There are dream vacations. Then there is Lee Kun-hee's ski outing in the French Alps. Lee, who fancies himself quite a sportsman, wanted to get in as many runs as possible during his three weeks there, so he rented three of the 117 downhill trails at the Courchevel resort for his exclusive use two hours a day. Netting has been strung up to ensure privacy and keep other skiers out of his way, and a snow scooter speeds him back up the slopes after each trip down (as well as to and from the four-star hotel where he's staying). Sounds expensive, right? Well, yes, it is. Each first hour costs him $2,000. The second: $1,600. But Lee can afford it. He is the chairman of Samsung, the South Korean electronics, trading, and construction empire, and, according to Forbes magazine, the world's 122nd richest person.
Last week, the White House nominated Karen Hughes, a longtime presidential adviser, for a mission it considers vital: to change perceptions in the Islamic world about the US. If the Senate confirms her for the ambassadorial-rank post, Hughes conceivably could turn to resources here in the US to background herself for the task. New York, Texas, and areas such as northern New Jersey, metropolitan Detroit and Chicago, and Orange County, Calif., all have high concentrations of people with Muslim or other Middle Eastern backgrounds. According to a Census Bureau study, approximately 1.2 million Arabs live in the US. The breakout, by ancestries, of those reporting at least one Arab ancestor:
"Arab" or "Arabic" 205,822
*Other Arab 82,337
* Algerians, Bahraini, Bedouin, Berbers, Emerati, Kurds, Kuwaitis, Libyans, Omanis, Qataris, Rio de Oro, Saudis, Tunisians, and Yemini