Pictures of the Week, December 9 – December 16

Mario Tama—Getty Images
Mario Tama—Getty Images
December 15, 2011. A U.S. military soldier walks past cables for media use before the start of a casing ceremony where the United States Forces - Iraq flag was retired, signifying the departure of United States troops from Iraq, at the former Sather Air Base in Baghdad, Iraq. United States forces are scheduled to entirely depart Iraq by December 31, there are currently around 4,000 troops remaining in Iraq.

From a shooting in Belgium and Congo protests to the lunar eclipse, TIME’s photo department presents the best images of the week.

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The henna is a pre-nuptial cerimony celebrated in Moroccan or Yemenite families where the soon-to-be bride is dressed-up as a Queen with flowers and jewels and she is inivited to dance with her girl friends to say good-bye to celibacy and life as a single young girl. During the dance cerimony, the Kallah, the bride-to-be's hands and feet are painted with henne`, the red pouder from India. This welcomes fertility and happinesses within the marriage. Meah Shearim, Jerusalem, Israel. July 2012.

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