Reporters on the Job

Coping with 3/11 : In reporting today's story about the anniversary of Spain's March 11 terrorist attacks (page 7), correspondent Lisa Abend was struck by how victims of the bombing cope. One group of victims' families have been meeting at the Puerta del Sol, the center square in Madrid, every week since the bombing.

"They don't do anything; they just check in with one another," says Lisa. "Once it goes dark, they light candles. I was struck by how they had come up with this very modest, yet apparently very effective, means of taking care of one another."

Beirut, a Small World : Correspondent Nicholas Blanford was in the southern Beirut suburb of Haret Hreik Thursday morning interviewing Shiites about what they think of the situation in Lebanon (this page). He stopped at a small cafe. "I sat down at a table and began chatting with a couple of people," says Nick. We talked about the turmoil of the past few weeks and I mentioned the failed assassination attempt in October against Marwan Hamade, a former Lebanese minister and close ally of opposition leader Walid Jumblatt." Mr. Hamade was badly injured in the car bomb explosion, his bodyguard was killed and his driver hurt. Hamade had been picked up by a passer-by and rushed to hospital.

"That was me," said Mahmoud Arnaout, one of the two people Nick was speaking to. "I was the one who saved him and took him to hospital." He told Nick the story, which checked out. When Hamade regained consciousness, he telephoned Mr. Arnaout, asking him to come to hospital so he could publicly thank him for saving his life.

"Arnaout told me that the irony was that Hamade and the opposition blamed Syria for the assassination attempt. 'Yet I am a Syrian and I saved his life.' "

David Clark Scott
World editor

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