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A glimpse of hope for better times ahead

Raqqa, once a prosperous province that hosted one of the capitals of Harun Al-Rashid, the famous Abbasid Caliph, has seen a dramatic downturn in recent years. Even before the crisis in March 2011, the Raqqa population grappled with some of the worst development indicators in the country. The governomore

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A kindergarten story from Sudan

Khartoum November 2012 - Aisha Jumma, or Mamma Aish as the young boys and girls in her kindergarten call her, is one of 300 female ex-combatants who received reintegration support package in 2011 as part of UNDP's Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme in Sudan. Following tramore

A smile from an internally displaced people’s camp

 Ibrahim Farah Isaq* – a father of four – has lived in Bossaso since 1995. He was born in Qoryoley, Lower Shabelle in southern Somalia, where he completed intermediate school. His father owned farming land, houses and a small business before the outbreak of the civil war in 1991. Ibrahim’s fammore

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A source of Joy - Tour boat sets sail in Gaza

Graduated recently as an architect, Raed El-Shorafa, 27 years old, was facing the risk of joining the increasing numbers of the unemployed in Gaza. Despite his good average, the job opportunities are rare. “I had no income. I was a burden on my family. Future is ahead and I was not certain of my plamore

A sustainable income at last

 Sheikh Enow*, 48, has lived a life of misery and destitution. His misfortune can be traced to the collapse of the Somali government, when all his belongings were looted. Making matters worse, he had just lost his job.   “Since 1992, my life has been full of despair. I had no income. My frmore

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A tour boat sets sail in Gaza, launching a better life

When he graduated recently with a degree in architecture, Raed El-Shorafa, 27, faced the risk of joining increasing numbers of the unemployed in Gaza. Despite his good academic performance, job opportunities were rare.  “I had no income,” Raed said. “I was a burden on my family.” With an uncermore

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AIDS in Gaza: "I know, so I am not afraid"

Fifty-year-old Um Mohammad, a mother of nine, has been living with HIV for 16 years in the Gaza Strip in the occupied Palestinian territory. She was nursing her baby girl when tests revealed she was HIV positive. “We found out that I got the HIV while I was still breastfeeding my youngest. I got it more

Access to Justice for the vulnerable in Egypt

On the steps of the Family Court in the Heliopolis neighborhood of Egypt’s capital, Cairo, ‘Ayesha’, who preferred not to give her real name, tells a story that is all too common. “My husband and I are divorced. I repudiated him. Then, he took my elder daughter, kidnapped her, and I did not know howmore

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Building a sustainable democracy in Libya

A year ago, Khadija Baba would not have considered engaging in any independent civil society or political activities in her home town of Tripoli. Not only was such activity forbidden under the former regime in Libya, but it would have likely landed the university student in prison. Now, with supportmore

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Adapting technology to local needs in Egypt

By Marwa Elnokrashy and Karim Ezzeldin Siwa, Egypt—Fatma Ibrahim, a poor mother of six, has been illiterate all her life. As a child her hardworking parents made simple handicrafts and sold them to make ends meet. Like many girls growing up in Siwa, the largest oasis in Egypt’s western desert, Ibrahmore