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    Photo by Laura Boushnak Photo by Laura Boushnak Photo by Laura Boushnak

    Arab countries collectively have one of the highest rates of female illiteracy in the world. This fact led photographer Laura Boushnak to launch her project ‘I Read I Write,’ about women and education in the Arab world. 

    Boushnak has been awarded the 2014 Getty Images and Lean In Editorial Grant for ‘I Read I Write.’ Read more about Laura and the project here.

    Shiite men and boys with the Shebil tribe dance around with their weapons during a demonstration calling for a united nationwide inter-sect fight against ISIS. Lynsey Addario/Reportage by Getty Images Shiite Muslims read the Koran and pray at the Ali Imam Mosque in Najaf. Lynsey Addario/Reportage by Getty Images Friends and relatives of Alla Abbas al Rubaiye, 17, a Mahdi army supporter, weep while Abbas' body is prepared for burial in the holy city of Najaf. Lynsey Addario/Reportage by Getty Images

    Iraq is a country divided. Battles are being waged not just by ISIS and between Sunnis and Shiites, but within the groups themselves. In June, Iraq’s leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a call to arms, urging his followers to join forces with the government’s military in order to stop the march of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Simultaneously, another of Iraq’s foremost political leaders, Muqtada al-Sadr, resurrected his Mahdi Army, one of the most experienced and largest battle groups in the country. Al-Sadr refuses to let the government have any control of his forces.

    Reportage by Getty Images photographer Lynsey Addario traveled throughout the country to witness how these tensions are affecting the Shiite population.   

    Please see more from her work here - Iraq: A Country Standing Divided

    Marco Di Lauro/Reportage by Getty Images for ICRC Marco Di Lauro/Reportage by Getty Images for ICRC Marco Di Lauro/Reportage by Getty Images for ICRC

    'They move one meter by one meter, on their knees. They do this for 10 hours a day, every day, with incredible dedication and effort.' - Marco Di Lauro, Photographer, on clearing landmines in Iraq.

    In Iraq, as violence continues to flare, the legacy of old conflicts still remains in the form of buried landmines. The work of clearing the mines is painstaking and dangerous, but is of great importance in the protection of local civilians. Landmines stay active and continue to maim and kill long after wars have ended.

    See Di Lauro discuss his work documenting landmines in Iraq for ICRC.

    CAIRO, EGYPT - Hundreds of boys and young men gather in an alley for a wedding celebration featuring Mahraganat Sha’abi music. Revelers dance, run into the crowd with flares, throw people in the air, and fire off handmade guns. Sha’abi music (literally translating to ‘music of the poor’) is the anthem of a new Egypt, and capitalizes on anger over the country’s economic and political situation.

    See more from Sha’abi Music, by David Degner

    A young soldier in the Afghan National Army carries out operations in Mazar-i-Sharif, North Afghanistan. This week, President Obama outlined plans for continued United States military support in Afghanistan through 2016.

    Photo from Life in War, by Majid Saeedi.

    An Afghan woman learns how to knit a dress for a doll at a workshop sponsored by American NGO Mercy Group  A farmer puts his harvest on a tank left behind in war in Panshir, north of Kabul A man gives his children their daily ration of opium. In some areas, parents addict their infants by puffing opium smoke in their face so they will sleep more and give them more hours to work.

    Life in War

    While Afghanistan has been one the most heavily documented countries over the past decade, few photojournalists have approached it with the depth and perspective of Majid Saeedi. Saeedi, a native of Iran, was not allowed to work in his home country for four years, following his coverage of the turbulent 2009 Iranian election. This exile led him to embrace the people of Afghanistan as his main subject. ‘War is not the only thing going on in Afghanistan,’ he writes. ‘Sharing a common tongue, I found that I could live alongside the Afghans, understanding, laughing and crying with them.’

    Saeedi was recently honored with the FotoEvidence Book Award for his work. See more from Life in War.

    Sha’abi music (literally translating to ‘the music of the poor’) is the soundtrack of a new Egypt: recorded in bedrooms, mixed on shoddy laptops and capitalizing on anger at the country’s economic and political situation. Young singers seethe about their frustrations through irreverent lyrics like “The people want phone credit! Just phone credit,” a play on the popular 18-day Tahrir Square uprising chant: “The people want the fall of the regime!”

    8%, the post popular Sha’abi band, performs on rickety wooden stages in alleys in their neighborhood of Matareya. Their latest recordings are passed from phone to phone by bluetooth; their YouTube videos have over 1 million listens; their Facebook page has hundreds of thousands of likes. 

    See more from Sha’abi Music, by David Degner

    CAIRO, EGYPT: Lorna belly-dances in front of a mixed Egyptian-Chinese audience. Owner of “Hotel Belly Lorna,” Lorna teaches belly dancing to young female Chinese students. Belly dancing, once an Egyptian folkloric dance, is now taboo by current Egyptian social and religious standards and Lorna is the only British belly dancer with a legal working permit to dance in Cairo today. (Photo by Kim Badawi/Reportage by Getty Images)

    'In a globalised world, it has become “much easier than before to consume Western products, therefore an increasing number of Arab parents worry that their children are getting too Westernised. This creates a demand for businesses that adapt Westernised products to their values, and it has been taking place across the Middle East – in television programmes, hip-hop music, comic books and ‘Arabised’ Barbie dolls called Fulla dolls.” A Fulla doll is, in essence, a Barbie doll that is “loving, caring, honest, and respecting of her mother and father”, say the doll’s creators.'

    With all of the issues roiling the Middle East, the cultural characteristics of everyday life often get overlooked. But for Natalie Naccache, a former member of Reportage Emerging Talent, the nuances of youth culture in the region can be especially telling. “I wanted to take a deeper look into how young people in the Middle East are growing up, who they look up to, and what moulds their beliefs.”

    Read more about Natalie’s project in British Journal of Photography.

    Introducing the brand new Reportage by Getty Images Instagram. Follow along as Reportage photographers explore the world.

    Image: Framed photos of women’s eyes, for sale in the Souk, Marrakech, Morocco. Photo by @selliottphoto

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