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Middle East matters

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 who wear the Islamic headscarf. Her suggestion was accepted by the tech giant Apple, and finally unveiled last month. The young woman behind this new emoji tells us more about her initiative and talks us through the creative process. She's been dubbed "one of the most influential teenagers of 2017".


But first, we head to eastern Syria, where the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been retaking territory from the Islamic State group. In these mostly Arab villages, the SDF is seen as a Kurdish force and it’s difficult to build trust among residents. FRANCE 24's James Andre and Abdallah Malkawi bring us an exclusive report from the ground.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, construction is under way for a new financial and administrative capital. On the agenda are futuristic skyscrapers, an international airport, a large government quarter and universities. But many fear this ambitious project may be putting the country's resources to the test. Nadia Blétry, Claire Williot and Eric de Lavarène report.

Finally, in Yemen, the impoverished country's honey industry - one of its prized exports - has been hit hard by the ongoing civil war. Catherine Clifford tells us more.

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