As we move into our third year of the Campbell Conversations—and it’s hard to believe that it’s been that long—it’s interesting for me to note that my favorite interviews so far have all been with people who were born outside of this country, talking about themes that relate to American ideals.
First was Jan Carnogursky, the former dissident in Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia. He was jailed prior to the Velvet Revolution, co-founded the Christian Democratic Movement of Slovakia, and then went on to become the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic and the Justice Minister of independent Slovakia. In my interview, he spoke with passion—and humor—about his country’s struggle for freedom, and his own trials and tribulations. (You can find that interview here.)
Then came Hazim Hamed, Chief of Staff in the Office of Vice President of Iraq from 2008 to 2011, and former advisor to Iraq’s President Talabani. In an interview that obviously touched on sensitive professional and political issues for him, he mourned the lost promise of democracy in the American invasion of Iraq, especially in its aftermath. (I'm working on making that interview available.)
And now, in this week’s broadcast, is my conversation with Lopez Lomong. He’s the former Lost Boy of Sudan who became the American Olympic distance runner, and the author of the new book, Running for my Life. His story was so powerful and inspiring that it was very difficult for me to focus on the mechanics of the interview. He spoke about his love and gratitude for the U.S., his personal faith, and the efforts he’s making in South Sudan through his charity, 4 South Sudan. Would that the political candidates I’ve been interviewing had as good an answer as he regarding the one thing he would change about America. It’s definitely worth a listen. After the 9/14 broadcast, you can find it here.