Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Minister of Defense, The American University in Dubai held its eight graduation ceremony on Monday the 6th of June 2005.
Ms. Christiane Amanpour, CNN's Chief International Correspondent was the guest speaker in this graduation ceremony that awarded bachelor degrees in Business Administration, Engineering, Information technology, Visual Communication and Interior Design as well as Master's Degrees in Business Administration to the class of 300 graduating students.
Christiane Amanpour's reputation as a world-class correspondent began with her reporting on the dramatic changes occurring in central Europe during 1989 and 1990. During her assignment in the Persian Gulf, she covered the Gulf War - - from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 to the U.S. bombing of Baghdad and the Kurdish refugee crisis on the Iran/Iraq border that persisted after the cease-fire. She also covered the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and subsequent war in Tbilisi. In December 1992, Ms. Amanpour briefly left the former Yugoslavia to report live from the shores of Mogadishu, Somalia, as U.S. troops launched Operation: Restore Hope.
Ms. Amanpour reported on most crises from many of the world's hotspots. Her assignments ranged from exclusive interviews with numerous world leaders to reporting from the heart of war zones.
Her high profile interviews included exclusives with President Jacques Chirac prior to the 2003 conflict in Iraq and with Prime Minister Tony Blair, with whom she also secured the first interview after September 11, 2001. Ms. Amanpour interviewed Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas during a state visit to Washington in 2003, secured the first ever interview with Jordan's new monarch, King Abdullah, in May 1999 and was the last journalist to interview the King's father days before his death. Other interviews include President Musharraf during the war against Afghanistan in 2001, Chairman Arafat and ex-Prime Minister Barak during the heightened Middle East peace negotiations in 2000 and Mikhail Gorbachev in November 1999 for the 10th anniversary of the fall of communism, as well as an exclusive with Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton in May 1999 and with President Khatami in December 1997.
For her reporting from the Balkans, Amanpour received a News and Documentary Emmy, two George Foster Peabody Awards, two George Polk Awards, a Courage in Journalism Award, a Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival Gold Award and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. She also was named 1994 Woman of the Year by the New York Chapter of Women in Cable and Telecommunications, and she helped the network win a duPont Award for its coverage of Bosnia and a Golden CableACE for its Gulf War coverage.
Christiane Amanpour has been awarded a number of other prizes, including a another Emmy for her documentary "Struggle for Islam" the 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Broadcast Journalism; the Sigma Chi Award (SDX) for her reports from Goma, Zaire; two George Polk Awards for her coverage of Bosnia in 1994 and for her work on the CNN International special "Battle for Afghanistan" in 1997 to name but a few.
Amanpour's 1991 Gulf War reporting also received the Breakthrough Award from Women, Men and Media. Her contribution to the 1985 four-week series, " Iran: In the Name of God," helped CNN earn its first duPont award.
Mr. Elias Bou Saab, AUD's Vice President said that "the university was privileged to host Ms Amanpour as the graduation guest speaker in light of the university's preeminent official launch of the School of Media and journalism, a step that was taken as a result of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the university's patron."