File picture shows Syrian refugees currently living in Iraq use a boat to cross the Tigris river, on the border between Iraq and Syria, as they head to their homeland to visit relatives, on October 13, 2013
© AFP
File picture shows Syrian refugees currently living in Iraq use a boat to cross the Tigris river, on the border between Iraq and Syria, as they head to their homeland to visit relatives, on October 13, 2013
Last updated: January 12, 2014

This week's top news stories

Sham Jaff presents Your Middle East’s weekly news check up, summarizing key events from the past seven days.

Ex-Israel PM Ariel Sharon died after eight years in coma, whilst some mourned the ex-leader’s death others expressed joy in Sabra and Shatila massacre camps.

Egypt's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said he would stand in elections if there was popular demand, state media reported. Lawyers for the Muslim Brotherhood have submitted a complaint to the ICC asking it to investigate the military's alleged crimes against humanity in Egypt.

Tunisia voted to enshrine gender equality in its draft constitution, a key step towards safeguarding its relatively progressive laws on women's rights.

US Secretary of State John Kerry headed home from the Middle East, insisting progress had been made despite failing to reach a framework to guide Israeli-Palestinian peace talks – when he left, a plan for 272 new homes in West Bank settlements was approved and additional 1 800 new settler homes have been announced during the course of last week. 

A Libyan minister has been shot dead in the first assassination of a member of the transitional government since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted from power in October 2011, according to reports.

As the civil war in Syria continues, thousands of Syrians crossed into northern Iraq after Iraqi Kurdish authorities reopened a long-closed border and Britain granted asylum to around 1,500 Syrians.

On a more light-hearted note…

A camel identified its previous owner during a parade in Saudi Arabia this week, embracing the man by wrapping its neck around him and restfully closing its eyes.

Skärmavbild 2014-01-12 kl. 18.14.49.png

Sham Jaff
Sham Jaff is a passionate student of Political Science and Middle East Studies in the heart of Bavaria, Germany. Read more from her on the blog http://beautiful-absurdity.com/.
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