Reporters on the job

Slow-Food Pizza? Although Slow Food press officer Alessandra Abbona looked sheepish as she bit into her take-out pizza at her desk the other day, the chunk she was eating had little in common with your average Domino's slice, says the Monitor's Peter Ford. "Actually it looked delicious, so when I had finished interviewing [Slow Food founder] Carlo Petrini (page 1), I went up the street to a little family bakery in Bra, Italy, to get some myself," he says. "I bought a crisp square of freshly baked pizza dough, cut from a thick slab and sold by the kilo, which was studded with soft pieces of sweet onion, drizzled with olive oil, and scattered with sea salt. Fast food, but acceptable for those of us not on the Atkins diet."

Making Ends Meet in Iraq: Meeting with Amir Dawoud Issa in Cairo brought home to staff writer Dan Murphy how wide the range of definitions of "economic opportunity" are for the contractors who brave dangerous work in Iraq. While US workers have been lured to the country by salaries of $60,000 a year and more, Mr. Issa accepted the same risks - as a cellphone technician - for less than $1,000 a month (page 1).

His family lives in a cramped three-room apartment and struggles when he's working in Egypt, where he makes a fraction of his Iraq pay. While Amir says he'll never go back, there are plenty of low-paid workers in developing nations willing to work in Iraq. "For every horror story like Amir's, there are thousands of people who will jump at making a few hundred dollars more there than they can at home," says Dan.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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