Vivian Salama at PostGlobal

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. She has also appeared as a commentator on the BBC, France24, South African Broadcasting Corp., TVNZ, NPR and as a reporter for Voice of America radio. Her byline has appeared in numerous publications including Newsweek, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, the National, Jerusalem Post, and the Daily Star. Salama has an MA in Islamic Politics from Columbia University and she previously worked as a lecturer of international journalism at Rutgers University. Close.

Vivian Salama

USA/Middle East

Vivian Salama is an award-winning reporter, producer and blogger. Currently based in Lahore, Pakistan, she has reported for various publications from across the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, the United States and North and South Korea. more »

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December 2007 Archives



December 3, 2007 9:17 AM

If You Build Business, They Will Come

In the 1989 Kevin Costner movie, "A Field of Dreams," a voice from baseball heaven tells Costner, "if you build it, they will come." It seems to me that the same voice should shed some light in Washington: if you build and expand business, illegal immigrants will come.

It's bewildering to envision a land of immigration closed off to immigrants. Nonetheless, the Council on Foreign Relations recently referred to the topic of immigration as "a toxic political issue." Regardless of whether U.S. presidential hopefuls see the benefits of illegal immigration for America's economy, candidates are toeing the line due to the negative connotation associated with this issue.

First, let's talk numbers: Foreign-born residents in the United States have not exceeded 16 percent since 1675. This year, immigrants to the U.S. – legal and illegal – reached a record of 37.9 million, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. (Where I sit in New York, about 38 percent of people here are immigrants). That said, it's not the legal immigrants raising eyebrows.

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December 21, 2007 1:49 PM

Don't Judge Afghan Culture

The Question: The producers of the movie "The Kite Runner" had to evacuate three boy actors from Afghanistan because they were involved in a scene portraying homosexual rape. Who's at fault here: the movie producers who exposed the boys to danger, or the Afghan culture that threatens them?

Before responding to this question, I feel it necessary to take a moment to credit Afghani-American author Khaled Hosseini for writing such an incredible story. The Kite Runner is a remarkably well-written window into two very different Afghanistans – one of revolution and hope, the other of oppression and despair. Sadly, the latter description is that of today's Afghanistan.

Certainly the filmmakers should have taken into account that by showing a homosexual rape scene (the actual rape is not shown), they were jeopardizing the young actors' lives. However, in the end, perhaps evacuation from Afghanistan, given its continued political instability and turmoil, is a blessing in disguise.

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December 24, 2007 10:58 AM

Christmas an Egyptian National Holiday

The first year I lived in Egypt, Ramadan fell in November. Journalists are often invited to company iftars (the meal to break fast) as a way of networking and exchanging in the holiday spirit. You can imagine my surprise when, at one of these iftars, Santa Claus marched in to spread …Ramadan cheer(!?)

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December 28, 2007 11:34 AM

Caution: Civil Unrest Ahead

When Benazir Bhutto spoke to the Council of Foreign Relations last August before returning from exile to Pakistan, she said, "The West's close association with a military dictatorship, in my humble view, is alienating Pakistan's people and is playing into the hands of those hardliners who blame the West for the ills of the region."

Those hard-liners, to whom she referred while safely in New York, are likely the same people who took her life in Pakistan on Thursday evening. The news of Bhutto's assassination is a grim reminder that religious extremists are attempting to reverse the moderating influences of globalization.

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December 31, 2007 1:14 PM

Shock and Awe in 2007 News Biz

The Question: What was the biggest news story in your country last year [in 2007], and why?

As we begin 2008 and look back on the biggest stories that made headlines over the past year, I cannot help but ask a question that I, as a journalist, have recently come to dread: what qualifies as news, nowadays?

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PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.