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Overview of the Middle East: kneeling before Tehran? Iran and the United States exchange prisoners | Political news

Moroccan girls threatened with exploitation, Libyan journalists coordinating on the ground: this is the Middle East this week.

Prisoner exchange between Iran and the United States, negotiated by Qatar | Moroccan girls at risk of exploitation after earthquake | Libyan journalists coordinate aid on the ground. Here is the Middle East this week:

Spies versus hostages

One man’s spies are another man’s hostage – is that how the saying goes? In the case of Tehran and Washington, this seems true.

The two countries carried out a long-awaited prisoner exchange, and in Iran the reaction was predictably smug: “America kneels to Iran,” was the headline in one newspaper.

Prisoner swap or not, it certainly doesn’t look like sunshine and rainbows between the two men anytime soon.

Moroccan girls targeted

Women who wear tight clothes, spend too much and do not raise their children properly – some Moroccan men say they would rather marry a minor from disaster-stricken villages than marry these so-called “city girls”.

As if Moroccan women and girls were not already reeling from this month’s powerful earthquake, there is now a wave of online discussions urging men to marry and exploit another way the girls orphaned because of the earthquake.

It doesn’t stop there. Concerns are also high over sexual assault, trafficking, menstrual hygiene and ensuring safe childbirth.

Libyan journalists on the front line

Stressed and worried about her family and friends, Zainab Jibril suffered a miscarriage after deadly floods in Libya, but that didn’t stop her from reporting on the disaster alongside her husband, fellow journalist Mohammed Elgrj.

Amid the tragedy, they constitute something of a power couple among the few independent Libyan journalists reporting from the ground, despite difficulties with physical access and censorship from Libya’s eastern administration.

Dissidents of a dress code

“Woman, life, freedom”: the response to the Iranian people’s call to end the compulsory hijab law appears to have been a double-take.

A year ago, the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s moral police sparked months of protests, in Iran and around the world.

It seems that the protesters’ demands have only ushered in a more restrictive era.

Now, smart cameras track violators, the morality police have been redeployed and a brand new hijab law is expected to be unveiled soon.

And now something different

UNESCO has designated Tell es-Sultan of Jericho, in the occupied West Bank, a World Heritage Site for the State of Palestine. Note the location.

It is a decision that “strengthens Palestinian identity and international recognition,” according to Palestinian officials.

Predictably, Israeli officials denounced it as a “cynical ploy.”

The Tell (mound) near ancient Jericho contains evidence of the presence of prehistoric humans.

Tell as-Sultan of Jericho added to UNESCO World Heritage List (Ayman Nobani/Al Jazeera)


Quote of the week

“I received the bodies of my best friends and personally took them to the morgue…I didn’t have time to cry or be weak, so I couldn’t even mourn them. » | Tahani al-Zani, a surgeon who runs an emergency department in flood-ravaged Susa, Libya.


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