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Ebrahim Noroozi, Associated Press
Iranian Christians light candles during New Year's Eve mass which started on Wednesday night, at the Saint Sarkis Church of Armenians in Tehran, Iran, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Around 120,000 Christians live in Iran, mostly in Central and north-western parts of the country. Most Iranian Christians are of the Armenian ethnicity, however and they are mostly adherent to the Gregorian faith.

In the Middle East this week, people across the region marked the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad and the start of a new year.

In Beirut, Lebanese celebrated with fireworks and street celebrations on New Year's Eve. In Iran, Armenian Christians celebrated a candlelit Mass.

In Cairo, Egypt's Court of Cassation ordered a retrial for three Al-Jazeera English journalists imprisoned for over a year.

In Syria, embattled President Bashar Assad made a rare visit to the front lines of his country's civil war on New Year's Eve, visiting troops and eating with them.

In Jordan, the father of a Jordanian pilot held by the Islamic State group in Syria made another plea for his son's safe return.

And in sports, Spanish team Real Madrid played Italian football club AC Milan in a friendly match in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, also hosted the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

This gallery contains photos published from Dec. 29, 2014, to Jan. 4, 2015. See the latest AP photo galleries: http://apne.ws/TXeCBN

AP photo editor Thomas Hartwell in Cairo curated this gallery.

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