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Inside the Middle East

CNN's Reza Sayah travels to Iran to meet the American polo player competing in the 83rd Annual Ambassador's Cup tournament.

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NFL star inspired by his Muslim faithupdated Wed Sep 03 2014 11:38:09

In 2011, NFL player Husain Abdullah shocked his team by leaving the sport he loved to explore his faith on spiritual journey to Mecca.

Ice Hockey in the UAE?updated Wed Sep 03 2014 11:37:47

CNN's Inside the Middle East meets the Ice Hockey team living and growing up in one of the hottest places on the planet.

The GIF artist who draws with humansupdated Thu Aug 21 2014 06:08:23

To Erdal Inci, GIFs are a form of visual music.

Who are the Whirling Dervishes?updated Thu Aug 14 2014 10:29:32

CNN's Inside the Middle East travels to Turkey to meet the 'Whirling Dervishes' who practice a mystical form of Islam called Sufism.

Save one dying lake, save the Middle East?updated Thu Aug 14 2014 07:28:32

Lake Urmia in Iran used to be a site to reckon with.

Egyptian TV gets edgy over Ramadanupdated Thu Aug 07 2014 22:17:05

In Egypt, television is a big deal. This is especially true during Ramadan, when networks spend an estimated $140 million on TV programming -- a sum nearly matched by what's spent on advertising.

Turkish oil wrestling: See how it worksupdated Thu Aug 07 2014 11:04:17

CNN's Ivan Watson explores the ancient sport of oil wrestling which dates back hundreds of years.

Hidden treasures of Beirutupdated Thu Aug 07 2014 08:56:55

Zawarib founder Bahi Ghubril shows us how artists are turning Lebanon's capital into their canvas.

Oil wrestling with Turkish giantsupdated Thu Aug 07 2014 07:58:16

CNN's Ivan Watson explores the ancient sport of oil wrestling which dates back hundreds of years.

The cultural heart of Middle Eastupdated Thu Aug 07 2014 07:55:14

CNN's Becky Anderson embarks on an exciting journey across the region and meets Egyptian film star Asser Yassin.

Shopping malls go wild in Dubai with animal attractionsupdated Mon Jul 28 2014 22:53:40

Dubai is home to the tallest building, largest mall and biggest candy shop.

Passion and politics combine for Orhan Pamuk, the voice of Istanbulupdated Sun Jul 27 2014 23:14:15

Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's Nobel Prize-winning author, is neither afraid to confront the human condition in his novels, nor his country's past and political present.

In Beirut, Ramadan is different this yearupdated Wed Jul 23 2014 22:57:34

The smell of traditional dishes served during Ramadan fill the house of Iman, a Lebanese mother of four.

Bringing Rumi's poetry to a new audienceupdated Wed Jul 16 2014 13:37:37

Iranian classical musician Hafez Nazeri talks about connecting the world with his culture and the the words of Rumi.

Your 'good drone' idea could be worth $1mupdated Mon Jul 14 2014 22:44:25

Unmanned aerial vehicles aren't generally thought of as technology that improves lives; they're more readily associated with spying or attacking things.

How an Iranian musician took ancient Persian poetry to the top of the U.S. chartsupdated Mon Jul 14 2014 01:37:16

Arriving in New York City at the age of 19 to study music, Hafez Nazeri knew he wanted to do big things.

A taste of home for Syrian refugeesupdated Thu Jul 03 2014 09:43:39

Syrian refugees living in Lebanon cook perfect dishes from their home country as they prepare for a life after conflict.

Syrian musicians hit the right note in Lebanonupdated Thu Jul 03 2014 09:43:19

CNN's Inside the Middle East meets a Syrian rock band thriving in Beirut's music scene.

Real high tech: How will the elevators work in the world's tallest building?updated Tue Jul 01 2014 22:43:05

Whether or not Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Tower will be the world's tallest building upon completion is subject to debate (last week, it was announced China just might thwart the Kingdom's ambitions).

Super-sizing Ramadan: The Middle East's glitziest tent feastsupdated Thu Jun 26 2014 19:15:45

It may be a time of fasting, but the Muslim holy month of Ramadan can also be a time of indulgence. (Ramadan begins this year on June 28 or 29, depending on which part of the world is observing.)

Meet the woman who has 'adopted' 53,000 laborersupdated Wed Jun 25 2014 23:41:37

When Saher Shaikh first moved to Dubai, the rights of the city's labor population was the furthest thing from her mind.

A scorched-earth public park? Only in Abu Dhabiupdated Tue Jun 10 2014 22:46:32

Sometimes it seems that Abu Dhabi, despite being one of the richest cities on earth, is uncertain of its identity: much of its new architecture is heavily influenced by European examples rather than a desert or Gulf vernacular.

Living on the edge: The Middle East's most endangered animalsupdated Thu Jun 05 2014 07:14:14

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Comedian breaks down barriersupdated Thu Jun 05 2014 07:13:33

Inside the Middle East meets Maysoon Zayid, a Palestinian-American who inspires young disabled children in the West Bank.

A hike across the Holy Landupdated Thu Jun 05 2014 07:06:09

CNN's Ben Wedeman explores ancient footpaths in the wilds of the West Bank.

Jerusalem's ancient history comes to lifeupdated Thu Jun 05 2014 06:51:04

Inside the Middle East meets photographer Garo Nalbandian who has captured life in Jerusalem's Old City for more than half a century.

Petra, built for the sun gods?updated Sun May 18 2014 22:25:34

Few ancient civilizations have left an architectural footprint quite as indelible as the Nabateans did in Petra, southern Jordan.

Camping with Bedouin nomads in 'God-like' desert of Jordan's Wadi Rumupdated Wed May 14 2014 23:40:55

Deep in the remote deserts of southern Jordan, not far from the border with Saudi Arabia, lies Wadi Rum one of the world's most stunning natural wonders.

Tourists threaten world heritage siteupdated Thu May 08 2014 19:02:04

Tourism is a vital source of income for those living in Jordan's Wadi Rum desert and sustainability is becoming a priority.

In the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabiaupdated Thu May 08 2014 14:20:40

Inside the Middle East explores how Jordan's nomadic culture is evolving while keeping traditions alive.

Bedouins thrive in 'God-like' desertupdated Thu May 08 2014 14:19:23

Inside the Middle East explores Wadi Rum, a stunning expanse of windswept valleys and gorges made famous 100 years ago by the visit - and subsequent writings - of British army officer T.E. Lawrence.

The soundtrack to Egypt's revolutionupdated Thu May 08 2014 08:50:18

Can music heal the rift of revolution and conflict in Egypt? CNN's Reza Sayah meets the Egyptian band trying.

Capturing the beauty of Wadi Rumupdated Thu May 08 2014 08:48:27

CNN's Jon Jensen and Alasdair Skene were faced with the daunting task of how to capture the beauty of Jordan's Wadi Rum.

'Star Wars' force is strong in the UAEupdated Sun May 04 2014 16:50:56

Amir Daftari searches for the new "Star Wars" set in the depths of the Arabian Desert, with the help of UAE super fans.

Egypt's mummies get virtually naked with CT scansupdated Thu May 01 2014 00:49:58

The urge to undress a mummy can be strong. In the 19th century, Egyptologists didn't think twice about tearing off a mummy's wrappings. Even Ramses the Great couldn't avoid the indignity of being stripped bare in front of an audience of curious onlookers.

Hollywood movies in Arab countries: A love and hate relationshipupdated Wed Apr 23 2014 22:37:25

Arab residents in the Middle East and North Africa may enjoy Hollywood blockbusters, but they are also wary of the content, saying it is potentially "harmful to morality," a study finds.

Saudi Arabia to build world's tallest tower, reaching 1 kilometer into the skyupdated Thu Apr 17 2014 22:18:03

Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from neighboring Saudi Arabia.

You'll never guess where this record-breaking mural isupdated Sun Apr 13 2014 22:44:48

With no end in sight for the Syrian civil war, it's mostly grim pictures that come out from the country.

A modern day wonder in the Sea of Galilee, Israel's hotspot for migratory birdsupdated Wed Apr 09 2014 22:55:03

The Sea of Gallilee, where Christ reputedly walked on water, is today home to another miracle of sorts.

The Syrian filmmakers aiming to change your view of the warupdated Tue Apr 08 2014 22:08:40

In Syria, not all rebels carry guns, some carry cameras.

Creating a safe haven for Syrian artists fleeing warupdated Thu Apr 03 2014 22:49:02

For three decades or so, Syrian artist Safwan Dahoul has been painting pensive, haunting images -- all of which are titled "Dream".

Incendiary lyrics and high-powered motorbikes: Egypt's revolutionary rock band won't keep quietupdated Wed Apr 02 2014 23:23:09

Before releasing an album most bands would talk about record sales or concert dates. But for Egyptian band Cairokee the bigger talking point is whether they will get arrested.

Millions of birds migrate in Galilieeupdated Wed Apr 02 2014 14:04:28

CNN's Nic Robertson travels to the banks of the Galilee river where hundreds of millions of birds migrate every year.

Dubai gets trippy with Festival of Lightsupdated Thu Mar 27 2014 23:16:35

Dubai's most impressive buildings are looking a little psychedelic this week.

Rebel academics set up university to save Syria's 'lost generation' updated Wed Mar 19 2014 22:24:41

In many ways, Musab Al-Jamal makes for an unassuming rebel.

Scarface in a fez? Classic films get an Ottoman makeoverupdated Tue Mar 18 2014 22:11:32

While an art student at Dumlupinar University, Turkish illustrator Murat Palta watched "Star Wars". As with the generations of fans that preceded him, he was struck by the film's epic quality. Though the movie is set in the future, Palta was reminded of the colorful Ottoman miniatures that illustrated Turkish literature from the 16th century.

Opinion: Time to stop child marriage in Yemen and give girls back their childhoodupdated Mon Mar 17 2014 00:01:52

Throughout my career as a doctor I have traveled from the mountains of Yemen to its deserts. I have seen first hand what happens when children give birth to children. I have seen the tombstones of girls who died too young because they married too young.

Take a look inside the world's largest mallupdated Wed Mar 05 2014 21:03:31

It may seem stunning that one of the most visited tourist attractions on the planet is a mall. Attracting 75 million visitors a year, The Dubai Mall gets more foot traffic than the Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls and Disney World combined.

Dubai Mall's famous fountain showupdated Wed Mar 05 2014 10:23:02

Every day the Dubai Fountain puts on twelve spectacular shows of light and water.

Sharks and otters inside a mall?updated Wed Mar 05 2014 10:22:49

Dubai Mall aquarium is one of the largest ion the world. Find out how employees maintain the delicate ecosystem.

Dubai Mall attracts 75 million people a yearupdated Wed Mar 05 2014 10:22:36

Bigger than fifty football pitches the Dubai Mall is one of the most visited places on earth.

A first for conservative Saudi Arabiaupdated Tue Mar 04 2014 11:17:40

Somayya Jabarti is making her mark in a man's world. She has been appointed Saudi Arabia's first female newspaper editor.

Do camel bones discredit the bible?updated Thu Feb 20 2014 05:23:14

In the Old Testament, camels made for a very useful literary device. Primarily, they represent great wealth; When Abraham journeys to Egypt, the Pharaoh offers him a huge bounty, including sheep, servants and -- the crème de la crème -- camels, in exchange for Abraham's wife, Sarah (though in fairness, the Pharaoh thought they were siblings).

A first for conservative Saudi Arabia: a female newspaper editorupdated Mon Feb 17 2014 08:59:57

Like other Saudi women, she's not allowed to drive or move around freely. But Somayya Jabarti will soon be setting the news agenda for thousands of readers in the Middle Eastern kingdom.

Gaza fisherman hooks statue of ancient Greek god Apollo updated Thu Feb 13 2014 07:25:29

When Jwdat Abu Ghrb spotted a dark shape last summer in the waters off Gaza, where he was diving for fish, he initially thought it was a corpse.

Facing the abyss: Freedivers take on deadly depths in extreme sport updated Wed Feb 12 2014 22:51:52

For most people plunging into the ocean's cold, dark depths without an oxygen tank would be an alarming experience. But for Ahmad Tahilmet and his friends its one of life's greatest pleasures.

No elevators in Burj Khalifa? Residents face threats over fees disputeupdated Tue Feb 11 2014 10:54:05

What is it like to live in the tallest building in the world?

The deepest waters your body can handleupdated Mon Feb 10 2014 21:31:41

CNN's Sara Sidner meets Emiratis diving as deep as 30 meters, without oxygen tanks.

Bored of F1 and NASCAR? Try dune bashing, the UAE's extreme motorsportupdated Sun Feb 09 2014 21:20:04

If you think drag racing is extreme, you should try doing it uphill and on sand.

Bollywood dreams in Dubai's labor campsupdated Wed Feb 05 2014 21:45:07

What is life like for the men who build Dubai's skyscrapers?

Meet Dubai's singing migrant workersupdated Wed Feb 05 2014 19:15:51

"Champ of the Camp" is a documentary exploring the lives of the South Asian laborers who helped build the city's skyline.

Risking your life for precious pearlsupdated Wed Feb 05 2014 19:11:08

CNN's Sara Sidner explores the tradition of pearl diving which helped many Emiratis earn a living in the past.

From desert to millionaires' paradiseupdated Wed Feb 05 2014 19:09:36

CNN's Sara Sidner explores Dubai -- one of seven Emirates that form the UAE.

'Arts Mecca' showcases rich cultureupdated Wed Feb 05 2014 12:17:45

CNN's Sara Sidner explores the booming arts scene in Sharjah, the most conservative Emirate in the UAE.

Brave Emiratis take on steep sand dunesupdated Wed Feb 05 2014 12:13:46

CNN's Jon Jensen reports on an unusual competition in one of the most remote places in the UAE.

Cross-faith crowd-funding helps rebuild torched Lebanon libraryupdated Mon Feb 03 2014 22:06:09

A priest's flock is crowd-funding $35,000 to restore a renowned Lebanese library, which was set on fire a few weeks ago.

Saudi man loses more than 700 pounds after King intervenesupdated Mon Feb 03 2014 10:21:17

A Saudi man has lost more than 700 pounds (320 kilograms) -- more than half his body weight -- since Saudi Arabia's King ordered him hospitalized in August, according to a Saudi magazine that interviewed him at a hospital.

First dinosaur bones in Saudi Arabia discoveredupdated Sun Jan 26 2014 23:28:50

For palaeontologists, the Middle East has long proven a bit of a blind spot.

Tomb of ancient Egypt's beer maker to gods of the dead discoveredupdated Mon Jan 20 2014 01:11:48

Imagine a warm brew of lager so heady you had to plunge a straw through the thick surface scum to get to the fermented liquor below.

Saving an endangered species, Arabian-styleupdated Fri Jan 17 2014 04:26:28

What do you give the sheik who's already checked palaces and private planes off his royal wish list?

Migrant worker from the Philippines triumphs in Israel's 'X Factor' updated Wed Jan 15 2014 23:04:22

There are moments when reality television can highlight a country's sensitivities.

Can Cairo street eats be the next global foodie phenomenon?updated Sun Jan 12 2014 22:44:04

In Egypt, the words "street food" and "gourmet" don't often go hand in hand.

Cairo artists take creative energy to the streetsupdated Wed Jan 08 2014 21:32:06

Egypt's revolution in 2011 gave birth to an explosion of new creativity, especially street art.

Reinventing Egyptian street foodupdated Wed Jan 08 2014 13:43:02

Leone Lakhani meets two business partners who are putting a fresh spin on traditional street food.

Cairo's thriving art sceneupdated Wed Jan 08 2014 13:41:17

CNN's Leone Lakhani explores how Egypt's revolution has given new life to creativity.

Cairo's rich street cultureupdated Wed Jan 08 2014 13:37:16

Leone Lakhani discovers how art, music and food are all influenced by the bustling streets of the Egyptian capital.

Can wind towers take the heat off UAE's air-con addiction?updated Thu Jan 02 2014 21:16:32

With its vast shopping malls, indoor skiing centers and artificial indoor beaches Dubai can lay claim to the dubious distinction of being one of the most air-conditioned cities in the world.

How modern adventurers put cart before the camel in 'crazy' desert crossingupdated Sun Dec 22 2013 23:19:16

Hot, thirsty, frustrated and exhausted, British adventurers Alastair Humphreys and Leon McCarron were already feeling despair set in.

Milking the desert: How mega-dairies thrive in Saudi sandsupdated Wed Dec 18 2013 03:31:04

Jersey, Guernsey, Holstein; the world's dairy cattle breeds bear the names of some of the wettest, lushest, and greenest places in Europe, testament to the fact that to produce milk you need a lot of water.

American singer on 'Arabs Got Talent' falls just shortupdated Sat Dec 07 2013 16:59:20

American Jennifer Grout fell just short of the top prize in the "Arabs Got Talent" competition after a remarkable run to the finals by a 23-year-old from Massachusetts who barely speaks Arabic.

Will the world be wowed by Dubai's futuristic souk built for Expo 2020?updated Thu Dec 05 2013 21:24:31

Think of the Arab souk -- the fabled marketplaces of the Middle East -- and it immediately conjures up images straight from the Arabian Nights: mountains of yellow turmeric, shafts of light through lattices and the air thick with incense smoke.

A rare look behind the scenesupdated Thu Dec 05 2013 14:26:26

Sara Sidner gives you backstage access to what really happens behind the scenes at Inside the Middle East.

How food brings people togetherupdated Thu Dec 05 2013 14:20:17

Sara Sidner looks back at some of the most fascinating culinary stories covered this year on Inside the Middle East.

The best of Inside the Middle Eastupdated Thu Dec 05 2013 14:13:34

CNN's Sara Sidner looks back at some of the most memorable stories covered this year.

All-American singer with very 'Arab' voice may win 'Arabs Got Talent'updated Thu Dec 05 2013 04:37:38

When all-American Jennifer Grout first stepped on stage to audition, nobody could have anticipated how this 23-year-old from Massachusetts would take the Middle East by storm.

Oxford, Yale or Abu Dhabi? Middle East aims to become hub for universitiesupdated Wed Nov 27 2013 21:46:07

Next year's college applicants have some difficult choices to make. Is it better to go to state school or private? Stay close to home or ship out to Abu Dhabi?

From Gaza Strip to The Windy City: 'Arab Idol' winner Mohammed Assaf tours U.S.updated Fri Nov 15 2013 22:07:07

This summer 23 year-old Mohammed Assaf won the "Arab Idol" singing competition and with his silky smooth vocals has united Arabs across the world.

Seven-star satire? Only in Dubaiupdated Fri Nov 15 2013 09:34:33

Sometimes, residents of the Middle East have a hard time taking a joke. This, at least, is how the editor of the satirical blog the Pan-Arabia Enquirer sees it. The website, based in Dubai and self-dubbed "the world's only 7-star satirical news source," gets roughly 400,000 page views per month and is often likened to The Onion. According to its editor, some of the most popular stories are often confused for bona fide fact.

Mideast art auction bids to help Syria's child refugeesupdated Wed Nov 06 2013 22:11:17

When charity and creativity go hand in hand, the result can be a work of art -- quite literally.

Morocco's ancient art of leather-makingupdated Wed Nov 06 2013 12:54:53

Inside the Middle East looks at the tradition of making handmade leather at one of the oldest tanneries in the world.

The sound of 'chaabi' musicupdated Wed Nov 06 2013 11:51:44

Inside the Middle East travels to Morocco, where Hala Gorani meets a famous musical group reborn after 50 years.

Morocco's real Casablancaupdated Wed Nov 06 2013 11:50:25

Inside the Middle East travels to Morocco, where Hala Gorani explores the real Casablanca.

In Bahrain, development chips away at world's largest, oldest burial siteupdated Thu Oct 31 2013 22:13:49

Development in Bahrain has not been slow. In half a century, the small Gulf Island has grown from a hilly, desert landscape with 143,000 inhabitants to an overcrowded metropolis of 1.2 million residents. The most striking change, however, has been topographical.

Saudi women defy driving banupdated Mon Oct 28 2013 09:19:26

Saudi Arabian women defy authorities over female driving ban. CNN's Mohammad Jamjoom reports.

Saudi women's driving protest kicks offupdated Mon Oct 28 2013 09:17:35

Saudi women plan to demonstrate against their nation's no-women driving laws. More from CNN's Natalie Allen.

Why Saudi Arabia can't ban women from driving foreverupdated Fri Oct 25 2013 05:18:10

There's something extraordinary happening in Saudi Arabia right now. I should know -- you see, I was born there, lived there half my life, speak the language and understand the customs. Lately, I'm both amazed at and humbled by what I'm seeing: Extremely brave Saudi women, more driven than ever to change their society, despite the sad fact that they still aren't allowed to drive.

Could the next Banksy come from Dubai?updated Thu Oct 17 2013 05:44:20

At first glance, it seems the graffiti revolution that descended on the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring has largely bypassed Dubai. The city's public transport -- usually an irresistible canvas for taggers -- remains remarkably glistening. The walls of the city's myriad new builds are unmarred by aerosol sketches. Head indoors, however, and you're likely to find a different story.

Saudi women show defiance by drivingupdated Tue Oct 15 2013 08:31:21

Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive. Mohammed Jamjoom reports a growing number of women want to change that.

Hotel lets you live like Bedouinupdated Thu Oct 03 2013 13:18:38

Jomana Karadsheh visits a Jordan eco-lodge hotel which transports people back in time.

Ancient history comes to life in Jordanupdated Thu Oct 03 2013 13:02:26

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh visits the Jordan Museum which will exhibit more than 4,000 artifacts once it opens.

Watch Roman fighters come to lifeupdated Thu Oct 03 2013 12:58:59

History enthusiast Stellan Lind has made it his mission to reenact ancient gladiator battles.

Hotel lets you live like a Bedouinupdated Thu Oct 03 2013 12:45:01

Jomana Karadsheh visits a hotel designed as one of Jordan's first eco-lodges which transports people back in time.

Jordan's ancient history comes to lifeupdated Wed Oct 02 2013 07:41:45

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh visits the Jordan Museum which will exhibit more than 4,000 artifacts once it opens.

Exploring Jordan's historic ruinsupdated Wed Oct 02 2013 07:31:52

Jomana Karadsheh looks at how the Arab nation has been influenced by Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans, Arabs and Europeans.

Sex, lies and lithographs: An Iranian epic for the massesupdated Mon Sep 30 2013 23:06:15

Few books truly invade a national psyche. When a work manages to do so for 1,000 years, it's a pretty spectacular feat.

The dangers of being a cartoonist in the Arab worldupdated Wed Sep 18 2013 23:13:31

In many ways, the Middle East makes a strange -- and at times perilous -- hotbed for caricature.

Saudis seek Oscar glory for female director who defied death threatsupdated Fri Sep 13 2013 12:39:25

Traditionally, Saudi Arabia hasn't had much time for film. The country boasts no cinemas, and until last year, nothing but a handful of shorts had ever even been filmed on Saudi soil.

Kurdish men in drag promote feminism in the regionupdated Wed Sep 11 2013 22:22:39

Last April, images of Kurdish men dressed in drag started making the rounds on Facebook.

Twitter campaign highlights poverty in Saudi Arabiaupdated Thu Sep 05 2013 21:49:16

A few weeks ago, an Arabic campaign exploded on Twitter. The Arabic hashtag -- #??????_??????_?????? (loosely translated as "the salary does not meet my needs") -- reached 17 million tweets in the first two weeks.

The art of making baklavaupdated Wed Sep 04 2013 09:52:54

Chef Arda Turkmen stops for dessert at Gulluoglu, one of the oldest baklava bakeries in the world.

Reviving 'lost' Ottoman cuisineupdated Wed Sep 04 2013 09:50:37

Chef Arda Turkmen meets the owner of a restaurant that's bringing historic food back to life in Istanbul, Turkey.

Exploring Istanbul's history with foodupdated Wed Sep 04 2013 09:49:38

Chef Arda Turkmen explores the Turkish city's buzzing food scene, a great way to experience its rich past.

15th-century Ottoman cuisine revivedupdated Tue Sep 03 2013 11:59:23

Turkish restaurant owner Batur Durmay is a leading voice in Ottoman cuisine with recipes dating back hundreds of years

Discover Istanbul's street foodupdated Tue Sep 03 2013 09:23:26

Chef Arda Turkmen discovers the city's street food -- including a market that sells barbecued sheep heads.

Baklava secrets revealedupdated Tue Sep 03 2013 09:16:35

Turkish chef Arda Turkmen stops for dessert at Gulluoglu, one of the oldest baklava bakeries in the world.

My airport's bigger than yours: Middle East's big aviation ambitionsupdated Fri Aug 30 2013 04:32:34

The Middle East is currently the setting of a new form of airspace race. As the economies grow in a handful of countries in the region, so too do ambitions -- and few things symbolize a country's aspirations as aptly as an airport.

Saudi King intervenes to help 1,345-pound manupdated Mon Aug 19 2013 12:23:04

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has intervened to help a man who has become one of the heaviest people in the world.

Raha Moharrak: First Saudi woman to conquer Everest and break taboosupdated Tue Aug 13 2013 11:47:53

Climbing the world's highest mountain is challenge enough, but for Raha Moharrak, it also meant breaking a taboo.

Rock the conflict: Jewish and Palestinian metal bands tour for peaceupdated Sun Aug 11 2013 22:25:29

Two Israeli bands, one Jewish and one Arab, are joining together in "metal brotherhood" to spread a message of peace through rock 'n roll.

What was Ramadan like for Syrian refugees?updated Fri Aug 09 2013 00:54:31

The Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, ended this week, marked across the Islamic world by the feasts of Eid el Fitr.

Mystery surrounds Egyptian sphinx unearthed in Israelupdated Thu Aug 08 2013 22:01:06

Tel Hazor in northern Israel has long been a treasure trove for archeologists, but a recent discovery of part of a 4,000-year-old Egyptian sphinx has been a most unexpected find.

Not so fast: Ramadan sees rise in binge eating and A&E casesupdated Wed Aug 07 2013 22:13:54

As Ramadan has drawn to a close -- and with it, mandatory daytime fasting -- Muslims can breathe a sigh of relief as their diets return to normal. Many, however, will be surprised to find their clothes a little snugger, and their health in a perilous state.

Mystery surrounds ancient sphinxupdated Wed Aug 07 2013 11:31:09

CNN's Leone Lakhani meets an archeologist whose team has made a discovery that could rewrite history.

Ancient city holds on to its rich pastupdated Wed Aug 07 2013 11:27:48

CNN's Leone Lakhani visits Acre, an Israeli city with both rich history and cultural diversity.

Artifact 'gold mine' rewrites history?updated Wed Aug 07 2013 10:24:27

CNN's Leone Lakhani meets Amnon Ben-Tor who manages Tel Hazor, the largest archaeological site in Israel.

Biblical city fights for survivalupdated Wed Aug 07 2013 10:19:07

CNN's Leone Lakhani visits Sebastia, an ancient city in desperate need of preservation.

Mysteries of the ancient Holy Landupdated Wed Aug 07 2013 10:12:28

Leone Lakhani travels to the Israeli city of Acre, one of the best preserved and oldest settlements in the Middle East.

Middle East media surveys find mix of freedom, controls and contradictionsupdated Sun Aug 04 2013 23:01:07

The Arab world's relationship with media is -- like the region itself -- complicated and often contradictory and one that has been changing rapidly since the Arab Spring.

'Space stations' to transform Riyadh in mega metro projectupdated Wed Jul 31 2013 22:50:40

Can car-loving Saudis be convinced to step out of their air-conditioned comfort and take public transport?

Yemeni girl from YouTube wants education, not marriageupdated Tue Jul 30 2013 21:02:07

A young Yemeni girl stares defiantly into the camera. Her question is a shocking one, coming from an 11-year-old:

Ramadan acts as 'Super Bowl for adverts' in the Middle Eastupdated Mon Jul 29 2013 00:09:08

For those that live and work in the Middle East, Ramadan is a period of considerable downtime. In many countries, special laws require the working day is reduced to accommodate those fasting (observers are meant to abstain from food, water, cigarettes -- even gossip -- during the daylight hours of the month-long holiday).

Baalbek, Lebanon: Where the Roman ruins outstrip Romeupdated Wed Jul 17 2013 23:29:25

I approached Baalbek on a hot, dry day out of Beirut, down a broken road where children played, oblivious to passing cars.

Seawater and solar power grow crops in the desertupdated Wed Jul 17 2013 00:20:43

In the scorching desert of Qatar, scientists are showing that saltwater can be used to help grow crops.

The 'crowd' gives entrepreneurs a kick-start in the Middle Eastupdated Mon Jul 15 2013 00:01:59

Things are looking up for entrepreneurs in the Middle East as a new breed of crowdfunding is emerging to help bring life to innovative ideas from the region.

Qatar gets its first World Heritage siteupdated Mon Jul 08 2013 00:17:11

Qatar's youthful new ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has acquired another jewel in his burgeoning crown. The archaeological site of Al Zubarah on the northern tip of the tiny Arab emirate has been added by UNESCO to its list of World Heritage sites.

New city offers vision of better life in West Bank updated Thu Jul 04 2013 23:47:58

High in the hills between Ramallah and Nablus in the West Bank sits a huge construction site its developers hope will transform the lives of Palestinians for generations to come.

Google captures view from world's tallest buildingupdated Wed Jul 03 2013 23:20:51

Fancy a stroll around the observation deck of the tallest building in the world?

Freerunners find their feet in Baghdadupdated Tue Jul 02 2013 22:52:40

Leaping from rooftops and doing backflips off walls is when Prince Haydar feels the most free.

Middle East battle for rights to Angry Birds theme parkupdated Tue Jun 18 2013 07:53:10

Those countries in the Middle East that have been spared political upheaval find themselves enmeshed in a different sort of battle of late. As Qatar, the UAE and Jordan split what's left of the region's tourists, each is fighting to pull in the lion's share. Their weapon of choice? Theme parks.

Dubai's latest superlative: The world's tallest, twisted towerupdated Wed Jun 12 2013 09:50:35

A land of superlatives.

After turbulent times Iraqi Airways reaches for the skiesupdated Sun Jun 09 2013 22:59:56

Even during difficult times, Iraqi Airways is aiming high.

Sporting chance: Iraqi women struggle for a level playing fieldupdated Fri Jun 07 2013 00:15:26

Filing nervously into a sports hall in Mosul, northern Iraq, around 20 girls prepared to practice gymnastics. Compared to their male counterparts at Mosul University's Faculty of Sport, their number is small. Another difference is that the gates to the sports hall were locked behind them and an announcement made that the hall was exclusively allocated for women.

Bunny business: Playboy hopes to push boundaries with Hebrew edition updated Tue Jun 04 2013 22:20:12

Playboy magazine recently published its first Hebrew language edition in Israel -- but has anyone actually been reading the articles to notice?

Iran tightens grip on cyberspace with 'halal internet'updated Mon Jun 03 2013 00:23:45

In the last few months Iranians have found themselves in a cyber no-man's land.

Bling, kebabs, cocktails: Guinness World Records moves to Dubaiupdated Mon May 27 2013 09:50:31

The United Arab Emirates is no stranger to superlatives: the world's tallest building, among the world's most expensive hotels, even the largest kebab.

From Jeeves to Jiang: The changing face of butlers in the Middle Eastupdated Mon May 20 2013 22:54:20

In popular culture, butlers are usually portrayed as "Made in Britain" and tend to stately homes somewhere in the English countryside. The last few years has revealed a different reality, however. Increasingly, "Jeeves" and his ilk are as likely to be found managing a palace in Saudi Arabia as a manor in England.

'Arab Idol's' first contestant from Gaza grabs spotlight updated Thu May 16 2013 18:27:11

One contestant on "Arab Idol," the Middle Eastern version of American Idol, has been drawing attention because of more than just his impressive vocals.

Can Saudi Arabia's first anti-domestic violence advert make a difference? updated Sun May 12 2013 23:08:29

Last month, thousands of people in Saudi Arabia opened up their newspapers to find a full-page picture of a woman with a black eye clearly visible underneath her burqa.

More 'likes' than the Louvre: Tiny museum shows rise of Saudi artupdated Wed May 08 2013 23:00:32

If Facebook is the ultimate popularity test, then the most famous art institute on the planet is not in Paris, New York or London.

Middle Eastern youth find comic relief through stand-upupdated Mon May 06 2013 22:24:37

It has been a rocky couple of years for the people of Egypt. Since the 2011 revolution, the economy has tanked, street protests are an almost daily occurrence and the political situation remains volatile.

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