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Annie Lennox Speaks about HIV Pandemic
Aired March 12, 2010 - 15:03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: This week, huge global issues at stake whose solutions are blocked at the pinnacles of power, but we discover the power of people trying to break the deadlock.
I'm Christiane Amanpour, and welcome to our program.
It's been a very interesting week, and we're talking to individuals who are trying to succeed where politicians are failing, from the Middle East peace process to the fight against terrorism. Take, for instance, the Islamic cleric Sheikh Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri. He told us about his extraordinary new fatwa against suicide bombing and militant violence.
And in the Middle East, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden tried to push the parties into indirect talks, but got stuck in the sands of the Israeli- Arab conflict. But we spoke with Israel's most prominent author and a Palestinian lawyer who are trying to get the process unstuck by building on a terrible tragedy.
And we hear more about reconciliation and recognizing the basic good in all of us from someone who knows, and that is South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He talks about the new book he's written with his daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, CO-AUTHOR, "MADE FOR GOODNESS": After God creates, God says, it is not just good, it's very good. And God rubs both hands and says, "Ha, ha."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And later this hour, that's singer and activist Annie Lennox, and she tells us how South Africa spurred her into the battle against AIDS.
But we begin with the Muslim scholar who issued that fatwa against terrorism, Sheikh Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri. In his 600-page ruling, the sheikh cited a verse of the Koran which says that Allah does not like mischief and violence. And in a press conference announcing the fatwa, this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHEIKH MUHAMMAD TAHIR UL-QADRI, ISLAMIC SCHOLAR: Terrorism is terrorism. Violence is violence. It has no place in Islamic teachings.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: No ifs and no buts, says the sheikh, but he faces a tough challenge: selling the message to radical Muslims like these. He sat down with us for a U.S. exclusive.
AMANPOUR: Joining me now from London is Sheikh Muhammad Tahir ul- Qadri.
Thank you very much for joining me. Why now? And why is this fatwa different than some of the others that have been issued against terrorism?
QADRI: This -- this fatwa which I have issued now is not a first step which I have taken on this direction. I wrote a voluminous book on human rights soon after 9/11 which described and elaborated the same concept at that time--
AMANPOUR: So does that mean--
QADRI: -- which was published--
AMANPOUR: Does that mean people aren't listening, that you need to keep writing it? What makes this one different, if it is different, than the others?
QADRI: But this was -- this time, I took the decision to write a fatwa, as a jurisprudential ruling which should include and which has included hundreds of authorities and evidences from Koran and from traditions of Holy Prophet and classical authorities of Islamic history in order to explain that any good intention or any mistake of foreign policy of any country or any pretext cannot legalize the act of terrorism.
And terrorism and violence cannot be considered to be permissible in Islam on basis of any excuse.
QADRI: So I gave a step here (ph).
AMANPOUR: Well, you've made that very clear, but who do you think is going to listen? Is it the committed extremist, the committed suicide bomber? In other words, some are complaining that your fatwa is only going to reach like-minded Muslims such as yourself and not the people who need to hear this.
QADRI: No, this is not the case. I would divide these people whom I have addressed or those who this fatwa is going to reach into three categories. I would exclude just a very little number of those radicals who have already been brainwashed and they are not ready to listen to any reasoning, but hundreds of thousands of youth who are on the path who have potential to be radicalized, but they have not yet reached the stage of being brainwashed, they are going to listen to this fatwa. This fatwa is going to change their mind.
And then millions of other youth or Muslim ummah, they can be reached by the extremist, they can be misguided by the wrong interpretations of Islam, they can be put on the wrong track by putting the wrong concept of jihad in their minds, wrong concept of shahadah (ph) in their minds, although they are not radicals and they're not suicide bombers now, but they can be misguided in future who this fatwa is going to change their mind--
QADRI: -- by clarifying the concept.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, let me ask you about clarifying the concept. And you mentioned people's false ideas about what it meant. You used the word shahadah (ph), martyrdom, et cetera. We have this concept that's called a word cloud that we use, and we've used it to examine the words in your fatwa, and we can see very, very pronounced the words "bombings," "suicide," "fatwa," "terrorism," "Islam," and there in the middle is the word "Khawarij."
We looked up in the Hadith and we saw the word "Khawarij" looked up there. And, of course, the Hadith is the words of the Prophet Muhammad, as other people have taken down those words, and he has said there in the Hadith that there will appear within my nation differences and division, people who will perfect their speech and make evil their actions. They will call to the book of Allah, yet they have nothing to do with it. Whoever fights against them has more right upon Allah than they do.
Are the present-day terrorists like the Khawarij?
QADRI: No, I'm not saying (ph) the normal Muslims to stand up against anybody or to start any kind of armed struggle.
I am totally condemning the armed struggle of any kind. The basic -- I am trying to clarify the concept that Holy Prophet, as you explained -- when Holy Prophet said that the Khawarij is a movement, this movement and the people who were Khawarij in the beginning and they will continue until the day of judgment at the appearance of anti-Christ. And Holy Prophet said they will appear and they will emerge and re-emerge at least more than 20 times in the history.
And they will believe in terrorism. They will believe in mass killing. They will believe in enforcing their ideology with arms. They will believe in any kind of torturing the people so that they might bring their age and true force (ph) forward--
QADRI: So these Khawarij people, they are declaring the whole Muslim ummah non-Muslims, and they are declaring the non-Muslims as their blood is lawful to be shed, their bloodshed is lawful.
AMANPOUR: Right. So--
QADRI: So this was the Khawarij ideology, which is continuing until today.
QADRI: And I think that terrorists of today, no doubt about that, that they are -- this is the continuity of Khawarij movement.
AMANPOUR: OK. I want to ask you a personal question. A friend of yours, a cleric, Mr. Naimi, was a close friend of yours, and he also spoke out against extremism and terrorism. There we have him on the screen. He was assassinated after issuing a verbal fatwa on national television.
Are you afraid now that you've come out and made this very powerful statement -- are you afraid for your own life?
QADRI: I am not afraid of any human being on the surface of Earth. I am working for the good cause, for pleasure (ph) of my lord, my creator. I am working for a peaceful atmosphere for humanity. I am working to bridge up the East and West and Muslim world and the Western world to remove the hatreds, to remove all misunderstandings, and I am working and striving for the peace, bringing the peace back to the minds of people, to the spirits of people, while fighting against every kind of divisions and clashes.
AMANPOUR: All right.
QADRI: So this is a good cause. I am not afraid of anybody. It depends upon whatever my lord wants. If I have to live, I will live. Otherwise, I'm not afraid of this situation.
AMANPOUR: And on that note--
QADRI: Anybody's who's afraid of this situation, they will never like these kind of fatwa, they will never declare this kind of -- truth is truth. One has to -- one have to live for truth and to die for truth, yes.
AMANPOUR: And on that note, Mr. Sheikh ul-Qadri, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us from London.
QADRI: And thank you very much, too.
AMANPOUR: And next, we talk to Israel's most prominent author and to a Palestinian lawyer. Both together, they are trying to break the mold.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMOS OZ, AUTHOR: And I think any Arab who read this book will find it more difficult to hate the Jews than before reading this book.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: We often find that people are ahead of their politicians, particularly in places like the Middle East, where histories even among enemies are inextricably linked. Take the tragedy of Palestinian lawyer Elias Khoury, whose son was killed by a Palestinian gunman.
To honor his son, Khoury has now commissioned an Arabic translation of one of Israel's most famous novels. It's called "A Tale of Love and Darkness," and it's written by this man, Amos Oz, Israel's most prominent authors.
We spoke to them both this week.
AMANPOUR: Joining me now from Tel Aviv, Amos Oz, and from Jerusalem, Elias Khoury. And this is the first time they're appearing together on international television.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining me to talk about this remarkable story.
Mr. Khoury, if I could ask you first, what led you -- what is the story as we mentioned that led you to have Mr. Oz's book translated into Arabic?
ELIAS KHOURY, PALESTINIAN ATTORNEY: As you know, my -- I lost my son on the 19th of March, 2004, while he was jogging. He was a student at the Hebrew University. And he was shot by Palestinians who claimed that they were doing something heroic (inaudible) turned to be that they were looking for a Jew to kill him just because he is a Jew.
At that time, I -- I got to know a friend -- a mutual friend for me and for Mr. Oz who came to visit us at that time. And we were talking about how we can keep the memory of our son in a way that it will be kept for long, long time.
AMANPOUR: OK. Let me ask you, Mr. Oz. What did you think when Mr. Khoury asked to have your seminal work, "A Tale of Love and Darkness," translated into Arabic?
AMOS OZ, AUTHOR: I was deeply moved by Mr. Khoury's generous proposal to translate "A Tale of Love and Darkness" into Arabic at his expense. And I thought it's a very powerful way to commemorate George Khoury, the slain son of Mr. and Mrs. Khoury, because I felt this particular book, "A Tale of Love and Darkness," can open many hearts in the Arab world and can remove many prevailing stereotypes in the Arab world.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Oz, just tell me the story, the essential story, and why you thought that it could have that effect in the Arab world?
OZ: "A Tale of Love and Darkness" is a combination of a family story, chamber music, and at the same time, also a saga of the birth of the nation, the birth of the Israeli nation. It's about the 1940s in Jewish Palestine and the 1950s in early Israel. And it renders the story of the Jews in this country in a non-heroic way and in a way that is always attentive to the Palestinian plight and to the Palestinian perspective and point of view.
AMANPOUR: So, Mr. Khoury, what was it about the tale of Jewish life in Israel that you felt was so important to translate into Arabic? Why? What was your motivation?
KHOURY: First of all, I think to know the other side is something important, whether we want to fight him or whether we want to make peace with him. And knowledge is the light, for good and for bad. Therefore -- and in order to bridge between the two nations as possible, we have to know the other side.
Their feeling of belonging to the group, to the Jewish nation, and the way they were ready to sacrifice, I want my people to see how we can do that, how they were well organized, and how the institutions did work at that time, and how it came to the final step, when the state of Israel was born.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me put that point to Mr. Oz. Mr. Khoury is sounding a very generous spirit of wanting to learn from the other, learn from the other story. You have said about your own writing that you try to put yourself in the place of the other so that the narratives, each side can understand the other's narrative.
OZ: Mr. Khoury, who lives in North Jerusalem on the edge of the West Bank, has become a close personal friend of me and of my family. He is, as you just said, a very generous man. But moreover, he is a man of vision.
The idea of translating "A Tale of Love and Darkness" and making it travel into the entire Arab world, published in Beirut, which is technically enemy territory, is a magnanimous idea.
I imagine this book read by sensitive, open-minded Arabs in Beirut, in Amman, in Cairo, and, first and foremost, in Palestine. And I think any Arab who read this book will find it more difficult to hate the Jews than before reading this book.
AMANPOUR: And next, we'll talk more with our guests about the conflict, the political conflict over such things as settlements, which have once again exploded into public view. That's up next.
AMANPOUR: Now we have more of our conversation with Amos Oz and Elias Khoury and their effort to give peace a chance by humanizing people on the other side, and this even as U.S. efforts to push along the peace process falters. Take a listen.
AMANPOUR: As you know, the U.S. vice president has been in Israel, talking about trying to restart the peace process, and he has been delivered something of a rebuff, when the Israeli interior minister announced 1,600 new domiciles in East Jerusalem.
Mr. Oz, as you talk about the generosity of trying to know each other's side, what message do you think that sends, this -- more settlements at a time like this?
OZ: It sends the worst possible message. It is a slap in the face of Palestine and a slap in the face of the United States, and I vehemently object to the idea of building Jewish domiciles, Jewish homes, Jewish settlements across the green line.
I believe Palestine should be an independent state next door to Israel, and I believe Jerusalem should be and would be the capital city of both Israel and Jerusalem.
You know, it's difficult to be a prophet coming from the land of the prophets, but let me give you one prophecy. One day, there will be a Palestinian embassy in Israel and an Israeli embassy in Palestine, and those two embassies will be walking distance from one another because one of them will be in East Jerusalem and the other one in West Jerusalem.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Khoury, you just heard what Mr. Oz said about the future. Your son was killed in one of those settlements, running, as you said, on so-called French Hill. Your father was killed. Both your father and your son killed by your own people.
And then you've also said that your family land was taken by the Israelis. So you have had so much loss from both peoples. How do you see a future of reconciliation?
KHOURY: I think, at the moment, the situation is not optimistic. I mean, I'm not optimistic of solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict nowadays, in our time.
And I think that both sides should do their utmost in order to build a trust in between the leaders and in between the nations. What Israel had done, what the state of Israel is doing right now in the occupied territories and in East Jerusalem does not help in building such a trust in between the parties.
AMANPOUR: Let me ask you, Mr. Oz. This translation of your book, as we've talked about, is an opportunity for Arabs, for Palestinians to learn about the Jewish story in Israel. Is there a similar opportunity for Israelis, for Jews to learn about the Arab story? In other words, has -- is there a necessity to have the story of both sides, the narrative of both sides understood by each side?
OZ: Well, there are some translations of Palestinian literature and poetry into Hebrew, but not enough. And I'm a great believer, Christiane, that translating literature is one of the best ways to remove stereotypes and to bring enemies closer to each other, because reading the other's literature is actually visiting the other's living room, the other's kitchen, the other's nursery, and even the other's bedroom. It's -- the reader is taken into the bedrooms, into the intimate issues (ph) of the lives of other people.
So I am a great believer in literary translations between enemies as a healer, as a method of removing stereotypes and replacing the hatred by more complex -- not necessarily by love, not necessarily a couple of brothers hugging one another like long-lost brothers in tears, "Oh, brother, take the country, who cares about the country, give me your love."
This is not what I expect, and this is not what is going to happen. But it will improve the ability to imagine the other, and I believe imagining the other is a moral quality.
AMANPOUR: On that note, Amos Oz and Elias Khoury, thank you so much for joining us for this fascinating conversation.
KHOURY: Thank you.
OZ: Thank you for having us, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: And please join a conversation that we have brewing on this very topic on our new Google Buzz site and whether personal stories can advance peace in the Middle East. Join the discussion at amanpour.com/buzz.
And next, is it really possible for good to emerge from evil? Nobel Peace Prize-winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu thinks so, and we will talk to him.
And one of the world's best-known vocalists, Annie Lennox.
AMANPOUR: Welcome back. Coming up in this half-hour, singer and activist Annie Lennox tells us about her campaign against AIDS and her concerts to raise awareness, particularly in South Africa.
But first, when it comes to changing people's minds in South Africa, there's no better example than Nobel Peace Prize-winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was a leading voice in the anti-apartheid struggle, and now he wants to convince the world that people are inherently good. Archbishop Tutu came to our studio with his daughter, Reverend Mpho Tutu, to discuss their fascinating new book.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you both so much for joining us. And this book, "Made for Goodness," is about to go on sale right now. I'm stunned by it, because in it, you both say that we are inherently good and there is inherent goodness, and yet you both have come from one of the most evil systems, apartheid, couldn't be worse, you have witnessed genocide on your own continent, you have seen the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians over that entwined narrative.
Where does your hope come from, Archbishop? Where does the goodness come?
ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, CO-AUTHOR, "MADE FOR GOODNESS": Well, it basically is a faith issue. I am a Christian, and one of the wonderful things about it is, you know, you've got one of the worst things happening on a Good Friday. Nothing could be more hopeless. And then Easter happens. And you say, "Wow." Ever after, we've got to be prisoners of hope.
And all of history has demonstrated the truth that evil people, evil systems don't last forever. They bite the dust.
AMANPOUR: Do you think (inaudible)
REVEREND MPHO TUTU, CO-AUTHOR, "MADE FOR GOODNESS": Well, and it's -- you know, as Daddy says, it is a faith claim, but it is not only a faith claim, as he's just underlined, that what history shows us is that, in fact, good is in our own self-interest.
AMANPOUR: Why did you write this book? What message are you trying to give?
D. TUTU: We are so overwhelmed with the things that you show, we're overwhelmed with images of evil, of suffering, of oppression, quite rightly. And that often being overwhelmed by them devastates people into imagining that, no, there can't be any good, all that exists is evil.
And we're saying no, no, no, no, no, no. The fact of the matter is that evil is really an aberration. The intent of the creator was -- and this is what God says -- after God creates, God says, it is not just good, it's very good. And God rubs both hands and says, "Ha, ha."
AMANPOUR: We are going to take that theme, and we have been talking about not just your book, which is "Made for Goodness," but about what actual impact goodness and its contrary, evil, has on the world today. You know, neighboring Zimbabwe, it has been a huge problem for all of Africa for many, many years.
I want to play you something that you said about Robert Mugabe a few years ago. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
D. TUTU: He's destroyed a wonderful country, a country that used to be a breadbasket. It has now become a basket case itself.
AMANPOUR: You heard what Archbishop Desmond Tutu said.
ROBERT MUGABE, PRESIDENT, ZIMBABWE: That's nonsense. It's just devilish talk.
AMANPOUR: Devilish talk?
AMANPOUR: Do you -- do you not--
MUGABE: He doesn't know what he's talking about, the little man.
AMANPOUR: The little man? He's a Nobel Peace Prize-winner.
MUGABE: Oh, come on.
AMANPOUR: He's a liberation fighter, too.
MUGABE: What liberation?
AMANPOUR: South Africa.
MUGABE: No, of course, you don't know what -- what -- what he's taken and the ANC amounts to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I don't know how you feel listening to that. It was a pretty ad hominem attack on you.
D. TUTU: I -- I -- I developed the hide of a rhinoceros during the apartheid days, because I used to be attacked very viciously. But I still am sad, because he's someone I've had the greatest admiration for, and we've got to give him his due. He surprised the world, I mean, after winning the first election, when people thought he was going to engage in an orgy of revenge. He did nothing of the sort. I mean, Ian Smith, the last white prime minister, continued in parliament.
And you've got to give him his due. He did a fantastic job. And it's sad.
AMANPOUR: So what went wrong?
D. TUTU: I have a theory, but it's a very, very long theory, and you don't want to hear.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me -- let me ask you then directly, because this goes to the whole idea of goodness and influence. Africa, South Africa, other African nations have failed to stop what's been going on in Zimbabwe.
And this is -- whatever you want to call it -- the opposite of goodness triumphing. How do you cope with that failure? And let's face it.
South Africa, under a South African president, was leading the effort to moderate President Mugabe's politics and behavior, and it failed.
D. TUTU: Do you want me to--
AMANPOUR: Go ahead.
D. TUTU: -- have a go? One of the things that it demonstrates so wonderfully is the kind of God we have. You know, I mean, people would often say, why did God not stop such-and-such? And you discover, actually, I mean, that God gave us the gift of freedom. And if God were to intervene this time, we were going to make a decision in the wrong way. God would be nullifying that gift.
And so God said -- and the holocaust happened because he has given us an autonomy. God does not zap, as we would have wanted him to, zap the evil ones. He is waiting -- or she is waiting for -- for those human collaborators.
AMANPOUR: Well, let me ask you -- let me ask you about South Africa. Your father chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. That was a moment which could have been a revenge moment. It wasn't. It was a moment where both sides spoke their own narrative. Has the promise of that good forum been met today in South Africa?
M. TUTU: Yes, no. Or no, yes.
The "yes" is that -- what the -- the gift that the TRC, that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, gave us was a common history. Up until the time of the Truth and Reconciliation, each ethnic group, each population group had their own narrative of what it was to be South African, what it was to have lived in apartheid South Africa, what the impact of apartheid was.
With the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, each population group told the story as they knew it, and each other population group got to hear and to share in and to be able to say, OK, yes, I can see how it was different for you, so now we have a single South African story.
AMANPOUR: So the narrative became each side accepted the other's narrative, the other's story?
M. TUTU: Yes, very largely, at least, I would say that--
AMANPOUR: Would you say that is key to overcoming conflict, whether it be between the Israelis and the Palestinians, whether it was in Northern Ireland, anywhere else you've -- you've looked at?
M. TUTU: One of the first places -- you don't have to agree that your story is right, only that your story is right for you. This is -- this is how you experience it. Your experience is valid because it's your experience. And I am willing to hear what your experience was. And I think in the Middle East, we haven't got there yet.
AMANPOUR: When you look at the Dalai Lama, you look at Aung San Suu Kyi they have tried to effect change and civil change and democratic change through the civil process. Do they need to become more strident, more militant? I mean, is there a different way of resistance?
D. TUTU: I mean, part of it is that, obviously, they can't do it on their own. I mean, we didn't do it on our own. It is -- it is that people of goodwill, people who want to establish that democracy is the better or the best dispensation you can have, have a stake, and they've surely got to be involved for their own sake, because you see, if the baddies get away with it, ha, ha, we've learned now that ours is just this one world.
AMANPOUR: On that note, Reverend Mpho Tutu and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, thank you so much for joining us.
D. TUTU: God bless you.
M. TUTU: God bless you.
D. TUTU: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And next, we look at South Africa from the perspective of singer Annie Lennox, who's fighting to stop the explosion of AIDS there.
AMANPOUR: We mostly know the singer, Annie Lennox, as one of the world's top-selling vocalists, but she also has a talent for raising awareness on critically important issues. For her, there's no one, no issue more vital than the global fight against AIDS, particularly the battle to protect women and girls from HIV, as she told us when she came into our studios.
AMANPOUR: Thank you for being here.
ANNIE LENNOX, MUSICIAN: Thank you so much.
AMANPOUR: And I just have to say, what is that you are wearing, HIV Positive? I mean, that really did shock people. I heard you wore it at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. And, to be frank, many people thought you were HIV.
LENNOX: Of course, of course. I'm not HIV Positive, fortunately, because I check my status. And I know that it is very important that you know your own status.
AMANPOUR: Wearing it, what are you saying by wearing it?
LENNOX: By wearing a T-shirt like this, I'm standing in solidarity with an issue that is silent, with an issue that tends to be invisible, because the HIV virus in invisible.
AMANPOUR: We've known about it for more than 25 years. What about it makes you think that you have to shock people by putting that on?
LENNOX: The intention isn't to shock, but it's to break something called stigma. Because HIV is generally a sexually transmitted disease, or the other ways we know, through sharing needles with drug users, et cetera, people are very much afraid to acknowledge their status if they know they're HIV positive.
AMANPOUR: What motivated you to get in this fight?
LENNOX: Well, Christiane, you know, I was invited to perform for Nelson Mandela's 4664 launch of his HIV/AIDS campaign back in 2003. And Mandela described the HIV/AIDS pandemic as a genocide. And when Mandela speaks, you really have to listen to what he's saying.
And I was shocked at that point, because, you know, I'd heard about -- of course, I know about HIV/AIDS, and of course, I'd related it back to the '80s, but I hadn't understood what degree it was affecting women and especially children, you know? And to hear Mandela describe HIV pandemic as a genocide really almost knocked me off my chair.
AMANPOUR: You were also at his 90th birthday celebration in London, where he said that the next generation has to take up the fight. Listen to what he said, and you were there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NELSON MANDELA, FMR. PRESIDENT OF SOUTH AFRICA: After nearly 90 years of life, it is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now. I thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: How do you think the new generation -- or will it, as he said, take up the burden?
LENNOX: It's very hard to say. And unless people campaign in civil society, unless governments and leadership campaign and keep the issue on the table, it's very hard to say. And I would love to see -- personally, I would like to see HIV/AIDS being incorporated into sex education in every school in every country all around the world. We have to understand what it's about.
AMANPOUR: I want to play a clip of your song, "Sing," which is about this issue. Very powerful song, devoted directly to a cause.
Describe the cause.
LENNOX: You know, in South Africa, post-apartheid, one in every three pregnant women are carrying the HIV virus. I mean, that is hugely significant. One in every three pregnant women are carrying the HIV virus. If they don't have intervention, the baby will be born with the virus, and that baby will probably last, I don't know, maybe a year.
If I can, I'd like to show you these images. This is a little girl called Abaleeley (ph). She was living in the Eastern Cape when we met her. She was in hospital. She's seven years old in this picture. And she weighs less than a newborn baby. I mean, she was completely skeletal, as you can see.
She had -- she was born with the virus. And at this point in her life, she has full-blown AIDS, so she was suffering from pneumonia, and was just on the tipping point between life and death.
She went to Canzibe Hospital (ph). That's where we met her. And she was put on a nutritional program, and she was given antiretroviral treatment. Six months later, we went back to see her. This is an incredible story.
AMANPOUR: Wow. It's two different children.
LENNOX: This is the same child, the same child six months later. And that is the difference that surely we want to see.
AMANPOUR: That's incredible. You were at the United Nations describing your work and talking about it. What message did you give there? And what do you think needs to be done over the next year, several years?
LENNOX: The world needs to wake up and realize that the HIV/AIDS pandemic has changed its face since the '80s, that it has been affecting women and children at an enormous rate. HIV is the leading cause of death and disease among women of reproductive age, between 15 and 49 years, worldwide.
AMANPOUR: The leading cause of death?
LENNOX: Yes. This is from UNAIDS themselves. That is an absolute authority on this. Now, if that is the case, what are we doing about it? I mean, we have, more or less, been either ignoring it or not responding to it effectively.
And as a woman and as a mother myself, I want to contribute to keeping this issue on the table. As I said, HIV is invisible. We could all have it in this room. You wouldn't know until you had, let's say, full-blown AIDS, and then you would succumb to an illness.
So it's very difficult to have some kind of visual focus for this. If you have swine flu, you have bird flu, and everybody is up in arms, but this has been a killer -- this has been a killer for years, and it's not getting any better.
AMANPOUR: Annie Lennox, thank you so much for sharing this with us, for showing us your passion. And we wish you good luck bringing this to the fore as you continue your campaign. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
LENNOX: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And after our interview with Annie Lennox, the team on this program put their questions to her, including what's her favorite Annie Lennox song? And to see her answer, visit amanpour.com.
Next, our "Post-Script." And we look at individuals who fight for change despite oppression, this time here in the United States. That's when we come back.
AMANPOUR: And now our "P.S." We return to our theme of ordinary people overcoming and bringing change. Forty-five years ago this month, 600 people set out on a symbolic walk from Selma, Alabama, to the state capital, Montgomery, demanding the right to vote for blacks in the United States.
They didn't get very far. They were beaten back by the police and forced to return to Selma. Two weeks later, though, they tried again. And by now, 25,000 people had joined them. This time, they made it. And a few months later, black Americans did win the right to vote.
It was a turning point for the U.S. civil rights moment and the movement and for Martin Luther King, Jr. And this month, thousands of people re-enacted that march, showing how ordinary people can change their own destiny and the destiny of their nation.
And that's our report. You can watch us on weekdays on CNN International and you can catch a podcast of this program on amanpour.com/podcast. For all of us here, goodbye from New York.