Image from the article "Why don't men cover their faces?"
Photographer Sebastian Farmborough went to Saudi Arabia and saw this woman out at sea. © Sebastian Farmborough
Image from the article
Your Middle East
Last updated: December 31, 2014

Your Middle East's most popular stories in 2014

2014 was Your Middle East's most successful year since the launch in 2011. Below are some of the stories that made an impact among our readers across the globe.

The most read story on Your Middle East of all time, originally published in 2013, continued to draw attention: "Why don't men cover their faces?" Written by blogger Hind Aleryani, it's a unique and intimate portrait of being a woman in the Arab world.

In August, Your Middle East contributor Rozh Ahmad published an exclusive interview with a former Islamic State fighter. The story was a milestone in our reporting, particularly because it started off a wave of similar interviews in newspapers across the globe, all striving to gain real insight into the workings of IS.

Your Middle East's list of the 10 most influential people in the United Arab Emirates, first published in 2013, continued to attract tens of thousands of readers.

Our literature columnist Marcia Lynx Qualey, also known worldwide through her blog Arablit, has written extensively throughout the year to highlight critical Arabic literature (in English translations). Arablit's selection of "14 Arab books that will keep you enlightened for the rest of 2014" reached a broad audience.

The most beautiful video we published all year was, somewhat surprisingly, produced in Södertälje, a small city outside Stockholm, Sweden's capital. The young Syrian-Swedes behind the clip "For our countries" is the most remarkable combination of poetry, art, and music we've seen this year. Perhaps more importantly, it's an honest attempt to unite the peoples of the Arab world.

Travel features are always high on our editorial agenda. The most popular travel piece in 2014 highlights the "Hidden Gems of the Middle East".

Remember that video with "strangers" kissing each other? (Well, they weren't strangers after all, but in fact hired to act for advertisement). Anyway, the Egyptian version/video caught serious attention once published on Your Middle East.

One of our most thought-provoking stories was written by journalist Holly Dagres. Entitled "Iran is far more progressive on social issues than you might think", it's definitely a must-read for anyone interested in the Islamic Republic (...as well as in challenging Western stereotypes).

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