Reporters on the Job

CHANNEL HOPPING IN EGYPT: Cairo, says the Monitor's Danna Harman, is a city of the night. "The streets are packed until late, including mothers shopping and small children. During the Iraq war there were large crowds - 30 to 40 people in a spot - gathered around the televisions in bakeries, barbershops, and cafes throughout the city," says Danna. But suddenly Thursday, as Baghdad fell to US-led forces, everyone changed channels (page 1).

"They were watching 'Rocky' and 'Will and Grace.' When I asked people why on such a momentous day they were no longer interested, they said things like, 'We're tired of the news.' It seemed to me that the news was so difficult to accept that they were in a state of denial," she says.

A REVEALING INTERVIEW: The Monitor's Ben Arnoldy stumbled across today's story about Syrians fighting US troops in Iraq (page 7) when he went to interview an Iraqi family wounded in the fighting. Ben is embedded with the 332 Air Expeditionary Group.

"I'd asked a local interpreter working with the US military if he'd heard of anyone being used as a human shield," says Ben. The interpreter introduced Ben to Mohammad Sami Noon, a man recovering at a medical tent in central Iraq.

"We sat on two empty cots facing each other. I was surprised at how open and friendly he was to me, considering how painful the topic must have been for him. He hadn't even told his wife yet how his father had died. He asked me not to say anything until he had a chance to tell her."

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot
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