Reporters on the Job

Fighting in Style: The "former militants" of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MKO) hardly looked like hardened warriors as they stepped off the bus in Tehran to reunite with their families, says staff writer Scott Peterson (this page).

"They were a bit shell-shocked, but looked much more like a sports team than a commando squad," he adds. "They were wearing trendy clothes and had gel in their hair."

In fact, says Scott, they looked like any other young Iranians, of the generation that voted for reform-leaning President Mohammed Khatami but then grew disillusioned. But appearances are only that. "As soon as they opened their mouths to talk about the Mujahideen in Iraq, it was clear that they are bringing a whole new point of view to the streets."

We Meet Again: While in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, correspondent Simon Montlake struck up a conversation with an Indonesian psychologist well-versed in postconflict work with children (page 1). "She asked me if I had ever been to Ambon, in Maluku Province, where there had been considerable conflict in years past."

Simon had, three years earlier. As it turned out, the psychologist had, too - and remembered seeing Simon as he waited to interview the governor of the province. "There weren't many reporters there at the time, so I guess I stood out," says Simon. "I'm a reporter and I'm supposed to be the observant one, but she trumped me on this occasion."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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