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One World with Zain Asher
More Hostages Set To Be Released From Hamas Custody; Tribute Service Underway For Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired November 28, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: It could happen at any moment now. More hostages are set to be released from Hamas custody.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: "One World" starts right now. Together at last, loved ones reunited after agonizing weeks apart. What we
know about what happens next.
ASHER: Also ahead, a stunning rescue. Forty-one Indian workers are taking their first breaths of fresh air in 17 days. We'll have the latest details
GOLODRYGA: Saying goodbye to a legend. The memorial service for former First Lady Rosalynn Carter is slated to begin in the next hour. Hello,
everyone. Live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga.
ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher. You are watching "One World". At any moment now, we are expecting to see at least 10 more hostages released from almost two
months of captivity in Gaza, as we await word that another 10 Israelis captured by Hamas have been released.
GOLODRYGA: Now, their freedom is the key component in the truce between Israel and Hamas. And it could lead to more scenes like these, of families
brought back together after a terrifying seven weeks of uncertainty and fear.
ASHER: And we are also seeing family reunions among Palestinians, as Israel also releases Palestinian prisoners as part of this very exchange deal. But
the big question is, how much longer can all of this last? The truce is, of course, due to run out tomorrow, and though Qatar and the U.S. are pushing
for releases and an extension of the pause. CNN's Oren Liebermann is in Tel Aviv for us, tracking today's hostage-for-prisoner exchange.
Oren, thank you so much for being with us. Obviously, how much of a dilemma does this sort of present to Israel? Of course, the longer this truce goes
on, for the more time Hamas has to sort of re-group. And also, a long truce does in some ways jeopardize Netanyahu's stated goal of completely
destroying and eliminating Hamas.
OREN LIEBERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. From that perspective, it's an incredibly dynamic situation. One thing from the perspective of the
Israeli public is the overwhelming demand for the release of the hostages. We expect to see sometime in the near future, perhaps the next couple of
hours, 10 hostages, women and children coming out tonight, as well as another 10 Israeli women and children coming out tomorrow night.
As of right now, that will be the extent of the agreement that's in place. There is a massive effort to try to continue that agreement. CIA Director
Bill Burns is in Doha, Qatar, where the agreements have taken shape. He is the point man for the U.S. The Mossad is also involved in those
conversations, or at least has been.
The question, can they put something together that not only includes women and children, which is all the current agreement focuses on, but expand
that to also include elderly men, as well as potentially IDF soldiers, both men and women? That is the question for now. The key here, though, is the
focus on first, tonight's exchange. Ten more Israeli hostages coming out in exchange for more Palestinian women and children being released from
Israeli prisons and then the same tomorrow.
We have seen and got a harsh reminder of the fragility of this deal. Israel and Hamas accusing each other of violating the agreement in the most
serious violation of the truce we have seen yet to date. Israel said three explosive devices were planted near the troops and that they were fired
upon in return fire. Hamas blamed Israel for the skirmish.
Regardless, we have heard from the Qataris that they have worked in advance in terms of what to do in a situation like this, they said immediately they
would reach out to both sides and try to walk them back from the edge. It looks like the plan has worked. We have gotten no indication that the deal
itself has fallen apart.
But of course, it remains fragile and will continue to be so as it plays out from this point. Netanyahu under tremendous pressure to keep bringing
back more of the Israeli hostages. It is worth knowing that at the beginning of this agreement, he put forward a list of 300 Palestinian women
and children that could be released from Israeli prisons.
Late last night he added 50 women to that list, which seems to indicate that Israel could keep this going if the agreements are in place for the
release of more hostages. Now, we haven't seen that acted upon yet, but it at least is an indication that there is a possibility of that happening,
Zain, even if it's not a probability that it happens.
ASHER: Right. So, it's possible that this could keep going for at least a few more days, but as you point out, Oren, this truth is so delicate, and
there is, of course, such little trust, such little trust on both sides. Oren Liebermann, live for us there from Tel Aviv, thank you so much.
GOLODRYGA: Well, one of the hostage stories we've been following is that of Emily Hand, the nine-year-old girl whose father initially thought she'd
been killed, only to find out later that she was being held in Gaza. We saw joyful scenes over the weekend because on Saturday, she was released and oh
there she is being reunited with her father the following day. Listen as Thomas Hand tells our Clarissa Ward about that moment, about what it was
like to see his little girl Emily for the very first time.
THOMAS HAND, FATHER OF FORMER HOSTAGE EMILY HAND: I was like, oh, I don't believe it and all of a sudden the door opened up and she just ran. It was
beautiful, just like I imagined it, you know, running together. I squeezed, I probably squeezed too hard. It's only when she stepped back a little, I
could see her face was chiselled like mine, whereas before she left it was, you know, chubby, girly, young kid.
Weight. Yeah, she's lost a lot of body weight. And the color, I've never seen her so white. The other and the most shocking, disturbing part of
meeting was she was just whispering. I couldn't hear. I had to put my ear on her lips, like this close, and say, what did you say? She said I thought
you were kidnapped.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: She said I thought you were kidnapped.
HAND: She thought I was in captivity. They thought they'd kidnapped me. She didn't know what the hell happened apart from that morning. So she's
presumed everyone's kidnapped or killed or slaughtered. She had no idea.
The road to recovery for all of these survivors is going to be so long. And Emily was asked how long she thought she was away. She said one year.
GOLODRYGA: Seven -- seven excruciating weeks, but she thought it was one year.
ASHER: And what an emotional rollercoaster ride for this particular family.
GOLODRYGA: Of course. Well, Emily had already lost her mother to cancer when she was two years old. And then Thomas Hand's former wife was killed
on October 7th. And he had to break the news to Emily that now her second mom was dead.
ASHER: What they have been through. Despite the extended truce in Gaza, there's certainly no break from the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that
Palestinians in Gaza have been going through -- that crisis getting worse with each passing hour.
GOLODRYGA: The World Health Organization says that if health infrastructure there is not restored, more people could die from disease than bombs. Many
Palestinians have used the pause in fighting to return to homes that they were forced to abandon, only to find debris in their place.
ASHER: One man who says he lost 37 -- 37 members of his own family since the war began told CNN that he simply has nothing left -- nothing left but
memories at this point in time as he searched through the rubble looking for something, pretty much anything to rescue.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YASEER ABU SHAMALEH, LOST 37 FAMILY MEMBERS SINCE WAR BEGAN (through translator): I hope that during the truce they can allow in machinery to
lift the rubble of the murdered. It's not just one murdered -- there are thousands. There are more than 7000 bodies under the rubble.
The first murdered was my mother, then my father, then four of my brothers, then three of my sisters, and then ten of my nephews and nieces. They were
all murdered. Around 20 murdered from the family of Naif Mahmoud Hussein Abu Shamallah. There were also around 15 to 17 murdered among my cousins.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Pretty much his entire family. I mean, how on Earth do you move on? How do you keep going after experiencing something like this? And just
worth-noting, he is just one of countless stories of tragedy, of grief that are emerging from Gaza.
GOLODRYGA: CNN's Jomana Karadsheh tells us about one family's devastating loss, but a warning, the report contains some very disturbing images.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Khalid and Reem were inseparable. Her grandfather was her whole world. Her favorite game,
pulling his beard, and he would pull her piggy tails. I will let go, she says, if you let go.
Khalid just can't let go of his little Reem. Now searching for memories amid the rubble of his home. This was Reem's doll, he says. The family was
asleep when an airstrike nearby brought down their house in southern Gaza last week. Khalid woke up screaming for his children and grandchildren,
struggling to walk in the dark and through the wreckage to find them.
I couldn't find anyone. They were buried underneath all this rubble, he says. My daughter Mesa was here. Her children, Reem and Tare, were here in
her arms. Mesa and her sister barely survived. After a few days in intensive care, they're now recovering at a relative's house.
I felt something heavy on top of me. I started screaming, Mesa says. I heard Reem screaming next to me. I told her, there's something heavy on top
of me. I can't reach you. I said my final prayers, and next I woke up in the hospital. Mesa woke up to the news her three and five-year-old children
were gone. Their lifeless bodies found together under the rubble.
They slept next to each other that night. They slept early, she says. I told them to stay up a little longer, but they said they wanted to sleep.
At the hospital, I was just numb, she says. I hugged them. I wanted to get as many hugs as I could. No matter how much I hugged them, I didn't get
Their final days lived in a war they were too young to understand. Why they no longer could dress up, go out and play or get their favorite treats.
With their father abroad working, they lived with their grandfather. Reem was so attached to him and he spoiled her.
They kept asking for fruit, but there is no fruit because of the war, he says. I could only find them these tangerines. Khalid holds the tangerine
he gave Reem, the one she didn't get to eat, and pinned close to his heart, her tiny earring. He breaks down as he remembers their final evening, how
his grandchildren begged him to take them out to play but he couldn't.
Airstrikes were everywhere. Khalid says he's not a fighter. They had nothing to do with the war, but like so many in Gaza, his family paid the
price. Khaled held Reem in his arms for one last time. He hugged her emotionless body, opened her eyes and kissed her goodbye.
I was asking her to kiss me like she used to, but she didn't, he says. I used to kiss her on her cheeks, on her nose, and she would giggle. I kissed
her, but she wouldn't wake up, he recalls. I held Tarek. I fixed his hair the way he liked it.
I was wishing, hoping they were only sleeping, he says. But they weren't sleeping. They're gone. Gone a month before her fourth birthday, the
birthday Reem shared with her grandfather. She was the soul of my soul, Khaled says. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.
ASHER: All right, a tribute service right now for former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter is getting underway in the next hour or so. What we're
looking at here is live pictures just outside Emory University heading towards Glenn Memorial Church, where this tribute service -- tomorrow is
the funeral but the tribute service today is going to be taking place.
This is President Biden, I believe, arriving. He is one of two former U.S. Presidents that are going to be in attendance. In addition to every single
former first lady living in the United States.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, this is not the funeral.
GOLODRYGA: This is a memorial tribute to the former first lady. Former President Jimmy Carter, who is 99 and receiving hospice care at home, is
expected to be at this service as well, along with current President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, and, as you just mentioned, Zain, four former
ASHER: CNN's Eva McKend is joining us live now outside the Memorial Center in Atlanta for us. So Eva, I mean, let's talk about the legacy of such a
remarkable woman. I mean, this is a woman who pretty much transformed the role of First Lady, right? She was somebody who was extremely
compassionate. She was an adviser to her husband. She sat in on cabinet meetings. You know, they really saw themselves as equal partners.
And that's actually because of Rosalynn Carter -- that the First Lady has an office in the White House today in the East Wing.
EVA MCKEND, CNN U.S. NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, she was a remarkable feminist for her time, and she made great strides in terms of
humanizing people battling mental health. I think that is why we are seeing such a tremendous display of outpouring of support from all across the
state, the country, the world, because Rosalynn Carter was a legendary figure in her own right.
We will see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform today, country music stars, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood. And I'm learning from her family that
actually before she passed, she designed much of what we will see today in this tribute service. She had a hand in this and how she wanted to be
And remarkably, a testament to the true love between the former president and her that he will be here today despite his diminishing health. He's not
expected to speak, but he was determined to come. His grandson telling me he wouldn't have missed it for the world.
ASHER: And actually, Eva, as you are speaking there, we actually saw live images of President Clinton arriving, as well. And I just want to read,
just quickly, Jimmy Carter's statement upon hearing the news of his wife passing, which I just thought was just so touching. I'll read it to our
"Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I accomplished. She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was
in the world, I always knew that somebody loved and supported me."
I mean, that gives me chills. After 77 years of marriage, if your husband says it about you, you know that you have done something right. Just talk
to us a bit more about their bond, about their union.
MCKEND: Yeah, they had an incredible reunion. Up until recently, they would walk through their tiny town of Plains hand in hand, having peanut ice
cream together. They were together up until the very end. I learned from his niece that he is incredibly sad right now but that he just wants to be
here among family to celebrate her life.
ASHER: All right, Eva McKend, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
GOLODRYGA: The longest married couple in U.S. presidential history.
ASHER: Seventy-seven years.
GOLODRYGA: The Bushes thought that they could beat them, but no. Seventy- seven years of bliss and partnership.
ASHER: You couldn't put cigarette paper between them. They were so tight. They were so close.
GOLODRYGA: It's so wonderful that he's able to pay tribute to his Rosie, as he called her. Well, coming up, and they're free. One by one, all 41
construction workers trapped inside a collapsed tunnel in India have now been pulled to safety.
ASHER: Here's one construction worker emerging from the tunnel under the Himalayas. He and the others were in the dark for 17 days. In the dark, for
that long. The men were quickly taken by ambulance to hospitals nearby. The laborers have been trapped inside since November 12, after part of a tunnel
that they were building gave way, blocking completely their only exit.
GOLODRYGA: CNN's Vedika Sud is in New Delhi with the story of their miraculous recovery and rescue. And you have been covering this all day for
us. What a relief for a country that's been watching this with bated breath.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Of course, I mean, you just mentioned it, didn't you? Seventeen days in the dark -- they get to see daylight only tomorrow
morning because it's already close to 10 o'clock here local time. But what a miracle this has been for them.
I think there was a point when even the family members started losing hope because all the drilling machines -- most of them heavy drilling machines
that were brought in over the last 16 days, rather, some of them actually broke down.
And the last two meters that they had to cover of inserting that pipe into this passageway where those debris, where there was metal and where there
were rocks. That took place today. And those two meters were done manually drilling through the debris.
So, that was the biggest challenge they faced over the last few days. There have been heartbreaks, there have been heartaches, there's been
disappointment. But today was a day that India is celebrating. The rescue teams are celebrating and there were only smiles.
And this sense of relief on the faces of those 41 men who were pulled out from that tunnel through the pipe. In fact, the Chief Minister of the
State of Uttarakhand even said that we had these stretchers ready for them to pull them out of the pipe, but they chose to crawl out and they seem to
be in very good condition. Back to you.
GOLODRYGA: Wonderful to hear that they're in good condition after all that they've endured. Vedika Sud, thank you.
ASHER: All right, still to come here on "One World", CNN speaks to Israel's first lady about those deadly attacks by Hamas militants and in particular
as well, violence against women.
ASHER: It's no secret that rape is often used as a weapon of war. And the brutal Hamas attacks of October 7th in southern Israel apparently seem to
follow that same gruesome pattern. Since that dark day, bystanders have shared a number of terrifying accounts of sexual assault and rape allegedly
carried out by Hamas militants.
And while these sorts of crimes are often hard to document because of a lack of eyewitnesses, there is another glaring issue. Many of the victims
cannot speak for themselves because they are no longer alive.
GOLODRYGA: Israel held a U.N. meeting in Geneva this week to raise awareness about what women and girls endured during that deadly attack.
Israel is launching an investigation into allegations of rape and other sexual violence by Hamas, which the militant group denies. The U.S.
ambassador to the U.N. told a security council last week that the world needs to remember.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: It has been less than two months since Hamas carried out its barbaric terrorist attack
against Israel. But many members of this council seem to have forgotten or attempted to erase the horrors of that day, and many still cannot bring
themselves to unequivocally condemn Hamas' acts of terror.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Time now for The Exchange. The First Lady of Israel has written an editorial in Newsweek about what she describes as the mass rape of women
by Hamas. She writes, quote, the silence of international human rights organizations and the unwillingness to believe Israeli women in the face of
overwhelming evidence has been devastating.
Michal Herzog, First Lady of Israel, joins us now live from Tel Aviv. Madam First Lady, thank you so much for taking the time to join us. It is a very
powerful and painful op-ed and no first lady wants to write something like that but you felt the need to, given what you call the silence in the
global community and women's organizations.
Just yesterday, a prominent Israeli human rights organization, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, called for the International Criminal Court to
investigate whether these accounts of sexual abuse committed against Israeli women by Hamas and terrorists constitutes crimes against humanity.
This is an issue that should outrage the world and yet, we aren't hearing much outrage at all from many of these organizations that support women.
GOLODRYGA: Can you talk about why you feel this isn't just a betrayal for Israeli women, but it should be for women around the world?
MICHAL HERZOG, FIRST LADY OF ISRAEL: I think it's very disappointing -- very disappointing because the human rights organizations and especially
organizations that were created to protect the rights of women, to prevent exactly what happened in Israel on October 7th, the use of gender-based
violence as a weapon of war -- that's exactly what these organizations were meant to prevent, or at least shout out against.
And Israeli women are very disappointed that the voice of these international organizations has not come out. There is no condemnation from
organizations like U.N. Women. And it is very disappointing because it's not only --
GOLODRYGA: Madam First Lady, I'm so sorry to interrupt you. We are having technical difficulties. We cannot hear you on our end. We're going to take
a quick commercial break, and I want to come back and pick up with what you've been saying. Because it is so important that our audience hears your
words. So, please stand by for us, and we'll try to work this issue out. And we'll be right back.
ASHER: All right. Welcome back, everybody. Before the break, we had been talking about how Israeli women had paid such an incredibly high price
during the attacks of October 7th and the fact that rape had been used as a weapon of war by Hamas militants. We had some technical difficulties with
our guest, Michal Herzog, the First Lady of Israel.
I do want to bring her back in, because Bianna had asked you a question about the sort of lack of outrage. And you had expressed, as I understand
it -- we did have technical difficulties, because we couldn't hear you -- because as I understand that you had expressed your disappointment in the
fact that there had been so much silence from international bodies, especially women's groups around the world.
I just want to ask you, why -- why do you think that the international community has been so silent regarding this particular issue in terms of
violence against Israeli women?
HERZOG: Well, I think that, perhaps, the misconception and the view that you know, war belongs to men and they create these terrible atrocities or
that's what happened on October 7th. And I do hope now that there is a change -- at first, I must say, the first days, it took us a while, even
me, myself, to realize how bad the events were, how terrible the attacks, the specific attacks against women were, and the use of their bodies as
tools of war. And it was kept a little under the radar for the first few days.
And then when the realization that such atrocities and such terrible cases of rape, of mutilation of bodies of young women happened, then Israeli
women turned to their colleagues around the world. And that's where the disappointment is, because Israelis have been on the forefront of fighting
for women's rights in international organizations for many years now.
GOLODRYGA: And I'll be speaking with one of those women -- an expert, Ruth Kadari in the next hour on this very issue --
GOLODRYGA: -- someone who has been affiliated with the U.N. for over 12 years. I want to read a response from U.N. women, a tweet that they put
out. They've actually issued several statements since October 7th. Critics have said they're rather vague and lack the accusations and the specific
horrors of what investigators have found. But here's their latest from November 24th.
"We met with Israeli women's organizations and heard about the work of the Civil Commission for Crimes Against Women and Children. We remain alarmed
by gender-based violence reports on October 7th and call for rigorous investigation prioritizing the rights, needs, and safety of those affected.
Again, not included are the words Hamas or rape or atrocities against Israeli women committed specifically on October 7th. I'm worried."
Are you concerned at all that the lack of a forceful response here has led many to deny what we're hearing and the allegations, the reports, what the
investigations have resulted in. I mean, just a couple of weeks ago, the University of Alberta fired its director for sexual assault center for even
questioning those crimes.
HERZOG: So, that's it. When U.N. women, the strongest word they can use is we are alarmed, then I'm very alarmed, that they don't understand what
happened. And the facts are there. There are videos. There are witnesses. Unfortunately, unfortunately, the women that were victims cannot stand for
themselves because they were killed. They were murdered. Their bodies were mutilated. They cannot speak up for themselves.
So, that is why when they say I'm alarmed, they are alarmed, I am alarmed, that this is the only, the strongest word they can use. It is very alarming
because we need to understand, today, it's Israeli women, tomorrow it can be others.
ASHER: Madam First Lady, you're Israeli, right, and you are the First Lady of Israel. But obviously, the most important title that you have is that of
mother. And I'm a mother myself, and one of the most heartbreaking stories that I've come across is the story of that 10-month-old baby, right, Kfir
Bibas, being held hostage. I mean, I just, as a mother, I cannot even imagine just children as young as that.
I mean, any child, really. But children as young as 10 months being snatched from their families, being taken hostage. You're hearing of
mothers who just can't eat, can't sleep until their children come home. Just in terms of this being the sort of climate for Israeli mothers right
now, you know, Israeli mothers just sort of feeling this collective heartbreak, what do you say to Israeli mothers?
What do you say, just given the sort of collective trauma that mothers, I mean when one mother goes through something difficult, all mothers sort of
feel it collectively, we have that shared bond. What do you say to Israeli mothers right now?
HERZOG: So, I must say, I've met Kfir, the baby who is already almost 11 months old. Imagine, he was taken hostage when he was nine months old, he's
now almost 11 months old. This is incredible. This is really incredible.
And I must confess that the most difficult -- most difficult conversations of my life have been with the families of the hostages, especially of the
children and it is heartbreaking. And that is why Israeli mothers, Israelis at large, demand that all the hostages are returned. There are still
children under 18, youngsters, held hostage.
And you know it's heartbreaking because we have -- I'm sorry to say, but we have a new game in Israel, as ironic as it sounds. It's ISIS roulette or
Hamas roulette. Every evening, all Israelis watch TV breathlessly and wait -- and wait for a glimpse of the hostages that are to be returned by Hamas
that evening. And it's heartbreaking because you see young children.
Yesterday, two twins, three years old, that's all -- that's all. That's their age -- three years old, were returned by Hamas -- returned under
horrible circumstances. You know, the hostages are demanded by Hamas to wave as if they're departing from France. And we're just -- it's
unbelievable. And until every single hostage is back in Israel, I don't think we can rest. I don't think we can feel that this can end without
every single person back in Israel.
GOLODRYGA: It is a game from hell. We're hearing just the reports of what these children, what these poor people went through. They were forced to
waive for propaganda, but we're hearing details of a 12-year-old boy who was forced to watch the October 7th atrocities first-hand and threatened
not to scream at all. Michal Herzog, First Lady of Israel, we appreciate your time. Thank you so much for being with us today.
HERZOG: Thank you very much.
ASHER: All right, dignitaries are gathering in Atlanta right now for the tribute service of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. The hearse carrying
her casket just arrived at the church. The choir has actually begun to sing ahead of the service. Mrs. Carter died a few days ago, November 19th, at
the age of 96.
Her husband Jimmy Carter is going to be in attendance, as well. The 99- year-old former president, who has been in hospice care, will be attending for the full service. We're hearing he's not going to be speaking during
the tribute service. In addition to the Bidens, former first ladies will also be in attendance, as well.
GOLODRYGA: Rosalynn Carter devoted her life to public service before, during and after her husband's presidency. She tackled issues like mental
illness and homelessness.
ASHER: I want to take a closer look at Rosalynn Carter's life of public service. We're joined live now by CNN Political Analyst, Julian Zelizer,
who is a historian and professor at Princeton University.
Julian, thank you so much for being with us.
JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you.
ASHER: I think that one of the things that I learned about Rosalynn Carter just sort of researching her life was just really how much she advocated
for things like caregivers and mental health issues and that sort of thing. I mean, she really did have a very big heart. She was an extremely
compassionate person. Just give us a sense of how the world, Georgia especially, is going to remember her.
ZELIZER: I think they'll remember her as a remarkable and somewhat unappreciated first lady for what she accomplished. Her work on mental
health was in the late 1970s. She was working with the administration -- within the administration on this issue at a time when many Americans
wouldn't talk about the issue of mental health in public policy.
She was working with the administration, within the administration on this issue at a time when many Americans wouldn't talk about the issue of mental
health and public politicians shied away from it for fear of political damage. And there she was -- and she remained for the rest of her life
advocating for better policies and better programs to deal with these questions. So, I think that will be part of what people memorialize today.
Not just her good heart, but her hard policy work on this question.
GOLODRYGA: And she really blazed her own trail and ahead of her time in the sense that she didn't want to marry Jimmy when he first asked for her hand
because she promised her father that she would graduate from college. She graduated valedictorian from high school.
And really was not only just a devoted wife but a real partner to her husband. And whether it was military service that called them to pick up
and move cross country or return back home when his own father died to run the family business.
You know, one can say, you know, the woman made the man. But I think the former president would also agree that he likely wouldn't have made his way
all the way to the top as governor, as then president, without a wife like Rosalynn.
ZELIZER: Yeah, I think that's totally accurate. And if you read his memoirs and his own accounts of his life, she is front and center, not simply as a
wife, but as a true partner. And this was important during his presidency. I mean, he's president at the height of the feminist movement in the 1970s
when feminism is arguing that you needed a two-income household, that both spouses should have a full professional life.
And that is what they lived. He really brought the office of the First Lady to a new level, literally formalizing the office, granting its staff, et
cetera, but also being an advisor to the president, traveling to Latin America during his presidency, and meeting with key officials, and much
So, that partnership is both amazing in terms of a story of a marriage. But it also represented a lot in this country at a time when many Americans
were questioning traditional arrangements for the family and the way in which women had not been able to live a full life.
ASHER: Right. She championed women's rights, she championed mental health issues, caregiver issues, equal rights, a whole host of issues. And it's
very heartening to see the entire country come together to really honor --
GOLODRYGA: We're going to be choked up. I had to say.
ASHER: But Julian Zelizer, live for us there. Thank you so much.
GOLODRYGA: And I'll be back at the top of the hour to talk with a former speechwriter and close friend of the Carters. They were known to have a
good sense of humor, so I think they would appreciate that.
ASHER: "One World" continues next.
ASHER: Today, CNN is holding its third annual Call to Earth Day. Call to Earth is CNN's commitment to really raising awareness of environmental
issues and highlighting how people are promoting conservation. In Nairobi, Kenya, a program run by the 2021 Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the
Year, Paula Kahumbu, is helping connect students with nature by getting them out of their classrooms and into the wild. CNN's Larry Madowo has
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Excitement in the air as these girls from SHOFKO Kibera School for Girls in Nairobi, Kenya prepare
to head into the wild. They call themselves Wildlife Warriors. Young Kenyans committed to protecting Africa's wild landscapes. These girls live
in Kibera, a densely populated informal settlement with very few green spaces. But today, they will travel less than 15 minutes to be a world away
in Nairobi National Park.
UNKNOWN: Yeah, it's a big cut.
MADOWO (voice-over): The organization Wildlife Direct brings underserved children to parks across East Africa to connect with nature.
PAULA KAHUMBU, CEO, WILDLIFE DIRECT: Most of our children today are being raised in cities or in places where they have absolutely no access to
MADOWO (voice-over): Conservationist Paula Kahumbu believes it's vital for all Africans to be front and center in preserving the natural world.
KAHUMBU: This is an outdoor classroom. There isn't anything like it in their schools, surroundings, in their communities. Why wouldn't we want our
children to fall in love with nature, especially at a time when Kenya is so severely affected by climate change, we're losing our species, which is our
livelihoods and our life support systems.
MADOWO: How do you compare this with where you come from?
BRENDA AWUOR, STUDENT: I compare this because this park has trees and it brings us fresh air. And where we live, there are no trees. The air is not
okay for us.
MADOWO (voice-over): For low-income students like these, access to these parks is a critical first step in learning to co-exist with their wild
UNKNOWN: White rhino -- 2000 to 3600 kilograms.
MADOWO: Does anybody want to tell me why it's important to protect the park and the animals.
FAITH NYANGATE, STUDENT: In order to avoid human and animal conflict because when you come and spoil and damage their surroundings they'll come
to the city and also damage our surroundings. Rare surroundings they are as the only capital city in the world with a national park. These students
don't need to go far to see what is worth protecting.
UNKNOWN: So, you need to use your voice as a wildlife warrior to protect these animals. So, anything else that you can do?
UNKNOWN: We can reuse plastic waste and come out with items.
UNKNOWN: So, you need to keep your environment clean by reusing, reducing and recycling.
KAHUMBU: These amazing animals -- we're here in the capital city, we have mega fauna. There isn't any other place like this in the world. We want
children to feel pride, love and curiosity so that they will remember this no matter where they go in their lives. They will remember this connection
MADOWO (voice-over): The program reaches 10,000 students a year across the region. Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.
ASHER: All right, these are images here of live pictures of the tribute service for former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. As we understand it, the
program is going to get started in just a few minutes from now. Mrs. Carter passed away November 19th at the age of 96.
I want to bring in Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley to talk about her life and legacy. Doug, thank you so much for being with us. What
lessons should we take away from the former First Lady's life? Do you think, Doug?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Rosalynn Carter first and foremost was a good Samaritan. She was, you know, born and raised in
Plains, Georgia, went on to great things in life, being first lady of Georgia, and then the first lady of the United States did international
admission as first lady to Latin America, but always was trying to give a helping hand to people.
For decades, after they left the White House, the Carters went to try to help people that have river blindness -- Guinea worm disease. She wanted to
eradicate polio. She would go on habitat for humanity house builds all day long building houses for low income people. It was never about being royal.
It was never about being regal.
There was zero elitism to her. She had a kind of down home sense of what it meant to be a good neighbor, and she brought that onto the world stage. And
we need more of that now. A lot of love and caring about her community.
ASHER: Yeah, I mean, there was almost a saintly level of humility that you saw in the Carters. You know, where she started in life is so different
from where she's sort of ending in life. I mean, she is the daughter of a dressmaker, a bus driver, and a farmer. Her dad had multiple jobs, as did
But here she is, the former First Lady of the United States, being honored by so many dignitaries today. I mean, just talk to us about that remarkable
turn of events. What was it like for her being catapulted into the spotlight?
BRINKLEY: I traveled with her to places like Haiti and Israel and other countries. And she never really cared a lot about dignitaries. She really
wasn't about trying to meet the most important person. It was really about getting to know school children and local teachers. It was part of her
Christian outreach. She had friends and she misses them. I saw Ted Turner, who was the founder of CNN at 85. And she would have loved to have been
there for his birthday. They were tight.
She was close to people like John Lewis and Andy Young from the Civil Rights Movement. They inspired her. But she was somebody who really wanted
to be a mother. She raised three boys. She had to raise a young daughter in the White House.
She put being a mom first and foremost and her sense of extended family. Every year the Carters would all meet, a big congregation and go someplace
in the world. And she learned to enjoy fly-fishing which became a great favorite of hers and hiking in the woods. And she would go on long walks.
She actually became a naturalist in her later decades. So, she was somebody connected to the Earth and saw wherever she was at as a sacred landscape.
ASHER: Yeah, I mean, she was remarkable -- remarkable person. Just to sort of recap to our audience, if you're just joining us, these are live
pictures of Glenn Memorial Church at the Emory University campus in Atlanta, Georgia, where any moment now, the tribute service for former
First Lady Rosalynn Carter is set to begin.
We are expecting to see her husband, Jimmy Carter. This will be the first time we've actually seen Jimmy Carter since he attended a peanut festival
at the age of 99 in late September. That was the last time we saw him. Obviously, he has been in hospice care for the past few months.
And Rosalynn Carter, really a legendary figure, as Douglas and I were just talking about -- a legendary figure, quite separate and apart from her
remarkable husband. Douglas was just talking about the fact that she was somebody who really dedicated her life -- dedicated her life to service, to
compassion, and some of the issues that she really cared about were of course, mental health issues, fighting for those with disabilities, as
And Douglas, we have to leave it there. We are out of time. Thank you so, so much for joining us on this very special day. And that does it for this
hour of "One World". I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. Amanpour is up next. You're watching CNN.