Muslim Egyptian men pray during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan at Cairo's historic Al-Azhar mosque in September 2009. Some experts say many Egyptians have lost the meaning of the holy month, spending too much time after hours partying, eating and watching TV. Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images) hide caption

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Ahmed Abdel Aziz sings the call to prayer, or the azan, at Al- Maghfara Mosque in a suburb of Cairo last month. Holly Pickett for NPR hide caption

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An Afghan policeman stands in front of a banner Monday advertising this week's gathering of Afghan tribal leaders in Kabul. The 1,600 delegates at the much-delayed and much-touted gathering will debate strategies for convincing the Taliban and other insurgents to lay down their arms. Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Paramedics and Afghan civilians carry a coffin containing the body of one of five people killed by a roadside bomb in Kandahar in mid-April. Fear has gripped the southern city of Kandahar ahead of NATO's upcoming offensive. Allauddin Khan/AP hide caption

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Afghans walk by a house destroyed in a suicide bombing the previous night in Kandahar last month. Fear has gripped the southern city ahead of an upcoming U.S. offensive, as Taliban militants flood into the area in preparation. Rahmat Gul/AP hide caption

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Afghan motorists pass a U.S. soldier on patrol last month in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province. U.S. and Canadian forces have announced a major upcoming offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar, the group's stronghold and spiritual birthplace. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (shown here in Iran in 2001), leader of the militant Hizb-i-Islami group, has recently made peace overtures to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. But observers are unsure about his motives. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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An illegal crop of poppies stands out from a newly harvested crop of wheat in Afghanistan. The opium trade is a key source of income for the Taliban. Julie Jacobson/AP hide caption

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An Afghan security officer tries to stop photographers from taking pictures outside The Park Residence guesthouse at the site of a gun battle in the Shar-e Naw district in Kabul on Feb. 26. Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Sally, a bomb-sniffing dog, assists Marines in the search for IEDs during their offensive in Marjah, a Taliban-infested area of southern Afghanistan. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson/NPR hide caption

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