• The Politics of Hijab: While she was reporting Monday's story about political tensions between Kurds and Shiites, correspondent Jill Carroll says the reaction to her clothing was telling. "For a journalist working in Iraq today, one of the keys to staying safe is blending in. As a woman, it's fairly easy. I throw on a head scarf and long black abaya, and I look like an Iraqi," says Jill.
But her security outfit also prompts varying responses. "When I go to the offices of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, I get a lot of smiles from people when they find out I'm a foreigner wearing a hijab. I suspect it makes officials more willing to talk to me because they feel I am being respectful of their beliefs," she says.
"But when I went to visited the more secular Kurdistan Democratic Party yesterday, the official immediately said to me: 'Why is an American reporter wearing hijab?' He questioned me on it more than once during the interview. 'You are American but are you Muslim?' He couldn't quite reconcile my appearance with my nationality or accept that I felt I had to wear the clothing of a religious conservative, which he felt was a sign of backwardness, in order to feel safe. It illustrates to me how divergent the views are among Iraqis about the nature of their emerging national identity," says Jill.
• Who's Happiest? Hairdressers are the happiest workers in Britain, according to a survey done by The City & Guilds of London Institute, an organization that sets vocational training standards.
When asked who was happy at work, 40 percent of hairdressers answered in the affirmative, reports the BBC. Next highest? Clergy (24 percent), chefs/cooks (23 percent), beauticians (22 percent), plumbers, mechanics, and builders (20 percent). The least happy? Social workers, architects, civil servants, real estate agents, and secretaries.
David Clark Scott