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Farah Abdi Warsameh

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Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, began earlier this month with the sighting of the new moon. Throughout this ninth month on the Islamic calendar, devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sex from dawn until sunset. The fast, one of the five pillars of Islam, is seen as a time for spiritual reflection, prayers, and charity. After sunset, Muslims traditionally break the fast by eating three dates, performing the Maghrib prayer, and sitting down to Iftar, the main evening meal, where communities and families gather together. Collected below are images of Muslims around the world observing Ramadan this year. [42 photos]

Palestinian women stand in front of a window decoration of Islam's crescent moon and star on the eve of Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Jenin, on July 31, 2011. (Saif Dahlah/AFP/Getty Images)

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Somalia is suffering its worst drought and famine in 60 years. Getting aid to the country has been difficult because al-Qaida-linked militants control much of the country’s most desperate areas.

The U.N.’s food arm said that famine is likely to spread across all regions of Somalia’s south in the next four to six weeks. Famine conditions are likely to persist until December, the Food and Agriculture Organization said.

Across Somalia, 3.7 million people are in crisis, the U.N. says, out of a population of 7.5 million. The U.N. says 3.2 million are in need of immediate, lifesaving assistance.

 Somalia Famine

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A malnourished child in a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, July 27, 2011. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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Kufow Ali Abdi carried the body of his 3-year-old daughter, Kadija, who had just died from measles at the hospital in Mogadishu, July 28, 2011. "I just hope they can save the others," he said, referring to his two remaining children, who were down to skin and bone. The al-Shabab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape al-Shabab territory. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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A woman sits next to a child suffering from malnutrition at Banadir hospital in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, July 28, 2011. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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Flies cover the face of a boy suffering from malnutrition at a hospital in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, July 28, 2011. The al-Shabab Islamist insurgent group in Somalia is widely blamed for causing a famine by forcing out many Western aid organizations, depriving drought victims of desperately needed food and blocking starving people from fleeing territory controled by the group. The situation is growing bleaker by the day, with tens of thousands of Somalis already dead and more than 500,000 children on the brink of starvation. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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A boy suffering from malnutrition has a scarf cover his face to keep the flies away at a hospital in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, July 28, 2011. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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People displaced from their villages arriving in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, July 27, 2011. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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People at a makeshift camp in Mogadishu, Somalia. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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People who have fled their villages build a makeshift shelter after arriving in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, July 27, 2011. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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A woman holds a malnourished child at a makeshift camp in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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Malnourished children in a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, July 27, 2011. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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A child suffering from malnutrition is bathed at a hospital in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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A woman carries a child at a makeshift shelter in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, July 27, 2011. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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A malnourished child in a hospital in Mogadishu. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

 Somalia Famine

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Soldiers from the Somalian transitional government forces patrol the border town of Dhobley, Somalia, Sunday, July 24, 2011. Some thousands of people have arrived in Mogadishu seeking aid and The World Food Program executive director Josette Sheeran said Saturday they can't reach the estimated 2.2 million Somalis in desperate need of aid who are in militant-controlled areas of Somalia. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) #

 Somalia Famine

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Somalis displaced by drought wait to receive food aid in Mogadishu, Somalia, Monday, July 25, 2011. Some thousands of people have arrived in Mogadishu seeking aid and The World Food Program executive director Josette Sheeran said Saturday they can't reach the estimated 2.2 million Somalis in desperate need of aid who are in militant-controlled areas of Somalia. (AP (AP Photo/Mohamed Sheikh Nor) #

 Somalia Famine

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A general view of the Dadaab Refugee camp in eastern Kenya, where the influx of Somali's displaced by a ravaging famine remains high, on July 23, 2011. The European Union Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva has vowed to do all that is possible to help 12 million people struggling from extreme drought across the Horn of Africa, boosting aid by $40 million. The funds come on top of almost $100 million the bloc has already contributed as assistance in the worst regional drought in decades, affecting parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Uganda. AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA #

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A dust storm blows as newly arrived Somalian refugees settle on the edge of the Dagahaley refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

 Somalia Famine

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A Somali refugee herds goats through the IFO refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 24, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

 Somalia Famine

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Warehouse attendant carry bags of goods donated during a funds drive by the Somali-community living in Kenya's capital, to aid Somali refugees in Kenya's north-easterly province at the Dadaab refugee complex, on July 29, 2011 in Nairobi. The African Union says on July 31 it will host a donors conference for Somali drought victims in Addis Ababa on August 9 as tens of thousands have died in recent months, according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation. Somalia is the worst-affected country, with some 1.25 million children in need of urgent life saving care, according to UNICEF. This month, the UN declared famine in two areas of the country, the first time famine has been announced this century. AFP PHOTO / Tony KARUMBA #

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Somalian refugees wait at the entrance to the registration area of the IFO refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 24, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. The ongoing civil war in Somalia and the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in six decades has resulted in an estimated 12 million people whose lives are threatened. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

 Somalia Famine

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A Somali refugee woman holding a bag of food aid walks past those waiting at the entrance to the registration area of the IFO refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 24, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

 Somalia Famine

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Somali women and children wait for food to be distributed in the Doloow region, southern Somalia on July 24, 2011. The UN's World Programme Programme airlift of food for the Somali capital Mogadishu was delayed on on July 26, 2011 after efforts were hampered by last minute paperwork in Kenya. PETER MARTELL/AFP/Getty Images #

 Somalia Famine

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Somalian refugees leave their hut on the outskirts of the Dagahaley refugee camp, which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement on July 23, 2011 in Dadaab, Kenya. The refugee camp at Dadaab, located close to the Kenyan border with Somalia, was originally designed in the early 1990s to accommodate 90,000 people but the UN estimates over 4 times as many reside there. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

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A Somalian refugee digs a latrine on the outskirts of the IFO refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement in Dadaab, Kenya. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

 Somalia Famine

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An elederly woman sits as she waits for food ratios at a feeding center in Lolkuta, near Wajir on July 21, 2011. The UN's World Programme Programme was preparing on July 26, 2011 to airlift food aid into the Somali capital Mogadishu, but efforts were hampered by last minute paperwork in Kenya. An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia -- around a third of the population -- are on the brink of starvation and millions more in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have been struck by the worst drought in the region in 60 years. SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images #

 Somalia Famine

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A Somali refugee rests on a wheelbarrow at the entrance to the registration area of the IFO refugee camp which makes up part of the giant Dadaab refugee settlement in Dadaab, Kenya. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) #

 Somalia Famine

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A young boy from southern Somalia takes cover under a plastic sheet in a refugee camp in Mogadishu, Somalia, Sunday, July 31, 2011. Tens of thousands of famine-stricken Somali refugees were cold and drenched after torrential rains overnight pounded their makeshift structures in the capital, Mogadishu. Rains are needed to plant crops and alleviate the drought that is causing famine in Somalia but on Saturday night the rains added to the misery of refugees who live in structures made of sticks and pieces of cloth. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh) #

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A doctor examines Mihag Gedi Farah, a seven- month-old child with a weight of 7.5 lbs., in a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in the town of Dadaab, Kenya. The U.N. will airlift emergency rations this week to parts of drought-ravaged Somalia that militants banned it from more than two years ago in a crisis intervention to keep hungry refugees from dying along what an official calls the "roads of death." Tens of thousands already have trekked to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, hoping to get aid in refugee camps. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) #

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A malnourished mentally disabled refugee from Somalia is tied down to prevent him falling out of his bed at a hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in Dadaab, Kenya, Wednesday, Aug 3, 2011. Dadaab, a camp designed for 90,000 people now houses around 440,000 refugees. Almost all are from war-ravaged Somalia. Some have been here for more than 20 years, when the country first collapsed into anarchy. But now more than 1,000 are arriving daily, fleeing fighting or hunger.(AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) #

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A malnourished refugee from Somalia has a blood sample taken by a doctor at a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in Dadaab, Kenya. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) #

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Khalif Yussuf tries to fall asleep at a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee, IRC, in Dadaab, Kenya, Monday, Aug 1, 2011. Dadaab, a camp designed for 90,000 people now houses around 440,000 refugees. Almost all are from war-ravaged Somalia. Some have been here for more than 20 years, when the country first collapsed into anarchy. But now more than 1,000 are arriving daily, fleeing fighting or hunger.(AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam) #

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Newly arrived Somali refugees wait for medical examinations for their children at a centre at the Dadaab Refugee camp in eastern Kenya, where the influx of Somali's displaced by a ravaging famine remains high. TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images #

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Arizona residents were caught by surprise when a giant dust storm developed over Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday, July 5, 2011. The swift storm left the city covered in dust and residents spent the week cleaning up.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez kisses a crucifix after greeting supporters from a balcony of Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, July 4, 2011. Chavez returned to Venezuela from Cuba on Monday morning, stepping off a plane hours before dawn and saying he is feeling better as he recovers from surgery that removed a cancerous tumor.

Casey Anthony smiles before the start of her sentencing hearing on charges of lying to a law enforcement officer at the Orange County Courthouse July 7, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Anthony was acquitted of murder charges on July 5, 2011 but will serve four, one-year sentences on her conviction of lying to a law enforcement officer. She will be credited for the nearly three-years of time served and good behavior and will be released July 13.

 July 8, 2011

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A giant dust storm covers Phoenix, Ariz., Tuesday, July 5, 2011. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher) #

 July 8, 2011

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In this photo taken Friday July 1, 2011, ballet students from the Lynn Williams Rouzier Institute help each other with their make-up backstage before performing "Paquita" at their school's farewell gala in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo) #

 July 8, 2011

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A calf, used as a game to amuse revelers jumps to the arena after the running of the bulls at the San Fermin fiestas on Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Pamplona, Spain.(AP Photo/Ivan Aguinaga) #

 July 8, 2011

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A worker of Cuba's National Aquarium performs with dolphins in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Since its opening in 1960 Cuba's National Aquarium promotes educational activities aiming to widespread knowledge about the sea and its resources. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano) #

 July 8, 2011

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New couples kiss during a military mass wedding ceremony in Taipei on July 5, 2011. A total of 268 new couples will take part in this mass wedding ceremony between July 5-6 to mark the 100th anniversary of Republic of China. SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images #

 July 8, 2011

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Spanish novillero bullfighter Jimenez Fortes falls in front of the horns of a bull during a bullfight on the eve of the 2011 San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Fortes fell in front of the bull and managed to roll over to avoid the horns, lucky to be unhurt in the incident. Novilleros, is the stage prior to becoming a 'matador' where bullfights are performed with young bulls.(AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza) #

 July 8, 2011

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez kisses a crucifix after greeting supporters from a balcony of Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, July 4, 2011. Chavez returned to Venezuela from Cuba on Monday morning, stepping off a plane hours before dawn and saying he is feeling better as he recovers from surgery that removed a cancerous tumor. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos) #

 July 8, 2011

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Casey Anthony smiles before the start of her sentencing hearing on charges of lying to a law enforcement officer at the Orange County Courthouse July 7, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. Anthony was acquitted of murder charges on July 5, 2011 but will serve four, one-year sentences on her conviction of lying to a law enforcement officer. She will be credited for the nearly three-years of time served and good behavior and will be released July 13. (Photo by Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images) #

 July 8, 2011

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Flora Reece protests outside the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, July 7, 2011. Casey Anthony, who was acquitted of killing her daughter, Caylee Anthony, faces sentencing for lesser charges. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) #

 July 8, 2011

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Defense attorney Dorothy Clay Sims, in gray jacket, covers her client Casey Anthony in a hug along with the rest of the defense team after Anthony was acquitted of murder charges at the Orange County Courthouse Orlando, Fla. on July 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Red Huber, Pool) #

 July 8, 2011

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The United States Marine Corps War Memorial, better known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, is seen in Arlington, Va., Monday July 4, 2011, as fireworks burst over Washington, during the annual Fourth of July display. The Washington Monument and the Capitol can be seen in the distance. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) #

 July 8, 2011

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In this image provided by NASA, the space shuttle Atlantis is seen shortly after the rotating service structure (RSS) was rolled back at launch pad 39a, Thursday, July 7, 2011 at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is set to liftoff Friday on the final flight of the shuttle program, STS-135, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. NASA decided to start the fueling operations early Friday morning. (AP Photo/NASA, Bill Ingalls) #

 July 8, 2011

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The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/John Raoux) #

 July 8, 2011

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IBF, WBO, IBO, WBA world champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine celebrates winning the heavyweight unification fight against former WBA world champion David Haye,of Britain in the stadium in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) #

 July 8, 2011

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Gymnasts perform in front of an image of international pop diva Lady Gaga at a welcoming ceremony during "Lady Gaga Day" in Taichung, Taiwan, Sunday, July 3, 2011. Lady Gaga is visiting Taiwan for five days promoting her new album "Born This Way". (AP Photo/Wally Santana) #

 July 8, 2011

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Los Alamos Canyon is filled with smoke from the Las Conchas fire in Los Alamos, N.M., Friday, July 1, 2011. As firefighters held their ground Friday on the flank of the massive wildfire that burned near the nation's premier nuclear weapons laboratory, officials at the lab and in the surrounding town began planning for the return of thousands of residents and employees who fled the area earlier this week. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #

 July 8, 2011

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A Tibetan exile tussles with Nepalese police officers as she is prevented from proceeding to the venue where a birthday celebration for spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is being held, in Katmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, July 6, 2011. Nepalese authorities prevented exiled Tibetans from celebrating the Dalai Lama's birthday on Wednesday over concerns that gatherings will turn anti-Chinese. (AP Photo/Binod Joshi) #

 July 8, 2011

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A man who claimed his daughter was inside the house where three bodies were found collapses in the street Thursday, July 7, 2011 in Grand Rapids, Mich. Police say seven people have been fatally shot at two locations in the western Michigan city of Grand Rapids and the victims include a child. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Chris Clark) #

 July 8, 2011

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Belarusian Catholics attend a procession during the annual Icon of the Mother of God celebration in Budslav, some 150 km north from Minsk on July1, 2011. VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images #

 July 8, 2011

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A woman fills a net with clams during low tide on Lantau island, Hong Kong on July 3, 2011. Whether for business or pleasure, the tradition of digging for clams is a regular draw for residents of Hong Kong's outlying islands. Bounty hunters prepared to spend hours hunched over barnacled rocks can expect a sure reward for their currency of clams from the ever-present nearby seafood establisments only too happy to serve up a hard-won catch. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images #

 July 8, 2011

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Rebel fighters fire a grad rocket launcher towards Kadhafi forces in Gualish, 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Tripoli, during heaving fighting on July 6, 2011, the first day of the NATO-backed push on the Libyan capital. COLIN SUMMERS/AFP/Getty Images #

 July 8, 2011

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In a picture taken on July 6, 2011 Chinese anti-terrorism police undergo a drill in Suining, southwest China's Sichuan province. After setting up its own cyber-warfare team, China's military has now developed its first online war game aimed at improving combat skills and battle awareness, state press said. STR/AFP/Getty Images #

 July 8, 2011

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Belarusian women protect themselves with an umbrellas as they sell home-grown potatoes at the roadside near the village of Pilchuki, some 210 km ( 131 miles) west of capital Minsk, Belarus, Monday, July 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) #

 July 8, 2011

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The pack passes world heritage site Mont Saint Michel, rear, a rocky tidal island which holds a monastery, during he sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 226.5 kilometers (140.7 miles) starting in Dinan, Brittany, and finishing in Lisieux, Normandy, western France, Thursday July 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) #

 July 8, 2011

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Oscar Henningsson of Sweden prepares to play his second shot into the 18th green during the first round of The Barclays Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links on July 7, 2011 in Inverness, Scotland. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images) #

 July 8, 2011

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In this photo taken Saturday, July 2, 2011, Tibetan Tenzin Paldon, 6 , holds a portrait of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama that hangs in the Tibetan Children's School as she stands in front of classmates in the hill station town of Dharmsala, northern India. In a lifetime spent advocating the plight of his Tibetan community, promoting inter-religious harmony and pleading for world peace, the Dalai Lama now faces perhaps his greatest challenge: trying to truly retire from politics. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #

 July 8, 2011

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Fireworks explode over the Hudson River in New York, Monday, July 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) #

 July 8, 2011

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A carcass of an animal lies on an empty road, near Lagbogal, 56 kilometers from Wajir town, Wednesday, July 6, 2011. The worst drought in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, (AP Photo/ Sayyid Azim) #

 July 8, 2011

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Somalis women and children from southern Mogadishu, line up to receive food at a camp in Mogadishu distributed by Jumbo organization a local NGO in Mogadishu , Somalia, after fleeing from southern Somalia, Thursday, July 7, 2011. Thousands of people have arrived in Mogadishu over the past two weeks seeking assistance and the number is increasing by the day, due to lack of water and food. The worst drought in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said. More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, (AP Photo Farah Abdi Warsameh) #

 July 8, 2011

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Tourists enjoy a Shikara, a traditional gondola ride on Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Saturday, July 2, 2011. Set in the Himalayas, Kashmir is a green, saucer-shaped valley full of fruit orchards and surrounded by snowy mountain ranges. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin) #

 July 8, 2011

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A Libyan girl hangs onto a stairwell banister in downtown Tripoli, Libya, Tuesday, July 5, 2011. The U.S. Senate scheduled a vote on Tuesday whether to proceed with a resolution authorizing "the limited use of United States Armed Forces in support of the NATO mission in Libya." The resolution would expire when the NATO operation ends or after one year, and it would prohibit the use of American ground forces or private security contractors in Libya. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill) #

 July 8, 2011

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A Pakistani girl looks on while collecting seashells along the beach of Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, July 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) #

 July 8, 2011

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Members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army stand at attention, during a rehearsal for independence, in the southern capital of Juba on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Southern Sudan is set to declare independence from the north on July 9, an event that follows decades of civil war between them. The Republic of South Sudan, as it will be named on Saturday, will be the world's 193rd country. (AP Photo/Pete Muller) #

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Southern Sudanese boys take shelter from afternoon rains that disrupted rehearsal for independence day celebrations in the capital city of Juba on Monday, July 4, 2011. Southern Sudan is set to declare independence from the north on July 9. The north and south have been steeped in decades of civil war that resulted in a 2005 agreement that allowed for a referendum southern secession. The southern government said Monday that 30 African heads of state including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will travel to Juba for this weekend's celebrations. (AP Photo/Pete Muller) #

 July 8, 2011

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Revelers celebrate the 'Chupinazo', the official opening of the San Fermin fiestas in in Pamplona, Spain, Wednesday July 6, 2011 to celebrate the start of Spain's most famous bull-running festival with the annual launch of the "chupinazo" rocket. Perhaps best glorified by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises," the San Fermin festival is known around the world for the daily running of the bulls. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos) #

 July 8, 2011

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Buddhist monks gather near an election poster for a candidate in Thailand's Democrat party during their morning rounds in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday July 3, 2011. Thais go to the polls Sunday in general elections that is shaping up to be a battle between Yingluck Shinawatra of the Pheu Thai Party and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of the Democrat Party. Yingluck Shinawatra is the sister of ousted former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. (AP Photo/David Longstreath) #

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Their homelands are torn by war, economic distress, political strife, or environmental collapse. They choose to leave, or have no choice. They're called migrants, refugees, or internally displaced people. The labels are inadequate as often circumstances could allow all three descriptions, or some combination of them. Once in their new countries, they face difficult transitions, discrimination, or outright hostility. Host countries are burdened with the economic and political repercussions of the arrivals, while home nations are sometimes saddled with a "brain drain" of their most important human resources. Immigration is a hot-button issue in the American presidential race, and a wave of new arrivals from Libya to Italy has left the European Union struggling with decisions over the Schengen policy of borderless travel between member nations. Gathered here are images of some of the estimated 214 million people worldwide in the process of redefining what "home" means to them. -- Lane Turner (47 photos total)
Rescuers help people in the sea after a boat carrying some 250 migrants crashed into rocks as they tried to enter the port of Pantelleria, an island off the southern coast of Italy, on April 13. Italy is struggling to cope with a mass influx of immigrants from north Africa, many of whom risk their lives by sailing across the often stormy Meditteranean in makeshift vessels. (Francesco Malavolta/AFP/Getty Images)

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