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Reporters on the Job

LOST AND FOUND IN IRAQ: It was a wrong turn on the way to Najaf that first sent reporter Hassan Fattah to the Hilla School of Religion (page 1). As an Arabic speaker, Hassan was interpreting and guiding a television crew that was trying to cover a breaking story in Najaf.

"I stopped to ask for directions at the mosque and soon found myself face to face with Sheikh Quzwini, a man as large as his ideas, weighing some 250 lbs. and standing taller than six feet. With his boom-box voice, and hearty laugh, Quzwini quickly dragged me into conversation, as my colleagues gave me dirty looks," says Hassan.

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The brief stop lasted an hour, as Quzwini began elaborating on his visions for his school and his faith. "I came back several weeks later and got the full tour of the school and got to really talk shop. As I've always found in journalism, getting lost is one of the the best way of finding untold stories," he says.

DARK SIDE OF PARADISE: Kashmir is such a gorgeous location that it's easy to forget that it is the site of so much anguish, says the Monitor's Scott Baldauf. "On the drive out to cover a firefight in the village of Hakabara (this page) - I passed by women walking to the brilliant green rice fields carrying baskets on their heads, with piping samovars of tea and teacups for their families. Out in the fields, men and women were harvesting with sickles and threshing it onto canvas tarps.

"But in Hakabara I confronted another scene. Two bodies laid out on tin sheets. A house reduced to rubble. Women at the roadside, weeping and praying. A paradise turned dark," says Scott.

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot