Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Article excerpt

* No Female Reporters Allowed: In five years of working in the Arab world, staff writer Jill Carroll says that she's never had any problem doing her job because she's a woman as far as she knows. But today's story about temporary marriages in Egypt proved an exception.

"Secret, temporary marriages among young people are taboo. It took an enormous amount of effort to find someone who had been in one of these relationships who was willing to talk about it for publication," says Jill. But her interpreter, Ahmed, found a young man willing to tell his story - but only to a man.

"We told him I was a Westerner and discussing marriage and sex aren't new or embarrassing topics to me," says Jill. "We told him I had interviewed Islamic militants and people who had just lived through horribly traumatic events. Nothing could shock me. But he was embarrassed, and his temporary marriage arrangement wasn't 'respectable.' No female reporter. No way."

So Ahmed took a list of questions from Jill and traveled to Alexandria, several hours from Cairo by train, to do the interview. …

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