Reporters on the Job

• THROUGH AN ONION PATCH: Cameron Barr spent the past five days trying to get into the Jenin refugee camp, and he still has not been able to get closer than its edges (page 1). "Yesterday, we tried two different approaches, and both times Israeli soldiers told me and a Dutch colleague to leave the area," Cameron says.

On Friday, he reached the camp's western perimeter via a village called Burqin, but scores of armored personnel carriers and soldiers kept him from going farther.

"On Saturday, my Dutch colleague and I took a taxi from Jerusalem to a village six miles from Jenin, crossed a barrier that keeps vehicles from entering the West Bank, and started walking. We hitched two rides through two villages and rode the last bit in a tractor. Then we walked across onion and zucchini fields and reached a side road that enters the city. We found an electrical crew repairing downed utility poles. They gave us a lift – this time through completely deserted streets – until we reached a temporary refugee center."

• BREAKING THROUGH: Catherine Taylor says she's never had an experience like attending Mahla Zamani's fashion parade (page 1). Only women were allowed to attend That, combined with the fact that Ms. Zamani warned the (female) photographers before the show began that certain outfits were too revealing to be photographed, gave it a certain intimacy.

"It was almost as if we were sharing a secret," Catherine says. "When the women began to arrive for the show, they were wearing hejab [black cloaks with hoods], but as the parade progressed everyone allowed their scarves to slip or took off their coats. It was like watching butterflies emerging from cocoons."

• A RETURN VISIT: Danna Harman covered the Israeli-Palestinian story for five years before leaving two years ago. "I was here during a time of great hope, when there were those who believed we were about to witness great history," Danna says. "It is amazing to see how everyone seems to have hunkered down and refuses to see, much less understand, the other side's point of view. The Hebrew and Arabic newspapers, for example, have practically stopped giving the other side's story. They focus solely on their own suffering. Each side is also positive that the outside world is biased against them. The only thing the sides seemed to agree on is that there is little hope for any breakthrough. The situation is very sad [this page]."

Faye Bowers
Deputy world editor

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