Reporters on the Job

A PLACE IN HISTORY: Iraq's rulers have always left their own imprint on their nation's history, and Saddam Hussein is no different, says Monitor correspondent Scott Peterson. In recent years, the Iraqi leader has portrayed himself as a modern-day Nebuchadnezzar, sharing a profile with Iraq's ancient king on some mosaics.

While reporting today's story about Iraqi conquerors through history (page 1), Scott passed the recently completed palace in downtown Baghdad which has new symbol: each of four corners are protected by a huge bust of the president, wearing a helmet like that of Saladin - the man lionized across the Arab world for forcing the Crusaders out of Jerusalem.

"It is at Babylon where ancient and modern mingle most," notes Scott. "An attempt to rebuild one portion of the great walls of that city was completed several years ago, with bricks stamped with Saddam's name."

FRONTIER JOURNALISM: The 2,500-mile border between India and Bangladesh bears some resemblance to the US-Mexico border, says reporter Amol Sharma, who has visited both.

"I went to see firsthand India's efforts to seal its border from illegal Bangladeshi immigrants (page 7). I learned quickly that India has a long way to go," says Amol. "In one location I saw a five-mile stretch of the 400 miles of barbed wire fencing India is constructing to keep illegal Bangladeshis out - the segment was manned by one lone border security officer. But only five miles away I saw a house that was sitting exactly in the 'no-man's' land between the two countries. A small boy showed me how he could walk back and forth between India and Bangladesh at will."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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