Middle East matters

Afghan refugees fear deportation at Iranian border

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS
MIDDLE EAST MATTERS © FRANCE 24

When the Taliban seized Afghanistan, tens of thousands of people fled the country. Among them were former members of the Afghan security forces. Fearing Taliban reprisals, they've fled to neighbouring Iran, which hosts the second-largest population of Afghan refugees in the world. Temporary camps have been set up, but Iranian authorities are already considering sending the Afghans back. Our correspondent Reza Sayah reports from Tehran.

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Meanwhile in Iraq, millions of people will head to the polls next month to choose their country's 329 representatives in the National Assembly. This year, over 900 women are running for office – almost a third of the total number of candidates. Many of them face intimidation and discrimination, but they're determined to run anyway. 

Finally, we put the spotlight on a documentary by Egyptian director Mayye Zayed. "Lift Like a Girl" has won awards around the world for its moving narrative of a teenage weightlifter, Asmaa. Under the watchful eye of her rambunctious coach, Captain Ramadan, we follow her failures and victories in a traditionally male-dominated sport. The result is an intimate portrait of female empowerment, which invites us to question the often gendered idea of strength.

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