Reporters on the Job
• Harassment in Hijab: After covering the trial of accused Islamist terrorists in Rabat, Morocco (see story), staff writer Jill Carroll swung through Marrakech. While Jill missed many of the city's historic sites, she did manage to see a curious cultural feature that isn't quite unique to Morocco.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
"Harassment of women in the street is very common in a lot of countries," says Jill. "Apparently, it's worse in Morocco."
During a meal at a restaurant overlooking the famous Djemaa el Fna square, Jill spotted a man who was decidedly "not the typical tourist." As Jill watched, the nongentleman walked up behind several Moroccan women – all of whom were modestly dressed.
"I saw this woman sort of jump and look behind her," says Jill. "She gave him a dirty look and kept walking."
Jill is no stranger to the type of attention that Western women get in public places. What surprised her was that even modestly dressed Arab women could face such harassment. "It's more expected if the person is dressed inappropriately," Jill says. "People here think that you're inviting it. But these women, they were all dressed head-to-toe in hijab."
• Under Lebanon, Hidden Tunnels: It's no secret that Hizbullah maintained a network of tunnels and bunkers in southern Lebanon before Israel attacked last summer. But finding them is difficult.
"No one had any idea until after the war how extensive and sophisticated this underground network was," says correspondent Nicholas Blanford.
While reporting a story about Hizbullah's rearming efforts (see story), Nick stumbled on the coordinates for one of the bunkers. After several hours of wandering through thick underbrush near the Israeli border, Nick found a manhole cover that opened into a vast tunnel system that had apparently evaded Israel's extensive reconnaissance. "It was almost completely empty, but we found some underground rocket-firing facilities," Nick says. "It was all very complex, and it was quite impressive. It really underlined the dedication of the Hizbullah guys. But they were digging these tunnels without anyone knowing."
– Matt Bradley