Rwandan President Paul Kagame was at the center of discussions among the Amanpour audience. Many commented they would like to see President Kagame’s opponent speak up publicly as the Rwandan story, many said, had “two sides.” Additionally, while most commented that foreign aid to developing countries would only create dependency because of the instant gratification experienced, others felt “nothing was for free” and natural resources were exchanged for the money. The lapse in social and economic opportunity for the progress of these undeveloped countries continued to be of interest for many. Furthermore, it was felt that although Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei’s accomplishments were positive, they were globally recognized because of his economic status and influence.
What are your thoughts? Please share your thoughts with us! In addition, if you missed the show go to http://www.amanpour.com for more information.
Below, you will see some opinions from viewers like yourself. We would love to hear what you think.
Facebook comments about Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei / Rwanda's President on how he helped turn the country around / And a story of teenage girls discovering their strength.
Sam Lacroix I would suggest you really give a chance to the Kagame main opponent (Mrs Victoire Ingabire) to respond to accusations by Kagame on you show. we love you AMANPOUR
Jony Jess We love you AMANPOUR!!! BUT i really suggest that you give a chance to Mrs Victoire Ingabire to respond to the accusations made by Kagame on your show. The true nature of CNN is to hear from both sides...especially ahead of Rwandan controversial elections come up...with a 3 week- presidential campaign!!!!!!
By Christiane Amanpour
Editor's note: CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth, who died of cancer Sunday in Rochester, Minnesota, was renowned for her gutsiness, striking appearance, distinctive humor and sense of fun. Barely surviving a sniper's bullet in Sarajevo in 1992, she battled back to continue working around the world, impressing all with her determination and attitude.
Margaret was a law and a life unto herself. Before I actually worked with her, I was quite intimidated by the idea of Margaret MOTH! The woman who had changed her name to that of a small plane, who even leapt out of them! The woman who wore black clothes and heavy black eye makeup, who was goth before it was cool. The woman, who I discovered under siege in Sarajevo, wore her heavy black boots to bed, just so she could be ready if the shelling started.
Bosnia, summer 1992, was my first assignment with Margaret, the latest in a string of distinguished women who changed my life on and off the road. She was wonderful, funny, hardworking, brave, tireless and fiercely private.
After a few weeks there, I had taken a break. I think it was July 14, I remember leaving her at the Sarajevo airport shooting a Bastille Day celebration day for the French UNPROFOR troops. I got on a plane to see my family. She didn't want to take a break, she wanted to stay on the next rotation. Three or four days after I left, she was shot in the face.
I remember flying off to the Mayo Clinic to visit her with Parisa Khosravi. I remember walking down the corridor to her room. Luckily, there was a picture of her on the door, because lying in bed, her face swollen and swathed in bandages, she was unrecognizable except for her hands. It's the only way I knew it was her. At some point that very day, I had to make a decision to go back to Sarajevo or not. The International Desk called me from Atlanta and asked whether I would go back. I looked at her in bed ... holding back tears. ... I quickly said yes into the telephone. I think I knew if I didn't say yes then, I might never go back.
She was remarkable. She came back to the battle zones as soon as she could. She endured all those endless surgeries, she had to learn to eat and drink and talk again. She had to endure people's embarrassed, curious stares. She got hepatitis C from the initial blood transfusion in Sarajevo that saved her life. And later, she got cancer, fought the good fight for longer than anyone could imagine, and died. Life battered and brutalized her, but she remained unbowed and happy. She was a survivor, a unique soul, and she bore all that came her way with a remarkable sense of calm and equanimity. She loved music, antiques and animals. She taught us so much about what it means to be a real person, the consummate professional.
She deserves to finally rest in peace. Now she can.
By: Lena Slachmuijlder, DRC Country Director; Search for Common Ground
I’m writing to you from Goma, eastern Congo, with a perspective that I think we hear too infrequently. It’s about recovery, and giving people a chance to find solutions to their problems.
For the last five years I have lived and worked in the DR Congo, heading an NGO called Search for Common Ground (SFCG). Although we do not give out bricks or buckets or biscuits, our work enables us to give people a chance to reflect on what’s really going on around them, to have access to accurate information, and a chance to shift towards a more positive change.
You’ve all heard about the crimes committed by the Congolese army. SFCG has reached out to that same army, and we have found within it thousands of soldiers who are fully committed to working day after day towards transforming this army to become one which protects, not persecutes, civilians. We’ve equipped them with participatory tools to work within their units to combat rape, extortion and abuse of civilians. They know that it’s up to them to push back the tide of impunity and regain the respect of their compatriots. They want to be positive agents for change, given a chance to define a positive role.
We also work with actors and train them in conflict transformation, and equip them to go around from village to village in areas where refugees are returning from years of war. The actors aren’t there to tell people what to do, but rather to listen. Then, they reflect back the conflicts the community is experiencing through drama and you know what? The people in the community have all the answers about what should happen.
One often blames the government of the DRC for its perceived lack of engagement in building peace and democracy. The culture of corruption is deep rooted, and it will take years of practice to be able to say no to bribery and yes to transparency. Fighting impunity and ensuring that the state pays its public servants can be hugely effective in turning the page towards stability.
And all those victims. What about them? Given a chance, they can transform themselves, all by themselves. With a pile of musical instruments, former child soldiers in Bukavu have become well known performers, welcoming into their ranks other youth in need of a warm corner and a song. They’ve become so strong that they reach out to those who look even harder for a streak of brightness: rape survivors. Every week, they take their music and drums up to the Panzi Hospital and leave behind smiles, hugs, rhythm and melody in the hearts of the women and girls.
And all those rapists, what about them? With a big screen, we take films around the villages and towns and enable people to talk about why there’s so much rape and gender-based violence. Not everyone agrees why, or what should be done. But the space accorded to talk about it, confront opinions with fact and customs with laws opens the door towards being open to change and transformation.
Congo is a tough place, and it’s easy to be discouraged. But Congo today is nothing like the Congo I can remember on the eve of the 2006 elections, or the deeply divided Congo that existed when I first arrived in the country in 2001. Recovery is happening, and the silent majority is pushing things in the right direction. Open new opportunities, give keys to people to make new choices, and they'll soon redefine themselves, not as victims, but as an agent for a better DRC for tomorrow.
I'm deeply touched by outpouring of support as I start an exciting new adventure: taking all that I have learned, experienced and reported about the world during nearly 27 years at CNN, to This Week. It’s a magnificent Sunday morning news program, rich in the tradition of serious journalism. I look forward to the rare... opportunity to explore important U.S. and international issues & policy, and how each vitally affects the other.
I've read all your wonderful comments and I'm truly touched, grateful & overwhelmed by your support. I've always hugely respected & appreciated CNN’s audience of caring, curious, inquiring people around the U.S. and all across the globe.
It's been my privilege to be your eyes and ears around the world. At this powerful platform for nearly 27 years, I've tried to stand for the pursuit of truth, the search for fact-based information for reporting news and without fear nor favor.
I'll continue at CNN until the end of April, and then I will take this mission to ABC This Week. Thank you and stay tuned on TV, online via Twitter and Faceboook and on the podcast as the journey continues.