01am

Thu June 23, 2011
Middle East

In West Bank, Palestinian Accord Faces Challenges

A voter casts his ballot to elect the board of the largest private medical association in the West Bank city of Hebron. Out of 14 people running, seven are backed by Fatah. There isn't a single candidate running under the Hamas banner.
Jonathan Levinson For NPR

A newly minted peace deal between rival Palestinian factions is already fraying. Fatah, which rules the West Bank, and the militant group Hamas, which holds sway in Gaza, have been at odds since a civil war broke out in Gaza in 2007.

Last month, the groups signed a reconciliation agreement. The two factions were supposed to announce the composition of a unity government in Cairo this week, but the meeting was postponed following disagreements over who should assume the post of prime minister.

A Microcosmic Election?

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11:14am

Sun June 19, 2011
The Two-Way

'A Historical Moment': The Saudi Women Challenging A Government By Driving

Michael Bou-Nacklie Michael Bou-Nacklie

Fridays in Riyadh are usually slow and lazy, as the sprawling city only begins to wake up after the noon prayers. But this past Friday, a women's rights issue that's been brewing for decades spilled onto the streets.

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8:51am

Fri June 17, 2011
The Two-Way

Saudi Women Get Behind The Wheel, Renew Protest Of Driving Ban

Manal al-Sharif, some supporters say, is Saudi Arabia's Rosa Parks.
Facebook

We're starting to see reports on Twitter about today's #Women2Drive campaign against Saudi Arabia's cultural ban on women drivers.

-- From Jeddah, Laila Sindi says that after 10 minutes behind the wheel she came to a police checkpoint. Her tweets indicate she was detained for a couple hours.

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9:01am

Tue May 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Saudi Woman Defies Ban On Driving While Female

Manal al-Sharif, some supporters say, is Saudi Arabia's Rosa Parks.
Facebook

One woman's effort to end the ban on her gender being able to drive in Saudi Arabia is catching attention around the world.

And on Morning Edition today, the editor of Jeddah's Saudi News said that Manal al-Sharif's campaign is gaining some traction in Saudi Arabia.

"More and more women will take up the wheel," Khalid al Moeena told ME guest host Mary Louise Kelly.

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8:00am

Sun April 24, 2011
Middle East

Qatar In Libya: Big Mission For A Small Country

The tiny but influential Arab nation of Qatar was the first Arab state to join the allied effort to stop the bloodshed in Libya. A third of its fighter-jet fleet is now on the Souda air base on the Greek island of Crete. The Qataris, working alongside the French, are helping enforce the NATO-led no-fly zone over Libya.

Two Mirage 2000 jets — one Qatari, one French — rev their engines. The pilots turn the sleek planes onto a runway on this craggy stretch of northwestern Crete.

About 20 Qatari men in desert-hued camouflage watch from a shady spot near the runway.

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