Hilary Clinton is Speaking at CMU-Qatar.

Tomorrow. Yeah. I’m excited. I’ll be doing a full blog post tomorrow. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Several times yesterday, friends from here asked me who Secretary Clinton was and what she does. I explained the role of the secretary of state in the U.S., and her particular role, and her particular group of fans (myself included). I was going to give a blow-by-blow here, but look–a full transcript!

My only comments on the transcript are: when the following exchange happens:

QUESTION: (Speaks in Arabic.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I hope so. That is certainly our goal. And it is President Obama’s vision and hope that we would overcome stereotypes and misinformation, misconception. Because, clearly, the raw diversity of the Islamic world is something that Americans are learning more about, and recognizing to a greater degree.

The transcript writer missed out on my favorite moment of the event. Throughout the townhall/interview, Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera (the interviewer) worked hard to get a questions from an equal number of men and women, speaking Arabic and English in equal proportions. This was important for several reasons: 1) he is a reporter for Aljazeera’s Arabic channel, and so most of his audience speaks Arabic (he is fluent in Arabic and English at least), 2) though all classes in Education City are conducted in English, the Qatar Foundation is proud of the Arabic language and could want to be seen as showcasing it in a public setting, 3) given that Secretary Clinton was visiting CMU-Qatar, it was important to acknowledge that we were having the townhall in an Arab country and having a solid number of questioners ask questions in Arabic was a smooth way to do this.

However, whatever political reasons, in a campus where everyone speaks English fluently, this lead to some awkward moments. The questioner who handled this most gracefully is a classmate, who asked a very succinct and poised question about the relationship between the United States and young Muslims, and then, in perfectly accented British English, said “Would you like me to translate?” The audience laughed appreciatively.
It was a perfect convivencia moment.

Inspirational Quote:

“In too many instances, the march to globalization has also meant the marginalization of women and girls. And that must change.”–Hillary Clinton


Get in touch

%d bloggers like this: