Reporters on the Job

Jill Carroll Not Forgotten: Reporter Jill Carroll was kidnapped 75 days ago. But during a rare trip outside the security of his hotel complex, staff writer Scott Peterson found that she is still close to the hearts of some Iraqis.

Taking the usual security precautions on the streets of Baghdad, Scott ducked into a bank, found the Western Union desk, and handed the Iraqi banker a Post-it note with the Money Transfer Control Number on it. It also had the name of sender.

"The First Church of Christ, Scientist?" she asked in hushed tones. "How is Jill doing? Any news? We worry so much about her."

"She was a customer," the woman said, her concerned look turning to a smile. "She spoke very good Arabic."

No Longer an Interpreter: Scott profiled two Iraqis today, including Esam Pasha al-Allawy. He used to work for Scott as an interpreter - until an incident in 2003. The two went to Najaf after a car bomb killed a ranking Shiite cleric. Outsiders, they quickly discovered, were suspects. "First, we were trapped in a hotel by an angry mob, and then we escaped. But an Iraqi spotted Esam and yelled "Wahhabi!" because of his looks.

"Believing that Sunni Wahhabi extremists had killed the cleric, Shiite crowds chased us down narrow alleyways. Eventual rescue by Iraqi police took more than an hour to arrange, as crowds threw stones into a courtyard where we had taken shelter. I wrapped my arms around him to protect him, and we were ringed by police with bulletproof vests as we made our way through the irate crowd to waiting police vehicles," says Scott.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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