We have a program here in Houston called the Brilliant Lecture Series. Many have graced us with their presence and imparted their wisdom and experiences. Last year, Al Pacino was here to do the Lecture. Before him we such dignitaries as Maya Angelou, Sidney Poitier, etc.
This year it was our great honor to have Mr. Clooney’s charm, wit, intelligence and class.
The issue on his mind, and now is all on our minds is Sudan. He of course wants to create awareness of what is happening to the people of both North and South Sudan. It seems it has to do with, of all things, oil. People killing other people because where they live so just so happens to be sitting on something they want. So they take it. History is steeped, reeks of these atrocities. (“Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it”).
It is beyond heart-breaking to realize that some countries have never bothered to learn.
A question and answer part of the program was next. The first to ask a question was a woman in a bright red headdress who is a refugee from Darfur. She began to speak in her own language. None of us is understanding what she is saying, but it was abundantly clear the feelings of anger and grief that were in her words. Her interpreter then parlayed her message to GC. He told her what he and his foundation, Not on Our Watch, were trying to do to rectify the situation in Sudan. He explained that he’s trying to raise awareness about Sudan by filming what’s happening there and testifying before Congress about the killings of innocent men, women and children. He and others, (his father, Nick for one) accused President Omar al-Bashir of blocking aid and food from hundreds of thousands of civilians stranded near the border between Sudan and South Sudan, a region locked in an ongoing conflict.
GC then posed a question to the lady: “And what is your favorite part of being in this country?”
I was and I’m sure we were all touched by her saying “The best part of being here is that this is the only time in my life in which I’ve been able to attend school”. Just now being able to attend school at age 20. Let that sink in a second.
And now enjoy: Between Two Ferns with George Clooney (eat your heart out Zach Galifianakis) Forgive my amateurish video, and the fact that I was interrupted by someone who told me to stop filming. Pfffft!
Lynn Wyatt (the interviewer) expressed her concern that he had risked his own life when visiting Sudan, Clooney shrugged it off with: “I was in ‘Batman & Robin.’ That was risking my life. I almost killed a franchise.”
Photo credit: Houston Chron.com
I actually saw Joanne (above) right in front of the theater as we were walking (running) in. I should have put two and two together. *face palm*
Not on Our Watch Project: http://notonourwatchproject.org/
The evening ended with a trumpeter playing “Happy Birthday” to Clooney onstage. Afterward, Clooney attended a private dinner at the home of John and Becca Cason Thrash.