Reporters on the Job
• Leave the Driving to Locals: In a foreign country, a determined taxi driver can make all the difference. While reporting today's story about how US foreign aid is spent on helping Africans diagnosed with AIDS, correspondent Jina Moore had to travel through the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
"This is a city like Los Angeles; you have to have a vehicle to get from one side to the other," she says. But with President Bush visiting, traffic on the main road through town came to a halt for two hours.
Jina's taxi driver, however, was not to be deterred. "He wove his way through the switchbacks between mud huts and a hill until he found a way back through the city," she says.
• Middle Eastern Intermediary: When correspondent Joshua Mitnick first heard about talks going on between Jewish settlers and a Palestinian leader in the West Bank city of Hebron, he didn't know anything about the mediator who had set up this unprecedented sit-down (see story).
But when Josh arrived in Hebron, he soon learned about Yitzhak Magrafta, a Jewish Israeli peace activist of Persian descent who speaks fluent Arabic and spends most of his time working with Palestinians. He's a rarity, explains Josh. "I don't know of any Israeli peace activists who spend most of their time in Palestinian cities and who have relations with both settlers and Palestinians," he says.
Settlers and Palestinians alike praised Mr. Magrafta. He's even known among the Palestinians in Hebron as Abu Naim, an Arab nickname that means father of Naim. Josh didn't meet Magrafta while he was in Hebron, but spoke to him later by phone. "He says most of his works involved helping sick Palestinians in Hebron get to Israeli hospitals. And several years ago, he was even kidnapped by Hamas. But he was released shortly after being taken."
– David Clark Scott