Parallels Many Stories, One World

A woman votes in the first round of the Tunisian presidential election on Nov. 23. The election went smoothly, but no candidate won 50 percent of a vote, forcing a runoff between the top two on Sunday. Hassene Dridi/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Hassene Dridi/AP

Cuban President Fidel Castro (left) and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Barinas, Venezuela, in 2000. The two formed a close partnership, which has continued with their successors. However, the prospect of normal ties between the U.S. and Cuba may also have an impact on relations between Cuba and Venezuela. Jose Goitia/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jose Goitia/AP

More than 4,000 officers of the Nineveh province security force are based in an isolated training camp in northern Iraq. Their aim is retaking ISIS-controlled Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. Deborah Amos/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Deborah Amos/NPR

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The Islamist group Hamas, shown here in a rally in the Gaza Strip on Dec. 12, is the strongest faction in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic State, or ISIS, is not believed to be in the territory, though fliers purporting to be from the group have circulated in Gaza. They are widely believed to be fake, but both Israel and Hamas have tried to use them to their advantage. Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

Fidel Castro looks up at the Jefferson Memorial on April 16, 1959. The Cuban leader visited Washington several months after seizing power. But U.S.-Cuban relations quickly frayed, and the U.S. imposed an embargo of the island in 1960. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

Saudi Arabian women wear their traditional face covering, the niqab, at a coffee and chocolate exhibition in the capital Riyadh on Monday. A prominent religious figure said on Twitter that the face veil is not mandatory, sparking a heated national debate. Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

A Syrian refugee child carries water in the Fayda Camp, some 25 miles east of Beirut, Lebanon, on March 10. Jerome Delay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jerome Delay/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin, shown delivering his state of the union speech earlier this month, was riding high this year as the country hosted the Winter Olympics. Russia is now embroiled in economic turmoil, and Putin has alienated Western countries that could potentially help. Pavel Golovkin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pavel Golovkin/AP

Relatives of 43 students who went missing in Iguala, Mexico, search for them on a hill on the outskirts of town on Nov. 29. After the students vanished, searches around Iguala have turned up nearly a dozen clandestine graves. None of the remains found in those mounds belonged to the students. Eduardo Verdugo/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eduardo Verdugo/AP

The Iraqi town of Halabja is dominated by Kurds, the group that has been fighting the Islamic State in northern Iraq. However, some Kurdish residents have been slipping away to join the Islamic State. Yahya Ahmad/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Yahya Ahmad/Reuters/Landov

A man gets information about how to buy dollars at a foreign exchange business in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Jan. 27. Natacha Pisarenko/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Down to the oldest plowed fields in the world, the Cilician Plain of southeastern Turkey. Paul Salopek/National Geographic hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Salopek/National Geographic

Flowers, candles and handwritten messages remembering the 43 missing students line the fence at the National Palace in Zocalo, Mexico City. Geovien So/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Geovien So/Barcroft Media/Landov

A Palestinian with a green headband, which identifies him as a Hamas supporters, helps a fellow protester with a black-and-white scarf, the symbol of the Fatah movement. They were both taking part in a demonstration near the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 4. The factions agreed to end their feud earlier this year, but many of their supporters remain bitter rivals. Majdi Mohammed/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Majdi Mohammed/AP

An employee displays a gold bar at a gold refining workshop of the plant of Uralelektromed Joint Stock Company (JSC), the enterprise of Ural Mining and Metallurgical company (UMMC) in the town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma, outside Yekaterinburg, Oct. 17. Maxim Shemetov/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Maxim Shemetov/Reuters/Landov

Mona, 28, narrates during a rehearsal of Antigone. "I feel that Antigone resembles me a lot," says the former resident of Damascus and mother of two. Dalia Khamissy for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Dalia Khamissy for NPR

Afghan laborers work on a road project in Kabul. The city has undertaken a huge project to fix its roads and sewers. Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images