Extreme temperatures blazed across the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan this week, during a summer when some countries broke their own records. In Iraq, the government closed offices for several days due to a spike in temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit).
People sought refuge from the heat in swimming pools, rivers and oceans — and, in some cases, puddles or flood water. The heat didn't stop the Earth from turning, even as its residents moved a bit more slowly.
Iraqi fighters continued their campaign to oust Islamic State militants from strongholds in the country. A couple got married in Gaza, and Shiite fighters in Lebanon showed off their tattoos to The Associated Press.
Here is a selection of Associated Press photos from the region published between July 30 and Aug. 5, 2016.
This gallery was curated by Middle East Regional Photo Editor Maya Alleruzzo in Cairo. Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mayaalleruzzo and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/mayaalleruzzo .
Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo