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CONNECT THE WORLD
Connect the World 2016: A in Review. 10:00a-10:30a ET
Aired December 26, 2016 - 10:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:01:44] BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: Hello and welcome to Connect the World with me,
Becky Anderson. This is a special edition in which we relive the team's favorite moments in arts, culture, and entertainment over the past year.
And in the house, a very special guest for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREVOR NOAH, HOST, THE DAILY SHOW: I believe in the power of a joke.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We Emiratis, wearing our gear, won't stop us.
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: It's very weird, the energy around what you call Arabic artists.
ANDERSON: What's the secret to your continued relevance?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. I suppose I was born like that.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON, ACTOR: Lifetime achievement awards, when I see people getting them, they continue to work, so I hope that's the case for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well,that is all to come.
First, though, I want to take you back to an interview that I did earlier on in the year and a
personal favorite of mine. The South African comedian Trevor Noah was chosen to replace Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, a show that's watched by
millions in America and around the world.
Have a listen to our conversation.
ANNOUNCER: This is The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
ANDERSON: You do comedy and you do it brilliantly so let's do some quick fire.
Jo-berg or New York?
NOAH: Oh, New York. New York any day of the week.
Jo-berg is crazy, but New York is the world.
ANDERSON: Beyonce or Becky with the good hair -- not me, clearly.
NOAH: Why would I do -- even if I was a Becky with the good hair fan, I would never say that on camera, so Beyonce, any day of the week.
ANDERSON: Braise or hot dog.
NOAH: Oh, let me think. That's tough, because you can have a hot dog from a -- you know what? Bray (ph) wins.
ANDERSON: Football or basketball?
NOAH: Football. It's the greatest game in the world, greatest sport ever. Look at what happened with Leicester, it is the greatest game ever.
ANDERSON: Zuma or Trump.
NOAH: Oh, Zuma beats Trump every day, for comedy, though, I think Trump maybe the winner. The more apt comparison would be Julius Molema (ph) or
Trump. Julius Molema (ph) is basically the Donald Trump of South Africa, I would say, although he's a very smart man, but he's leading his revolution.
He's riling up the angry people, saying a lot of things that are separating a lot of people, and no one knows what to do with him. The media can't
stop covering him, so it's pretty much the same thing. You just decide how you want your politician, rare or well done.
ANDERSON: You have often joked about being -- and I quote, born a crime, having a black mom and a white dad during apartheid.
NOAH: My mom was arrested for being with my dad. She would get fined. She would get thrown into prison for the weekend, but still she'd come back.
And she was like, whoo, I don't care. I don't care. Come tell me what you love. I want the white man! Whoo.
ANDERSON: Race, of course is a hot topic in America. And you've said that makes you feel right at home. Explain.
NOAH: I've always been fascinated by race, because I believe it's one of the core disparities that we have in the world, is just all around race,
how we look. And I'm fascinated by that.
And America is not that dissimilar to South Africa in its history, you know, a group of people oppressed, a group of people trying to maintain the
status quo. So for me in America when I go there, I go, oh, yeah, I recognize that racism, that reminds me of home. I recognize that challenge.
It reminds me of home.
So, it's a strange thing to be nostalgic about, but it's something that works for me. And it's something that helps me connect with the issues in
America, because I can relate them to what's happened, always happening back home.
[10:05:36] ANDERSON: You've recently hosted your 100th episode of The Daily Show. And you have conceded that it's been tough. Do you still find humor
NOAH: That's a good question. That's actually a really good question, do I find humor funny? I really do. I really do. I believe in the power of a
joke. I just -- I -- you know, I've laughed my whole life. I've come from a world where no matter how poor we were, no matter how much suffering there
was, we always found a way to laugh.
I think what people take for granted is when you're starting a new show, you are doing exactly that, you're starting a new show. And so any late
night legacy, any legacy has to begin somewhere. You can't manufacture outrage. You can't -- that would be artificial. People will feel that.
What a lot of people thought was you would just get someone in the chair after Jon Stewart and they would continue his anger, whereas he always said
you don't do that. He he said to me, don't be angry, because I wasn't angry when I started.
You know, I read Nelson Mandela's book from people that knew him, even in prison Nelson Mandela was finding a way to laugh and make some jokes. And
that's what people don't get is comedy is a coping mechanism, it is something that helps us deal with everything that is happening.
So, if we're not laughing, all we're doing is crying. So, why not laugh until we cry? And then we get to do both.
ANDERSON: And from comedy to Cuba, world renowned dancer Carlos Acosta has also
helped put his country on the map, but life there changed dramatically this year, from restoring diplomatic ties with the U.S. after more than 50 years
to the recent death of former leader Fidel Castro.
I spoke with Carlos about what the future might hold for his country.
ANDERSON: You were in Cuba recently when President Obama touched down, a historic moment for the country. Take me back. How did that feel? What was
CARLOS ACOSTA, BALLET DANCER: Oh, it was great. He make this amazing speech in the old theater in Cuba, very inspirational. You know, it was a
speech of reconciliation.
You know, my parents died a couple years ago and they died without knowing that this day he was ever going to be possible.
You know, and there he was -- Obama, American president in the national scene, when I dance so many times.
ANDERSON: Are you concerned that that Cuba that you know, that Cuba that you love, will change immeasurably now?
ACOTSA: I don't think it will. You know, I think, of course, Cuba will become something else
because when all this information and all this, you know, gathering of people come in it will create a big impact. But always the Cuban spirit
will surface. And, you know, what you do, you not the same kind of person 20 years ago. You evolve, I evolve, we all evolve, and the country will as
ANDERSON: Geometric patterns, intricate and beguiling, the trademark of renowned Iranian artist. Her life, like her work, a wonderful mosaic of
experiences and influences. And at 92 years of age, her international fame still something of a surprise to her.
MONIR FARMANFARMAIAN, IRANIAN ARTIST: I never thought i will be so famous.
ANDERSON: Monir was born in Tehran in 1924 and moved to America to study art in 1945. She went on to become a mainstay of New York's burgeoning art
scene, hanging out with the likes of Andy Warhol and gaining international recognition.
What's the secret, do you think, Monir, to your continued relevance?
FARMANFARMAIAN: I don't know. I suppose I was born like that. I get bored of myself, and is bored of my atmosphere, so always, I wanted to do
something with my hands and express myself with drawing or with color or so, but other than that, I'm not intellectual whatsoever. Whatever it is, it is from my observation from outside, from
the nature, from the beautiful paintings, from art, and song.
[10:10:14] ANDERSON: Monir's work merges the mosaics of Iran with modern western abstraction, creating kaleidoscopes of form and shape. Last year,
she became the first Iranian artist to have a solo exhibition at the renowned New York Guggenheim museum.
FARMANFARMAIAN: Guggenheim, they offered to give me a show. I said, me? Guggenheim? What the hell they are talking about?
ANDERSON: So, you left Iran in 1979. You went back in 2004? What was it like to go back?
FARMANFARMAIAN: It was very sad, but at the same time, for my art, it's the only place I can have a craftsman to do my miller work, to cut my metal
work. I don't know how to cut. I cut a straight line, but you know, to make -- do the small, you see, how small they are and how delicately they
have pasted. I don't have that possibility in Europe.
ANDERSON: You've said there is no philosophy to this, and yet you said there are infinite possibilities. Explain what you mean by those infinite
FARMANFARMAIAN: You see, in (inaudible) I have made rugs that you thought -- there is
more. And I have made drawings. I have made jewelry. Many things in geometry that is infinite.
ANDERSON: Monir Farmanfarmaian, a cultural trail blazer for over half a century, still burning bright, still working, still fascinated and engaged
by the world around her.
FARMANFARMAIAN: Thank you. Thank you so much.
ANDERSON: The United Arab Emirates is home to some pretty powerful women, from F-16 fighter pilots to judges to pioneers in the medical profession.
Noura al-Kaabi is one of these women. After becoming the CEO of Abu Dhabi's media hub TwoFour54 in 2011, Noura is now minister of state for
Federal National Council Affairs. She's one of eight women who currently hold ministerial positions in the country.
NOURA AL-KAABI, UAE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PNC AFFAIRS: Inspiration personally for me comes from my mother, from my father, from the ladies
ANDERSON: I sat down with Nora and a group of successful young women to talk about what inspires them and how they are challenging stereotypes
about women in the region.
What do you put your success down to?
AL-KAABI: I believe it starts with home, it starts with the support, leadership. I think our country, if you -- you always have to look at the
track record and always have to look at measurable, tangible results. That starts with the inception of the country and then later on, it's how --
with the inception of the country there was a focus on human capital.
[10:15:20] KADIJAH HOSARI, INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS, ADAC: It still surprises me, especially when I'm traveling, or I'm dealing with people who
come from abroad they still ask me questions about women empowerment and how we need to like try and strive for it or fight for it, but I really
don't get this impression, but I also don't get why I'm getting these questions.
AL-KAABI: I think the first answer is looking at your constitution. Our constitution already says that there is a gender equality in my country.
SARA AL AHBABI, STUDENT, NYU ABU DHABI: What I have a problem with is this perception that we need to empower women here. I think that the word "need"
should be used in a global context. I think every country should and need to empower women just as much as they empower men.
SARA AL SAYEGH, DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR, IMAGE NATION: There's never been a segregation as to what I can achieve because I'm a woman. Since I was a
teenager, before, I've always known that if I get the right grades, my country is going to give me a scholarship and I can go abroad. That was
never if I can -- if I'm a boy I will be allowed to go abroad, it was always based on common knowledge that if you do well, we will help you.
ANDERSON: In fact, over 70 percent of university graduates in the UAE are women.
Do you, Noura, feel that the government's efforts to empower women trickle down do the attitude towards women at home?
AL-KAABI: Definitely does. It's, you know, the government, you know, there's leading by example. So, we have a woman minister, (inaudible) and I
think I was back then in school and looking at a woman minister it inspired me. So parents say okay, my daughter can achieve that, or she can be that
ANDERSON: Noura, do you get frustrated by what are ofttimes stereotypical perceptions about women from this region.
AL-KAABI: I think we grew a thicker skin.
ANDERSON; Which is just as well, given western obsessions with the Abaya and the hijab.
Co-founder of , recently referred to it as "this abominable thing by which we hide women and make them live a hidden life."
EEMAN AL-AMSARI, FILMMAKER, IMAGE NATION: Granted, that if it is forced upon someone, it's a different scenario as to what I think a lot of us grew
up experiencing as it being a choice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These comments are -- could be of someone who did not put the effort to get to know a culture even more and I always tell myself
to put extra effort, to go the extra mile to get to know a culture, that is foreign to me. And I think that is important.
AL-AMSARI: I would like to add also that too much emphasis I think is put on the way people look on an exterior level and it's -- it's about our work
ethic and our accomplishments and that's what we're recognized for.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our minds. Our minds, that's what's important.
AL-KAABI: We Emiratis. I mean, look at us, wearing our gear won't stop us from doing or reaching to where we want to go.
ANDERSON: Some pretty impressive ladies there.
Right, let me introduce you now to a legend. Quincy Jones, the great music producer whose career has spanned some 60 years. Time magazine has voted
him one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 21st Century.
And he joins me today in his first ever signature Bar, Q's in Dubai.
So, how did you get started? Come on. Remind our viewers.
QUINCY JONES, MUSIC PRODUCER: I wanted to be a gangster until I was 11 because you want to be what you see. And I found a piano. After touching
that piano, I said, I'll be doing this the rest of my life, you know?
And then I started to write arrangements was I was 12 and 13 years old, until my eyes would
bleed, because the only real fear I ever had was not being prepared for a great opportunity.
If Frank Sinatra calls you, boy, you better be ready, you know what I mean? You better be ready.
ANDERSON: Right. Some quick fires, Quincy Jones. Dubai, Chicago, or New York?
JONES: Oh, they're all different, that's what I like about them. Stockholm, Cairo, Shanghai,
Korea. Korea's so ghetto -- Korea is more ghetto than the side of Chicago, it really is, ghetto.
ANDERSON: Oprah Winfrey or Will Smith? You gave them both their first breaks, or at least you helped them out.
JONES: I gave Oprah $35,000 for the Color Purple in '85. She's worth $3 billion today.
ANDERSON: Did she pay you back?
JONES: No. No.
And Will Smith was broke, that's why we put -- made it into a black family. A bougie black family, because that had more drama and it worked.
[10:20:06] ANDERSON: All right, Frank Sinatra or Michael Jackson.
JONES: They're all great. And that's the way I look at music. It's either happening or it's not
happening. If you know your craft, you know when it's not happening.
ANDERSON: And it's been happening for you for 60 years.
JONES: Yes, ma'am.
ANDRESON: What's next?
JONES: I'm just starting. We're doing 10 movies, six albums, and four Broadway shows. And these -- these clubs and restaurants, I'm very excited
about that. That's going to be worldwide, you know.
YASMIN HAMDAN: I like experimenting, so I like inviting people from other cultures and backgrounds to come and just have an experience with me. When
I started doing music, I started dreaming, and I started feeling that I could have access to a larger world. Then slowly, slowly started
becoming this space where I could work on myself too and my identity as an Arabic woman.
I'm a post-war generation, so it was very surreal to be in an environment that was kind of
very damaged by mankind. I felt like a stranger in my own city, because I was in and out from Beirut. I lived in the gulf, I lived in Greece. I
lived in many other places.
In the beginning, I was singing English, and I was -- it was not very serious to me. And actually, I fell in love with old Arabic music. And
one woman in particular was the first woman that, for me, opened the door. Her name is Asmahan (ph), she's a Syrian singer, amazing singer. Ahe died
very young. And through her, I started exploring old Arabic music.
Arabic is somehow -- I wouldn't say taboo, but it's very weird energy around what's, you know, what you call Arabic artists, it's not one world.
It's very varied, it's very plural. It has a lot of pockets. It has a lot of, you know, sub-cultures.
I change sound often. I try not to repeat myself and I get bored or unsatisfied when I find myself in too much of a comfort zone. So, I think
that the -- it also follows. And it's about movement, it's about transformation. It's interesting.
If I can be a small window of that visibility to people who are not from the Arab world, then it's very rewarding for me.
And we've got a lot more on Yasmin Hamdan at CNN.com/Connect.
Now, remember this?
JACKSON: I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.
ANDERSON: Samuel L. Jackson as a hit man in Pulp Fiction. His role in the cult classic earned him an Oscar nomination in the mid-1990s. It is, of
course, just one of countless acting gigs during his impressive career.
Well, we recently caught up with the actor and filmmaker when he was honored with a lifetime
achievement award at the Dubai Film Festival.
[10:25:09] JACKSON: Awesome to be here. I've been trying to get here for a long time.
Lifetime achievement awards are sort of interesting to me. When I think about them, because
the majority of the time, when I see people getting them, they continue to work. So I hope that's the case for me.
To receive an award from a festival like this signifies the fact that I've had some international impact in the film world.
But when I did Pulp Fiction, I knew that the film was fun for us to do, and I knew that I liked it.
I knew my friends would, but I didn't know the film would have the kind of wide appeal that it ended up having.
ANDERSON: Becky Anderson from CNN. My god.
Django is a movie that I've heard so many people say to me that is one of the best movies
I've ever seen. I want to watch it immediately.
JACKSON: Quentin did a wonderful job writing the script and an amazing job directing it and editing it and putting it together and making it
palatable for a lot of people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly welcome to the Hollywood walk of fame, Samuel L. Jackson.
JACKSON: People who write stories and direct stories now tend to populate their film the way
their world is in real life or how they grew up. People grew up with, you know, Indian, Japanese, black, Hispanic friends, so they populate their
stories with those people. And we know for a fact that it makes for a better audience.
We're entertainers. We're here to make people feel better about themselves or going to a big darkroom and have some fun and leave out of there with a
smile on their face, and I'm glad to know that I've been able to do that, you know, all over the planet.
ANDERSON: Well, I hope you've enjoyed the show. Just before we go, I couldn't leave you without getting Quincy's new year's resolutions. What
are they, sir?
JONES: No more politics. Let's get back to the joy. My god. What a year. And I hear the in Chinese astrology, this year is going to be the
year of the rooster and I'm a rooster in Chinese astrology and I'm going to be a real rooster.
ANDERSON: Here's to roosters in 2017.