ABC News' Christiane Amanpour: Not your ordinary Christmases

The international journalist offers insights into the worlds that filled her childhood and give her a unique perspective on the Middle East

BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

 

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I have also opened his eyes to the fact that there is such commonality and to respect religion and respect the tradition and to respect the values taught.”

Amanpour talks to Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass. Photo by Shawn Baldwin, ABC News

That’s been one of her goals for the ABC Primetime Special “Back to the Beginning,” scheduled to air on December 21 and 28. For the segments in Egypt and the Sinai desert, she took along12-year-old, Darius.

“I wanted to show people that it’s OK to visit these places even with your kids,” she says. “It’s part of the story, handing down these stories generation to generation. It was incredible to take my son with me and to show him what I do – and the incredible privilege I’ve had being able to travel the world.

“I want him to learn so much about it all and I want to increase the body of knowledge that I have in order to be able to tell these stories and these important events.”

Did the trip change Darius? What did he bring back from the adventure?

“I believe the experience gave him a huge amount of knowledge,” she says, “and so, like all curious and inquisitive and active pre-teens, he was really interested. It’s fantastic to see all these places through a child’s eyes. It gave him a sense of ‘Wow, I hear about Moses and I read his story. I did my school project on Martin Luther King and he spoke about the Promised Land.’ So many freedom fighters take their inspiration from Moses. He and I we climbed Mount Sinai all the way up to the top. It was just phenomenal for my son to be able to see where it all happened.”

Do she and Darius and her husband celebrate Christmas?

“Well, you know, Christmas is about family,” she says. “It’s about presents and holidays and carol-singing. It’s about going to church and it’s about doing all that.

“I think for myself, the parts of Christmas that are applicable, I think, so much – in our coverage and so much in my daily life — are the

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