Last Monday, nine students and Mrs. Smith attended a lecture from Christiane Amanpour and her husband, James Rubin. PACK received ten free tickets from the Cleveland Town Hall Lecture Series; the students who went were a mix of PACK members and Mrs. Smith's A.P. Government students. The event was the first in a series of monthly speakers on various topics. Monday's theme was America and The World.
If the reader is unfamiliar with Mrs. Amanpour, she is currently the chief foreign correspondent for CNN, and generally regarded as one of the finest journalists of our time. As senior and longtime fan Nate Serafino said, "The great thing about Amanpour is that she really gets in the dirt. From the Persian Gulf War to the Bosnian genocide, she is the only reporter I know who gets the straight facts—no jive." She's won nine Emmys for broadcast journalism, one Peabody, and interviewed countless world leaders: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korean nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye Gwan, and Yasser Arafat (who hung up on her mid-conversation). Her husband, James Rubin, is a former advisor to Bill Clinton and professor at Columbia University.
The two both gave twenty minute speeches, focusing mainly on American foreign policy. Both of them called for greater diplomacy in the Middle East, especially with regards to Iran. After the speeches they answered a few questions from the audience, one of which was Mrs. Smith's. She asked, "What country should the U.S. be focused most on diplomatically?" Both Amanpour and Rubin agreed on on Iran. "The lecture was a great experience for everyone who went," said PACK co-president Ronjon Siler. "Hopefully, we’ll be able to attend more in the future."