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Lebanon

AP Photo

In late June, the first Saudi women to legally drive a car in the kingdom started their engines and took off down the road.

The lifting of Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers was a step forward for women. But it’s just one of a number of recent steps forward for women’s rights in the Arab world. Countries like Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon have passed laws ending legal loopholes that let rapists off the hook for marrying their victim.

Some countries have rolled back exemptions for those who commit so-called “honor killings” of female family members.

Still, many women’s rights advocates are only cautiously optimistic. In some countries, laws aimed at helping women aren’t enforced. Nor are public attitudes toward women’s rights necessarily becoming more progressive. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women's rights in the Arab world.


(White House)

Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old crown prince has already shaken up both Saudi Arabia’s internal politics as well as its foreign relations.

Mohammad bin Salman has detained prominent members of the royal family and businessmen after accusing them of corruption. He’s lifted restrictions that barred women from driving or operating businesses. He’s outlined a bold plan to wean Saudi Arabia’s economy from oil dependence.

But bin Salman has also escalated Saudi Arabia’s war in neighboring Yemen, triggering one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. He’s feuded with nearby Qatar and Lebanon and intensified Saudi Arabia’s rivalry with its historical foe, Iran. Even Canada hasn't escaped his wrath.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at a prince upending the politics of both Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. 


AP Photo

In late June, the first Saudi women to legally drive a car in the kingdom started their engines and took off down the road.

The lifting of Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers was a step forward for women. But it’s just one of a number of recent steps forward for women’s rights in the Arab world.

Still, many women’s rights advocates are only cautiously optimistic. In some countries, laws aimed at helping women aren’t enforced. Nor are public attitudes toward women’s rights necessarily becoming more progressive.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women’s rights in the Arab world.


UNESCO

Conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere has fueled a booming trade in looted antiquities from archaeological sites and museums.

Millions of dollars worth of artifacts have disappeared, with some resurfacing for sale in Europe and the United States.

The black market trade provided tens of millions of dollars of funding for the Islamic State, one of the largest groups involved in the business. With ISIS nearing defeat, archaeologists are looking for ways to halt the trade in looted artifacts from Syria, Iraq and other conflict zones.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss the trade in stolen cultural artifacts.


European Press Agency

One of the hardest regions of the globe to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is the Arab world. In Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the punishment for the crime of sodomy is death by stoning, and many other countries impose prison sentences.

Also challenging is the fact that the stigma associated with being LGBT is so great, many people feel they can’t come out even to their family or closest friends.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the uncertain lives of LGBT people in Arab nations.


AP

Republican nominee Donald Trump has commanded blanket media coverage since his run for U.S. president took off last year.

But it's not just Americans who have been glued to their screens when Trump's face appears. Government leaders and ordinary people around the world have taken notice as well.

On this edition of Global Journalist, we talk to reporters from around the world to gather the international reaction to Trump's proposals to ban Muslim immigration, cancel trade deals and consider pulling the U.S. out of NATO.


Scott Davidson / Flickr

The former director of a domestic violence shelter in south-central Missouri has admitted stealing about $30,000 from the shelter.

AP

Christianity might have gotten its start in the Middle East, but the region’s Christian minority is finding the area more and more dangerous when it comes to practicing their beliefs.

The rise of the Islamic State has only exacerbated the problem. When ISIS captured the mainly Christian city of Qaraqosh in northern Iraq last year, the remaining civilian population was given the choice: convert to Islam; pay a special tax; or face execution. Other Christian settlements were given the same choice.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war, about one-third of that country’s 1.8 million Christians have fled. In Iraq there are perhaps 500,000 Christians remaining, down from 1.5 million in 2003.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the future of Christianity in the Middle East.