Middle East matters

'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 has since displayed her work at the Met, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Serpentine Gallery. This time, she's returned with a film within a film - about Egyptian diva Oum Kulthum, who became an icon of female emancipation in the region. Shirin Neshat joins us from New York.


Meanwhile, protests have been flaring across the region after the US president's formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Donald Trump announced last week he will be moving the US embassy to the contested city, which is holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians. The decision has reversed decades of US policy, drawing criticism from global leaders, as well as warnings of potential damage to prospects for Middle East peace.

And in Iraq, the Islamic State group may be gone, but reconstruction will be a long and complicated process. We take a look at the city of Baiji, which was once a bustling industrial hub, but which has suffered the worst destruction after that of western Mosul.

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