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Middle East matters

Cellist Karim Wasfi hopes to breathe new life into Mosul with his music

Can music be an act of resistance? Karim Wasfi, one of the most celebrated classical performers in the Middle East, certainly thinks so. The former conductor of Iraq's Symphony Orchestra shot to international fame after taking his cello out into the streets of Baghdad and giving impromptu performances at the scenes of recent suicide attacks. He's now taking his unique brand of musical expression to Mosul, the former capital of the Islamic State group. He talks with FRANCE 24 about his message.


Meanwhile, the IS group may have been driven out of Iraq and Syria several months ago, but thousands of Yazidi captives are still missing. Many women and girls belonging to the minority sect were taken as sex slaves by the militants. The Kurdish regional government is stepping up its efforts to find them and one man is leading the search. Clement Bonnerot has the story.

And in Lebanon, at least one in four women are reported to have been the victim of sexual assault. But in the eyes of society, it is often women, and not men, who are held responsible for such incidents taking place. One NGO is trying to change these attitudes. Our team in Beirut reports.

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