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CONNECT THE WORLD

The Voice Of UAE's Next Generation; Control Of Tikrit In Question; The Netherlands, Costa Rica Advance To Quarterfinals; Libyan Activist Salwa Bugaighis Murdered in Benghazi; Kurds Look To Solidify Territory, Economic Ties

Aired June 30, 2014 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: It's Ramadan, time of reflection. And for this region, that comes down to a question of identity from faltering steps to

democracy to the rise of a self-proclaimed caliphate.

I'm Becky Anderson. And over the next four weeks, Connect the World will take you to key cities, including Cairo, Beirut and Istanbul. We'll

focus on the issues resonating in the wake of the Arab Spring ahead of what could be a summer of reckoning.

We begin here in Abu Dhabi just across from the Sheikha Zayed grand mosque. The UAE is emerging as a key player, casting itself as a bridge

between western capitals and local powers.

Well, this hour, ISIS militants declare an Islamic state that cross Syria into Iraq. We look at what this means for not only conflicts there,

but their neighbors as well.

Also ahead, caught between tradition and modernity, we'll bring you rare insight into the views and opinions of young women here in the United

Arab Emirates.

ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we Connect the World with Becky Anderson live.

ANDERSON: Well, a very good evening. It is 7:00 p.m. in the UAE. Let's still first this hour with Iraq. As Sunni militants claim to have

set up an Islamic caliphate stretching from north Syria into central Iraq known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the group now says it has

changed its name. It wants to be known forthwith as Islamic State, or IS. And it's calling on all Muslims to swear allegiance.

Well, meanwhile Iraqi officials claim ISIS has been defeated in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, but some residents say there are no troops

there and it is the militants who are in control.

Well, Nima Elbagir is monitoring developments for you and joins us from Baghdad.

The picture, Nima, on the ground confused at best. What are the details as you understand them?

NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely confused is the word that many here are using to describe this.

We've had weeks of claim and counterclaim. And Tikrit is only the latest town that's been a focus of. The reality is that neither side has

definitively scored a victory, but so much is at stake here that many have been quick to call what has happened.

For the militants, this will be another crucial step closer to the capital and for the Iraqi government, it would be finally a chance to show

that it is turning the tide, although that hasn't happened yet on the ground.

With the announcement of this caliphate, what the Islamic State has achieved is that they are making known that they have done what al Qaeda

never could, which is establish a state practically on the ground. And that's kind of do or die here in Iraq, because up until now they've managed

to guarantee an allegiance from many of the Sunni tribal and political groups that have been dissatisfied with the al Maliki government and what

they see as its leaning toward the Shia, disenfranchisement of the Sunni. But that's not going to so far as to pledge direct allegiance to an Islamic

rule, to an emir, which is what Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi is now claiming he is.

But of course this is also playing to the jihadi faithful who will see that where al Qaeda has failed, the Islamic State is saying that it has

succeeded, Becky.

ANDERSON: What chance, Nima, Iraqi lawmakers will be ready to form a government that many in the region and around the world have demanded will

be a unified one by the reconvening of parliament on Tuesday? This is what, less than 24 hours away at this point?

ELBAGIR: Well, absolutely -- well, the reality is they have very little option, because so much has now been tied to that political process

that will legitimize the leadership here. The U.S. has made it very clear, Becky, that they will not get on board with any kind of a ramping up of

military assistance without a legitimate government. And there cannot be a legitimate government until the president has been named, until a speaker

has been named, the president has been named and then whatever political bloc comes out on top is called upon to name its leadership.

So everything is now to play for. Al-Maliki, we hear, is very much blamed for his political future. But there are no certainties in Iraqi

politics, that's one thing many of the others here keep telling us again and again.

But they know that this is their only option if they are going to avert this crisis and gain that much needed international support, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nima Elbagir in Baghdad for you. And we're going to have a lot more on the battle for Iraq later on, on Connect the World. Thousands

of Iraqis volunteer to fight Sunni extremists on the front lines, but are they ready for the battle? We'll take a look at the conflict in Iraq

through the eyes of regional players. And how Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia can influence the crisis.

And what about independence for Kurdistan and how that could affect Iraqi oil production?

Well, the defense has resumed its case in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius. Court had been suspended for a month, you'll remember, so that

Pistorius could undergo a battery of psychiatric tests. Well, that review from the Blade Runner was not suffering from any mental illness when he

shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Our Robyn Curnow is in Pretoria. Robyn, what happened in court today?

ROBYN CURNOW, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Becky.

Well, so crucial, because as you said the high profile murder trial has been delayed for a month while those tests were conducted on Oscar

Pistorius.

Now this report is very important in terms of a final judgment. It also has implications for both possible sentencing and appeal.

Basically, a panel of psychiatrists and a psychologist ruled that Oscar Pistorius is not suffering from a mental illness or defect so he is

criminally responsible. He can tell the difference between right and wrong, particularly that night and act in accordance with that.

Now what is also important to mention is that Oscar Pistorius has never argued that he was incapacitated, but essentially this report closes

the door for his team to argue that at a possible later stage.

Now what was also important, Becky, about this report, Gerrie Nel, the prosecutor, saying in court today that at least one of the members of that

panel had assessed that Pistorius was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after the shooting.

Now while this might have no bearing on his actions that night, it of course perhaps does lay and give more credence to his testimony, because if

you remember there he cried a lot, there was a lot of vomiting. He really struggled through much of the court case. And at times, the state taunted

him, saying he was manufacturing his emotions, manufacturing the tears and the vomiting. And the fact that he might have been assessed with having

PSTD will of course add some sort of credence, credibility to his testimony.

ANDERSON: What happens next?

CURNOW: Well, we're entering the last phase of this trial. We understand from sources that the defense has just a few more witnesses to

call. We could see them close their case by the end of this week, then a short break, then closing arguments. Again, another short break according

to sources here at the high court and then judgment.

We understand from a court official that the judge really wants to have this all wrapped up by July 20, so we really are looking at some sort

of justice being served, at least for Reeva Steenkamp and for Oscar Pistorius. This legal perhaps over in the next two, three weeks, Becky.

ANDERSON: Robyn Curnow for you.

North Korea has announced it will put two detained Americans on trial. They're accused of, quote, perpetrating hostile acts. CNN's Will Ripley

has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Information is always slow to come out of North Korea, a nation that is shrouded in secrecy. But a four

sentence statement Monday morning from the North Korean state run news agency spelled out some very bad news for two Americans who are being

detained there. Matthew Miller and Jeffrey Fowle are accused of perpetrating hostile acts. That is how the North Korean government is

working it.

We know that these two men entered the country separately in April. In early April, Miller went in alone on a private tour, and according to

the North Korean government mouthpiece, the state run media, he tore up his visa and sought asylum in that country. Although, because the U.S. and

North Korea have no diplomatic relations, getting Miller's side of the story has been impossible so far.

Fowle, we know, who is a married father of three from Ohio was traveling in North Korea with a tour group. And his crime, according to

several news reports is that he left his bible in his hotel room. That crime could potentially land him in prison for years in North Korea.

Just look at the case of another American who is being held there right now, Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary, he is serving 15

years hard labor for religious acts inside of North Korea. This is a country that very tightly controls religion. All of the churches are state

run. And so any perceived outside influence, someone trying to bring a different religion into North Korea, well that's a very serious crime that

could end up as a very serious punishment in that country.

The United States working with the Swedish embassy trying to get as much information as they can, but the reality is for these detained

Americans the U.S. government can do very little to control this situation as it unfolds. And the two Americans prepare for a trial in North Korea.

Will Ripley, CNN, Tokyo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Right, let's just reset for a moment. The largest Iftar tent locally at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque just behind mere here in Abu Dhabi

is what you are looking at now. Thousands will break their fast there moments from now after the imam's call for prayer. It's been a long 15

hour day in the more than 40 degree heat here in the UAE for those who abstain. The meals at this iftar tent provided by the state for the

locals.

All right, still to come this evening, paying the price: we look at how one women's fight for democracy has cost her her life.

Plus, how the situation unfolding in Iraq is being viewed from here in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the Gulf region. You are with Connect the World

with me, Becky Anderson. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, it's just before quarter past 7:00 as the sun sets here in the Gulf.

You're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

Let's get you back to our top story this hour. Islamic militants have now declared a caliphate straddling Iraq and Syria. The extremists from

the group formerly known as ISIS, now it just wants to be called Islamic Sate.

Well, here is a closer look at who they are and how far they have come.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Calm, brutal and with a good understanding of production techniques, that's the image ISIS militants have presenting as they

announce their boldest move yet, the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in areas under their control in both Syria and Iraq.

And their message is clearly resonating across the Middle East as the major players watch anxiously how a once unknown group of extremists is

single-handedly threatening the status quo.

In Saudi Arabia, the aging King Abdullah used a speech to start the Ramadan to vow, to fight the scourge of extremism.

In Iran, they've been called for the country to take on a larger military role to the Iraqi government battle off the Sunni fighters

threatening Baghdad.

That's as Syria has reportedly already entered the fight with air strikes against insurgents on the Iraq-Syria border earlier last week.

And there's the U.S. It's boosted its Gulf fleet to seven warships and has already committed military advisers to help Baghdad.

And with the arrival of Russian fighter jets into the mix, it seems the Iraqi arena has become the next battleground for influence for both

regional and external powers.

All the while, the fighting on the ground rages on with the latest focal point being Saddam Hussein's birthplace of Tikrit. And it seems the

much needed political solution to the crisis seems even harder to achieve as more stakeholders enter the fray.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: So it is a race against time for Iraqi leaders. They'll have to scramble to find a unified response to all of this before the

crisis escalates even further.

Well, let's bring in Abdulkhalq Abdulla. He's a professor of political science at the UAE University here in Abu Dhabi. And joins me

now.

It says one thing that all sides agree on, it seems, that ISIS cannot be allowed to establish this Islamic emirate. And if that is the case, to

avoid the collapse and fragmentation of Iraq and worse beyond its borders, there will have to be surely some realigning a new approach to regional

relationships and perhaps international ones as well.

Let's start with Saudi-Iran.

ABDULKHALEQ ABDULLA, UAE UNVERSITY: I don't see any realignments happening in the region as a result of what's happening.

ANDERSON: You really don't?

ABDULLA: I don't think so. I think this is just another occasion for the two of them to go at it right in Iraq again. This is going to be a

battleground to test each other's power.

What I see, Becky, happening here in that in this zero sum game -- Saudi Arabia thinks that it is vindicated. Iraq is going to be on the

defensive trying to now defend Maliki. It thought that it won a strategy key battle in Syria. Now you have ISIS right on its door. So it's not

going to be any cooperation coming forward.

ANDERSON: But surely the Saudi kingdom has a responsibility to the region, given its weight, size and power, given that Iran now has influence

in Iraq, in Syria and in Lebanon. We see that witnessed all the time from the groups that it is supporting. So why wouldn't Riyadh and Tehran make

more effort in order to try and break the back of what is going on in Iraq, because this is going to have consequences which are far reaching.

ABDULLA: Well, I know that. Everybody knows this is a very difficult situation that is getting difficult by the day. But for them now

to see eye-to-eye is very difficult.

Here is Maliki, who thinks that the Sunnis are -- all Sunnis are terrorists. He is now going to do the same thing as what Assad did in

Syria. He intends to defeat these guys militarily. So there is no compromise coming from Maliki. He's intent to do that and go at it

militarily. Iran is going to be on his side.

Saudi Arabia is not going to give up on the Sunnis, OK, no matter what you call them, whether you call them ISIS , or whether you call them

terrorists. The Sunnis feeling disenfranchised and they need support and Saudi Arabia is going to back the Sunnis not necessarily ISIS.

ANDERSON: Let's talk about the formation of this government in Iraq, because no one is talking about ISIS being part of a political solution and

yet ironically it's been the militant groups success in Iraq that is turning up the heat on the current prime minister there with everybody

calling on him to provide some sort of unified response, a unified government.

My sense is, at least, when you talk to experts in the region that Iran is prepared to forego Maliki for the sake of better relations possibly

with others going forward. It's to a certain extent playing the counterterrorism role with the U.S. at present, which must confuse a lot of

people around the world.

ABDULLA: It is very confusing. There is a lot of gray area in Iraq today. There is very little black and white there. So if you support this

side, you really support in the other side. It's too complicated. so it's not going to be a black and white. It's very gray. So it is -- everybody

is up for grabs.

But I don't see Iran giving up on Maliki. And unless Iran compromises and Maliki, you will see, one, your key is going to be a partition of Syria

and Iraq.

ANDERSON: What about Kuwait, which sits right on the border with Mkasa (ph) in Iraq, of course, a country that is very, very fearful about

what happens next. This is a GCC country. Again, surely Saudi has responsibility towards its more small neighbor.

ABDULLA: Well, everybody is in high alert as you can see throughout the GCC. But Kuwait in particular, and to a certain extent, of course

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait in particular is on the front line. So everybody is really focusing on Kuwait and the response of Kuwait and the GCC states

just have to come to the aid of Kuwait.

Whatever Kuwait decides, I think the rest of the GCC will be happy to...

ANDERSON: That's interesting, because we've seen a fractured GCC of late. This of course is the six countries in this region which form up a

bloc, which tend to look to putting a foreign policy initiatives together to talk as one.

But we've seen the fracturing of Saudi with Qatar in this region. But you see everybody corralling around Kuwait here.

Let me, sorry, before you give me an answer, what you just heard the cannons going off behind me, the noise was the breaking of fast here and

people will be begin at the Iftar tent behind me. sorry, carry on, sir.

ABDULLA: It's OK.

In terms of crisis, the GCC states think like a group, act like a group and they always defer on -- when times are relaxed.

So I think of crisis, you will hear less of the division and more of unity and that's what you're going to have. It's going to have -- and this

is a serious situation, this is a serious challenge. And they're going all to rally together not just defending Kuwait, but trying to see what they

could do together when it comes to Iraq. And I think when it comes to Iraq, they are all acting, working and planning together.

ANDERSON: To you repeat what you said this is a region on high alert.

ABDULLA: Absolutely. Everybody is on high alert all over the place. This is a serious challenge.

However, these GCC states have been through challenges before. So don't underestimate heir resilience.

Sir, always a pleasure to have you. Thank you very much.

ABDULLA: Thank you very much, Becky. thank you.

ANDERSON: Enjoy yourself.

ABDULLA: We'll see you around the show.

ANDERSON: Our top stories online examine two key positions on this story, the caliphate declared by Sunni militants and the Shiites ready to

fight them. You'll also find reporting form our teams on the ground along with the analysis and maps that are going help you make sense of the

geography of the conflict.

More at CNN.com/international for you.

Well, live from Abu Dhabi, as people here break fast coming up they are young, they are educated, and they have loads of opinions. I find out

what new generation of Emirati women think about the opportunities they have and the challenges that they face here. And transforming lives, how a

youth village in Rwanda is providing refuge for victims of violence.

All that and more when Connect the World returns. Do stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: It's time for us to take you to the Global Exchange where we introduce you to the people and places paving the way forward in the

world's emerging economies.

Well, it's been 20 years since the genocide in Rwanda killed a staggering 800,000 people. And UNICEF estimates some 100,000 kids were

orphaned in the immediate aftermath. But a remarkable school established by the late American philanthropist Anne Hayman is transforming the lives

of some of Rwanda's most vulnerable.

Neil Curry reports for today's Transformations.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NEIL CURRY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Amid the red earth of a remote Rwandan hilltop 60 kilometers from the capital Kigali, Agahozo

Shalom Youth Village was built.

It was set up to provide a family atmosphere for orphans of the genocide before extending its intake to other children who are being beset

by poverty, drug addiction or suffered from violent abuse.

The children live in family sized groups while receiving both education and counseling.

Agahozo Shalom was started by the philanthropist Anne Hayman who was inspired by the youth villages built in Israel to help Jewish orphans after

the holocaust. The name is a combination of Rwandan and Hebrew language, meaning a place where tears are dried in peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before I came here, I was an orphan. I had no parents. I had no one to tell my problems. I had no one to hear that he

can understand me.

JEAN-CLAUDE NKUUKIYIMFLRA, VILLAGE DIRECTOR: They come here with open wounds. By the time they leave here, they leave here with scars. They

know that what they are going through, it's extremely difficult, but they have a sense of direction. They have a vision for their life.

This is our philosophy that we call (inaudible), repairing the heart. And we equip them with everything that we can to repair their heart so that

they can go back out into the community and see people who are still facing difficulties in life.

CURRY: The second part of the philosophy is Tikin Olam (ph), which means repairing the world.

Given the gift of education, the students are encouraged to pay it forward and use it to fix problems in their country.

MAXIME, STUDENT: If we are really trying to build this world, then learn from here then go out and you have to do it positively. So that's

what everybody is doing in this village. And everybody, trust me, is committed for that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I found there a mother, I found siblings, I found there are many people that is why I love this place and transformed

into a person who is not thinking about the loneliness, now I'm thinking about people around me and the (inaudible).

MAXIME: If you can really heal yourself, build yourself then go out and build others.

INNOCENT, STUDENT: Now I have a family. I -- not only I feel like I'm an orphan -- never -- and I don't even like calling myself vulnerable.

I'm a man with a future which is bright.

CURRY: Neil Curry, CNN, Rwanda.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: At half past 7:00, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque behind me and people breaking fast after what has been a very long day of abstinence

here in Abu Dhabi. Locals now enjoying Iftar.

This is connect the world. The top stories for you this hour.

Sunni Islamist militants in Iraq say they are establishing an Islamic state and they're calling on all Muslims to swear allegiance. The

territory extends from northern Syria to central Iraq.

Egyptian police are trying to figure out who planted three bombs outside the presidential palace in Cairo. Two officers were killed and

three were wounded while trying to diffuse two of the devices.

The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius resumed in Pretoria today. The court took a month long break so Pistorius could take a battery of

psychological tests. Experts concluded Pistorius was mentally sound when he killed Reeva Steenkamp last year.

Well, Libya has lost one of its strongest advocates for democracy and how her family is speaking to CNN exclusively about her murder.

Salwa Bugaighis was shot in Benghazi last week right after she had voted in the election there. Jomana Karadsheh had what is this exclusive

report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To many Libyans, Salwa Bugaighis was a hero. But to Wail Gheriani, she was more than that.

WAIL GHERIANI, SON OF SALWA BUGAIGHIS: I can't find the words to describe my feelings, but I lost my mother, lost my mother and my best

friend as well. After the revolution, she has been fighting very day, every second, every minute until her last day. And I believe we all

witnessed that. And all people around the world...

KARADSHEH; This outspoken advocate of human and women's rights dedicated her life to the dream of a free and united Libya, making her a

target for those with a different vision for her country.

Bugaighis was brutally murdered in her own home in Benghazi after she cast her ballot in Libya's parliamentary elections last Wednesday. Her

final hours on Facebook spent urging fellow Libyans to go out and vote.

IBRAHIM BUGAIGHIS, BROTHER OF SALWA BUGAIGHIS: She wanted to be sure she -- to do everything she can to -- for the elections to take place,

because she was optimistic that these elections will bring back some kind of normality, some kind of peace to our country.

She has dedicated her life to that. And she did not feel like just she should run away, because she was threatened.

KARADSHEH: After numerous death threats and an attempt to kidnap her son Wail, Bugaighis moved her family to Jordan and only returned to

Benghazi with her husband last week to vote.

GHERIANI: She insisted on going back. Because, she said, like we need to fight for our country. And when she went to Benghazi I was really

upset and afraid, because I know -- I felt like something might happen.

KARADSHEH; Bugaighis's husband is still missing, believed to be kidnapped by the assailants.

Over the last two years, violence has become the daily reality of her city, Benghazi. No one knows for certain who killed Bugaighis, but her

death is the latest in a campaign of assassinations that has targeted judges, activists and journalists. Many Libyans blame the bloodshed on

Islamist extremist groups.

BUGAIGHIS: Beyond the politics and beyond everything that she was involved in, she's my baby sister. And she's the mother of my nephews. It

is not easy just to accept that she is no longer there, that we'll no longer -- will not see her every again.

KARADSHEH: Salwa Bugaighis was not the first voice to be silenced in Benghazi, and many fear she will not be the last.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Amman.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, returning to Iraq and the battle against Sunni insurgents now. Thousands of volunteers have heard the government's call

to arms and are signing up to join the fight. As Nima Elbagir now reports, there is plenty of enthusiasm, but formal training is lacking.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ELBAGIR: They're chanting, "we're coming for you. We are coming." New Iraqi recruits learning the basics of military life.

Although they can't quite help themselves and the chants becomes a dance.

Others, nearly 1,000 shipped out this morning to fight for their country.

Under a makeshift canopy, more volunteers wait in the stifling heat.

They've been calling them tactical withdrawals, but whatever you want to call them, the reality is that the Iraqi army has been ceding key

territory to extremist militants. They're hoping that volunteers like the ones behind me here, can now start to turn that tide.

Colonel Shihab Hamoud Nasr (ph) tells us over the last few weeks volunteers have been signing up in their thousands, over 23,000 at the last

count, from the very young to the very old.

Even as we are interviewing Colonel Nasr (ph) more recruits flood in.

This old man is in his 70s. He interrupts us to remind the colonel that he's come every day for much of the last two weeks. When, he asks,

will it be his turn?

When god wills, he's told. When god wills.

There is no shortage of enthusiasm. Another man in his 60s recites poetry telling me they will wear their hearts as shields.

They will, of course, need much more than that if they're to survive battle with the hardened extremist forces raging through their country.

The average training period, the colonel says, is between a week to 10 days at most, the rest they must get on the ground.

Some families, though, tell us it is sometimes even shorter than that.

Fallah al-Araiby has been washing cars on this Baghdad corner for years. His son used to work alongside him, but he's gone to fight at the

front line. Which front line, al-Araiby says, he doesn't know.

After three days of training his son Ali (ph) was given a rifle, ammunition and a helmet, enough al-Araiby says, to do what his country

needs him to do -- fight.

He's not worried, though, he says just proud.

And they are still coming in their droves.

As we drive back to the capital, another group of young men passes us. They have been sent home to await the call to arms. Undaunted, they grin

at the camera. Victory, they say, by gods will, is ours.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, Iraq

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDESRSON: In the middle of this sectarian fight in Iraq stands the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan looking for independence. Israel has

had business and military ties with the Kurdish region for decades and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is voicing his support for Kurdish

independence. Have a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translator): Regarding the Kurds, they are a fighting people. They have proved their

political commitment, political moderation and deserve political independence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: Well, this is not what the United Sates wants to see. The Kurds have been taking advantage of the sectarian divide in Iraq to expand

their oil rich territory.

Emerging markets editor John Defterios joins me now with more.

John, allies were quick to back the Kurdish government -- Why?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think they see a vacuum that needs to be filled and they'd rather do it with a nation they can kind

of bank on. It's interesting the language that Benjamin Netanyahu decided to use, Becky. He wasn't talking about the Kurdish regional government.

He said this is a nation of warriors, referring to the Kurdistan region right now that deserve independence.

Interesting, he was the second to respond to Israel. Turkey was the first with the deputy chairman of the ruling AK Party suggesting it's

inevitable.

This was all triggered by that meeting last week with Massoud Barzani (ph) who is the president of the Kurdish region with John Kerry suggesting

we have entered a new reality, a new reality to him means that Iraq will probably never come back together again. They've had this autonomous

region. They have the ruling over their future energy assets and they're ratcheting up the game. Very interesting.

They put out four tankers last week that they loaded from the pipeline that went to Jehan (ph) in Turkey. One of the four tankers went to Israel.

Israel is helping support them with oil revenues already. Oil production was running at 100,000 barrels a day, they're doubling it up to bout

250,000 in July. And when it gets to 400,000 by the end of the year.

ANDERSON: Follow the money, they say. We often hear about northern Iraq's energy reserves, specifically what are we looking at?

DEFTERIOS: Yeah, often overlooked. It's very interesting. Total proven reserves in Iraq overall, about 141 billion barrels, 45 billion of

which are in the northern Iraq region, the Kurdish region right now. It is like the United Nations of energy suppliers, small companies, medium sized

companies and the giants like ExxonMobil, Shell, BP.

I went there a year ago. You'd be surprised, all the oil companies talk about greater transparent then you'd find in Baghdad or in Basra, a

government that's willing to negotiate in terms of tax policy right now and user friendly. And they like the idea at least to date it's been extremely

secure.

So 45 billion barrels of proven reserves. More predictable.

And if you go to Urbil today, it's extraordinary. It's like the new Dubai. Syrian money, Lebanese money and Gulf money piling into the real

estate sector. And it's not unusual to find villas of a million dollars or more.

It is booming. And it was isolated before, as you know. Over the last 30 years wrestling with Turkey. They've turned that relationship

around. The silence relationship with Israel in the past is now coming to the forefront. And 100 flights a week going into Urbuil and Solamaniya

(ph). It's extraordinary how it's changed in the last three years alone.

ANDERSON: We promise you we connect the world and we are. John, thank you, always a pleasure. John Defterios with you this evening joining

the dots on what are these incredible stories roiling in this region. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is what you are looking at at present. This is

Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson.

Coming up, find out what young Emirati women think about what is happening here in the UAE and across the Middle East and how their lives

are different from that of their parents just a generation ago. That is next. Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, some interesting points there for you about the UAE, the United Arab Emirates. Amazing that 13 percent of the people living

here are actually Emiratis. And those are the sorts of facts from the ground that we're going to be bringing you throughout our journey across

the Middle East over this next month of Ramadan.

We'll continue to look at how regional events resonate here in the UAE and the Gulf in general for the rest of this week before we travel to Cairo

and see how Egyptians are overcoming what's been a couple of years of major political upheaval, isn't it?

From there we head to the Lebanese capital Beirut to find out how one of the Middle East's smallest countries is dealing with an influx of Syrian

refugees, amongst other things. And we'll see how the conflicts in Syria and Iraq are impacting countries like Turkey as well before we come back to

the UAE and the Emirate of Sharjah for our final show.

Well, this trip isn't just about the big news headlines. We want to find out how people living in these countries are coping with everyday

concerns and what their aspirations are for the coming years. And where better to get that perspective than by sitting down with the next

generation to get their views.

Have a look and listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Does it bother you that here in the Gulf, though, your generation is a lot less politically engaged than elsewhere. I'm thinking

about the Arab Spring, about social media and blogging back in 2011 and this summer of reckoning. You see this next generation so infused with

sort of political rhetoric. You don't feel that here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're laid back.

ANDERSON: Or you're just spoiled.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe. Maybe.

SARAH BAWAZIR: Well, you know, I think in some places it was chaos and they stopped schools. And so they stopped the education. Education is

crucial, you know. I mean, we're fortunate that everything is stale here. We can focus on our education...

ANDERSON: It's stability that helps here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There's nothing to complain about, yeah.

MARIAM AL HOSANI: The situation -- like if you're not getting what you want you're going to get frustrated. If you're getting what you want

you should be grateful, you shouldn't -- you shouldn't go down a path that's not going to...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Like we have everything. And we like have more than what we need sometimes. So why should we complain.

ANDERSON: What people will say around the region and perhaps around the world is that this region is run primarily by tribal autocracies, and

that isn't what democracy is, is it? Does that matter? Does that bother you?

AL HOSANI: Personally, someone who has -- we've studied democracy and we've studied the concept of all these nations and it's a wonderful

concept. But I think every country functions in its own way. And not everyone should function in a similar -- this way works for us. And as a

people we're happy and we're satisfied.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As Mariam said, we are -- we function this way. So, no matter what people say, you know, we're happy.

AL HOSANI: I think it's very important for the people -- what's the point of having democracy if you can't trust the leader. You have to trust

your leader. And we trust our leader.

ANDERSON: Who is the biggest influence? Is it still family, friends, religion here?

AL HOSANI: It's religion and family and culture. Yeah, it's a social...

UNDENTIFIED FEMALE: We fear a lot about reputation. Here the number one thing is reputation whether it's the country or a girl or a child or a

family name. So for example, if a girl dresses inappropriately or behaves inappropriately, the first thing that would come to mind is her reputation.

Her reputation might be at risk so she would change that. So she would be...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not just her reputation, even her family...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Dressing appropriately and not inappropriately, actually it's dressing traditionally or non-traditionally.

ANDERSON: So what do you say to those who would say that you girls are kept down by the tradition of needing to wear the (inaudible).

AL HOSANI: In the UAE it's -- even though it's the -- like they said the reputation and the culture, there is the option. If you don't, nothing

like legally is going to happen to you.

ANDERSON: Your families will feel...

AL HOSANI: Your families will feel, but I think it's more of a personal -- like you want to do this because you want to feel connected to

everyone else, you don't want to feel different.

ANDERSON: You don't feel imposed upon by wear the (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually (inaudible) is beginning to be fashion.

TAHRA AL HAMMADI: They have fashion lines like worldwide, so it's fine.

AL HOSANI: I think they're like, we're adapting. Instead of feeling, oh, we're oppressed and feeling sorry for ourselves, we're shifting the

situation. OK, we have to wear this, we'll wear it in a good way. We'll change it up.

ANDERSON: One of the latest studies I've read suggests that in the GCC some 60 percent of men think that a woman's role is as a mother and a

wife and at home. Each of you are looking to getting into the workplace or already are. What is the women's role here in the UAE?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they have to change their mindset, those 60 percent, because you know, young girls now are determined. They know

what they want. And I'm sure that they can't -- they'll get their way eventually so the guys have to just readjust...

ANDERSON: Got to keep up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.

AL HOSANI: I think that -- like when you say the GCC, the UAE is very different from the countries that are around us. We have four cabinet

ministers that are women. 60 percent of the public sector workforce are women. UAE is trying to do a lot of things to empower us. And for a

country that's only been around for less than 50 years, I think it -- they're taking a very bold -- bold step to do this, because my grandmother

she had a very simple life and she was happy with that life. She thought that's all she could do. Now we -- I can't make my mind up with all the

options I have.

ANDERSON: What do you think the biggest challenges are going forward?

HAMMADI: For me it's tradition. Some, like there are still some families who like no we don't want to go to the future, we want to stay in

tradition. And -- but I can see that it's changing like for me.

AL HOSANI: We have a hard time focusing. The other day I was at a lecture and I only listened to the first 10 minutes and then I was on my

phone and then I listened again and then I was on my phone. And then when I went home my dad was speaking about the Moroccan king's speech a long

time ago. And I was like, how could you listen to this whole speech without being distracted? Our attention span is so much shorter than the

generations before us. And I do think that is a challenge.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: The voices of the next generation.

I want to hear from you, the team at Connect the World always wants to hear from you. Facebook.com/CNNconnect. Have your say. You can tweet me

@BeckyCNN. We're on instagram as well @BeckyCNN.

Use the hashtag for the next month #CTWlivefrom. That is #CTWlivefrom. If you are a voice of the next generation as we make our way

across this region, let us know what you think, what your hopes fears and aspirations are for the future.

Coming up on Connect the World, this four legged psychic correctly predicted Sunday's Netherlands versus Mexico match. Find out how Shaheen

picked to win today's matches. That is just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Right. A very warm welcome back to Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. A special edition from Abu Dhabi for you today as we

begin our journey through the Middle East.

I want to get you, though, right out of here to the World Cup in Brazil where two more teams are headed to the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Costa Rica, of course, eliminated Greece in what was a dramatic shootout to advance to the next stage for the first time ever. They will take on The

Netherlands who also advanced after equalizing in the 88th minute and then went ahead after being awarded a controversial penalty kick. Final score

Netherlands 2 Mexico 1.

Well, the knockout round continues on Monday with France facing Nigeria and Algeria going up against Germany.

Frederik Pleitgen joins me now live from Rio de Janeiro. Just describe for me if you will the atmosphere there. What a competition this

has been. We're on the 19th day, of course.

PLEITGEN: You're absolutely right, Becky. You can say what you will about the preparations for the World Cup, about some of the protests that

were going on before the World Cup, the football has just been absolutely amazing. If you compare it, for instance to the tournament in 2010, the

games have been absolutely exciting, high scoring affairs. What's going on right now is that the national anthems are being sung at the game France

versus Nigeria. So that's about to kickoff.

Of course, France very much the favorites in that game, however, in their final group stage match they weren't as good as in the first two

games. So certainly there are points that the Nigerians are going to try and attack.

The big game for many fans today will of course be Germany against Algeria as the Algerians are seeking revenge for 1982 when Germany and

Austria colluded to throw Algeria out of the tournament. Back then both Germany and Austria went on. Germany of course got to the final of the

World Cup in 1982 where they then lost to Italy.

So the Algerians have something to prove. Nevertheless, Becky, in that game as well the Germans are going to be the favorites. And what

we've seen so far from all of the games is that they've all been very tough contested matches. You just saw some of those highlights from the

Netherlands against Mexico, an amazing game. Greece against Costa Rica as well. It has indeed been a football fest, Becky.

ANDERSON: Hasn't it just? All right, Fred, thank you for that.

Now as Fred suggested France and Nigeria facing off in less than five minutes in the hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals.

Let's see then who our local Shaheen the camel, UAE's resident World Cup psychic has picked to win.

And it looks like Shaheen has chosen France. If you remember, he correctly chose the Netherlands over Mexico.

All righty ho. There you go.

I'm Becky Anderson. That was Connect the World. Thank you for watching. Do keep in touch. Hashtag #CTWlivefrom for the next month.

Let's close out with what is a beautiful image, the mosque here in Abu Dhabi.

END