IN MASAI CULTURE, WHEN YOU REALLY WANT TO HONOR A WOMAN, YOU REFER to her as the mother of her oldest daughter. So last week, when a group of Masai schoolgirls in northern Tanzania held up a sign saying KARIBU MAMA CHELSEA, it meant more than just "Welcome, Chelsea's mom." Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, on a good-will tour of several African countries, understood the compliment.
After six months of u.s. occupation, Haiti's glass is half full or half empty -- depending on whether you are an American or a Haitian. Americans brag that political violence has virtually ended, that the once oppressive army has been largely disbanded, that democratic government is beginning to take hold and that business is picking up.
TO HIS MANY CRITICS, WARREN Christopher is a wispy humbler who has allowed U.S. diplomacy to drift in an increasingly chaotic world. He has been batted around in Beijing, bullied by thugs in Haiti and Somalia, put on hold by the allies on Bosnia, Velcroed to a Russian leader whose commitment to democracy-and longevity-are questionable.
Germans have a cultural tendency to define mistakes and failures as anyone's fault but their own. When teenage neo-Nazis in the Baltic port city of Rostock firebombed a building last month that housed Romanian Gypsies and Vietnamese workers, sociologists explained that the frustrated youths lacked recreational activities-as if hurling Molotov-cocktails were a sport.
The way some Serbs in Kosovo see it, Qefsere Uka committed a political act last week. The 27-year-old ethnic Albanian gave birth to a son and named him Granit, because, she says, "I want him to be strong." Granit's father was fired from his job at a wood-processing plant last year after refusing to sign a loyalty oath to the government of Serbia.
They were living cadavers-silent men with jutting bones and terrified stares. Packed 600 to a stable that measured 230 feet long by 30 feet wide, they jumped to attention as one group at the bark of a prison officer when the commander of the Manjaca detention center in northern Bosnia escorted a reporter inside.
After Serbian fighters burned his village in northern Bosnia to the ground in May, Hasan Mahmudagic fled to Prijedor, a nearby city populated by Muslims. But instead of finding refuge, the 24year-old Muslim farmer was rounded up by Serbian soldiers and taken to a camp where he was detained along with several thousand other Muslim men. "It was like a cleaning," he says. "They had a couple of tanks and soldiers and they just took all the men." Those who tried to escape from the detention camp...
In 1939 a German-Jewish teenager named Salomon Perel fled to Poland to escape Nazi pogroms. When the Nazis invaded Poland, Perel made his way to Soviet-held territory; through a combination of linguistic skill, subterfuge and bizarre fortune, he was cared for first by the Soviet Communist Youth League, then by a German Army officer who sent him to an elite school for Hitler youth.