June 22, 2024

Suicide bombing in Turkey, pre-election tensions in Egypt – here’s the Middle East this week.

Morocco will be one of six nations to host football tournament | Suicide bombing in Turkey | Pre-election tensions in Egypt. Here’s the Middle East this week:

From hope to host

It was a nail-biting time just under a year ago, when Morocco captured the hearts of millions worldwide, galvanising hope for the global south as they trailblazed their way to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

In another score for the football-frenzied nation, FIFA announced Morocco will be one of six countries across three continents to host the 2030 World Cup. Game on.

Attack in Ankara

People in Turkey had seen scenes like it all too often before: shattered windows, doors ripped open and debris scattered in the street as soldiers, police, ambulances, fire trucks and armoured vehicles converged.

On the day that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was scheduled to open parliament in Ankara, two attackers carried out a suicide bombing. Turkish officials say the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is the prime suspect. More than 90 people have been detained as part of the investigation.

Egypt on the precipice of an election

There’s been a firestorm in Egypt this week – literally and figuratively. In the city of Ismailia, a huge fire broke out at a police complex. The cause is unknown but sources told Al Jazeera it could be a part of an attack  ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

And for this election, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has put in his bid for a third term. He’s expected to win, as the opposition says it faces harassment. The backdrop to all this happening is a severe economic crisis that is curtailing Egypt’s regional ambitions.

A second shot for Syria’s students

Omar al-Dabaan was just 12 when the Syrian army attacked his school. He awoke from the blow of regime forces firing rounds of artillery fire, only to find his friends’ bodies scattered in the schoolyard.

That was in 2018, and al-Dabaan hasn’t been back to school since. But he’s now studying again, through the Masarat Initiative, which has been delivering the entire Syrian curriculum online so children like al-Dabaan can gain an education.

Syria education story [Ali Haj Suleiman/Al Jazeera]

To Hague and to hold

In Tunisia, a prominent leader, Abir Moussi, from the Free Destourian (Constitutional) Party, was detained this week, while the imprisoned leader of the largest opposition party, Ennahdha, Rached Ghannouchi, began a hunger strike.

Family members of several of the dozens detained since President Kais Saeid’s rule took a more repressive turn two years ago, are now gathered at The Hague, to seek justice at the International Criminal Court.

Presidential candidate Abir Moussi gestures after casting her vote at a polling station during presidential election in Tunis, Tunisia September 15, 2019.
Moussi leads Tunisia’s Free Constitutional Party and wants to defend the civil state [File: Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters]

And now, something different

Imagine chomping down on a carrot – that came out of a 3D printer. Two students in Qatar have made that scenario more likely: Their device uses artificially grown vegetable cells and UV light to mass-print vegetables.

The duo hope it can be the solution to solving world hunger.

3D printed carrot [Photo courtesy of Mohammed Annan]
3D printed carrot [Photo courtesy of Mohammed Annan]


Quote of the Week

“Sometimes we would be in school when the bombing starts, so school stops for a week […] Without schooling, we will not benefit from anything … After I get my high school certificate, I’ll go after my dream and study civil engineering.” | Teenager Omar al-Dabaan is getting a second chance at completing his studies despite Syria’s ongoing war.

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