Reporters on the Job
THE SADAT WHISPERS: While reporting today's story about the shifting role of Pakistan's spy agency (page 1), the Monitor's Scott Baldauf kept hearing about something called "the Sadat Scenario." In 1979, Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated by soldiers of his own army during a military parade, apparently in anger over Sadat's signing of a peace treaty with Israel. Could Pakistani extremists do the same thing? Alas, few Pakistanis will comment on the record about this scenario. But Pakistani President Musharraf appears to be aware of the Sadat Scenario. He has canceled the yearly military parade held on Pakistan's independence day on March 23. This is the first time the parade has been canceled in Pakistan's 54-year history.
JEWS IN YEMEN: The Monitor's Danna Harman had heard from other reporters that Yemen, a predominantly Muslim nation, was one of the most antiSemitic countries in the region. But while reporting today's story (page 8), she found the opposite to be true. "The people were not antiSemitic. Yes, they were furious about Israel's treatment of Palestinians, and talked about it a lot. But a part of their national character and history seems to be a pride in their tolerance of the Jewish communities in their country. The Minister of Culture, like many other Yemeni, pointed out that Yemen's Queen of Sheba once visited King Solomon and converted to Judaism. When she returned to Yemen, many of her subjects also converted.
AFRAID TO TALK: Fear was the most difficult obstacle Catherine Elton faced in reporting about the first country to require HIV testing for employees (page 7). She did find one man, through an AIDS counseling group, who agreed to be interviewed. "But he didn't want his name used and certainly didn't want a photographer there. Only his mother knows that he's diagnosed as HIV positive," she says.
David Clark Scott