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Bombay born Fareed Zakaria Journalist and CNN Host Visits UNLV

Fareed Zakaria, one of the modern times most influential international thinker, journalist, foreign policy expert and host of CNN’s GPS, came to UNLV to speak to support an importance of liberal education. 

Fareed was invited to speak at UNLV as a part of the Barrick Lecture Series.  Fareed’s deep understanding and thoughtful analysis of world social and political matters has put him on a global stage of intellectual thinkers and policy makers.  Fareed with an incredible academic and professional background has become a most sought after speaker in the world.  Fareed completed his Bachelor degree from Yale and received his Ph.D. from Harvard.  Prior to CNN, Fareed, at 28, was the youngest managing editor of Foreign Affairs.  He was also the editor of Newsweek International and Editor-at-Large at Time magazine.

Fareed’s lecture was attended by a jam packed audience at the Alta Ham Hall at UNLV campus on Tuesday, February 9th, where he professed his passion & commitment for liberal education.

Swadeep Nigam, Commissioner, NV Equal Rights Commission and President, SAPNA – South Asian Political Network Alliance, and Tony Purewal, Assistant Secretary, SAPNA along with their spouses were invited to a pre-lecture VIP reception to meet with Fareed Zakaria.  Simi Purewal brought Fareed’s latest book – In Defense of a Liberal Education, which he gladly autographed. 



At the VIP reception, Fareed spoke about the current state of political affairs especially the revolt by the Republican and Democrats base supporters.  “Really extraordinarily unusual.  Democrat Party usually wants to fall in love,” he said. He commented that Republicans generally fall in line, however, they are now trying to fall in love.  Insurgency is taking place within both the parties and with many options on the Republican side with hard right, religious and economic conservatives. “They are fed up and want the true conservative,” he said.  Fareed believes Trump is an opportunist and he (Trump) himself doesn’t believe in half of what he says.  Trump only talks about immigration, immigration, immigration and terrorism, terrorism, terrorism.  However, Fareed gave Trump credit for exploiting an important divide among the Republican base.  On Democratic side, Fareed doesn’t believe that Bernie Sanders will be able to win and will go downhill after New Hampshire win.  The left has coalesce around Hillary Clinton.

Moving on to the main lecture, where Las Vegans were eagerly waiting to hear from him, Fareed started with his early upbringing in India.  He talked about watching the only American show available on the state controlled Indian TV – I Love Lucy.  He came across the opening theme of American show, Dallas and his infatuation for American.  At that time, he believed an incredible feeling of optimism, energy and enormous vitality of the United States.  With his deep understanding of historical and current economic, social and political realities, he spoke eloquently on America’s strength and exceptionalism in the world.

Fareed’s evening lecture was related to his NY Times bestselling book– In Support of Liberal Education.  He strongly emphasized that in early part of the prior century, the broad general liberal education became a distinctive part of American university system.  His first class in history at Yale led him to the fondness for liberal arts rather than science and engineering.  At Yale, he found the magic of broad liberal science and fell in love with the idea of in-depth learning.  He mentioned Steve Wynn and Mark Zuckerberg and their exceptional background in liberal arts.  Both Steve and Mark strongly believe their success in the business world is attributable to their background in English and Psychology, respectively.  In the current race to be on the top of highly technologically connected world, Fareed believes a solid foundation in creativity, writing, speaking and ultimately learning comes from solid commitment to liberal education.

Fareed talked about the exceptionalism of American society, the deep trust and confidence in American institutions, a functioning society and a functioning global power.  He compared the other Western countries with United States and mentioned the demographic decay of some of the European countries due to zero population growth.  US has the youth power and is demographically vibrant society.  Fareed briefly spoke about the rising intellectual power of the new generation of America and is intensely optimistic about the future of America.  In the closing, Fareed’s final message was – “major in things you love.” 

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