The mixed Arab and Kurdish city of Zumar in northern Iraq is a window into the fierce battles for territory between the Kurds and the Sunni extremist group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS.
The mountainous landscape is pockmarked with destruction. ISIS took control of the area in August and held it until late October. Then Kurdish forces, with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes, forced the militants back.
Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews call it the Temple Mount. On the contested hilltop that has been the focus of so much of the unrest in Jerusalem, Muslims who see themselves as "defenders" of the sanctuary raise their voices in a call to God whenever Jewish visitors enter.
All this week, Beijing residents have had a breath of fresh air. With world leaders in town for a summit meeting, China shut down factories, took many cars off the roads and declared a week-long vacation for many Beijing residents.
If only the skies were always this blue, some residents thought.
But of course no quick fix will solve the problem. China promised for the first time that its emissions will continue to climb until peaking around the year 2030.