Iraqi university students take photos as they celebrate during their graduation party in April 2009, at the University of Technology in Baghdad. Sixty-five percent of Iraqis today are under the age of 25, and a preliminary survey finds that their attitudes are radically different from those of previous generations -- which may have a profound effect on the country's future.
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Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) meets with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in Istanbul, Dec. 22, 2010. Turkey is vying with Iran to be the most influential regional power in Iraq.
Tolga Bozoglu/AFP/Getty Images
Retired Army Sgt. Alexander Reyes (right), from Miami, responds to applause at Camp Liberty in Baghdad after sharing the story of how he was wounded by an IED in 2007. He is one of seven wounded veterans who recently returned to Iraq as part of Operation Proper Exit, a program aimed at helping soldiers heal from traumatic injuries.
An Iraqi man holds a sign reading "Baghdad will not be Kandahar" in Arabic as he takes part in a Dec. 3 protest in Baghdad organized by poets and intellectuals against the closure of nightclubs and a ban on alcohol sales.
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Dean Obeidallah,an Arab-American comedian, performs at the Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival last year in Amman, Jordan. Demand for American-style stand-up comedy has exploded among young Arabs in the Middle East.
Mohammad Abu Ghosh/AP
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.
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