Pope Francis and other senior Christian and Muslim clerics have urged members of the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East to stay on in the region despite conflict and discrimination. Photograph: Reuters/Osservatore Romano

Clerics express concern faithful could disappear from heartland

A fruit vendor  at a Cairo market. Government interventions aim to improve life for Egyptians. Photograph: Mahmoud Khaled/AFP/Getty Images

Growth is forecast at 3.8% but clear economic plan may be lacking

Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi gestures during his trial on charges of spying and terrorism. Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood organisation has been desigated a terrorist group by Cairo. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

New law seen by human rights organisations as a catch-all measure to crush dissent

A file picture of Egyptian Coptic children attending a  new year Mass  at the Virgin Mary Coptic Christian church in  Al-Warrak, Cairo. The Egyptian capital this Christmas is a sanctuary for Syrian, Sudanese, Libyan, Somali, and Palestinian refugees. Photograph: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Egyptians celebrate festive season in spite of their country’s continuing troubles

Cairo University students shout slogans against the government and light a flare in protest at a court’s decision to drop a case against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak over the killing of protesters in the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule. Photograph: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

Authorities accused of going easy on former president while imposing death sentences on dissidents

Omaima (left) Fatima and Somaia Halawa sisters of Ibrahim Halawa aged 18 who is currently in prison in Egypt, pictured in their home in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Third postponement in case of 18-year-old held after arrest at pro-Morsi protest

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak(86), lies on a gurney in the defendant’s cage during a court hearing in Cairo. Photograph:Tarek el-Gabbas/AP

Prosecutor-general to appeal verdict

Omaima (left) Fatima and Somaia Halawa sisters of Ibrahim Halawa aged 18 who is currently in prison in Egypt, pictured in their home in Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

18-year-old has been held in Tora Prison since last year after arrest at pro-Morsi protest

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