Parallels Many Stories, One World

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

Many Yazidis, like the ones shown here, managed to flee the onslaught of the so-called Islamic State and made their way to relative safety, like this camp near the northern Iraqi border crossing of Zakho. However, some 5,000 Yazidis, many of them women, are still being held hostage by the Islamic State. EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption EPA/Landov

A member of the Saudi border guards mans a machine gun at the border with Iraq in July. Since the so-called Islamic State launched its offensive this summer in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has sent thousands of troops to the region. Faisal Nasser/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Faisal Nasser/Reuters/Landov

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Alfons R. of Hamburg, Germany (shown in this undated photo), converted to Islam at age 17. Later, he went to Turkey, then Syria, to join ISIS. He was killed this past summer. Courtesy of Manfred Karg hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Manfred Karg

An Iranian national shops at a popular market in the holy Iraqi Shiite city of Najaf. Recently, the city — where millions of international pilgrims visit every year — has been spared the worst of Iraq's violence. Haidar Hamdani /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Haidar Hamdani /AFP/Getty Images

An Iraqi child, whose family fled from Islamic State violence in the northern city of Mosul, stands outside a tent that serves as a school in the southern city of Najaf on Sunday. Some 2 million Iraqis have been driven from their homes by fighting this year. Alaa Al-Marjani /Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Alaa Al-Marjani /Reuters/Landov

Civilians who had just recently arrived in Yola prepare to flee again, this time in a large open-top truck headed to the city of Jos. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/NPR

After Palestinian Abdel Rahman Shaludi killed two people with a car in an attack last month, Israel destroyed his family's apartment in East Jerusalem by blowing up the front outside and most internal walls. Israel says the aim is deterrence, while the Palestinians call it collective punishment. Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

Sunni tribesmen train on the outskirts of Ramadi, Iraq, on Nov. 16. Legislation authorizing a force of Sunni fighters drawn from Anbar province itself — modeled on the U.S. National Guard — has yet to be passed. Ali al-Mashhadani/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Ali al-Mashhadani/Reuters/Landov

The Islamic Youth Council in Derna, in eastern Libya, is among the local militant groups from Egypt to Libya that have reportedly pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters/Landov

Islamic State fighters march in Raqqa, Syria. The group has killed five Western hostages in recent months. In the 1990s, many radical Islamist groups gave interviews to journalists and refrained from kidnapping Westerners. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

The population of the Syrian city of Douma — a rebel enclave — has dropped from 750,000 to about 250,000 since the start of the Syrian conflict. Photographer Saeed al-Batal (a pseudonym) has captured life in this city under siege. Here, a scene from Douma photographed on Oct. 23. Saeed al-Batal hide caption

itoggle caption Saeed al-Batal

Iraqi Kurdish soldiers, or peshmerga, patrol an area in the recently recaptured town of Zumar, near Mosul in northern Iraq on Oct. 29. When the Islamic State captured the town in August, the Kurds fled. Now that the Kurds are in control, the Arabs are all gone. STR/EPA /LANDOV hide caption

itoggle caption STR/EPA /LANDOV

Palestinian members of Hamas' armed wing takes part in a rally Thursday in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. The event was held in memory of Hamas military commanders killed during seven weeks of fighting with Israel in the Gaza Strip this summer. Abed Rahim Khatib/APA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Abed Rahim Khatib/APA/Landov

NATO has reported a spike in Russian military activity at sea and in NATO and other western European countries' airspace as tensions have mounted over Ukraine. Here, a Russian military long-range bomber aircraft flies in international airspace on Oct. 29. Royal Air Force/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Royal Air Force/AP

Demonstrators chant in favor of the Islamic State and carry the group's flags in Mosul, Iraq, in June. With videos, Internet magazines and social media, the group has effectively recruited throughout the world. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

Gen. John F. Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, speaks during a ceremony in Kabul on Aug. 26. Campbell is overseeing the U.S. drawdown in the country after 13 years of war. Massoud Hossaini/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Massoud Hossaini/AP

Ramatu Usman, shown here with one of her sons, is a 37-year-old mother of eight. She says she was separated from one of her sons, 6-year-old Yahaya Buba, following an attack. He is still missing. Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/NPR

Palestinian stone-throwers take cover behind doors during clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem on Thursday. For months, the streets of East Jerusalem have been tense, with frequent clashes between police and Palestinians. Ammar Awad/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Ammar Awad/Reuters/Landov

Iraqi Yazidi women who fled the violence in the northern Iraq take shelter in the city of Dohuk on Aug. 5. The Yazidis, are a small community that follows an ancient faith and have been repeatedly targeted by jihadists. Yazidi leaders say several thousands members of the community have gone missing in recent months. Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images

Four Americans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan visit Kabul as part of Operation Proper Exit, a program designed for wounded warriors. From left, they are Staff Sgt. Ben Dellinger, Capt. Casey Wolfe, Capt. John Urquhart (who is hidden) and Sgt. James "Eddie" Wright. Sean Carberry/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Sean Carberry/NPR

American Ryan Boyette, left, works with Yassin Hassen, right, in an interview with a rebel in Sudan's Nuba Mountains. Boyette started the Nuba Reports website in 2011 and recruited Hassen to join as a citizen journalist. Alan Boswell/MCT via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alan Boswell/MCT via Getty Images