John Limbert stepped down Friday as head of the State Department's Iran desk. In 1979, Limbert was one of 52 Americans taken hostage during the Islamic Revolution. He was held for more than a year.
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.
Arriving from India, a woman and her baby walk past Israeli flags at Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport in November 2006. They were joining members of the Bnei Menashe community, from India's northeastern state of Mizoram, who have migrated to Israel.
Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images