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The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

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Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

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Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

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Rhiannon Giddens strikes out on her 'Freedom Highway'

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Not such a feminist paradise: Iceland struggles to deal with violence towards women

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The legendary Swallow Line train in France's Jura region

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Japanese FM against 'dialogue for the sake of dialogue' with Pyongyang

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MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Political and social events from the Middle East, with exclusive reports and interviews. Tuesday at 5.45 pm Paris time.

Latest update : 2017-09-20

Kurdish independence referendum: What impact on the region?

In this special edition, we bring you exclusive reports and analysis ahead of the Kurdish independence referendum, due to take place on September 25. The 6 million-strong Kurdish population in Iraq has long sought its independence. This is one of their first official opportunities to voice their dream. But the vote has been heavily criticised by officials in Iraq, across the region and even further afield, in the United States.

Although Kurds are bracing themselves for an uncertain future, one thing is for sure: the vote has been divisive both within Iraq and on the international stage. We bring you the pros and cons of this contentious independence referendum.

One of the regional countries flexing its muscles against the Kurdish referendum is Turkey. Our correspondents on the ground delve into why Ankara has even threatened to take all necessary steps.

Finally, Renad Mansour, who's a Middle East Research fellow at Chatham House, gives us his analysis on the Kurdish vote.

By Jeanne LAVENANT , Joanna COCKERELL , Stéphanie CHEVAL , Sanam SHANTYAEI

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Archives

2017-12-12 culture

'Looking for Oum Kulthum': Breaking the glass ceiling in the art world

If you're familiar with Iranian artists, you'll know the name Shirin Neshat. Her "Women of Allah" photographs catapulted the New Yorker to international acclaim in the 1990s. She...

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2017-12-05 Islamic State (IS) group

Mosul: Growing up under Islamic State group rule

For three years, Iraqi teen Ferah was trapped in her room, as Mosul was taken over by the Islamic State group. That's where she kept a Facebook journal, expressing her fears and...

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2017-11-28 Egypt

'Lost in Lebanon': Scott sisters tackle Syrian refugee crisis

Over one million Syrians have fled to Lebanon since the civil war broke out in their homeland six years ago. As refugees, they are increasingly being met with hostility, however....

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2017-11-22 Social Media

Meet the 16-year-old behind the hijab emoji

Rayouf Alhumedhi, a 16-year-old Saudi national, is behind a mini revolution in the emoji world. Last year, she submitted a proposal for a hijab emoji, in order to represent women...

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2017-11-14 refugees

Charity or business? When big companies provide jobs for Syrian refugees

Some 650,000 Syrian refugees are living in Jordan, where up until last year, they were denied the right to work for a living. But now, from NGOs to the private sector, hundreds...

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