Iraqi artist Natiq Al-Alousi, who once worked for Saddam Hussein, struggles to find buyers in the UAE.
Aisha Al Khater, director of Doha's Museum of Islamic Art, talks about making the city a cultural capital.
A mysterious, circular structure, with a diameter greater than the length of a Boeing 747 jet, has been discovered submerged about 30 feet (9 meters) underneath the Sea of Galilee in Israel.
In 2003, former newspaper editor Ali Reza Eshraghi made a mistake that cost him his freedom: he published a cartoon.
Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has reiterated his support for giving women the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, announcing via Twitter that it would help the economy and reduce the number of foreign workers there.
Dubai already has the world's tallest building, the world's largest shopping mall, and the largest man-made archipelago. So it's no surprise that the country's police would drive one of the world's most extravagant and expensive cars.
After generations of conflict, the clamor of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has the tendency to drown out other voices and stories from the region.
Beset by war and sectarian violence, Iraq has not had a lot to laugh about in recent years.
Babylon was one of the glories of the ancient world, its walls and mythic hanging gardens listed among the Seven Wonders.
"Ako Fad Wahed" ("There is this guy") is pushing social boundaries in Iraq -- and angering some conservatives.
Arwa Damon gets taken white water rafting by a group of Iraqis hoping to turn Kurdistan into a haven for eco-tourists.
Iraq's autonomous northern region of Kurdistan is eager to display its distinct cultural heritage and booming economy.
The newest residents of the ancient city are fighting to protect a site trampled by Saddam Hussein and new developers.
Once the world's capital of literature, mathematics and the arts, Baghdad is struggling to recapture its former glory.
Film-making was not an obvious career path for the young Annemarie Jacir.
Getting anyone in Lebanon to weigh in on where to find the best shawarma or falafel is asking for trouble.
In a remote corner of the United Arab Emirates, a blue lake shimmers amid the sand dunes.
Bone-chilling cold is virtually unimaginable to the people of Oman, where temperatures routinely hit 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) during the hot season.
A dusty track in the remote western region of the United Arab Emirates is one of the last places you'd expect to find a beauty pageant.
CNN's Sara Sidner meets two filmmakers whose documentaries were nominated for Academy Awards this year.
CNN's Leone Lakhani reports from the annual Muscat Festival which celebrates Oman's history and its animals.
CNN's Leone Lakhani looks at how Muscat is taking center stage on the cultural map with both opera and filmmaking.
CNN's Leone Lakhani reports on a lake that experts say formed as a side effect of increased desalination usage.
CNN's Leone Lakhani meets two men who are preparing for a remote research expedition.
CNN's Leone Lakhani explores how Oman is using its rich history to attract tourism.
Soraya Bahgat, a Cairo-based HR executive and postgraduate student, was on her way to join Tahrir Square protests on November 25 when an unwelcome thought stopped her in her tracks.
They've been described as the voice of their generation -- though not one that everyone is comfortable hearing.
Film-maker and artist Tina Gharavi grew up idolizing Muhammad Ali, the trailblazing American boxing great who was a hero to her Iranian father and millions of others around the world.
Lebanese women are taking to the streets to demand that the government takes domestic violence seriously, by introducing laws to protect women from abusive partners.
I come from Palestine. I have lived my entire life under military occupation, and I have no memory of a time without struggle.
Lebanon prides itself on its image as a melting pot on the Mediterranean: an ancient bastion of civilization boasting a diverse tapestry of cultures and creeds.
Arwa Damon speaks to a rights activist who says women are sold "superficial fake freedoms."
CNN's Arwa Damon explains what makes Beirut a top skiing destination in the Middle East.
Arwa Damon speaks to a band that doesn't shy away from controversy, singing about everything from politics to sexuality.
Arwa Damon speaks with Lebanon's Minister of Tourism who says defeating racism is key for the country's tourism industry.
CNN's Arwa Damon meets a British couple who claim Lebanon is a 'crown jewel' for those seeking an expat lifestyle.
An image juxtaposing a famous painting of lovers and the ruins of a building in Syria has gone viral, becoming a powerful symbol of the country's devastation from civil war.
Politicians, generals and clerics have all played their part in shaping the new Iraq, with varying results.
On the starting line of the Emirates Motorplex on Thursday (Jan 24) will be professional drift racing, one of the most dangerous disciplines in motorsport.
This month, Inside the Middle East travels to Beirut, the cosmopolitan, multi-lingual capital of Lebanon. Beirut's popularity among expatriate residents has not waned, despite the increased fears of instability spilling over from the conflict in neighboring Syria. Host Arwa Damon explores Beirut, discovering why the "Paris of the Middle East" is so appealing to foreign residents of the city.
When artist Nadia Jelassi exhibited work in Tunis last year, she hoped the piece would prove a talking point.
CNN's Ian Lee meets a 12-year-old boy who lost a leg to a landmine from World War II.
A new play in Abu Dhabi explores the heroic, and sometimes dark, history of Lebanese-American poet Khalil Gibran.
CNN's Leone Lakhani looks at how life has changed in Tunisia, the country where the Arab Spring started in early 2011.
Authorities in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem are hoping it won't be a silent night this Christmas Eve, following a spate of tourist cancellations due to recent violence in Gaza.
Women stood at the forefront of the Arab Spring, taking to the streets shoulder to shoulder with men in an effort to overturn oppressive old orders.
A look back at the highlights of 2012 covered on Inside the Middle East.
A look back at the highlights of 2012 covered on Inside the Middle East.
A look back at the highlights of 2012 covered on Inside the Middle East.
Thick, handsome mustaches have long been prized by men throughout the Middle East as symbols of masculine virility, wisdom and maturity.
In the 100 years since British army officer T.E. Lawrence traversed Jordan's desert and the half century since David Lean set out to capture it for his cinematic epic "Lawrence of Arabia," the blood red landscape that entranced both men has scarcely changed.
One week after leaving, my mom's words still echo in my ears: "Leave Gaza now, please. Don't think about us. I have many things to worry about."
As an American socialite and hotel heiress, Paris Hilton has built up a global brand on her sexy image -- and sometimes very few clothes.
At first glance, the brightness of the colors might just be enough to fool the casual viewer. But this abstract scene in "Play in the City" isn't a cheerful one. Pain infuses this painting.
A former military bunker in the desert is one of the last places you might expect to find nature bloom.
Inside the Middle East meets Ahmed Al Shamsi, one of many Emiratis who have shed weight after bariatric surgery.
Thanks to its large reserves of oil, the small Gulf state of Kuwait has transformed over the decades from a humble pearl-farming backwater into one of the world's richest countries per capita.
Inside the Middle East meets chop shop owner Hussain Salmeen who builds and customizes bikes in Kuwait.
Zain Verjee visists Sabah Al-Ahmed Reserve which experienced one of the biggest environmental disasters of all time.
Former British PM, Tony Blair talks to CNN about what Barack Obama's re-election could mean for the Middle East.
Kuwait's love affair with fast food has become a health disaster for its population. CNN's Zain Verjee reports.
A Dubai-based perfume, cosmetics and jewelry chain is set to become one of the first international luxury retailers to open its doors in previously war-torn areas of Iraq.
In the poor suburbs of Casablanca, Morocco's largest city, home-grown hip-hop artists blare from radios, clubs and street corners around the clock.
Hajar Hamdan lives with her mother, sister and her sister's two children in the concrete jungle of Deheishe refugee camp near Bethlehem in the West Bank.
In Agadir, the arid heartland of Morocco's indigenous Berber population, a quiet oil boom is gaining momentum, one drop at a time.
These pictures were taken within one week of each other in the center of Aleppo and show the incredible resilience of some of its residents in the face of Syria's bloody civil war.
A young woman claims she was in a car with her fiancé when three police officers came by. She says two of them raped her while the third kept guard and later attempted to extort money from her fiancé. All parties involved were arrested -- the woman, her fiancé, and the three police officers.
Cosmetic demand for Argan Oil is proving jobs for rural Moroccan women.
From the market to the pan. Get a culinary master class in Moroccan cuisine.
Moroccan rapper, Si Simo's music confronts the wealth gap in his county's society.
This month, Inside the Middle East travels to Morocco, a North African kingdom located on the western edge of the Arab world. Host Leone Lakhani visits the bustling commercial hub of Casablanca, which for many recalls the film classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. But modern-day Casablanca, like the rest of Morocco, is much different than the movies.
As bloody unrest has raged around him, artist Oussama Diab has been formulating his own response to Syria's civil war -- through art.
Fine Arabic calligraphy and street art may seem worlds apart, but for artist eL Seed, they're one and the same thing.
A year ago, nearly half a million protesters took to the streets across Israel in perhaps the largest social justice movement in the country's history.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai talks about Israel's economic challenges and recent protests against social injustice.
One of Israel's best-known singers, Rita Jahanforuz -- known simply as Rita -- performed during her country's 50th anniversary celebrations and has met president Shimon Peres.
Some Palestinians are living the high life in Ramallah. But is the city relying too much on credit and foreign aid?
Mingling with customers in the bar he opened two years ago, Yazan Khalili is enjoying the booming consumer economy in his home city of Ramallah, in the West Bank.
Psychatrist Pesach Lichtenberg talks about what causes people of all religions to believe they are the 'chosen one.'
A major artist in both Israel and Iran, Rita Jahanforuz uses her music to bring the two countries closer.
Daphni Leef took to the streets in 2011 demanding economic change, a movement that inspired thousands other Israelis.
The overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi has had a messy and often confused aftermath, as rival groups jostle for a stake in the new Libya after four decades of dictatorship.
With horrors emerging from Syria's civil war with numbing regularity, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that the uprising has not been waged only with guns.
This month, Inside the Middle East journeys to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Host Leone Lakhani strolls along the ramparts of the wall surrounding the old city of Jerusalem, a place of enormous spiritual and cultural significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
A British boy's sudden fear of flying has left his family stranded in the UAE looking for safe routes to get home.
A British boy and his father are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime, traveling across the Middle East and Europe by land and sea after 11-year-old Joe Thompson suddenly developed a paralyzing fear of flying.
To the devout, the concept of becoming "Muslim for a month" -- or any other religion, for that matter -- could verge on the sacrilegious.
Ramadan proves challenging for Muslim athletes and weightlifter Khadija Mohammad is torn about fasting during the games.
The tumultuous months since January 2011 have confronted Egyptians with uncertainty, triumph and despair on an almost daily basis.
Judo champion Maher Abu Rmeileh is one of five Palestinians competing in the London Olympics.
CNN's Leone Lakhani looks at Olympic contenders from the Middle East.
Oman recently welcomed its first professional female sailors, achieving skills in strength, leadership and endurance.
On Friday morning, Wojdan Shaherkani will set a new Olympic record. By participating in the first round of the Olympic judo competition she will become the first Saudi woman to take part in any Olympic Games.
In Jordan and Lebanon, women married to foreigners are taking to the streets to fight for their children's citizenship rights.
An English-language magazine in Dubai has been accused of disrespecting Islam by recommending places to drink during Ramadan.
This month, Inside the Middle East aims for Olympic gold, exploring stories of adversity, faith, and triumph in the world of Middle Eastern sports.
A group of women basketball players in Saudi Arabia has been defying stereotypes as one of the few female sports teams in the kingdom.
CNN's Rima Maktabi travels to a small town in Northern Jordan to explore the country's notorious "honor killings."
IME explores the stories of women in Jordan as a country whose constitution doesn't codify equal gender rights.
In January, a royal decree declared that only women can sell lingerie and cosmetics in Saudi Arabia.
Inmates of Bierut's Baabda Prison learn to express themselves through dramatic performance.
With years of bloodshed in its recent past, Lebanon doesn't want for symbols of conflict. But if one image conjures up the country's fractious political climate better than any other, it's the burning tire.
The secret to traveling in Jordan is to sit back and let your expectations be defied. Expect the unexpected in a country that offers glorious contradictions for the traveler to experience.
This month, Inside the Middle East explores the stories of women throughout the region, highlighting Jordan in particular as a country whose constitution doesn't codify equal gender rights.
Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, venerated by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus, could become the first World Heritage site in the Palestinian Territories, following a UNESCO meeting later this month.
Ibrahim Abdel-Wahab Abdel-Azeem is one of the last traditional craftsmen in Egypt making the oud, the guitar-like instrument heard in so much Arabic music.
April 13, 1975 -- one of the darkest dates in Lebanese history. An attack on a busload of Palestinians in Beirut that day sparked a civil war that would rage for 15 years, leaving some 150,000 dead, the capital divided along sectarian lines and sections of the country in ruins.
Can jumping spiders still hunt for their prey in space?
Can spiders hunt in zero gravity? Rima Maktabi traveled to Alexandria, Egypt, to hear what one student thinks.
If you listen to and Arabic music, chances are you will hear the historic sound of the oud.
Most Lebanese children are not taught about their country's fifteen year long civil war.
Egypt's Alexandria Library have undertaken the huge project to document the nation's rich history in digital form.
In 2011 thousands of young Egyptians marched for charge. Now the nation's new leaders must tackle the nation's Education.
In nearly two thirds of Middle Eastern countries, there are more women than men in university, according to United Nations statistics.
Haifaa Al Mansour has just directed one of the first feature films ever to be made in Saudi Arabia. But she won't be able to watch it at her local theater, because cinemas are banned in the kingdom.
At 23, Asma Al Muhairi has never considered herself a social activist. But a shopping trip to a Dubai mall left her so irate that she started a campaign against revealing clothing and has sparked a major debate in the United Arab Emirates.
This month, Inside the Middle East celebrates its 100th episode with a special look at education, focusing on the ways Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates are developing their future generation of leaders.
The one thing that Egyptians know for certain is that their next president is not a woman. That is because there are no female candidates contesting the presidential elections.
Lara Zankoul and Lara Atallah are both young Lebanese photographers taking their first steps in promising artistic careers.
After five years of trying, an international group of authors have achieved their aim of taking their Palestine Festival of Literature to Gaza for the first time.
Most people would struggle to place it on a map, but Socotra is one of the world's last unspoiled island chains -- an archipelago off the coast of Yemen that has wildlife so diverse it has been described as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean.
Qataris explain how and why their country has avoided unrest that has swept across the Middle East and North Africa
With modern museums, world-class education and major international sporting events, Qatar is making a big impression.
In the past, Arab students traveled to Cairo or Beirut for a good education. Now students flock to Doha.
CNN's Rima Maktabi meets Bahiya Al Hamad, a 19-year-old rifle shooter heading to London for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Bahiya Al-Hamad is a 19-year-old college student and air-rifle shooter who is about to make history for her country.
The salerooms of London were last week crammed with art and antiquities from across the Islamic world, as the city's auction houses celebrated "Islamic Week."
Every country has an unofficial doctrine -- a mantra if you will. In America, it's the "independent spirit." In Germany, it's the "no-nonsense work ethic." In Egypt, well, in Egypt it was always "laughter through adversity."
This month "Inside the Middle East" travels to the tiny state of Qatar, where vast oil and gas reserves have transformed a once-impoverished strip of desert into the richest country in the world -- all in the span of just half a century.
To Iraqi artist Hanaa' Malallah her shoes are weapons of mass destruction that appear in many of her works.
On a rooftop high above Cairo, Moustafa Hassan tenderly cares for his babies -- all 350 of them.
When I was a small child, I spent many afternoons on my father's lap seeing qat being chewed in front of my eyes.
Helena Hesayne used to be an architect, but she gave up her successful career for her passion: looking after mistreated animals.
In a Dubai café, patrons sip camel-milk lattes, camel-ccinos and shakes made with camel milk.
Breeder Moustafa Hassan has raised 350 pigeons in his rooftop loft high above Cairo.
On a dusty day in the northern-most Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, 40-year-old Jasim Ali wrestles playfully with his four-legged friend Teymour over a chew toy. But Teymour is not a dog -- he's a fully-grown African lion.
CNN's Inside the Middle East visits Abu Dhabi's first falcon hospital.
Pets are treated to a luxurious stay at Urban Tails, Dubai's first seven-star pet resort.
Helping Lebanon's neglected, homeless animals has become a personal mission of BETA Vice President Helena Hesayne.
For centuries, Bedouins relied on camels for transportation. Today, camel milk has become a big commercial opportunity.
In the UAE, big cats and other exotic animals are bought on the black market as symbol of status.
For centuries, Bedouins of the Middle East survived a nomadic lifestyle in unforgiving deserts by relying on animals. From camels to desert falcons, animals provided food, transportation, and even companionship in the harsh, isolated land. Today, sports utility vehicles have largely replaced the hump-backed 'ships of the desert' throughout the Middle East. But animals still play a vital role in daily life and the culture of the region.
Yasser Jad has a dream to open a fine dining cookery school in Saudi Arabia.
At first glance, it looks like a standard road sign to Mecca, the Saudi Arabian pilgrimage site for millions of Muslims every year.
Artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige have spent the last 13 years collecting the spam and scam emails that most of us delete from our junk folders.
Think of Baghdad and for most people what comes to mind is a city of damaged buildings and concrete checkpoints.
Samar Badawi, a 30-year-old mother of one, has served seven months in jail. Her crime? Disobeying her father.
Saudi Arabian comedians are using YouTube and social media to poke fun at social issues.
Rima Maktabi looks at challenges that many Saudi women face, from a ban on driving to unescorted travel restrictions.
Saudi Arabian artists are pushing the barriers of society through their popular, but sometimes controversial, craft.