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Calls for the Hagia Sophia to serve again as a mosque have raised tensions between historic foes and uneasy NATO allies Turkey and Greece.

The 6th-century building is now at the center of a heated debate between nationalist, conservative and religious groups.

UK Jews reject Israel's 'racist' new UK ambassador

The New Arab Staff

UK Jews reject Israel's 'racist' new UK ambassador

Israel has appointed a right-wing minister who supports unilateral annexation of the West Bank as its ambassador to the UK.

Ancient Petra empty, silent as pandemic hits Jordan tourism

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Ancient Petra empty, silent as pandemic hits Jordan tourism

As the novel coronavirus spread around the world, Jordanian authorities imposed a lockdown, and the last tourists left on March 16, a day before ...

Russian Orthodox Church criticises Turkey's Hagia Sofia mosque plans

The New Arab Staff

Russian Orthodox Church criticises Turkey's Hagia Sofia mosque plans

Turkey insists converting the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque is a matter of national sovereignty.

The New Arab Staff

Egypt's top religious body slams Ottoman 'occupation' of Istanbul

The influential religious body's statement about the Ottoman conquest comes amid fierce debate around the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

The New Arab Staff

Tunisia's royal artefacts withdrawn from online sale following uproar

The artefact has been withdrawn from online sale after uproar from the Tunisian authorities.

The New Arab

Outrage over travel vlogger's Yemen stay during coronavirus pandemic

Polish social media influencer Eva Zu Beck has come under fire for her 'selfish' and 'immoral' stay on Yemen's remote Socotra island.

Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari

It's time to reform the UN

Comment: The world has changed and the UN failed to keep up. It must abandon the old mindset and move in new, potentially uncomfortable ...

Transfer of sphinxes to Cairo square continues to polarise

The New Arab & agencies

Transfer of sphinxes to Cairo square continues to polarise

Lawyers from a rights group have already filed a lawsuit, arguing that the move jeopardises the priceless artefacts.

The New Arab

Turkey to start power generation on controversial Tigris dam

The Ilisu dam, construction of which displaced thousands and submerged an ancient city, will start power generation next week.

Lebanon's uphill corruption battle against an 'untouchable class'

Kareem Chehayeb

Lebanon's uphill corruption battle against an 'untouchable class'

Corruption in Lebanon is widespread, but there are hopes a new law can root out pervasive nepotism.

Clashes in Socotra as UAE-backed STC seek control

The New Arab & agencies

Clashes in Socotra as UAE-backed STC seek control

Clashes in Socotra continued as the United Arab Emirates funded STC fought to wrest control of the provincial capital Hadebo.

Lebanese MPs hold 'makeshift parliament session' as protests re-kindle

The New Arab

Lebanese MPs hold 'makeshift parliament session' as protests re-kindle

As lawmakers met for the first time since the country went into lockdown in mid-March, protesters defiantly assembled in convoys in Beirut's ...

Israel to 'usurp' lands of iconic Palestinian religious site

The New Arab

Israel to 'usurp' lands of iconic Palestinian religious site

A Palestinian official has accused Israel of using false legal justifications to usurp more Palestinian lands.

The New Arab & agencies

Anti-government movement continues in Lebanon with 'social distancing' protests

Protests in Lebanon continue despite a crackdown on public gatherings, with anti-government demonstrators taking to their cars in an effort to keep the movement alive.

The New Arab

Jordan condemns Israeli extension of high-speed Jerusalem Tel-Aviv train

Jordan has custodianship over holy sites in East Jerusalem.

Hadani Ditmars

In Erbil's citadel, Amjad Assad keeps forgotten melodies alive

The New Arab Meets: 64-year-old Amjad Assad, who has almost single handedly digitised thousands of cassettes and old 78's that span a century of ...

The New Arab

Socotra coast guard battalion defects to UAE-backed southern separatists

Local reports revealed a government coast guard battalion on Yemen's scenic Socotra island defected earlier this week and pledged allegiance to ...

Saudi appoints princess as <em>UNESCO</em> representative

The New Arab & agencies

Saudi appoints princess as UNESCO representative

In a rare move, Saudi Arabia has appointed a female - Princess Haifa al-Mogrin - as its envoy to UNESCO.

The New Arab

Jeopardy! apologises for 'flawed' Church of Nativity clue

Television quiz show Jeopardy caused an uproar after it aired a segment in which the answer to the location of the Church of Nativity was Israel.

Cultural sites should never be a target of war

Paul Iddon

Cultural sites should never be a target of war

Comment: Trump's threat to target Iranian cultural sites shows complete disdain for Iran's people and their rich heritage, writes Paul Iddon.

Americans killed in Al-Shabaab attack on Kenya military base

The New Arab & agencies

Americans killed in Al-Shabaab attack on Kenya military base

Three US citizens died in the attack including a service member and two civilian defence contractors, the American military confirmed.

<em>UNESCO</em> recognises cultural heritage of Middle East's date palms

The New Arab

UNESCO recognises cultural heritage of Middle East's date palms

Date palm, and its traditions and practices, has made it on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage.

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