5 January 2015

AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East

Pakistani boys take part in a rally marking the birthday of Islam's Prophet Muhammad in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. Thousands of Pakistani Muslims celebrated by participating in religious ceremonies and distributing free meals for the poor.
Pakistani boys take part in a rally marking the birthday of Islam's Prophet Muhammad in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. Thousands of Pakistani Muslims celebrated by participating in religious ceremonies and distributing free meals for the poor.  

Children run to join a parade of Sufi Egyptian Muslims celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammed known as Moulid Al-Nabi, in Cairo, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015.
Children run to join a parade of Sufi Egyptian Muslims celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammed known as Moulid Al-Nabi, in Cairo, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015.  
An Egyptian girl yawns as she leans on a car displaying party hats on New Year's Eve in the Shubra district of Cairo, late Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014.
An Egyptian girl yawns as she leans on a car displaying party hats on New Year's Eve in the Shubra district of Cairo, late Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014.  
An Egyptian Muslim, member of the Al-Hamdeya Al-Shazeleya Sufi order, takes part in a parade celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad known as Moulid Al-Nabi, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Banner in Arabic carries Islamic verses and the names of prominent Sufi clerics.
An Egyptian Muslim, member of the Al-Hamdeya Al-Shazeleya Sufi order, takes part in a parade celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad known as Moulid Al-Nabi, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Banner in Arabic carries Islamic verses and the names of prominent Sufi clerics.  
Iranian Christians light candles during New Year's Eve mass which started on Wednesday night, at the Saint Sarkis Church of Armenians in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Around 120,000 Christians live in Iran, mostly in Central and north-western parts of the country. Most Iranian Christians are of the Armenian ethnicity, however and they are mostly adherent to the Gregorian faith.
Iranian Christians light candles during New Year's Eve mass which started on Wednesday night, at the Saint Sarkis Church of Armenians in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Around 120,000 Christians live in Iran, mostly in Central and north-western parts of the country. Most Iranian Christians are of the Armenian ethnicity, however and they are mostly adherent to the Gregorian faith.  
Revellers celebrate arrival of the New Year in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.
Revellers celebrate arrival of the New Year in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015.  
In this Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, shares a meal with Syrian troops during his visit on the front line in the eastern Damascus district of Jobar, Syria. Assad has made a rare visit to the front line of his country's civil war, spending New Year's Eve with his troops in a tense eastern Damascus neighborhood.
In this Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, shares a meal with Syrian troops during his visit on the front line in the eastern Damascus district of Jobar, Syria. Assad has made a rare visit to the front line of his country's civil war, spending New Year's Eve with his troops in a tense eastern Damascus neighborhood.   
Iraqi break dancers in Santa Claus costumes celebrate the New Year at Firdous Square in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. In Iraq's war-scarred capital, Baghdad authorities ordered a one-off lifting of the overnight curfew in force for more than a decade to allow the city's revelers to stay out late on the streets. Traffic was unusually heavy starting shortly after sunset and authorities closed commercial streets to vehicles in the city's center as a precaution against possible suicide bombings by militants of the Islamic State terror group.
Iraqi break dancers in Santa Claus costumes celebrate the New Year at Firdous Square in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014. In Iraq's war-scarred capital, Baghdad authorities ordered a one-off lifting of the overnight curfew in force for more than a decade to allow the city's revelers to stay out late on the streets. Traffic was unusually heavy starting shortly after sunset and authorities closed commercial streets to vehicles in the city's center as a precaution against possible suicide bombings by militants of the Islamic State terror group.  
Iranian Christians pray during the New Year's mass at the saint Sarkis church of Armenians in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Around 120,000 Christians live in Iran, mostly in Central and north-western parts of the country. Most Iranian Christians are of the Armenian ethnicity, however and they are mostly adherent to the Gregorian faith.
Iranian Christians pray during the New Year's mass at the saint Sarkis church of Armenians in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Around 120,000 Christians live in Iran, mostly in Central and north-western parts of the country. Most Iranian Christians are of the Armenian ethnicity, however and they are mostly adherent to the Gregorian faith.  
Pakistani women and children wait their turn to receive rice during a donated food distribution on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad's birthday at a shrine in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. Food donations usually increase on Prophet Mohammad's birthday, the 12th Rabi-ul-Awal month on the Islamic calendar, with traditional festivities and religious fervor.
Pakistani women and children wait their turn to receive rice during a donated food distribution on the occasion of Prophet Muhammad's birthday at a shrine in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015. Food donations usually increase on Prophet Mohammad's birthday, the 12th Rabi-ul-Awal month on the Islamic calendar, with traditional festivities and religious fervor.  
Marwa Omara, the fiancée of Egyptian-Canadian Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohammed Fahmy, speaks to journalists as she leaves the high court after a hearing, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. An Egyptian appeals court ordered a retrial Thursday in the case of three imprisoned Al-Jazeera English journalists, a widely expected move in a highly politicized case infested with loopholes.
Marwa Omara, the fiancée of Egyptian-Canadian Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohammed Fahmy, speaks to journalists as she leaves the high court after a hearing, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. An Egyptian appeals court ordered a retrial Thursday in the case of three imprisoned Al-Jazeera English journalists, a widely expected move in a highly politicized case infested with loopholes.  
A group of women mourn during the funeral ceremony of Brig. Gen. Hamid Taqavi, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander who was killed during a battle against the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq, shown in the poster above, outside the Guard compound in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014. The Guard said Sunday that Taqavi was "martyred while performing his advisory mission" in Samarra, a town north of Baghdad that is home to a major Shiite shrine. He is the highest ranking Iranian officer known to have been killed abroad since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, in which he fought.
A group of women mourn during the funeral ceremony of Brig. Gen. Hamid Taqavi, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander who was killed during a battle against the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq, shown in the poster above, outside the Guard compound in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014. The Guard said Sunday that Taqavi was "martyred while performing his advisory mission" in Samarra, a town north of Baghdad that is home to a major Shiite shrine. He is the highest ranking Iranian officer known to have been killed abroad since the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, in which he fought.  
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Palestinian Imam Dwikat who was shot dead by Israeli troops on Monday, in the West Bank village of Baita near City of Nablus , Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. The Israeli military said its forces shot and killed Dwika who was throwing stones at drivers in the West Bank. The military said forces on patrol Monday were confronted by a group of stone throwers. The forces called out to them to stop and fired live rounds into the air to disperse them, then opened fire on the stone throwers when they persisted.
Palestinian mourners carry the body of Palestinian Imam Dwikat who was shot dead by Israeli troops on Monday, in the West Bank village of Baita near City of Nablus , Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. The Israeli military said its forces shot and killed Dwika who was throwing stones at drivers in the West Bank. The military said forces on patrol Monday were confronted by a group of stone throwers. The forces called out to them to stop and fired live rounds into the air to disperse them, then opened fire on the stone throwers when they persisted.  
A relative of captured Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, 26, pauses by his photo on the wall of his family's home, in Karak, South of Amman, Jordan, Saturday, Jan 3, 2015. Islamic State fighters took al-Kaseasbeh prisoner after his F-16 fighter jet crashed near the extremists' de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. The father of the pilot appealed Saturday to the militants to treat his son well and with respect.
A relative of captured Jordanian pilot 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, 26, pauses by his photo on the wall of his family's home, in Karak, South of Amman, Jordan, Saturday, Jan 3, 2015. Islamic State fighters took al-Kaseasbeh prisoner after his F-16 fighter jet crashed near the extremists' de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria. The father of the pilot appealed Saturday to the militants to treat his son well and with respect.  
Bahraini anti-government protesters holding a national flag take cover from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes in Bilad Al Qadeem, Bahrain, a suburb of Manama, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Daily clashes between police and protesters have intensified in the week since Sheik Ali Salman, 49, head of the opposition al-Wefaq political association, was arrested on accusations including inciting violence in the Gulf island kingdom.
Bahraini anti-government protesters holding a national flag take cover from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes in Bilad Al Qadeem, Bahrain, a suburb of Manama, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Daily clashes between police and protesters have intensified in the week since Sheik Ali Salman, 49, head of the opposition al-Wefaq political association, was arrested on accusations including inciting violence in the Gulf island kingdom.   
An Afghan laborer works at a charcoal workshop on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. In the winter, prices of wood and charcoal rise among all other necessities for Afghans.
An Afghan laborer works at a charcoal workshop on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. In the winter, prices of wood and charcoal rise among all other necessities for Afghans.  
In this Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, photo, starling seller Mohammed Jamil shows a bird after it was purchased by a customer to set it free in Irbil, Iraq. Some will buy the birds to eat them as a delicacy, but most will buy them only to set them free as an act of mercy. This year, however, the nearby fighting with the Islamic State group has driven many of the skittish birds away.
In this Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, photo, starling seller Mohammed Jamil shows a bird after it was purchased by a customer to set it free in Irbil, Iraq. Some will buy the birds to eat them as a delicacy, but most will buy them only to set them free as an act of mercy. This year, however, the nearby fighting with the Islamic State group has driven many of the skittish birds away.  
Afghan men watch dogfighting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Dogfighting is a popular form of entertainment during the winter season in Afghanistan as public matches are held every Friday, which is the official weekly holiday in the country. Dogs do not fight until death but rather until one dog pins another, or one of the fighters runs away.
Afghan men watch dogfighting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Dogfighting is a popular form of entertainment during the winter season in Afghanistan as public matches are held every Friday, which is the official weekly holiday in the country. Dogs do not fight until death but rather until one dog pins another, or one of the fighters runs away.  
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo shoots the ball to score a goal during the Dubai Football Challenge match against AC Milan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo shoots the ball to score a goal during the Dubai Football Challenge match against AC Milan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014.  
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during the third day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015.
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland during the third day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015.

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