BBC News Middle East

Top Stories

Latest Updates

  1. Hijab-wearing women 'facing discrimination' in Egypt

    BBC World Service

    Image caption: There are venues denying access to women wearing the hijab

    A BBC investigation has found evidence that some businesses in Egypt are discriminating against women wearing the hijab.

    It suggests a major property developer is refusing to sell holiday properties to families with women wearing the Islamic veil.

    An undercover reporter seeking to buy property from a prominent developer, La Vista, was turned down six times when he said his wife wore the hijab.

    But when he went to the office alone he was told there were properties available immediately.

    La Vista did not respond to the BBC’s requests for comment.

    The investigation also found venues that refuse entry to women wearing the veil.

    The Egyptian constitution bans discrimination based on sex, religion, race or class.

    More on this topic:

  2. Macron urges ties with Algeria beyond 'painful' past

    BBC World Service

    French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Algeria's President Abdelmadjid Tebboune

    French President Emmanuel Macron has said during a visit to Algeria that the two countries should move beyond their painful shared history and look to the future.

    At a joint news conference with his Algerian counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Mr Macron announced that a joint Franco-Algerian commission of historians would be set up to study archives on French colonial rule in Algeria.

    This would include the bitter eight-year war that led to Algerian independence 60 years ago.

    Relations between the two countries have been fraught for decades.

    During his three-day trip, Mr Macron is also keen to secure access to Algeria's huge stocks of untapped oil and gas, as Europe faces shortages because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    More on this topic:

  3. Video content

    Video caption: Trichotillomania: "Friends asked if I was crazy, I'm just sick"

    Moroccan singer, Abir, has trichotillomania, a mental health disorder which causes the urge to pull hair out.

  4. UN fears Libya violence could reverse progress

    Mike Thomson

    BBC World Service News

    Joint forces affiliated with Libya's Government of National Unity assemble inside the closed Tripoli International Airport, as they deploy on the outskirts and entrances of the capital Tripoli on 25 July. At least 16 people were killed and 52 wounded in fighting between armed groups in Tripoli, the health ministry said on 23 July, following the latest politically driven violence to hit the Libyan capital.
    Image caption: Soldiers linked to the UN-backed government in Tripoli respond to clashes in July

    The UN says it’s deeply worried about ongoing clashes between armed groups in Libya and the threats to use force to solve the country’s political crisis.

    Libya has been emmeshed in political stalemate for months after the country’s eastern-based parliament appointed a new prime minister, despite the fact there was already a prime minister in post in Tripoli who was refusing to cede power without an election.

    There have been several recent shoot-outs between armed supporters of both men, which the UN fears could reignite wider conflict after two years of comparative peace.

    Read more about Libya:

  5. Teen who rescued children from Algeria wildfire dies

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    A wildfire
    Image caption: More than 40 people have died in the wildfires

    A teenage girl is being hailed as a hero on Algerian social media after she succumbed to serious burn injuries sustained while rescuing children from the recent wildfires.

    Dounia Bouhelassa,18 was a scout leader.

    She is believed to have rescued dozens of children from a park in the city of El Kala, east of the country.

    The little scouts with their leader Dounia were engulfed in flames while walking in the woods last week.

    Eight scouts were injured in the incident.

    Dounia died while being treated at a hospital in her home city of Constantine.

    More than 40 people have died and 200 others injured in the wildfires that have hit the north east of Algeria.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Beirut: Large part of grain silos collapses 2 years after blast

    Rotting grain ignited in the summer heat, leaving a fire burning in the silos for weeks, officials say.

  7. Egypt hosts Arab summit with Nile Dam row on agenda

    BBC World Service

    A view of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
    Image caption: The mega dam has caused a row between Egypt and Ethiopia

    Egyptian media are reporting that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is hosting a five-nation Arab summit in the Mediterranean coastal city of New Alamein.

    The leaders of Bahrain, the UAE, Iraq and Jordan are said to be attending.

    Among the topics expected to be discussed are the conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Libya, the latest round of Israel-Gaza fighting earlier this month and Egypt and Sudan’s dispute with Ethiopia over its Renaissance Dam on the Nile.

    Read more:

  8. Former Tunisian minister stages protest in airport

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News, Tunis

    A former Tunisian minister has for the last eight days staged a protest at the country's main airport, Tunis cartage airport, after he was stopped from leaving the country.

    Human rights activists have expressed concerns over his condition after he was pictured sleeping on a bench.

    Nouredine Mkhademi was about to take a flight to Qatar last week when he was stopped by the police.

    The former religious affairs minister is an opponent of President Kais Saied.

    He explained in a video shared on social media that he was not given a reason for stopping him from boarding a plane and was "not aware of any court case against him or any legal reason".

    The interior ministry wrote on Facebook that the former minister was banned from travelling due to a court order.

    However, lawyers defending him say their client never received any warrant informing him of the ban.

    Mr Mkhademi has been visited by politicians, academics and human rights activists who raised concerns about his and his family's health.

  9. At least 43 dead in Algeria wildfires - police

    BBC World Service

    Smoke in forest
    Image caption: Firefighters intervened to try and temper the blazes

    Algerian police say at least 43 people are now known to have died in wildfires that raged for days in the north of the country.

    More than 30 fires were put out over the weekend, but with some still burning, casualties are expected to rise further.

    More than 1,000 families have been evacuated from the worst affected areas, which includes the El Tarf region near the border with Tunisia.

    Thirteen people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in starting the fires.

  10. Nine killed in Algeria fuel tanker crash

    A map of Algeria

    A collision between a bus and a fuel tanker in south-east Algeria has left nine people dead, according to the civil defence.

    Six other people were injured in the weekend crash in the Illizi area.

    The civil defence in its statement on Sunday did not identify the cause of the crash.

    Speed is the main cause of road accidents in the North African country, according to a government road safety agency.

    Algeria recorded more than 3,000 traffic fatalities in 2021.

  11. Firefighters say Algeria wildfires under control

    BBC World Service

    A view of burnt forestland after wildfires in El Taref, Algeria on August 18, 2022
    Image caption: Algeria's wildfires have killed at least 37 people

    Firefighters in Algeria say they have brought under control the wildfires that have killed at least 37 people, including five members of the same family.

    A spokesman said 16 blazes were still being tackled but those in the worst-affected areas - the eastern Al-Tarf region near the border with Tunisia - were no longer a threat.

    Locals complain that the government continues to be ill-prepared for the summer wildfires which are becoming more common.

    At least 90 people were killed in blazes last year.