Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christiane Amanpour Reports Generation Islam

CNN Press Release - Two-hour Documentary Investigating the Battle for Muslim Hearts and Minds Debuts on August 13

This summer, CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour will helm a new Amanpour Reports two-hour event documentary, Generation Islam, on the battle for the hearts and minds of the youth of the Muslim world. The documentary will debut on Thursday, August 13 at 8p.m. and 11p.m. ET and PT.

Additionally, Christiane Amanpour begins a new daily interview program, Amanpour, airing globally at 3p.m. ET on CNN International, with a weekly 60-minute edition airing on CNN/U.S. on Sundays at 2p.m. ET, beginning in September.

“CNN is one of the few remaining television networks still committed to delivering enterprise reporting, in-depth documentaries, and comprehensive news and analysis from around the world,” said Jon Klein, president CNN/U.S. “And in Christiane we’ve got the master of all those forms. As a war correspondent she redefined international reporting, while her documentaries have transfixed tens of millions of viewers around the world and earned the most prestigious awards in journalism.”

Fresh from her extraordinary reporting from inside Iran during the Iranian elections, Amanpour takes viewers to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Gaza for Generation Islam. The documentary premieres just one week prior to Afghanistan’s national elections, as the U.S. intensifies its war efforts in Afghanistan, and as the Obama Administration seeks to forge a new relationship with Muslim nations.

Viewers of the documentary will see and hear from young Muslims who are potentially vulnerable to manipulation by Muslim extremist groups. More than half of the people living in the crowded Gaza strip are under the age of 18, and nearly 45 percent of the population in Afghanistan is under the age of 14. Amanpour speaks to several Americans living and working in Afghanistan and Gaza, who are providing alternatives to young Muslims who are prime recruits for Muslim fundamentalists160;

With the story of one child and his family, Amanpour illustrates what’s at stake. Last year, as nearly one thousand Afghan civilians were accidentally killed by U.S. forces, the Taliban began in earnest to re-establish its influence among people crushed by poverty and war. Just one year ago, a starving twelve year-old Nassim appeared on the doorstep of an orphanage run by American Marnie Gustafson in Afghanistan. Nassim had survived beatings, slave labor and a harrowing month-long journey having been cast out of his home after his father took a new wife. Nassim’s 15-year-old brother Alahdad may have suffered an even worse fate. Alahdad was taken in by a fundamentalist madrasa near Herat, Afghanistan, a region considered Taliban country.

Viewers will also learn about Palestinian obstetrician gynecologist Izzeldin Abuelaish in Gaza, whose home was bombarded during the 2009 war between Israel and Hamas. His three daughters were killed by Israeli shells. Dr. Abuelaish invites Amanpour to meet some of the children in his family who survived. Despite his tragic loss, he continues to work for peace. Dr. Abuelaish has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Amanpour also meets 35 children at a Gaza pre-school, many of whom have lost their homes or a parent in the war with Israel. Teachers notice behavior problems from these youngsters that seem related to their exposure to war and violence160;

Dr. El-Sarraj, an expert in Muslim extremism, tells Amanpour that up to one third of the children surveyed there say that they want to be a martyr. “Palestinian boys, even at age five, feel like they need to defend their families and their society, becoming disheartened when they can’t,” says Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj is a psychiatrist and founder/president of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program and a commissioner of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights.

“President Obama and many others are concerned that the next generation of Muslims could be lost to religious extremists,” says Mark Nelson, vice president and senior executive producer, CNN Productions. “Viewers will see and learn about some Americans who are winning the battle against extremism.”

About CNN Productions
Generation Islam is produced by CNN Productions, the most award-winning documentary unit in cable network news. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recently announced that it will honor CNN Productions with the President’s Award at its ceremonies in September. Mark Nelson is the vice president and senior executive producer for CNN Productions; Kathy Slobogin is managing editor for CNN Productions. Andrew Tkach and Melissa Dunst are senior producers; Heather O’Neill and Jen Christensen are producers; Jody Gottlieb is the executive director for CNN Productions.

Christiane Amanpour has reported on crises from many of the world’s hotspots and war zones during 26 years at CNN. Her assignments also include exclusive interviews with world leaders on the human consequences of natural disasters and global politics. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the coveted Paul White Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association, four George Foster Peabody Awards, a Courage in Journalism Award and a number of Emmys and duPont awards. She is a member of the board of directors for the Committee to Protect Journalists and was named an honorary citizen by the City of Sarajevo for her “personal contribution to spreading the truth” during coverage of the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

About CNN Worldwide
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.

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Anonymous Mary said...

I am really looking forward to this report!

9:58 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Thank you for this touching report. The people you interviewed came alive through the media. I hope that CNN will repeat it so others will be able to watch.

9:58 PM  

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