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This month on PRI Public Radio International’s America Abroad we explore the challenges facing religious minorities in the Middle East.

In the first segment, hear from Egypt’s Christian community, which makes up about 10 percent of their country’s population. But under a new Islamist president, will their right to worship be protected? Nadeen Shaker reports from Cairo. Listen now!


Israel Deporting 150 Migrants to South Sudan

(Via VOA) JERUSALEM — Israel is deporting a second planeload of African migrants as it continues a crackdown on what officials have described as “infiltrators.”

Israel says the deportation of 150 people back to their home country of South Sudan is aimed at curbing a flood of African migrants.

More than 60,000 Africans have illegally entered Israel from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula since 2005, most from Eritrea and Sudan.  They claim to be refugees, but Israel says the vast majority are economic migrants seeking a higher standard of living.

Read more here

Photo: AP (Anat, an Israeli teacher, center, comforts Victoria, a South Sudanese migrant student, just before leaving for Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, June 25, 2012.)


Know Your Thobe

The afternoon explainer via Brownbook.

FYI, I’ve only worn it Saudi style. — Michael


The children of Syria’s revolution: The Red Cross is still shut out of Homs’ Bab Amro district — which was a rebel stronghold before a ruthless crackdown — and the latest reports from inside tell grisly tales of the military targeting boys for execution. Nevertheless, across the country, Syrians of all ages continue to protest President Bashar al-Assads’ violent reign. More photos available here

How Israeli cartoonist Shay Charka draws president Barack Obama using a bottle of ketchup and an egg.

Charka lives in a Jewish settlement called Zufim. It’s a neighborhood of suburban-style single family homes that sits on a hilltop above the Palestinian city of Qalqilya. Charka reckoned he’s Israel’s only syndicated political cartoonist who is also a settler.


What’s Happening in the Persian Gulf Explained

More US-Iran posturing…and another Mideast war for oil?

Perhaps. Here’s everything you need to know.

A breakdown of how the situation impacts US policy, oil prices and the presidential election.

40 plays

On-the-ground reporting from the protests in Bahrain, where people are demanding democracy, a new constitution, and opportunities in education, employment, and housing. Apparently, the protests weren’t so serious until protesters started getting killed. Now, some 10,000 people took to the streets and more protests are scheduled for Friday.  

The Takeaway reports.

(Photo of Bahrain protests by Al Jazeera English)