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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Tuesday's Connector: Khaled Hosseini

September 23rd, 2010
03:15 PM ET

Khaled Hosseini's debut novel "The Kite Runner" is thought to be the first to fictionalize Afghan culture for a Western readership.

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caption ="Khaled Hosseini is your Connector of the Day."]

The haunting 2003 international bestseller - a tale of two Afghan boys growing up against the backdrop of an emerging Taliban, has led to Hosseini's name being placed firmly on a list of literary names to watch.

The controversial novel is currently published in 48 countries, and has led to the equally controversial Oscar nominated film of the same name.

An Afghan asylum seeker to the United States, Hosseini has since used his profile and experience to form "The Khaled Hosseini Foundation," a nonprofit focusing on humanitarian assistance and education projects for the Afghan people.

The idea for the organisation came about during a trip to Afghanistan Hosseini made in 2007 with the United Nations refugee agency, 'UNHCR', with whom he is currently a Goodwill Envoy.

It has resulted in shelters for the needy, student scholarships and much-needed funds for teachers and classroom rebuilding.

Hosseini released his follow-up novel, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" in 2007, once again to critical praise.

Returning to the themes that made 'The Kite Runner' so emotive, the story again focuses on the intertwined lives of two Afghan locals, while the future film rights have been sold to Columbia Pictures.

Put your questions on this heavily misunderstood nation to one of the leading literary and humanitarian voices of Afghanistan, and he will answer them in our interview.

Leave your questions below and be sure to include where you're writing from.

Monday's Connector: Diddy (Sean Combs)

September 23rd, 2010
02:41 PM ET

His name may officially be Sean Combs, but he's more commonly known as Puff Daddy or P. Diddy.

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caption ="Sean Combs is your Connector of the Day."]

One of the most influential music and business figures in Hollywood, Combs is famous for his range of rap songs and his personal fashion line.

Born in a housing project in Harlem, New York in 1969, Combs had what some people would call a rough childhood. His father was shot dead in his car and his family reportedly had links to Frank Lucas, a figure in New York's drug scene.

Combs attended Howard University and showed an early desire in marketing and promotion and after becoming an intern at Uptown Records he quit university to take up a full-time position at the company.

In 1993, Combs founded Bad Boy Records and took with him a relative newcomer on the rap scene, Notorious B.I.G, who later became one of the most popular rap artists during that decade.

In 1997, Combs recorded his first single titled "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" which spent six weeks in the number one spot on the Billboard charts.

His debut album in following year was also extremely popular and it won the 1998 Grammy award.

While Combs has had an extremely successful music career, his life behind the cameras has been a little more tumultuous as he has had several run ins with the law - from bribery to assault charges.

Aside from the music, Combs has also put his foot into the business world with a successful fashion line called "Sean John" & "Sean by Sean Combs."

Thursday's Connector: Liza Minnelli

September 23rd, 2010
12:44 PM ET

The legendary, multi-talented Liza Minnelli has been delighting audiences on stage, screen and television since she was fourteen months old.

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caption ="Liza Minnelli is your Connector of the Day."]

The daughter of fellow Hollywood legend Judy Garland, Minnelli began her stage career in the 1960's in the musical "Wish You Were Here."

That began her climb from the 1965 musical "Flora, The Red Menace," through to her first Academy Award nomination in "Sterile Cuckoo."

Minnelli finally won a best actress Oscar for her role as 'Sally Bowles' in Bob Fosse's "Cabaret."

Today, as famous for her dramatic personal life as for her immortal performances, Minnelli has returned to those musical roots – with the release of her latest album, “Confessions”.

Here's your chance to have your questions answered by singing sensation, Liza Minnelli.

Would you like to know what it was like having a mother like Judy Garland? How soon did she realize that her future lie with music? Does she have any favorite roles? What was her marriage to David Gest like?

Please leave your questions below and be sure to include where you're writing from.

Thursday's Connector – Ed Norton

September 21st, 2010
10:47 PM ET

Ed Norton has delighted audiences on the silver screen for more than two decades. His roles in films like Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, Frida, and Primal Fear – for which he was nominated for an Academy Award – have distinguished him as one of Hollywood’s most talented and versatile actors.

Now, he’s turning his attention to another sphere – development and conservation. In July this year he was named a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. In that role Ed Norton has been working to ensure world leaders take appropriate measures to protect the environment.

One of his top priorities as Goodwill Ambassador will be to increase “people’s focus on the fact that human well-being is intertwined fundamentally with biodiversity.”

At the ongoing UN General Assembly Conference, the biodiversity crisis will be an issue the 192-member body will focus on.

What would you like to ask Ed Norton about this issue? What would you like to ask him about his acting work, and why he’s taking up biodiversity as a cause now?

Send in your questions below – we'll put them to him in our interview.

Wednesday's Connector: Bob Geldof

September 21st, 2010
12:27 PM ET

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As world leaders gather at the United Nations to discuss ending world poverty, one music icon is adding his voice to the chorus demanding that more be done.

Irish singer Bob Geldof rose to fame with rock group The Boomtown Rats during the late 1970s, but it was his humanitarian and anti-poverty activism around the world that made him a household name.

Geldof co-wrote the 1984 international hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” bringing together some of the biggest names in pop music at the time to raise money for Ethiopia, which was in the grip of a famine. A year later, he organized "Live Aid," one of the largest charity concerts in history.

Twenty years later, Geldof put on the "Live 8" concerts in cities around the world to help draw attention to poverty in Africa and to galvanize world leaders to increase levels of aid to the continent.

This week finds Geldof at the U.N., where heads of state are discussing the Millennium Development Goals. Agreed upon a decade ago, signatories have set out to meet eight targets by 2015. They include halving extreme poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality and empowering women, and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV.

But with just five years to go, many of the Millennium Development Goals are not even on target to completion, much less met. Making matters worse, many donor countries are tightening purse-strings in the wake of large fiscal deficits, rising debts and the global economic crisis.

That’s where Geldof comes in. He brings to the conference a message that all nations – rich and poor – must do more if these goals are going to be met.

Geldof also co-founded the One Organization which aims to fight against extreme poverty.

Here's your chance to ask Bob Geldof a question about the Millennium Development Goals. What do you think needs to be done? What are the priorities where you live? What would you say, given the chance to address the U.N.?

Please leave your questions below.

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