Sibley Hosts Famous Guests
Over the past two weeks, thanks to the hard work of Mr. Johnson and Se?or Hanson, Sibley has been fortunate to host Afghan journalist Sa?d Lotfullah Najafizada and Latino music star Prince Royce. Their presence has enriched Sibley students' globa...
Over the past two weeks, thanks to the hard work of Mr. Johnson and Señor Hanson, Sibley has been fortunate to host Afghan journalist Saïd Lotfullah Najafizada and Latino music star Prince Royce. Their presence has enriched Sibley students' global perspective.
Afghan journalist Saïd Lotfullah Najafizada came to Henry Sibley on Wednesday, October 6 to speak to a group of students about various aspects of life and reporting in his home country, as well as the role of the United States in Afghanistan. He spoke for about thirty minutes, then took student questions. He spoke mostly about the role of Pakistan in funding the Taliban, as well as his experience working as a reporter for NATO and working to convince the Afghan public that the U.S.'s presence in his country was not an "occupation" as the Soviet presence had been decades before. He also explained that most of the Taliban fighters fight against U.S. and coalition forces for money, not out of political ideology.
Najafizada now works for TOLO TV, a private news organization in Afghanistan. He is the news editor for the online department, but before that, he worked for NATO as a reporter. He was one of ten recipients of the World Press Institute's 2010 Fellowship, and was able to spend two months in the U.S. doing interviews and reports while traveling throughout the country. This year, he and the nine other recipients of the fellowship spent from August 16 to October 8 in the U.S.. They spent the majority of their time in the Twin Cities, but they also traveled to Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Miami, among other places.
The World Press Institute is based in the Twin Cities and has been the premier organization in the U.S. to provide international journalists with the opportunity to investigate the customs, traditions, regions and values of the U.S.
The presentation was set up by Debate coach Jason Johnson and attended mostly by journalism and debate students. Sibley was extremely fortunate to have a guest of such expertise on such relevant international issues.
Prince Royce also made a visit to Sibley. On October 18th, 2010, Prince Royce performed for over 800 Sibley students in the auditorium. Prince Royce is a prominent Latino singer who was recently nominated for a Latin Grammy. His single "Corazon Sin Cara" also reached number one on the Tropical Top 100.
At the performance, Prince Royce discussed his childhood growing up in the Bronx and the pressures that he felt from his peers. After he graduated from high school, he went to college to become a literature teacher. While in college, Royce began recording a demo cd. Prince Royce encouraged the students in the audience to continue following their dreams and to never give up. After his speech, Prince Royce performed his hit "Corazon Sin Cara." Then, all students had the opportunity to have their picture taken with him.
The recent visits from Saïd Lotfullah Najafizada and Prince Royce were excellent cultural experiences for students at Sibley. Sibley students are lucky to have these opportunities right at their fingertips, and hopefully there will be many more to come in the future.