Mahmoud Jamal (right) sits with a student at Jerusalem Kindergarten. Rick Davis for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Rick Davis for NPR

Construction crews work at the site of Palestinian security forces facilities Thursday in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' state-building measures include forming police and security forces to help keep order in the territory. Saif Dahlah/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Saif Dahlah/AFP/Getty Images

A screenshot of Egyptian riot police, taken from a video about protests on the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights' YouTube channel. EIPR/YouTube hide caption

itoggle caption EIPR/YouTube

Egyptian couples celebrate during a mass wedding organized by a charity organization in Cairo in December 2009. A housing shortage is driving the exorbitant price of marriage, which means weddings are often delayed for years. Amr Nabil/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Amr Nabil/AP

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman (center) receives Saudi King Abdullah (left) and Syrian President Bashar Assad upon their arrival at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, on Friday. The leaders of Syria and Saudi Arabia launched an unprecedented effort Friday to defuse fears of violence over upcoming indictments in the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Bilal Hussein/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Bilal Hussein/AP

Women wear the niqab, a face-covering veil, as they shop in Damascus' oldest market on Monday. The Syrian Education Ministry's ban on the veil comes as similar moves in Europe spark cries of discrimination against Muslims. Bassem Tellawi/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Bassem Tellawi/AP

Iraqis follow a June 14 parliamentary session on local TV at a barbershop in Baghdad. Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images

The massive Ataturk Dam (shown here in 1992), in southeast Turkey, harnesses water for one of the biggest irrigation and electric power schemes in the world. A drought and other factors have created an acute water shortage in the Middle East, and resentment in countries downstream from Turkey is growing. Ed Kashi/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Ed Kashi/Corbis

Adilla Finchaan, 50, checks her drought-stricken land in Latifiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, in this photo taken in July 2009. Below-average rainfall and insufficient water in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers — something the Iraqis have blamed on upstream dams in Turkey and Syria — have left Iraq bone-dry for a second straight year. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Hadi Mizban/AP

The markets of Aleppo brim with fresh vegetables and spices. Deborah Amos/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Deborah Amos/NPR

Turkish Kurds in Istanbul demonstrate in support of Kurdish rebels Oct. 19. A group of 34 unarmed Kurdish rebels crossed into Turkey from northern Iraq that day in a show of support for peace with the Turkish government. But Turks were outraged by the public displays of support for the Kurds, and the amnesty they were granted by the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ibrahim Usta/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Ibrahim Usta/AP

Migrants walk next to the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Tijuana, in September 2009. The U.S. recession has serious repercussions on the Mexican economy, which relies heavily on remittances from its workers in the U.S. Guillermo Arias/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Guillermo Arias/AP