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Middle East matters

Daniel Essa, Syrian shoemaker to the stars

From Homs in Syria to Lille here in France, Daniel Essa has become a household name with fashionistas across the globe. After fleeing his homeland to escape the war, Daniel Essa came to Paris to study fashion. Today, he's selling his luxury trainers online and even counts US stars among his clients. He tells Sanam Shantyaei his success story.

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Also this week, we bring you the story of the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan in Jerusalem, where cracks are beginning to appear in houses as a result of archaeological digs. Some homes have even been evacuated, but other residents are refusing to move out. They say that if they leave, settlers will take possession of their land. Our correspondents Irris Makler and Antoine Mariotti report.

And Iraqi Kurdistan is gearing up for a parliamentary vote on May 12. It comes after a period of political stagnation following last year's independence referendum, the results of which were rejected by the central government in Baghdad. If the Kurdish parties lose parliamentary seats, as anticipated, this would drastically reduce their community's political influence in Iraq.

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