CBS News/60 Minutes journalist Lara Logan spoke at the State Theatre as part of the SmartTalk series. The ever charismatic Magic 98.3 personality Debbie Mazella introduced Lara, and it was a non-stop ride until the end.
Logan explained that she’s proud to be a woman, but doesn’t want to be treated like a woman… professionally. That is, gender should not affect an assignment. Emphasizing this has gotten her appointed to places like Afghanistan and Egypt. Unfortunately, she was attacked and assaulted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square back in early 2011.
This mother of two was walking through a crowd in the square with her crew members, when she was suddenly separated from them. That’s when someone shouted “Let’s take her pants off”, and that became the beginning of a nightmare for her. Men were tearing her clothes off, then hands were everywhere, violating her. Logan tried valiantly to resist the attack.
These men were beating her and raping her with their hands. She felt her life slipping away. As if from a scene of a movie, things seemed to be fading to black. Lara thought if she were to die with honor it wouldn’t be bad, but to die this way, without a fight, would not be how her children should remember her. She decided that her mission was to stay alive and surrender to the sexual assault. It was wasted energy to struggle, since there was nothing she could do to stop the crowd of hundreds. Luckily, she was rescued and made it out alive.
Lara Logan did not let this incident break her, and doesn’t want to be defined by it. It showed courage to withstand the abuse, but even more courage to get back on the horse.
Mazella returned to sit and chat with Logan for a moment, before asking questions on behalf of the audience. Lara’s strength makes you think. Even when there seems to be no options, find one. If you’ve been knocked down, brush yourself off and get back up. This source of inspiration was causing a buzz in the audience, and gave us all hope.
All photos taken by Neil, owner of ITM Photos.