Reporters on the Job

In a Tent in Kuwait: Correspondent Nicholas Blanford found himself having to find a new interpreter for today's story about Salafis - a fundamentalist Muslim sect - in Kuwait (page 7). "The first fellow was a Lebanese Shiite Muslim. He was quite good," says Nick. "But one day I interviewed an extreme Salafi. I asked about the rising political power of Shiites in Iraq and Kuwait. His response was full of invectives against Shiites. My Shiite interpreter kept a grin fixed and did his job. But when I called him the next day about going to Jaffa to get information about a Salafi extremist Amer Khleif al-Enezi, who died while in custody, my interpreter declined. 'They're crazy. I don't want to get involved,' he told me."

Nick found an Egyptian Sunni who arranged the meeting in a tent in the desert. "It was a fascinating conversation that went on until 1 a.m.," he says. "I have traveled around the Arab world and heard America-bashing from everyone from religious extremists to university students. So it was quite extraordinary to be sitting with Salafi Isalmists who want US troops in Kuwait and are opposed to the Iraqi resistance."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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