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Middle East matters

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi: putting arab art in the spotlight

This week, we focus on one of the most celebrated collections of contemporary art from the Arab world, showing as of February 28 at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. The works, predominantly by Iraqi and Egyptian artists, are from the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative based in the United Arab Emirates. We meet Sultan al Qassemi, the man behind the foundation, who is not just an art aficionado, but also a commentator on Arab affairs.

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But first, the Islamic State group has called on its fighters to target Coptic Christians living in Egypt. Amid a new wave of violence in the northern Sinai Peninsula, Christian families are now fleeing towards the city of Ismailia. Our journalists on the ground bring us a report about one of the country’s most vulnerable minorities.

And, the Turkish government fired over 2,500 Education Ministry staff, including teachers, because of suspected ties to alleged terrorists earlier in February. Some of them have since taken their classes outside to parks, teaching for free, as a way of protesting against their dismissal as Turkey continues to crack down on dissent.

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