Job Title: Journalist
Type of Company: 1) full-time political reporter covering Washington, D.C. 2) part time advisor on Arab Culture and Islam to Marines and soldiers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan
Education: Graduate Degree -- Sorbonne, Paris
Previous Experience: Part-time job, adviser to the US Marine Corps
Job Tasks: I'm bureau chief for an English language daily based in the Middle East. Our readership consists of diplomats, ex-pats working in the region, and nationals who speak English. Our newspaper is quite popular, as we average 1.5 million hits daily on our web page.
I usually file a story every day, normally on politics. For example, yesterday I interviewed Iraq's Minister of Human Rights. She gave me some interesting information, including when she thinks US troops will really deploy and the biggest hindrance in helping Iraqi women was Iraqi men (and their traditions, tribes and religions).
Tomorrow, I leave for Norfolk to train Marines deploying to Iraq.
Some of the saddest moments of my training is when, after my 8-hour class, a young Marine will come forward and tell me: "This is the first time in my life I've ever heard anything good about an Arab or Islam." Islam is not the enemy, but they've never heard differently. If you don't understand the culture and the religion.
It's easy to fear it, and if one fears something, it's easy to hate it. I try to teach them that in every country, people are the same. Circumstances and hardships shape people's behavior.
I LOVE my job as a journalist. When I first started my career, I was extremely shy. I have learned to develop my personality, in a pleasant way, to develop a knack for people to trust me and talk to me. It's been quite an interesting development, and something I thoroughly enjoy.
Same thing with teaching Marines. When I first had to stand up in front of a class, I was petrified. Now I am grateful for the chance to give them a perspective that may help keep them alive during their deployments.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best -- constantly learning and sharing knowledge. In journalism, one ALWAYS learns something new, it's a very exciting job.
Training Marines -- a highlight in my career. Marines are remarkable: ethical, honest, smart and diligent.
Worst -- battling prejudice, ignorance, bias and racism
1. Journalism: You've never make a fortune in money, but you will lead a rich, rewarding and exciting life.
2) Marine Corps: I used to worry about the future of our country until I met Marines. They are truly some of the finest people I have yet to meet. They are disciplined, in excellent shape, and quick learners. And, once they accept you as one of them (I was embedded with Marines when we invaded Iraq) you've got a true friend for life.
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