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Eric Villency

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Conversations About My Father: Christiane Amanpour

Posted: 06/14/11 10:54 AM ET

A few weeks ago I set out to engage people in a conversation about their fathers. Through the experience the depth of emotions provoked in talking about "dad" struck me, and the powerful sentiments stirred by distant memories seemed to surprise even those who were sharing their stories. The discussions were often deeply personal and I am grateful to all of those who shared glimpses of their fathers. I hope you enjoy the collection of stories, and that you share your own Father's day story in the comments thread.


ABC's This Week anchor Christiane Amanppour sat down with me to discuss her beloved 96-year-old dad, who is still very much a part of her life. The father of four daughters left Iran in the wake of the 1979 revolution to create a new life for his family. Christiane recalled how he encouraged her to become a strong, independent woman -- something that would not have been possible had the family remained in Iran, making her career choice all the more poignant. He gets a real kick out Christiane's career and takes pride in her as a symbol of a hardworking, immigrant success story.

Though Christiane's work as a journalist often takes her into harms way in some of the most dangerous places in the world, her father has always supported her insatiable need to cover these stories and has never tried to stop her from going on a perilous assignment. His unspoken support is something she describes as being very liberating and empowering -- allowing her to focus on her job without feeling the extra burden of a father's worry. Still, she allows that he can be a tough critic, recalling an instance when he phoned her following a particularly contentious interview with President Bill Clinton asking, "how could you be so rude the President Of The United States?"

 

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