Inside the Middle East
December 20, 2012
Posted: 943 GMT

A look back at the highlights of 2012 covered on Inside the Middle East.

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Filed under: Culture •Egypt •Inside The Middle East •Israel •Jerusalem •Lebanon •Morocco •Palestinians •Pictures •Religion •UAE •Video •Women

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November 8, 2012
Posted: 756 GMT

'Inside the Middle East' meets chop shop owner Hussain Salmeen, who builds and customizes bikes in Kuwait.

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Filed under: Culture •Inside The Middle East •Kuwait •Video

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September 30, 2012
Posted: 736 GMT

Here's a short preview of our upcoming episode, which focuses on Morocco.

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Filed under: Inside The Middle East •Morocco •Video

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September 6, 2012
Posted: 1108 GMT

She screamed in the face of all the men in her village "Don't talk behind my back, don't play with my honor."

With the head of her rapist in her hand, Nevin Yildirim, a 26-year-old mother of two, walked to the main square of her village and told everyone about her murder.

"Here is the head of the man who played with my honor." She said after throwing the head in the middle of the square.

After continually raping her for 8 months, Yildirim, who said she is pregnant with the rapist's child, decided to take matters into her own hands and shoot the man twice and cut off his head when he died.

She said, 35-year old Nurettin Gider, threatened her with a gun and said he would kill her children, ages 2 and 6, if she made any noise.

In small villages like hers, honor is held above all else, and women carry the burden of honor for their families.

She was arrested short after the incident and now is asking for an abortion. In Turkey, abortion is only allowed during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

The story went viral on social media and local newspapers. Some called her murder a heroic act after they said laws and society failed her.

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Filed under: General •Turkey •Video •Women

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August 4, 2012
Posted: 2048 GMT

Egyptians are known for their humor even in the hardest of times, but it maybe too early for Egyptians to laugh off a prank like this.

Egyptian singer and actor Mohammed Fouad repeatedly hit the host of the show and Lebanese actress, Cyrine Abdel-Nour threatened to sue the program, after realizing that the kidnap they thought they were victims of was nothing but a prank.

Comedian and actor Ramez Galal, known for his extreme practical jokes, staged what looked like a terrorist attack on a tourist bus carrying the celebrities.

This was part of a comedy show “Ramez the Desert Fox”, a special series for the holy month of Ramadan on Egyptian channel Al Hayat.

The prank starts off with a group of men in a car chasing the bus and, after overtaking it, shooting and banging on the windows. Galal played the role of the terrorist, dragging his victims from the bus and blindfolding them

A bit too extreme? Some would agree.  Especially for a country that is still recovering from instability, following last year’s revolution that toppled Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, after 30 years in office.

The country has been battling ever since to pick up the economy and restore  security, a topic many thought too sensitive to be funny.

"The channel is aware that the program is a bit harsh, but it reflects the lack of security in Egypt and this is what makes it the most watched comedy show in Egypt," Mootaz Salah El-Din, a media spokesperson at Al Hayat TV channel, told CNN.  "Egyptians are known for their humor. They deal with hard times through practical jokes."

El-Din says that an ambulance is always available on set but so far they did not need to use it. The program has pranked 31 celebrities, he said.

"We give the celebrity the option to refuse showing the prank on TV, but none of the pranked celebrities refused," said El-Din.

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting in Islam, is the peak of airtime for all TV producers in the region. Shows like this one is what families gather around to watch.

Galal had a similar show last year’s Ramadan where celebrities were stuck in an elevator with a lion.

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Filed under: Egypt •Video

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June 24, 2012
Posted: 903 GMT

The 101st episode of 'Inside the Middle East' airs on Wednesday, July 4th at 12:30pm Jordan/1:30pm UAE.

Hope you can watch!

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Filed under: Culture •Inside The Middle East •Jordan •Video

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December 28, 2011
Posted: 1032 GMT

A newly discovered 2000-year-old coin-sized clay seal is shedding light on one of the most significant periods of Jewish history, Israeli archaeologists announced Sunday.

The seal was found in an ongoing archaeological excavation taking place along Jerusalem’s Western Wall and carries an Aramaic inscription, which researchers say translated as “Pure for God.”

The find dates back from between the 1st century B.C. to 70 A.D, the period in which the second of two Jewish temples was destroyed by the Romans during the course of a Jewish revolt.

In a statement, the Israeli Antiquities Authority, which oversees archaeological excavations in the area, said it represented a first-of-its-kind discovery and constitutes “direct archaeological evidence of the activity on the Temple Mount and the workings of the Temple during the Second Temple period.”

Haifa University archaeologist Ronny Reich, who has spent four decades digging around the Old City of Jerusalem, said the seal revealed details about some of the administrative procedures used by temple officials to oversee religious offerings.

"If you wanted to give a drink offering to the temple you went and bought an impressed seal from one person, a priest obviously, and then gave him the money,” Reich explained. “You went to the other man and received against this coupon lets call it a drink offering. And then went to the temple to offer it.”

The excavation is taking place beneath the religious compound know as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims. The site is revered by both religions and previous archaeological activities in the area have sparked violent confrontations between Israeli and Palestinians.

At the press conference to announce the find, archaeologists were flanked by two government ministers from the right-wing Likud party who used the discovery to press Jewish claims of sovereignty over Jerusalem.

“The works of the digs are uncovering our roots,” said Education Minister Gideon Saar. “They could not be carried out if Israel was not the sovereign in control of Jerusalem and emphasized the work in this area.”

The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem, where the excavation is located, and Palestinians consider the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state.

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Filed under: Archaeology •General •Israel •Jerusalem •Judaism •Palestinians •Religion •Video

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July 13, 2011
Posted: 941 GMT
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June 13, 2011
Posted: 901 GMT

The party of Turkey's ruling prime minister sailed to an easy victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday, winning a third term in office with 49.9% of the vote with 99.9% of the votes counted.

But marring the night, an unknown number of people were wounded at a post-election party.

For nearly a decade, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dominated Turkish politics while also defining his country's assertive new role as an economic and diplomatic power in the region.

Campaigning on his record of unprecedented economic stability and prosperity during nine years in power, Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) succeeded in slightly increasing his mandate. The AKP won 49.9% of the vote, an increase of nearly 4 percentage points from the party's performance in the 2007 parliamentary election.

"We are thrilled after winning one out of every two voters' votes in the country," Erdogan said late Sunday night.

In a victory speech delivered from the balcony of his party headquarters in Ankara, Erdogan made a pledge to serve all Turks, regardless of ethnicity or religious sect. Read more...

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Filed under: Turkey •Video

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June 1, 2011
Posted: 1004 GMT
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This blog has now been archived and commenting has been switched off. Visit the Inside the Middle East site for news, views and video from across the region.

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