Friday, November 25, 2005

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Christiane Amanpour
For those of you who have never or hardly watched CNN might not know her. She's one of my fave CNN reporters. Christiane Amanpour is the most recognized female war correspondent in the media business. She's now CNN's chief international correspondent based in London and is known for her exclusive CNN coverage in dangerous conflict zones such as Balkans, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.
I have spent the past ten years in just about every war zone there was…I have made my living bearing witness to some of the most horrific events of the end of the 20th century. I am so identified with war and disaster that wherever I go these days. People joke….or perhaps not…that they shudder whenever they see me:Oh god...Amanpour is here…is something bad happening to us? U.S. soldiers…with whom I now have more than a passing acquaintance…joke that they track my movements in order to know where they will be deployed next. I calculated that I have spent more time at the front than most normal military units.
I adore her so much; she's such a brave woman! This is how she describes about her fear:
I have lost many friends, to the sniper, the mortar bomb, the landmine…the crazed Kalashnikov-wielding druggie at the checkpoint. It occurred to me that I have spent almost every working day of the past ten years living in a repressed state of fear. I rarely talk about this because frankly it is impossible to talk about, but I ask you in this room tonight whether you know what it what it must be like to spend all your working life scared. Scared of being shot, of being kidnapped, of being raped by some lunatic who may not want your story or who blames you for bringing NATO bombs down around them. We manage the fear, I manage the fear, but it certainly takes its toll, the strain does. And so there's the horror of what we see. In Rwanda, piles of bodies that are lifted by bulldozers after a genocide and simply dumped into mass graves. I saw the toughest of soldiers who had to supervise this, crying. In Bosnia, little children shot in the head by a guy who thinks it's okay to aim his gun at a child. In Somalia and Ethiopia, the walking skeletons that heralded and signaled those terrible famines.
And about her experience reporting a news in Ethiopia:
I remember once doing a live shot from a so-called famine camp in Ethiopia--and actually in Somalia as well. I was showing a man and telling his story and explaining how ill he was, and it was a live camera and all of a sudden I realized that he was dying. And I didn't know what to do, I didn't know how to break that moment, how to get the camera away, what to do that would not sully what was happening in real life. And then there's always the crying and the weeping that we hear-children, women, even men. And these images and these sounds are always with me.
She has a great passion in journalism, especially in being a war correspondent. I think that's why she's doing one of the most riskiest jobs and going to the most dangerous and terrible places in the world.
I have often wondered why I do it, why we do it. After a few seconds the answer used to come easily: because it's worth it, because it matters, because the world will care once they see our stories. Because if we the storytellers don't do this, then the bad people will win. We do it because we're committed, because we're believers. And one thing that I always believed and that I knew for certain was that I could never have sustained a personal relationship while I worked this hard, or while I was that driven this intensely by the story.
Christiane Amanpour was born in London on 12 January 1958. Her father is an Iranian and her mother is a British. She speaks English, Persian, and French fluently. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor of arts in journalism. She began her career in CNN in 1983 at the age of 25. She's also contracted with CBS for 5 stories a year in 60 Minutes. She married James Rubin, a former spokesman for the US State Department, in 1998 and has a son, Darius John Rubin, who was born in 2000.
I like her style: She's confident, courageous, fearless. She's a whole lotta woman.


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