Ryan Chartrand

Let us for a brief moment follow the convoluted train of thought of a girl who, on the evening of April 16, experienced a “life changing moment” that would shatter all other existing life-changing moments to date. Where did this emotional spectacle occur, you ask? Only at the biggest, most important convention for Radio and Television Broadcasters in the nation, held in the most obvious place on earth, Las Vegas.

On that particularly hot Monday afternoon I, Alexandra Bezdikian, met a one Christiane Amanpour. I didn’t just meet her mind you, but like the proud groupie that I am, cornered her against an isolated back wall, stuck my hand in her face to shake, which she did, and proceeded to mumble a sequence of embarrassing nonverbal squeaks and stutters that I would much rather never recall again.

Surprisingly enough, she responded to my caveman attempt at having a conversation, and gave me some of the most heartfelt advice I have ever heard.

The train of logic that immediately followed my very starstruck, but ferociously empowered state of mind following her imparting words of wisdom, resembled something like: I can change the world. Bring it on bitches. I can change the world.

For those of you who do not share my extreme enthusiasm for this legendary woman, or, if for some odd reason, do not know of whom I speak, don’t worry because I shall ramble on about her greatness for the rest of this column, if not for the rest of my life.

So who is this enigmatic woman really, where did she come from, and what kind of a last name is Amanpour? I will tell.

Born to an Iranian father and British mother, Amanpour led a privileged childhood under the leadership of the Shah of Iran during the ’70s. But alas, the revolution and religious extremism that plagued her country following the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini forced the family to relocate to England where a young Amanpour began taking courses in journalism. The rest, they say, is history.

Today’s Christiane Amanpour, of CNN’s chief international correspondent fame, is one of the most charismatic, hardworking and committed journalists of our day, not to mention one of the most honored in the United States. She is a woman driven by the need to reveal the truths most people neglect; the faces most people refuse to show, and gives a voice to those who cannot speak. Amanpour is the kind of journalist I can only hope to become in the future, a woman who speaks the truth of the people in everything that she does.

So, for those of you who can imagine, Monday, April 16 doesn’t just represent the day that I met a living legend, or the day that this self-proclaimed groupie’s dreams came true. Although that day was both of those things for me, this was the day that I looked into the eyes of a real journalist, a woman of extreme integrity, direction, but most especially passion, and saw myself staring back.

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