Reporters on the Job
• UNQUOTABLE SADDAM: While interviewing the governor of a northern Iraq town just freed from Baathist rule, the Monitor's Ilene Prusher asked what the quotes on the wall behind his desk meant (this page). "I noticed that at the bottom of the two elaborate quotes, the names had been chipped out, and figured these were quotes by Saddam Hussein. But the governor did not want our interpreter to translate them. "Before you translate them you must remind them that Saddam says something and does something else. He says Arabs and Kurds are as brothers living together, and on the other hand, he gasses us at Halabjah."
• OVERJOYED TO MEET A JOURNALIST: After spending nearly a month embedded with the US military, the Monitor's Ben Arnoldy found it a study in contrasts to meet the Free Iraqi Fighters (page 1). "They were all excited to see an American reporter and everyone wanted me to take their picture with their buddies," says Ben. "Morale couldn't be higher. For these soldiers, arriving in Iraq doesn't mean leaving behind friends and family. On the contrary, it means reunions are just around the corner. Some yelled 'Thank you' as I walked by - I guess trying to send along the message to America."
• TAKING NOTES ON A CAMEL: When the Monitor's Danna Harman arrived at the Giza Pyramids near Cairo, there were more police, ticket-takers, and camel guides than tourists. And she couldn't interview anyone without being interrupted by someone else trying to sell her something. "They were desperate. I decided to take a camel ride to just get away. It cost $2 and I spent about an hour on the back of the camel interviewing my guide about tourism (page 13). The only problem: It was so bumpy I could barely read my notes when I got back."
David Clark Scott