KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Jane Arraf

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In the Yazidi village of Tel Qasab, Iraq, delighted neighbors welcome Nofa Khudeda as she walks into the house she fled six years ago when ISIS invaded the region. Khudeda, wearing a beige print dress with a white scarf tied loosely around her dark hair, hands out colorfully wrapped chocolates in celebration.

"It's a beautiful feeling to be home," she says, surrounded by beaming neighbors and relatives who returned a few weeks ago from camps for displaced Yazidis in northern Iraq.

In the village of Solagh in the Sinjar region of northern Iraq, surrounded by fields where no crops grow, laborers in masks and white protective suits carefully sift through the sand and dirt of a former fish farm.

They take turns shoveling the sand into a rectangular, coffee table-size wire sifter to make sure they don't lose small pieces of bone.

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At an orphanage in Mosul, Iraq, the woman and the girl sitting on the long, gray sofa communicate mostly through touch — the girl leans against the woman, playing with her blue bead bracelet. The woman smiles as she removes the bracelet and puts it on the child's own slender wrist.

The Egyptian government is facing an international backlash over the arrests of members of a leading Egyptian human rights organization following a meeting with European diplomats Nov. 3.

Since last week, authorities have arrested three members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) on charges which include belonging to a terrorist organization, undermining public security by spreading false information and using the Internet to spread false news.

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Samah Ibrahim Tanieub is at home on break between nursing shifts in the Jordanian capitol, Amman – two weeks on the COVID-19 isolation ward and then another two weeks in quarantine before she can come home.

The long shifts are particularly difficult for Tanieub because she's a divorced single mother with four children, the youngest just five years old. The work doesn't pay more than her regular salary of about $650 a month but she volunteered for COVID-19 duty and says she loves her job as a nurse.

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The ruler of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, has died at the age of 91. Born in an era when the tiny Gulf emirate's economy relied on pearl diving, his life spanned the discovery of oil and Kuwait's emergence as one of the world's richest countries.

Kuwaiti state television announced the emir's death Tuesday after playing Quranic prayers.

Editor's note: This story includes details some readers may find disturbing.

Ftaim al-Saleh's young nieces and nephews play in the dirt near her family's new tent on the road to Amman's international airport. Her own youngest children are buried up the road — four of them laid out in graves on a small, rocky hilltop cemetery overlooking the highway.

The children died in a fire early one morning in June, while she and her husband were in the fields where they work as farm laborers.

Seventeen years after it was stolen, archaeologist McGuire Gibson still checks eBay for a 4,000-year-old stone cylinder seal that he excavated in Iraq in the 1970s.

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Um Hiba's trauma over being enslaved, raped and beaten by ISIS after fighters raided her village didn't end when she was freed three years ago. Instead, like thousands of other survivors of the genocide against Yazidis, she languishes, still traumatized, with what's left of her family.

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In a video shared in a Facebook group, a narrator speaking Syrian-accented Arabic describes an elaborate, Roman-era mosaic depicting mythological figures and animals. The colored glass and stone in the mosaic are still vivid some 2,000 years after it was created.

A brief glimpse of sweatpants worn by the narrator is the only indication of who is speaking. Then the camera pans out to show that the mosaic still lies in the ground, uncovered in a field of dirt and rocks.

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Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz sits in the front room of his family home in a middle-class Amman neighborhood of traditional white stone houses with small gardens and low walls. Unusually, in a region where senior officials typically live in gated compounds far from public view, the residential street has been kept open to traffic to minimize disruption to Razzaz's neighbors.

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The U.S. is leading the world in COVID-19 cases - more than 3 1/2 million. Other countries are seeing surges, too. India, for example, just hit a new record - a million cases. Here's virologist Shahid Jameel talking to India Today.

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