Deborah AmosDeborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.
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.
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.
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.