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The pope is defying the pandemic and renewed security fears to make a "long-awaited" trip to comfort one of the world's oldest Christian communities, while deepening his dialogue with Muslims.

Banners all over Najaf have celebrated "the historic encounter, between the minarets and the church bells".

Pope Francis in Iraq: Healing, piety and PR

Harry Hagopian

Pope Francis in Iraq: Healing, piety and PR

Comment: Pope Francis' highly anticipated visit to Iraq places a host of spiritual and political expectations on the charismatic pontiff. Here's ...

Pope to visit Iraq as 'pilgrim of peace'

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Pope to visit Iraq as 'pilgrim of peace'

On the eve of his historic trip, Pope Francis extended the olive branch to those of other religious, describing himself as a "pilgrim of peace ...

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Five places Pope Francis will see on Iraq trip

Pope Francis is visiting Iraq and has five heritage sites on his list of visits, including some damaged in the war on IS.

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Vatican envoy to Iraq tests positive for coronavirus: officials

The Vatican's ambassador to Iraq Mitja Leskovar has been travelling across the country in recent weeks to prepare for the pope's ambitious visit.

Iraq sees record Covid-19 cases as new lockdown begins

Iraq has been among the countries hardest-hit by coronavirus in the Middle East, with more than 660,000 reported cases and over 13,200 deaths.

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iraq's Sadr backs early elections in rare appearance

Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr has backed a call for early elections as his movement aims to take the post of prime minister

Meet the Palestinian DJ who sparked a political storm

Ziad Al-Qattan

Meet the Palestinian DJ who sparked a political storm

In-depth: The arrest of DJ Sama after hosting a techno event in the West Bank reveals a deeper set of tensions within Palestinian society.

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Billionaire right-winger Adelson buried in Jerusalem

Billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson was buried in Jerusalem.

A year after Soleimani's killing, tensions simmer in Iraq

Sofia Nitti

A year after Soleimani's killing, tensions simmer in Iraq

In-depth: Iran has promised to avenge Soleimani's killing, but the proliferation of more independent armed militias in Iraq could be an even ...

Palestinian DJ Sama Abdulhadi released on bail

The New Arab Staff

Palestinian DJ Sama Abdulhadi released on bail

Palestinian DJ Sama Abdulhadi was released on bail on Sunday.

Baghdad procession marks anniversary of Iran general's death

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Baghdad procession marks anniversary of Iran general's death

Mourners marched on the road towards Baghdad airport, with the scene of the bombing that killed Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis ...

Mob sets Hindu temple on fire in Pakistan

The New Arab Staff

Mob sets Hindu temple on fire in Pakistan

The mob attacked the shrine in northwest Pakistan amid rumours of its expansion.

The New Arab Staff

Activists call for release of Palestinian techno DJ

A petition calling for the release of Sama Abdulhadi, dubbed Palestine's techno queen, has amassed nearly 6,000 signatures.

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

A Sudan in transition presents first-ever film for Oscars

Acclaimed coming-of-age story 'You Will Die at Twenty' is only the eight film to have been made inside Sudan.

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Cards from across Iraq bring Christmas cheer to Christians

Iraqi Christians woke up to Christmas cards from their Muslim neighbours in a heartfelt exchange of love and solidarity.

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iraq 'shrine factions' look to peel away from Hashed

Four warring factions in Iraq threaten the country's fragility.

Funeral begins for assassinated Iran nuclear scientist

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Funeral begins for assassinated Iran nuclear scientist

Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in an attack the Islamic republic has blamed on Israel.

The New Arab Staff

UAE condemns 'heinous' killing of Iran scientist

The assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist has been condemned by the United Arab Emirates as a "heinous" act.

Iran mulls response to killing of nuclear scientist

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran mulls response to killing of nuclear scientist

Debate raged in Iran over how and when to respond to a top nuclear scientist's assassination, blamed on arch-foe Israel, as his body was ...

Iran nuclear scientist's body taken to Muslim <em>shrine</em>

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran nuclear scientist's body taken to Muslim shrine

President Hassan Rouhani has accused arch-foe Israel of acting as a US "mercenary" and killing Mohsen Fakhrizadeh when assailants opened fire at ...

Strike Haifa if Israel killed scientist, Iran newspaper urges

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Strike Haifa if Israel killed scientist, Iran newspaper urges

Iranian analyst Sadollah Zarei said striking Haifa and killing a large number of people would "definitely lead to deterrence".

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