Vivian Salama

Stories by Vivian Salama

  • egypt-cafe-OV01-main

    A Café for the Ages

    A symbol of continuity and perseverance, a Swiss patisserie in Cairo has served nobility and revolutionaries coffee and cakes.
  • Will More Money Help Palestinians?

    A Palestinian official argues that international donors are pledging millions to Gaza and the West Bank because they hope their generosity will compensate for their lack of political will.
  • On-Scene at Columbia: Gasps, Cheers and Boos

    The Iranian president drew cheers and boos from his Ivy League audience. But the university's Lee Bollinger may have been the real scene-stealer during the controversial visit.
  • S. Korea: A Social Network Reshapes Politics

    Miri Leung does all the usual teenage things online: she chats, e-mails, decorates her cyber home and buys the latest fashions for her avatar. But lately she’s also venturing into an area that most political candidates still dream about. The 18-year-old is going online to learn about political issues with her country’s real-life presidential hopefuls. “It’s cool,” says Leung. “It kind of makes me feel like [the candidates] are just like all of my other friends.”Leung lives in South Korea, where candidates are making new efforts to jump on the cyber bandwagon and woo the country’s youngest voters. Their vehicle: a network called Cyworld, South Korea’s equivalent to American online social sensations like MySpace, Facebook and Friendster. Launched in 1999, the site recently catapulted to the No. 1 spot among Asian networking sites, hosting an estimated 20 million users daily and drawing in an estimated $146 million in revenue. (MySpace, by contrast, brought in nearly $200 million in...
  • Egypt: The Problem With Wearing a Veil

    It was a risky—and frightening—experiment.  Taxis refused to stop for me, but male drivers kept pulling over to compliment my eyes (the only part of my body on show) and inviting me into their vehicles. Others just stared.  Why the unwelcome attention? Because I was wearing a niqab, the full face veil, on the streets of Cairo. Egypt may be a Muslim country, but its government places numerous restrictions on those who make this religious commitment. That, however, may be about to change in the wake of a decision earlier this month by Egypt’s High Administrative Court.A special chamber of the court ruled on June 9 that the American University in Cairo (AUC) could not bar a female scholar who wears the niqab from using university facilities.  That decision upheld a 2001 ruling by a lower court, which cited personal and religious freedom as the reason that Iman al-Zainy could not be barred from campus for wearing the garment. (Zainy was pursuing a Ph.D. in English at Egypt's prestigious...