Parallels Many Stories, One World

Female demonstrators hold up posters of Yemen's president during an August pro-government demonstration in Sanaa. The rebels took over the presidential palace on Tuesday. Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Uzbek President Islam Karimov looks on as Russian President Vladimir Putin, unseen, speaks to the media after talks in Moscow in April 2013. Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

Safi al-Kasasbeh and his wife Saafia are the parents of Moath al-Kasasbeh, the Jordanian air force pilot captured by the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Syria. The worried parents are proud of their son, but say Jordan should not be involved in the coalition against ISIS. Alice Fordham/NPR hide caption

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Igor Girkin, a Russian citizen who headed the pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine last year, walks with his bodyguards in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in July. Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Iraqi crowds cheer as the countdown and fireworks begin during a New Year's Day celebration at Firdos Square in Baghdad on Wednesday. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

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U.S. Gen. John Campbell (left) and Command Sgt. Maj. Delbert Byers open the Operation Resolute Support flag during a ceremony at the International Security Assistance Force headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday. Massoud Hossaini/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Massoud Hossaini/AP

U.S. soldiers patrol the Taji base complex, which hosts Iraqi and U.S. troops north of the capital Baghdad. Taji is one of an eventual five sites where the U.S. and allied countries aim to train 5,000 Iraqi military personnel every six to eight weeks for combat against the so-called Islamic State. Ali al-Saadi /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ali al-Saadi /AFP/Getty Images

An Iraqi Christian prays inside a shrine on the grounds of the Mazar Mar Eillia Catholic Church in Irbil, in northern Iraq. Irbil has become home to hundreds of Iraqi Christians who fled their homes as the Islamic State advanced earlier this year. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Syrian President Bashar Assad, shown here in July, appeared to be in a tough position at the beginning of the year. But many analysts say his hold on power grew stronger over the course of 2014, due in part to the U.S. bombing campaign against the Islamic State. SANA/AP hide caption

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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

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 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

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

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