Reporters on the Job

Driven by Fear: When staff writer Ilene Prusher and her interpreter arrived at the West Bank checkpoint outside of Qalqilya the Israeli soldiers stopped them because they were driving in a car with yellow (Israeli) plates. They left the car and took a taxi into Qalqilya. "We hired him for the day," says Ilene, "but were surprised to find that he was very apprehensive about driving us to the house of the woman who had been killed, Wafa Wahdan , for fear he would be associated with bringing attention to the murder and that one of the family members might take revenge on him. So he parked at a convenience store around the block and said he would wait for us there."

When they came out about an hour later, the driver was gone. The convenience store clerk said the driver felt unsafe waiting. Still, people are speaking about honor killings more often, says Mona Shawa, at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. "These are crimes related to culture, and unless we have a law that gives a longer punishment, the culture stays the same."

A Veiled View: Having lived and reported in the Middle East for years, Sam Dagher thought he knew all about veils. But on his latest trip to Najaf, Iraq, he discovered the boushiya. It's a black piece of cloth that covers the face opening of the abaya, the black, head-to-toe garment worn by Iraqi women. This piece of cloth, which gives total cover similar to the blue Afghan burqa, is popular now in Shiite religious cities such as Najaf.

Sam asked Nahla Rashid, the director of the Imam Ali Schools , if she felt restricted by the black covering. "It certainly does not prevent me from using my brains and intellect," she replied. "I compare unveiled women to tomatoes that are exposed all day in the market and then tossed away at the end of the day if they are not purchased. Veiled women on the other hand are precious jewels that are kept locked in cases."

– David Clark Scott

World editor

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