Reporters on the Job
• Undercover Work: At times, it's safer to work in Baghdad dressed as a resident. To cover today's story about a nonviolent protest (page 7), reporter Orly Halpern put on a full abaya, the black garb worn by conservative Muslim women. "The only way you would know I was a foreigner was to look at me straight on," she says.
She was also flanked on all sides by a family that lived in the neighborhood and that she'd met while working on another story. "The family was there to protect me. Many residents are anti-American and worried about spies. Two Iraqi women who had moved there recently were killed in the market because someone suspected them of being spies," says Orly.
"At one point during the protest march, someone noticed me. He began pointing and shouting. 'Who is that? What is she doing here?' The son of the family shouted back, 'She's with us. She's OK.' "
• Religion in a Secular State: The Turkish government says it will submit a new higher-education law to parliament in October. Last week, Turkey's prime minister vetoed the bill, backing away from a showdown with the military over education changes, which included making it easier for students at state-run religious schools to attend public universities. As reported on May 17, "Education bill deepens Turkey's secular-religious divide," graduates of Islamic schools want more career options. After high school, their only option now is theology school. But critics said the bill would erode the secular foundations laid out by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the modern Turkish state.
David Clark Scott