August 2015

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■ INSIDE: MEDICAL

A World of News and Perspective

SPECIAL SECTION

MEDICAL ■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

■ August 2015

BUILDING

■ WWW.WASHDIPLOMAT.COM

■ VOLUME 22, NUMBER 8 UNITED STATES

Afghanistan Watchdog Group Finds Willing Ear in New President John Sopko — the trenchant Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction whose reports meticulously track American taxpayer money but whose enthusiasm for embarrassing officials borders on glee — believes he has found a willing partner in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. PAGE 8

■ AUGUST 2015 LIGHTS O T INFLUENCE PEOPLE OFUWORLD Good Night’s Sleep Keeps Health Bugs Away

by Gina Shaw

NORTH AFRICA

H

ow much sleep do you need? Almost certainly more than you’re getting, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

academy panel recommended in an article published in June in Sleep magazine. In fact, sleep is so important that the academy said you almost can’t get too much of it. The panel

Global Corruption Inflicts Deadly Toll (AASM).

Adults should be getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night in order to function well and avoid many chronic health conditions associated with lack of sleep, an

did not put an upper limit on daily hours of sleep, saying that sleeping even nine hours or more regularly might be appropriate for some people, including young adults and those recovering from illness.

Continued on next page

August 2015

MEDICAL

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LIBYA’S PLEA

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A former reporter who started a small business in Afghanistan, Sarah Chayes saw the corrosive daily indignities of corruption firsthand, becoming an expert on the global scourge of graft and its links to militant extremism. PAGE 4

FREE TRADE

Controversial Pacific Trade Juggernaut Chugs Along Despite some bumps on the Hill, the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership appears to be chugging along, although its opponents still hope to derail what they say is a raw deal for American workers. PAGE 10

AFRICA

South Sudan Envoy Insists Peace Possible

culture

From the Outside, Iranian Artist Looks In From her perch in New York, Iranian-born artist Shirin Neshat uses her work to learn about the transformation and turbulence of her estranged homeland. PAGE 26

Wafa Bugaighis says she will never forget the “trauma” of bloodshed erupting a few blocks from her Benghazi home in what would mark the beginning of the end for Muammar Qaddafi’s rule. But Libya’s trauma is far from over, and today, its highest-ranking diplomat in the U.S. is begging the international community for a lifeline. PAGE 13

South Sudan’s new ambassador in Washington, Garang Diing Akuong, is urging the United States not to give up on the world’s newest nation, whose birth has been marred by tit-for-tat bloodletting. PAGE 6


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A World of News & Perspective

August 2015


CONTENTS the WashInGton dIplomat

[ news ] 4

PEOPLE OF WORLD INFLUENCE As a small business owner who lived among the Afghan people for nearly a decade, Sarah Chayes saw not only the dangers of a war zone but also the daily indignation of corruption, which she blames for fueling those dangers.

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New Swiss ambassador

National Museum of Women in the Arts

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[ medical ] 21

[ culture ]

TPP GREEN LIGHT 26

SWISS APPRENTICESHIPS the United States is eyeing Switzerland’s model of apprenticeships to help its young workers compete in a globalized economy.

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LIGHTS OUT how much sleep do you need? Almost certainly more than you’re getting, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep medicine.

UNAPOLOGETIC WATCHDOG

despite hiccups on the hill, the white house is pressing ahead with the most important item on its trade agenda: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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BOOK REVIEW “norman mailer. JFk. Superman Comes to the Supermarket” is a lavish account of one of the most riveting political events of the 20th century: The 1960 presidential race between John F. kennedy and richard nixon.

John Sopko is unapologetic in his quest to keep track of every American dollar spent — or misspent — trying to rebuild Afghanistan.

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DIGITAL DIPLOMACY FORUM the Swiss embassy took advantage of the transition to a new ambassador to up its social media game.

BITTER ANNIVERSARY South Sudan recently toasted the fourth anniversary of its independence, but its people have little to celebrate as a fresh conflict threatens the world’s newest nation.

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COVER PROFILE: LIBYA Wafa Bugaighis was there when Libya’s 42-year dictatorship began to unravel. Now, Libya’s highest-ranking diplomat in the U.S. is begging the world to help keep her fractured country from coming apart at the seams.

COVER: Cover photo taken at the Libyan Embassy by Lawrence Ruggeri of ruggeriphoto.com.

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13 Exclusive: Libya

August 2015

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NATURAL FIT nature was long considered safe territory for women artists, but two new exhibitions at the national museum of women in the Arts are anything but.

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HOMEGROWN WRITERS writer kim roberts turned her “strange little hobby” into a full-blown map of Washington’s literary stars.

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DINING Mediterranean-inspired Fig & Olive and Thai powerhouse mango tree are adding a chic, international aesthetic to the otherwise American offerings at CityCenterdC.

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FILM REVIEWS “Best of Enemies” is a first-rate commentary on the 1968 debates between two polar opposite intellectuals that presage today’s vitriolic public discourse.

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FILM INTERVIEW “the look of Silence” follows up “the Act of killing” by turning the camera on the victims of Indonesia’s anti-communist purge.

FACING IRAN From her perch in new york, Iranian native Shirin neshat has studied the evolution of her estranged homeland, creating a compelling, controversial body of work that has made her one of Iran’s most well-known artists in the west.

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CINEMA LISTING

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EVENTS LISTING

GLOBAL TASTES

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DIPLOMATIC SPOTLIGHT

the kennedy Center may be as American as apple pie, but its programming has a decidedly international flavor.

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APPOINTMENTS

FRENCH-DUTCH CONNECTION

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WORLD HOLIDAYS

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CLASSIFIEDS

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REAL ESTATE CLASSIFIEDS

gustave Caillebotte, an unsung talent of French impressionism, and Joachim wtewael, who left his mark 200 years earlier on the dutch golden Age, share space in two new shows at the national gallery of Art.

P.O. Box 1345 • Silver Spring, MD 20915-1345 • phone: (301) 933-3552 • fax: (301) 949-0065 • E-mail: news@washdiplomat.com • Web: www.washdiplomat.com Publisher/Editor-in-Chief victor Shiblie Director of Operations Fuad Shiblie Managing Editor Anna gawel News Editor larry luxner Contributing Writers michael Coleman, lauren hodges, Stephanie kanowitz, Sean lyngaas, molly mcCluskey, ky n. nguyen, kate oczypok, gail Scott, dave Seminara, gina Shaw, John Shaw, karin Sun, gary tischler, karin Zeitvogel Photographer lawrence ruggeri Account Managers rod Carrasco Graphic Designer Cari henderson The Washington Diplomat is published monthly by the washington diplomat, Inc. the newspaper is distributed free of charge at several locations throughout the washington, d.C. area. we do offer subscriptions for home delivery. Subscription rates are $29 for 12 issues and $49 for 24 issues. Call Fuad Shiblie for past issues. If your organization employs many people from the international community you may qualify for free bulk delivery. To see if you qualify you must contact Fuad Shiblie. The Washington Diplomat assumes no responsibility for the safe keeping or return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, artwork or other material. the information contained in this publication is in no way to be construed as a recommendation by the publisher of any kind or nature whatsoever, nor as a recommendation of any industry standard, nor as an endorsement of any product or service, nor as an opinion or certification regarding the accuracy of any such information.

August 2015

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people of World InfluenCe

Sarah Chayes

Afghanistan Expert Witnessed How Corruption Bred Insecurity by Michael Coleman

S

arah Chayes went to Afghanistan in 2001 as a National Public Radio reporter to chronicle the fall of the Taliban and George W. Bush’s war on terrorism after Sept. 11. She did her job well, winning international acclaim and awards for her compelling, vivid stories from the dangerous war zone. But a year or so into the assignment, Chayes decided that simply being a bystander wasn’t enough. Fluent in Pashto, the New Hampshire native and Harvard graduate traded in her notebook and microphones for local garb and a new mission: owner of a Kandahar co-op that taught Afghan women how to produce and sell all-natural skin-care products from fruit, instead of toiling in the illicit opium poppy industry. Chayes won the locals’ respect, but slept with a Kalashnikov rifle by her side anyway. Along her unusual journey from awardwinning international war correspondent to soap saleswoman, Chayes became something else: one of the world’s foremost experts on the insidious and destabilizing nature of corruption. In a wideranging interview, Chayes told The Diplomat that she not only witnessed it in her reporting and in her dealings with former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his brothers, but also in her quest to obtain permits and supplies for her small soap business. In fact, she saw corruption everywhere she looked.

more violence. “It was driving me crazy because it kept being discussed as eitheror — either we would focus on security or we would focus on corruption, and since security is more important, we would focus on security. “It was so obvious to me in the Afghan context that the security crisis was due to people’s indignation at the abusively corrupt practices of the Karzai government and the perfectly reasonable perception of Afghans that we were in cahoots with it,” she added. As an example, Chayes, whose current work examines the correlation between kleptocracy and the rise of militant extremism, cited U.S. efforts to support Karzai and his brothers. (Chayes herself ran a nongovernmental organization founded by Karzai’s older brother, Qayum, after leaving NPR but grew disillusioned with what she saw and left the group before starting her skin-care venture.) “We kept serving as their air force, directing our drug raids against their [the Karzais’] rivals and kept paying them money — everything we did gave the

In Afghanistan, corruption was in fact driving precisely the security crisis that we were ignoring corruption to address

— SArAh ChAYES

author of ‘thieves of State: why Corruption threatens global Security’

Chayes’s unwillingness to accept official explanations for Afghan bribery and theft under the guise of nation building led the American military in 2009 to bring her into the fold. She was tapped to serve as special adviser to Gens. David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal, commanders of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and also helped the U.S. embassy develop an integrated approach to dealing with Afghan corruption, which was squandering huge amounts of U.S. tax dollars. “In Afghanistan, corruption was in fact driving precisely the security crisis that we were ignoring corruption to address,” Chayes recalled, explaining how Afghan rage at financial and political corruption, and the seeming U.S. indifference to it, triggered seething hatred that created

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indication that we were perfectly on board and enabling and facilitating it,” Chayes explained. “It’s no wonder the Afghans became indignant at us. It was far more because of that than civilian casualties or some guy burning a Koran in Florida.” In January, Chayes’ second book, “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security,” was published to positive reviews. The New York Times wrote that the book “makes a strong case that acute corruption causes not only social breakdown but also violent extremism.” In addition to Afghanistan, the book puts Tunisia, Uzbekistan and Nigeria under the microscope and finds dispiriting versions of corruption in each place. Chayes argues that the link between dysfunction in these disparate countries

photo: CArnegIe endowment For InternAtIonAl peACe

can often be traced to endemic corruption, which has soared to such levels that “governments resemble glorified criminal gangs, bent solely on their own enrichment,” according to “Thieves of State.” Whether it’s a policeman demanding a bribe at a traffic stop, vote-rigging at the ballot box or a high-level official receiving kickbacks in a business contract, corruption pervades all levels of society.This in turn, Chayes contends, drives average citizens — fed up with the daily humiliation of funding a mafia-like system — to revolution (as was the case in Egypt) or puritanical religion, often in the form of radicalism. Now a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, Chayes said she’s gratified by the recognition of her groundbreaking work. She also said recent highprofile cases such as the FIFA soccer corruption scandal that led to a 47-count indictment in the United States against top FIFA officials and executives, as well as massive protests against the Brazilian government’s malfeasance, have helped raise international consciousness of the issue. Violence erupting in corruption hotbeds such as Ukraine and Iraq has also

shone a spotlight on the far-reaching effects of graft. “The international context has confirmed a lot of what I suggest in the book,” Chayes said, adding that she decided to write the tome to “change the mentality” about corruption as an inevitable and unstoppable phenomenon. “My objective was to reframe the causal logic and cost-benefit analysis that applies to basic policymaking on corruption,” Chayes said. She also pinpointed diplomats as a large part of the problem, even in the U.S. government, because they often overlook corrupPHOTO: W. W. NORTON & CO. tion among their hosts. “I think there is a real problem here on the diplomatic side,” Chayes said. “By culture diplomats are diplomatic — they are in the business of maintaining relationships. It’s extremely uncomfortable for them [to confront corruption]. I found this not just in Afghanistan but everywhere I looked. The embassy tends to be August 2015


in the business of cultivating a relationship with the government, so it becomes very uncomfortable about a lot of the activities.” In Afghanistan, where she lived among the locals for nearly a decade, Chayes said she also noticed that diplomats were somewhat unlikely to interact with the general population. “Part of it is structural,” she explained. “They are kind of set up to interact with their counterparts. Diplomats tend to interact with government officials, and in the case of Afghanistan they were pretty constrained from going outside of the compound. “There was also, at least for most of the time, the additional problem that their mission was kind of [described] in terms of supporting the democratically elected government of Afghanistan.That meant they were reluctant — military and civilian — to interact with ordinary Afghans without some member of the Afghan government present. That meant they couldn’t really hear people’s grievances, and that meant the people couldn’t complain without being retaliated against afterward.” She added: “I was out in the economy and I spoke Pashto and that gave me much more access to the Afghan people.” Chayes said diplomats are often aware of government and private sector corruption, but don’t seem to feel empowered to tackle it. “Both structurally and culturally, they are extremely resistant to addressing this problem,” she told us. “I don’t think diplomats are less informed than other officials, but I do think all of them are under-informed because we are not looking at the phenomenon systemically.” Chayes also said the Departments of State and Justice don’t seem to have an effective mechanism for dealing with widespread corruption in countries around the world, especially in conflict zones. “If there is a security issue, corruption gets pushed to the backburner,” she said.“It’s almost always farmed out to specialized, little marginalized structures within bureaucracies. It’s incredibly stove piped.” Some of those who work in the realm of fighting corruption have suggested that the very word “corruption” contributes to the problem because it encompasses so many different things — from nepotism to large-scale theft — without being specific. Chayes doesn’t share that view. “I happen to like the word because when you stop and dwell on it for a minute, it does carry this very powerful meaning: abuse of public office for personal gain on the one hand, and the other a kind of moral turpitude,” she said. “Clearly, I am focused on particularly acute manifestations of corruption,” she continued. “Corruption is pervasive and it is not just an activity that is indulged in in an ad-hoc way by individual officials. In fact, when you look at it closely, the governments I’ve looked at — and there are a lot of them — they have become essentially structured criminal organizations that are masquerading as governments.” Chayes suggests that policymakers interested in thwarting corruption work harder to understand exactly how governments and the private sector collude to enable networks of venality. “Very often these networks are government officials, but they also have private-sector members in their networks — banks, contracting companies, logistics companies that are actually part of the network, too,” she said. “They also have bona fide criminals in their network like drug traffickers and weapons traffickers,” she added, citing as an example the Kabul Bank scandal, said to be one of the world’s largest cases of banking fraud. The bank collapsed in 2010 after losing nearly $1 billion; Karzai’s brothers have been implicated in the stolen assets. “In the case of the Afghans, Karzai was ran-

Credit: U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christopher T. Sneed

U.S. Army soldiers meet with leaders in Shabow-Kheyl, Afghanistan, in 2009. Sarah Chayes, who in 2009 was tapped to serve as special adviser to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, says tackling the country’s endemic corruption took a backseat to the security situation, even though graft was often driving the insecurity.

soming the Taliban hand over fist with money basically pillaged from the Kabul Bank,” Chayes charged. “We in the West have a tendency to kind of see licit actors such as government and the private sector, and we’ll fight about which is acting in the public good more, and we consider criminals and terrorists to be illicit actors. “What I have found is that in too many of these countries, in fact, you have horizontally integrated networks and they are also vertically integrated,” she said. “There is no such thing as petty corruption because that is a part of the revenue stream for the klepto network going all the way to the top. The cop pays a part of his take to the precinct captain, who pays part to the district chief, who pays part to the provincial chief, and it goes all the way to the interior minister or quite high. And in Afghanistan that amounts to $2 [billion] to $5 billion a year.” Chayes, who also served as a special adviser to then-Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, tells diplomats and others working in foreign countries to be wary of those who act as go-betweens for government and privatesector actors. “Beware of the intermediary,” she said. “In a lot of these countries, people set themselves up as the reliable intermediary between the foreign intervener and the local population and that’s really dangerous. You tend to rely on that person for everything you need and then excuse whatever he or she does with the kind of power you have bestowed on them with your proximity and money.” Chayes cheered recent news that 14 soccer officials, including seven high-ranking FIFA executives, were charged with corruption and bribery allegations involving soccer tournaments over the past 20 years. In July, former FIFA Vice President Jeffrey Webb was extradited from Switzerland, where the FIFA board had been meeting at the time of the arrests, to the United States. “I know a lot of Europeans who are delighted and say why did it take the Americans to do it?” Chayes said, referring to longstanding suspicions that the soccer federation was essentially running a bribery racket. But Chayes said she also finds it curious that the U.S. Justice Department seems keen to investigate and indict foreigners for corruption, but those involved in the banking crisis and financial meltdown than began in the United States in 2008 have largely escaped scrutiny. Former Attorney General Eric Holder has been intensely criticized in recent weeks for accepting a job at his former corporate law firm of Covington & Burling. The firm’s corporate cli-

ent list reads like a who’s who of firms involved in the meltdown: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America and more. “Isn’t it interesting that we keep going after foreign institutions like FIFA, and look at the banks that have been subjected to civil lawsuits … look at the financial crisis,” Chayes said. “I haven’t seen very many Anglo-Saxon sons of the American Revolution get chucked in jail.” Chayes pointed out that if U.S. officials wanted to target more domestic or foreign officials, it wouldn’t be hard under existing statutes. “Every one of the legal instruments used

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August 2015

against FIFA officials can also be used against foreign government officials,” she said. “That includes RICO [the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act], money laundering laws and a statute called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that prevents U.S companies from bribing foreign officials in order to gain access to markets.” Chayes also wondered why — if the U.S. government is as opposed to corruption as it claims — President Obama and the White House recently invited Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to Washington for a coveted and prestigious state dinner. Brazilian opposition lawmakers are considering impeaching Rousseff in connection with a massive embezzlement scheme at the state oil company that has ensnared dozens of politicians. Meanwhile, the Brazilian currency is in shambles, inflation is rising and the economy is entering what may be its worst recession in 25 years. Public anger over rising corruption also fueled widespread protests earlier this year. “Compare the FIFA arrest to the warm welcome extended to Dilma Rousseff, the embattled president of Brazil, who is believed to be shoulders deep in an oil money scandal,” Chayes said.“Why that kind of a disparity in treatment? I’m not saying we should cut off relations with Dilma Rousseff, but I am saying why roll out the red carpet for her when millions of Brazilians have taken to the streets in protest of egregiously corrupt behavior in her government? This point hasn’t been made yet, particularly not in the diplomatic community. “It’s never suggested, why don’t we not have a state visit right now?”

Michael Coleman (@michaelcoleman) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

12/8/14 10:49 AM

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International Affairs

Africa

South Sudan’s New Envoy Vows Young Nation Can Overcome Fighting by Karin Zeitvogel

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outh Sudan’s new ambassador in Washington, Garang Diing Akuong, rattles off a list of reasons why people should visit the world’s newest nation. “Clean air,” he starts.“The water, it’s still clean.The food that is grown in South Sudan is very good. We don’t use chemicals to protect what we grow. “We still have a traditional African society with values like welcoming the guest.You can go to South Sudan and mingle with people, talk to people without any restrictions.There are still a lot of values that are intact, not diluted by modernization,” the 52-yearold from Aweil, in the north of South Sudan, says. Then there’s the business side of things. “South Sudan is endowed with natural resources. We have five to six billion barrels of oil reserves. The land is very fertile. Forestry can produce millions of tons of wood. Minerals, we have all kinds — gold, uranium, iron ore. We have rivers that can produce hydropower, clean power. We have the sun, another form of clean energy. “We have two big national parks — one in Jonglei, with all kinds of wild animals, and one in Nimule, also with wildlife. We may have the largest wildlife migration in Africa,” the optimistic ambassador says. And yet, there’s one big reason why tourists and investors are not exactly flocking to the nation that marked its fourth anniversary of independence on July 9. Because while people know little about the positive face of South Sudan, many know the negative: The country that fought for almost 50 years for independence from Sudan, losing more than 2 million lives in the process, has been mired in a new conflict since 2013 that has by some estimates killed tens of thousands of people, displaced nearly 2 million and marred the jubilance that once marked South Sudan’s birth. This time, the fighting was triggered by a political rift in the ruling SPLM (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) party, exacerbating tensions between the country’s two biggest ethnic groups, the Dinka and the Nuer. On Dec. 16, 2013, President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, appeared on television dressed in military fatigues and accused his former vice president, Riek Machar, a Nuer, of trying to oust him in a coup. Machar (who had been fired by Kiir, along with everyone else in the cabinet, five months earlier) has always denied the coup allegations and most of the international community has dismissed the failedcoup premise. But the damage was done, South Sudanese were divided and tit-for-tat bloodletting spread across the country of 11 million people. It is still raging in places, mainly in the oil-producing north. Peace talks between the government and rebels aligned with Machar have sputtered over issues such as power sharing and security, with each side pointing the finger at the other while millions go hungry and the oil-dependent economy crumbles. Akuong says he is hopeful that “the next round of peace talks will stop the war and we’ll come to lasting peace in South Sudan.”

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A picture of happier times: Children practice their dance routine for a performance at a soccer match during South Sudan’s independence celebrations on July 9, 2011. Just over two years later, however, a political rift triggered fresh fighting that has once again plunged the world’s newest nation into chaos.

Credit: UN Photo / Paul Banks

The gap between the government and rebels is narrow and if the parties are pushed, I think we will compromise. The government will compromise and I think the rebels should compromise to reach peace in South Sudan.

— Garang Diing Akuong ambassador of South Sudan to the United States

“We need peace,” said the ambassador. “When peace comes, all these things we have in South Sudan will be available to the international community to invest in and to see and enjoy.” But when that next round of peace talks will happen is anyone’s guess. What would be at least the sixth round of talks to restore peace — it’s hard to keep track any more — was supposed to be well under way by now, but at the time of this writing, the talks had not yet resumed and there was nothing to indicate they would. A bloc of East African countries known as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), which has been trying to broker an end to the conflict, said last month that when the talks resume, there will be more mediators around the table. The new, improved, expanded talks have been dubbed “IGAD Plus” and will add the so-called troika of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway, along with the United Nations, China (which has huge oil interests in South Sudan), the African Union and the European Union.

Photo: Karin Zeitvogel

“We all believe the troika has leverage, especially the United States, in the issues in South Sudan. The troika facilitated the negotiations in Naivasha, Kenya, that eventually led to the comprehensive peace agreement” in 2005 that ended the second Sudanese civil war and led, six years later, to the birth of South Sudan, said Akuong. “They have a lot to offer at the talks,” he told us. Akuong presented his credentials to President Obama in February 2015. Washington is the youthful-looking ambassador’s first diplomatic posting. He succeeded the first-ever South Sudanese ambassador to the United States, Akec Khoc, who had been recalled 11 months earlier, some say because he didn’t promote the government’s failed-coup line. The government has said Khoc’s recall was part of a routine reshuffle. Prior to coming to Washington, Akuong held two key ministerial positions: energy and mining from 2010 to 2011, and minister of commerce and industry from 2011 until he and everyone else in the cabinet were sacked by Kiir in July 2013. Akuong August 2015


was also a member of parliament at the time and held onto that post “until the president asked me to come and be his representative in the United States of America.” “It is a big change because my experience was mostly in the executive and as a legislator. Now I’m an ambassador, a diplomat in a very important country, the U.S.A. It’s a challenge because I’m taking this post at a very critical time in our history,” he said. The United States was instrumental in that history, playing a key role in South Sudan’s bid for independence over the last 20 years. That included supporting a comprehensive peace agreement in 2005 and the historic 2011 referendum that let the south secede from its largely Arab-Islamic neighbor to the north (many U.S. evangelical groups also backed the split). Even though South Sudan instantly faced enormous challenges as one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries — famously having only 35 miles of paved roads — the international community had high hopes for its first president, Kiir, a longtime independence fighter. But praise, and patience, for Kiir has since run out. Both Kiir and Machar have a long, bitter history (during South Sudan’s fight for independence, Machar broke off from the SPLA and formed his own splinter group) — and neither seems keen to compromise now. Their personal rivalry has enflamed longstanding ethnic divisions and tested the international community, which accuses both sides of abuses in the current fighting. Akuong, educated in Egypt and England, wouldn’t criticize his boss but lamented the “very negative impacts” that the conflict has wreaked on his country. “The economy has shrunk significantly. We still depend on oil revenues and because of this war some oil wells have been shut down and oil prices have gone down along with volume of production,” he said. On a humanitarian level,“there has been a lot of displacement,” Akuong conceded. More than 2 million people are internally displaced or have fled the country, and at least 4.6 million South Sudanese are food insecure. But Akuong is hopeful that South Sudan can pull out of its nosedive and maybe even live up to the promise the world placed on it when it became the world’s newest nation on July 9, 2011. Even during the crisis, he said,“With the help of the international community and with the lead of the United States as the biggest humanitarian contributor, we have managed to provide relief to people affected inside the country. We have managed to

Credit: UN Photo / JC McIlwaine

Internally displaced persons wait to receive soap rations from the International Organization for Migration. Following sectarian clashes that broke out in late 2013, more than 2 million South Sudanese are internally displaced or have fled the country, and at least 4.6 million are food insecure.

provide some basic health services and to continue operating schools and security.” But aid agencies have complained that government forces are among those preventing them from getting life-saving help to people in need. Schools in parts of the country have been shut down for months on end and even occupied by soldiers from both sides of the conflict. Hospitals have been attacked and patients killed in their beds. A statement released in June by UNICEF said government soldiers castrated little boys and let them bleed to death and killed girls as young as 8 after raping them. The army has denied that its forces committed the atrocities but said it would investigate. The international community was understandably outraged by the UNICEF allegations. Weeks later, the U.N. Security Council imposed targeted sanctions — travel bans and asset freezes — on half a dozen military leaders from both fighting camps. The United States, Canada and the European Union have already sanctioned military leaders, to little avail.The international community began voicing its frustration with South Sudan more than a year ago when an international donor conference was held for the embattled young nation in Norway. The reaction of South Sudanese Foreign Minister Barnaba

Marial Benjamin at the time was to liken his country to a naughty young child and ask the international community for forgiveness and understanding. “When [your last born] runs around, knocking glasses around, you don’t throw that wonderful last born through the window into the snow or into the sunshine…. The mother says, ‘Next time, you will not break the glasses.’ As far as South Sudan is concerned, this is an incident that has never been expected and I can assure you that with the resilience of our people, we will overcome this process.” Akuong told us that he understands the frustration of the international community, particularly here in the United States. “In our contacts with the State Department, they express the same view — a lot of frustration — and Congress says it’s frustrated,” the ambassador said. “And we in South Sudan, we are frustrated that we did not reach peace in the shortest possible time. We continue to lose lives and that is very unfortunate, whether on the rebel or government sides. People continue to suffer from displacement and lack of services. Our economy needs peace so that we can revive it and give full services to the people of South Sudan.” But he urged the world not to throw up its hands and walk away from South Sudan because of the apparent inability of its leaders to make peace. “If South Sudan slides back or becomes a failed state, that is very dangerous for all of us,” Akuong said.“This will create a vacuum in the region and negative forces can come and fill the vacuum.” Akuong is optimistic that the conflict and the frustration will soon be a thing of the past. “When I met President Obama, he pledged to work with the government of South Sudan and work with my president to see to it that the bloodshed stops and peace is restored in South Sudan,”Akuong said. In turn, Kiir “accepted the assistance of the United States to bring peace to South Sudan, and we know Secretary [of State] John Kerry has been instrumental in bringing the two sides to the table to negotiate peace,”Akuong added. “We are about to be there. The gap between the government and rebels is narrow and if the parties are pushed, I think we will compromise. The government will compromise and I think the rebels should compromise to reach peace in South Sudan.”

Karin Zeitvogel (@Zeitvogel) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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August 2015

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International Relations

SIGAR

Afghanistan Watchdog Agency: Oversight or Overzealous Hounding? by Sean Lyngaas

J

ohn Sopko — the trenchant Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) whose reports track American taxpayer money but whose enthusiasm for embarrassing officials borders on glee — believes he has found a willing partner in Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

While Sopko never met with Ghani’s predecessor, Hamid Karzai, in the more than two years in which the men’s tenures overlapped, a meeting with Ghani has given the inspector general confidence. Sopko says corruption cases that would have likely languished in the previous government have found an ear under Ghani, a former World Bank official and finance minister who took office last September. “Those cases in the past, we had nowhere to take them, but now with the new unity government, they’re very interested in those allegations because they really care about changing the way procurement is done in Afghanistan,” Sopko said in an interview with The Diplomat. By contrast, the freewheeling former mob prosecutor said he never met with Karzai “because I actually didn’t think it was worth it.” Sopko has never been shy about doing his job. SIGAR is a U.S. government agency tasked with monitoring the money spent by Washington trying to rebuild Afghanistan — an estimated $110 billion allocated over the last 13-plus years. In its quest to uncover fraud, waste and abuse, the watchdog group has been fiercely blunt about the rampant corruption and mismanagement that have siphoned off U.S. funds and undercut confidence in the Afghan government. The plague of corruption in Afghanistan is acute and seemingly indelible. Gen. Stanley McChrystal in 2009 declared corruption to be a dire threat to the International Security Assistance Force mission he was leading in Afghanistan, one on par with the Taliban insurgency. Six years later, as the drawdown of American troops continues, the specter of venality has not receded. A United Nations assessment published in December 2012 found that half of Afghans paid a bribe that year to public officials when requesting a service, and that the total cost of such bribes was $3.9 billion. It is not a question of whether to combat corruption in Afghanistan, but how — and SIGAR’s bruising style has at times chafed other independent auditors working toward the same goal.

Fuel to the Fire? Created by Congress via the 2008 defense authorization bill, SIGAR has gone about its job of calling out corruption in Afghanistan in an apologetically loud manner. The agency’s emails to reporters come with jarring headlines, such as:“$2.89 Million DOD-Funded Facility Never Used and Not Maintained,” or “DOD Built Hazardous Buildings for Afghan Army in $1.57 Billion Program” or “Half a Million Dollar Afghan Police Training Center Melts.” That “shout it from the rooftops” philosophy is wholly Sopko’s. “If it’s impor-

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The Washington Diplomat

Photos: Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

John Sopko, the outspoken Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) whose reports track American taxpayer money spent trying to rebuild the war-torn country, inspects soybeans in Mazar-e-Sharif.

If you screw up, you’re going to get fired…. If I screw up, I definitely will get fired. But if you screw up in Afghanistan, you get a promotion.

— John Sopko

U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

tant enough to publish, it’s important enough to publicize,” he said. “Although I sound like a broken record, that is on purpose. You keep repeating the issue until you change it.” Not everyone agrees. Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, believes Sopko has at times poured fuel on the fire by stating the obvious about corruption in Afghanistan. Early in Sopko’s tenure, “I do think that he, frankly, was focused on making a bit of a name for himself and the organization to the point of at times almost belaboring the obvious or piling on,” O’Hanlon said. “It was a little bit like Humphrey Bogart in ‘Casablanca,’ and the notion that he was finding all these things that were hugely revelatory and incredibly damning compared to what we already thought we knew…. I thought was somewhat overdone.” O’Hanlon nonetheless said that SIGAR’s analyses

are generally well-researched and hard to dispute, and that the watchdog has had a more “constructive” relationship with the Ghani government than with its predecessor. Sopko’s audits not only offer detailed breakdowns of where U.S. funds are going, but many of its recommendations are also often adopted, and the watchdog has secured dozens of criminal convictions. Despite the dangers, his agency also maintains a sizable presence on the ground in Afghanistan, allowing for firsthand accounting. But SIGAR has also butted heads with officials from USAID and the Defense Department over its abrasive style, and Sopko has warned that his office faces the threat of budget cuts, along with moves to classify information used in SIGAR findings. Daniel Egel, a Rand Corp. economist doing research in Afghanistan, has been on the receiving end of SIGAR’s blunt approach. Egel was working on a report evaluating the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, a Pentagon program to spur development in Afghanistan through private investment and other means, at the same time that SIGAR was auditing the program. Egel said he offered to share a draft of his report with SIGAR, but that the next day he heard, via a news report, that his work had been subpoenaed. Though Egel said he has had a good working relationship with SIGAR officials, he said the move to subpoena seemed unproductive, given that he and SIGAR were working toward the same goal.The watchdog has a sizable staff in Afghanistan, making it a challenge for everyone to be on the same page, Egel noted by telephone from Kabul. But Egel, like other outside experts interviewed for this story, sympathized with the monumentality of August 2015


SIGAR’s mission. “I give them a lot of respect for the effort they put in, their due diligence,” he said.“A lot of times they’re trying to figure out what happened years ago and they just don’t have the data to do it.”A congressional mandate for oversight should have come much earlier than six years into the war in Afghanistan, he said. “It’s probably too little too late.” Trevor Sutton, a nonresident fellow at the Center for American Progress, said that regardless of what others studying the problem may think of SIGAR’s approach, the agency is indispensible. “Corruption has massively — perhaps irretrievably — undermined U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, and if SIGAR isn’t regularly banging the drum on this issue, then who will?” Sutton wrote in an email. When asked whether he worried about alienating allies in Washington or elsewhere with his explosive style, Sopko replied:“No not really, because I think there’s enough people out there … who support us.” He added that many of SIGAR’s tips for investigations come from military officials and U.S. defense contractors. “I have not been able to find any of these nameless, faceless bureaucrats who will occasionally whisper, saying,‘Oh, Sopko’s too aggressive,’ ‘Oh, the SIGAR doesn’t understand this situation,’” Sopko said.“We understand the situation real well.”

Ghani Strikes AntiCorruption Stance In a visit to the United States in March, Ghani made a point of thanking “the American taxpayer” who “will make your hard-earned dollars available for Afghanistan,” pledging to “account for every single one of those dollars and pennies.” Sopko sees deeds behind those words: He pointed to the National Procurement Commission set up by Ghani as an encouraging sign. SIGAR is an observer to the commission, a designation Sopko said was telling of the government’s seriousness on the issue. After SIGAR said it uncovered price-fixing and bribery in a nearly $1 billion fuel contract awarded to the Afghan Defense Ministry, Ghani swiftly suspended the accused ministry officials and canceled the contract, according to SIGAR’s report to Congress in April.The report stated that SIGAR’s relationship with Afghanistan’s national unity government, which includes Ghani’s former rival,Abdullah Abdullah, “promises to create unique opportunities for us to help them fight corruption.” Sutton pointed to Ghani’s reopening of the Kabul Bank case, a nearly $1 billion theft that implicated Karzai’s brothers, as another positive sign of Ghani’s willingness to tackle graft. Nonetheless, Sutton wrote, “it remains to be seen how sincere Ghani and his administration are about tackling Afghanistan’s entrenched culture of graft — so far the signs are encouraging — and whether they have the legal and administrative resources to make a dent.” Ghani received a boost in those resources from his Washington trip in the form of $800 million toward a new development program. According to a State Department summary, the program “supports the new government’s ambitious efforts to improve the effectiveness and accountability of its own systems for managing resources and delivering development results.” The State Department pledged “sustainability” and “fiscal transparency” through the program, but that is perhaps easier said than done. A recent BuzzFeed News investigation into U.S.-funded schools in Afghanistan, for instance, found that an alarming number of August 2015

Photo: Special IG for Afghanistan Reconstruction / NPTC Commander, September 2014

A report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction earlier this year detailed how buildings in an Afghan Special Police Training Center’s dry fire range disintegrated within four months of completion — “melting” that it attributed to poor contractor performance and lax government oversight.

schools the agency said it had built either no longer exist or never existed in the first place.

Blind Spot of U.S. Troop Withdrawal The U.S. military is winding down its presence in Afghanistan after more than 13 bloody years.After a peak of about 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2011, 9,800 are set to remain there through year’s end. Less troops has arguably meant less attention from U.S. policymakers.“Anybody who is talking about Afghanistan is getting less attention than they used to, regardless of what they’re saying,” said O’Hanlon, the Brookings scholar. But SIGAR’s more productive relationship with the Ghani government means corruption could command “a better form of attention,” he added. Sutton of the Center for American Progress warned policymakers not to disassociate the dual threats of the Taliban and corruption. “Corruption has always been overshadowed by the immediate threat of the insurgency, and one might argue that it’s easier to imagine an Afghanistan free of the Taliban than an Afghanistan free of corruption,” he said.“That’s why it’s crucial to repeatedly make the case that dysfunctional government and the Taliban insurgency are interrelated phenomena, otherwise the latter will always take priority over the former in policymakers’ minds.” A big part of SIGAR’s mandate is to monitor efforts to build up the Afghan security forces, which will be critical to the transition once U.S. forces pull out. On that front, Sopko’s recent assessment,“Budgets and Bullets:Taking Stock of Afghanistan’s Security Forces,” isn’t encouraging. Among other things, he criticizes overly optimistic assessments by U.S. officials that downplay longstanding problems such as high attrition rates, saying the “evidence strongly suggests that Afghanistan lacks the capacity — financial, technical, managerial or otherwise — to maintain, support and execute much of what has been built or established during more than 13 years of international assistance.” Budgets are another potential challenge for SIGAR. House lawmakers recently took the State Department to task for big cost overruns in the construction of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Kabul. In a tight fiscal environment, lawmakers are asking administration officials to do more to justify their budgets. As of 2014, SIGAR had been allocated some $214 million since its inception. That is a fraction of the money Washington has poured into Afghanistan, and appropriators seem generally supportive of SIGAR. But $214 million is still no pittance, and it remains to be seen how the watchdog will continue to carve out dollars as U.S.

Photo: Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Staff from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction collect data from Afghan National Army personnel in Herat province during a site visit in April 2014. The report found that millions of dollars that had gone to the Afghan Army were at risk due to minimal oversight of personnel and payroll data.

resources in Afghanistan wane. SIGAR’s fiscal 2016 budget request is for $56.9 million, and SIGAR spokesman Alex Bronstein-Moffly says that House and Senate appropriators have supported that amount in their respective legislation. Despite the cut in U.S. troops in Afghanistan, SIGAR’s mandate keeps the agency in existence until the amount of unspent reconstruction funds drops below $250 million, according to Bronstein-Moffly. The amount of unspent but appropriated

funds for Afghanistan reconstruction is currently about $14 billion, he noted. Regardless of the budget environment, Sopko plans to keep banging the drum, and with a wry beat.“If you screw up, you’re going to get fired,” he said, referring to this author.“If I screw up, I definitely will get fired. But if you screw up in Afghanistan, you get a promotion.”

Sean Lyngaas (@snlyngaas) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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Economics

Trans-Pacific Partnership

Pacific Trade Deal Chugs Along, Inspiring Hope, Hostility, Questions by Karin Sun

I

t was the moment House Democrats dreaded. On June 24, the Senate passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), a bill that would give President Obama power to negotiate international trade deals and fast track them through Congress without the possibility of filibuster or amendment.

In spite of strategic efforts by Democrats in the House to block passage of the bill earlier in the month, the Senate successfully voted to end filibuster after a worker aid provision was severed from the bill. Democrats traditionally back so-called Trade Adjustment Assistance for American workers displaced by international trade, but they dropped their support in a bid to derail TPA. The move backfired when Republicans split the two pieces of legislation and passed TPA on its own. (Shortly afterward, Democrats relented and passed an extension of worker aid separately.) Despite the political maneuvering, the trade bill marks a rare legislative victory for Obama in a Republican-controlled Congress. The passage of TPA — and the strange ideological bedfellows it created — clears the way for Obama to turn the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) into a reality. The most extensive free trade deal the United States has seen since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, the TPP would eliminate barriers to investment and trade in goods and services between the U.S. and 11 other countries in the Pacific Rim, including major trading partners such as Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico. The deal, a cornerstone of the president’s outreach to Asia, also aims to facilitate cross-border trade in financial services, strengthen intellectual property laws and provide an international system for investor disputes. While fast-track trade authority doesn’t guarantee passage of TPP, it is considered a prerequisite because other countries would be unlikely to stake out risky positions in a trade pact knowing that Congress could tinker with the final result. The recent TPA bill, which lasts for six years, could also pave the way for the eventual passage of a separate major trade accord with the European Union. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, conceived RELATED in 2002, originally involved only four countries but has since expanded to include STORY: other potential signatories such as Chile, U.S. Considers Vietnam and New Zealand, with the U.S. Emulating officially joining negotiations in 2008. Swiss The president and pro-business Apprenticeship Republicans welcome the sweeping pact Model with open arms, saying it would give the United States an important economic footPAGE 11 hold in the fastest-growing region in the world. The benefits would be mutual, the White House contends, noting that the TPP would put in place stronger, legally enforceable labor and environmental standards that would help millions of people — protections that were not included in previous agreements like NAFTA. The TPP, which notably doesn’t include China, could also serve as a counterweight to Beijing’s grow-

10

The Washington Diplomat

Photo: “Stop Fast Track rally in D.C.” by AFGE / CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees participate in #StopFastTrack rallies in the D.C. area during April 2015. Opposition to fast-track trade authority heated up over the summer as Congress debated whether to grant President Obama the ability to submit trade deals to lawmakers for an up-or-down vote, which is considered a vital prerequisite to passing large trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The most extensive free trade deal the United States has seen since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, the Trans-Pacific Partnership would eliminate barriers to investment and trade in goods and services between the U.S. and 11 other countries in the Pacific Rim, including major trading partners such as Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico. ing ambitions in the region. Obama has warned that without the TPP, China will press ahead with its own rival free trade agreement. A White House fact sheet points out that, “If it’s not America, it’s going to be competitors like China.” But many in the president’s own party have railed against the prospect of another far-reaching free trade accord that they say was hashed out in secret and will pad the pockets of large corporations at the expense of American workers, the middle class and consumers in developing countries. Liberals, environmentalists and labor groups have found an unlikely ally in populist conservatives, who also oppose the deal on the grounds that it gives the president too much power, erodes national sovereignty on issues such as immigration and doesn’t address disputes such as currency

manipulation. As opposition to the TPP ticked up following passage of fast-track trade authority, politicians and economists alike have been left wondering what the impending accord may spell out for the future.

Globalization Gone Wrong? On the surface, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a promising deal, encompassing 40 percent of the world’s economy. The administration notes that 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States and that one out of every five American jobs is supported by trade. Proponents also say the deal would give American companies greater access to consumers throughout the Asia-Pacific region, which tends to have more market barriers than the U.S. does. Data compiled by the Brookings Institution projects that on the conservative side, the agreement will bring in about $5 billion in economic benefits to the United States in 2015 and $14 billion by 2025.The administration estimates the deal could increase U.S. exports by $123 billion and boost real incomes by $77 billion a year, though those figures have been disputed. Supporters argue that the TPP will likely benefit small- and medium-size American businesses in particular, because the elimination of import tariffs would make it easier for smaller businesses that can’t afford to open overseas subsidiaries to relocate abroad where the costs of labor are much lower.According to the U.S. Trade Representative Office, these small- and medium-size enterprises alone exported $247 billion to the Asia-Pacific region in 2011. However, critics say that legislators need to consider more than just the overall size of the economic pie

See TPP, page 12 August 2015


Related Story

Economics

U.S. Considers Emulating Swiss Apprenticeship Model by Larry Luxner

S

witzerland has the lowest youth unemployment rate in Europe (3.2 percent), one of the lowest crime rates of any industrialized country and the world’s second-highest life expectancy after Japan. In addition, its 8 million people enjoy one of the world’s highest nominal per-capita GDPs, alongside Luxembourg, Qatar and Norway. The Swiss cities of Zürich, Geneva and Bern consistently rank among the most livable on Earth, and in 2015 — as it has for the past six years — the World Economic Forum ranked Switzerland first out of 144 countries in its Global Competitiveness Report. Certainly, the Swiss must be doing something right. Indeed they are, says the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, which praises the country’s transparent institutions, world-class infrastructure and education systems, flexible labor market, business acumen and, in particular, its capacity for innovation. “Switzerland’s top-notch academic institutions, high spending on R&D, and strong cooperation between the academic and business worlds contribute to making it a top innovator,” the group said. “Switzerland boasts the highest number of Patent Cooperation Treaty applications per-capita in the world. Productivity is further enhanced by an excellent education system and a business sector that offers excellent on-the-job-training opportunities.” So what if the United States could emulate Switzerland’s success? Intrigued by the possibilities, on July 9 the U.S. Labor Department signed a joint declaration with the Swiss government to collaborate and exchange information on best practices in vocational education and training. That declaration was the subject of a recent event at the National Press Club that brought together three experts: Martin Dahinden, Switzerland’s ambassador to the United States; Eric M. Seleznow, deputy assistant secretary of employment and training at the Labor Department; and Nancy Hoffman, vice president and senior advisor at Jobs for the Future. “In Switzerland, students make a career choice as early as eighth grade. I’m not kidding,” Dahinden explained at the June 25 gathering. “At age 15 or 16, our teens begin to plan their future career.Two-thirds of Switzerland’s youth at that age do not opt for college, but for a career in a specific professional field.We call this path apprenticeship.” Dahinden should know. Besides being the former director-general of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, his 17-year-old son Robert is currently doing an apprenticeship in metal processing. “As a father, I am proud, but I also have peace of mind knowing my son is going to hit the ground running when he finishes after four years of on-the-job and at-school training. I know he will find work. He will begin his life with no debt, ready to contribute to the community and to Switzerland’s economy.” Robert is now in his second year at a small com-

August 2015

Photo: Rolf Weiss / Ittigen / Embassy of Switzerland

Switzerland employs a vocational training system that prepares young students for specific professions. The Alpine nation is home to one of the lowest unemployment rates on the continent yet produces far fewer higher education graduates than many of its European counterparts.

In Switzerland, students make a career choice as early as eighth grade. I’m not kidding…. Two-thirds of Switzerland’s youth at that age do not opt for college, but for a career in a specific professional field. We call this path apprenticeship. — Martin Dahinden

ambassador of Switzerland to the United States

pany in Bern, the Swiss capital.Three days a week, he works on the job; the other two days, he attends school, acquiring skills he’ll eventually need to either move on to a higher degree or start his own business. And even though Robert’s not yet financially independent, the ambassador says “his salary will go up with every year of his apprenticeship, and with the diploma in his pocket, he will soon make enough money to start a life of his own.” Switzerland is home to one of the lowest unemployment rates on the continent yet, compared to other European countries, produces far fewer higher

education graduates. While the university route is traditionally associated with better prospects and pay, it can also leave overqualified candidates competing for scarce jobs while saddled with high debt. One look at the enormous youth unemployment rates in countries like Greece and Spain (roughly 50 percent) illustrates this problem. In contrast, “Germany and Austria are among the European countries with the least number of university-educated youth but they boast a very low youth unemployment rate,” wrote Swissinfo’s Duc-Quang Nguyen. Like Germany and Austria, which boast strong apprenticeship programs, Switzerland created a vocational training system that prepares students for a wide range of careers to better meet market demands. That includes highly skilled jobs in areas such as information technology, advanced manufacturing and health ALSO SEE: care, as well as more traditional bluePacific Trade collar trades and crafts,wrote Hoffman, Deal Chugs co-author of the report“Gold Standard: Along, The Swiss Vocational Education and Inspiring Hope, Training System.” The national nonHostility, profit she represents, Jobs for the Future, works to improve educational Questions and job opportunities for low-income PAGE 10 Americans. Hoffman wrote that while U.S. companies “largely avoid collaborative training programs for fear of trainee poaching and the resulting lost investment,” each Swiss industry sector partners with the education system to produce “highly skilled, ready-to-work new employees.” “It may sound strange to you, but in Switzerland,

Continued on next page The Washington Diplomat Page 11


Continued from previous page 15-year-olds sign a contract with their parents, and that’s their ticket to school and to working in a company. Once they have a contract, they have a pre-set program,” Hoffman told the National Press Club gathering, noting that Zurich Insurance Group last month announced it would establish an apprenticeship program in the United States to help develop the next generation of insurance industry professionals. “At Zurich Insurance Group, students have an electronic portfolio that tells them where they need to be each day,” she said. “Young people are working in insurance, as carpenters, in manufacturing plants — and they actually produce enough productive labor for the company that they pay back plus a little more than the cost of training them.” Apprenticeships are now available for roughly 230 distinct occupations. About two-thirds of Swiss high school graduates enroll in such a program, and 90 percent of young Swiss adults hold upper-secondary-level qualifications. The result: In 2013, nearly 80 percent of Switzerland’s adult population ages 15 to 64 had paid jobs, with an economy based on highly skilled workers — in areas ranging from micro-technology and biotech to pharmaceuticals, banking and insurance. “After the apprenticeship, you can stay in the company or move to a university, or do an extra year of academics and move into the vocational system,” Hoffman said.“That’s why we think this is the gold standard.” Hoffman said on average, apprentices receive $800 a month, rising to $1,200 a month in the third year (minimum wage laws do not exist in Switzerland). About 30 percent of Switzerland’s companies participate in this system, including telecom giant Swisscom and financial services conglomerate Credit Suisse. In addition, food processing giant Bühler AG has begun an apprenticeship program at its Minneapolis subsidiary, while Daetwyler USA is doing likewise at its plant in North Carolina. “In the U.S., we do too much finger-shaking at employers. But it’s in their best interests to create a talent pipeline that starts at a much younger age,” said Hoffman.“When you talk to CEOs, the first thing they’ll tell you is that this is the best way to grow human capital. You invest in young people and they’ll be loyal. They’ll stay with the company.”

from page 10

TPP when weighing the potential costs and benefits of the agreement. “The first thing that one learns in the first week of trade class is that trade has effects both on the size of economies, but also on the income distribution,” Columbia University development economist Jeffrey Sachs stated in a speech at a Capitol Hill forum last September. “There can be winners and losers. The redistribution is mostly from the poor or middle class to the rich, rather than the other way around.” Economist Joseph Stiglitz, in a New York Times op-ed, echoed Sachs’s concerns, claiming that the TPP threatens to “put most Americans on the wrong side of globalization.” Commentators are particularly miffed at the lack of transparency surrounding the negotiations, which have largely taken place behind closed doors. “When negotiations are secret,” said Stiglitz, “there is no way that the democratic process can exert the checks and balances required to put limits on the negative effects of these agreements.” But because of the sheer complexity involved, most trade deals are hammered out behind closed doors before being opened up to public scrutiny (the public will get 60 days to review the TPP once it is unveiled). But opponents say the opaque negotiations have largely benefited big business and their lobbyists. They point out that today’s tariffs are already very low thanks to previous free trade agreements, and that the real effect of the TPP will be to help large multinational corporations skirt non-tariff regulations designed to protect consumers, workers and the environment. One way the TPP could do this is through the contentious Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clause, which would allow companies challenging government regulation to bypass

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Photo: Larry Luxner

Nancy Hoffman, vice president at Jobs for the Future, says that while U.S. companies “largely avoid collaborative training programs for fear of trainee poaching and the resulting lost investment,” Swiss businesses partner with the education system to produce “highly skilled, readyto-work new employees.”

Hoffman said about 5.5 million young Americans are neither working nor training for work, and that 21 percent of them are black. “But we also have many with bachelor’s degree working as baristas, getting paid the wages of someone who does not need that kind of credential.” That’s why the Swiss model of apprenticeships could work here, she said. “Apprenticeships can be for three or four years,” Hoffman explained. “During the first year, there’s a modest cost to the

national courts and argue their case in front of an international panel of arbitrators, a panel that would include corporate lawyers and other potentially biased private interests.“Agreeing to ISDS would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an outspoken opponent of the proposed clause. “Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.” Obama has called Warren’s assertions “absolutely wrong” and “pure speculation,” pointing out that ISDS cannot require countries to change any law or regulation and is designed to protect American investors abroad. Although ISDS has yet to affect American laws, the practice has already been used to weaken regulations that conflict with free trade agreements in several developing countries. A French company recently sued the Egyptian government over raising the minimum wage, while Swiss tobacco giant Philip Morris used the same tactic to challenge antismoking regulations in Uruguay. The clause could also potentially allow big pharmaceutical companies to challenge domestic drug patent laws, which could ultimately raise drug prices and render vital medicines unaffordable for the world’s poorest consumers.

Consequences for American Workers The most troubling aspect of the proposed trade deal for the American public, however, is undoubtedly its potential impact on U.S. jobs, particularly in the nation’s declining manufacturing sector. Free trade, of course, is a double-edged sword, producing winners and losers. Decades of international trade have undeniably helped American consumers, lowering the price of goods and boosting household incomes. Certain industries, such as the financial services sector, have fared

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company, but young people are actually given real work to do right away.The second year, the three-year apprentice begins to produce a profit for the company, and by the third or fourth year, both pay back the company and they have someone who is very well-trained.” Ambassador Dahinden conceded that at the beginning of their apprenticeships, Swiss youth don’t make enough money to live on. “Most of them still live with their parents. In this first year, they are not very interesting economics-wise for their companies,” he said.“But after the apprenticeship is over, they’re not in debt, like after college. They start their professional lives without debt. It’s different year by year, and there are no minimum salary requirements.” Dahinden added: “It’s not only about acquiring skills. Young people learn to integrate themselves in the adult world, so they start working in a team with people of all ages. Also important is that they not only learn technical skills but how to work with clients, how to deal with procurement of materials — all those elements that are essential if somebody wants to start their own business after the apprenticeship.” By contrast, said the Labor Department’s Seleznow, the average apprentice in the United States is 27 or 28 years old. “Our system is very different. Many employers get involved in the educational system, but they are not part of the educational system like they are in Switzerland,” he said, noting that three years ago, President Barack Obama talked in his State of the Union address about apprenticeships, and asked Vice President Joe Biden to do an assessment. On July 31, 2014, Biden’s office released a 76-page report on ways to strengthen the program; the White House subsequently committed $100 million toward the cause. “We don’t want to recreate the Swiss system here, but there are many parts of their system that are just plain common sense,” said Seleznow. He pointed out that Switzerland is the seventhlargest foreign investor in the United States and that Swiss companies employ more than half a million Americans. “We have worked closely with the Swiss Embassy, and we want to take that model of apprenticeship here,” he said,“but we need more companies to get involved.”

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama attends the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meeting at the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Nov. 20, 2012. Taking part in the meeting are, clockwise from the president, the heads of state of Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia.

particularly well. The administration also notes that U.S. exports supported 11.7 million jobs in 2014, and that those jobs tend to pay better wages than non-export related jobs.And despite the 2008 economic crash, America’s unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6 percent. But elimination of already low import tariffs under the TPP would likely expedite the outsourcing of blue-collar jobs to foreign countries where unskilled labor is much cheaper. This could potentially displace thousands of American workers and cause manufacturing wages to plummet.Two decades of manufacturing job losses that have taken place alongside NAFTA and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 have taught working-class Americans to expect the worst when it comes to free trade.

“Galesburg, Illinois, is a poster child for why free trade deals are a problem for most workingand middle-class Americans,” wrote TPP opponent Peter Cole in reference to the relocation of a Maytag refrigerator plant from Galesburg to Mexico after the passage of NAFTA.“The effects of Maytag’s departure were immediate and glaring. Unemployment increased drastically. Ten years on, the poverty level has increased to 19 percent, and Galesburg has seen about 15 percent of its population leave since 2000.” Other critics of the TPP, however, argue that job loss in America’s import-competing sectors is inevitable in today’s globalized economy, regardless of the existence of free trade deals, and that the real problem is the lack of worker

See TPP, page 18 August 2015


COVER PROFILE

Wafa Bugaighis

Libya’s Wafa Bugaighis: ‘We Desperately Need Help’ by Larry Luxner

I

f you ask Libya’s highest-ranking diplomat in the United States to describe the February 2011 uprising that led to the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi, don’t expect a detached, scholarly dissertation about the triumph of democracy over dictatorship.

No, Wafa Bugaighis actually lived it. From her Benghazi residence only a few blocks from the epicenter of anti-government protests, she saw the bloodshed, smelled the tear gas and heard the screams as Qaddafi’s henchmen attacked anyone opposed to his 42-year regime of repression. “On Feb. 15, a group of women whose sons were in prison took to the street, calling for the release of the lawyer defending their sons in jail,”Bugaighis recalled. “They were crying, ‘Wake up, wake up Benghazi, the day you have been waiting for so long has finally come!’ Those were very tense days. We followed the revolution minute by minute. We lived in horror and fear. “Women started banging on the cars, screaming and shouting in front of the security building, not far away from my house. Suddenly hundreds of people took to the streets. The protesters grew in numbers and everybody was repeating the same slogan. Then a group of thugs confronted the demonstrators with weapons,” Bugaighis said. “On Feb. 17, after two days of confrontation, the city was liberated. But we lost a lot of lives. On the 18th I was in the hospital volunteering and saw young people who had been attacked with

lawlessness as clashes broke out between warring militias and power split between an elected government that has set up camp in the east of the country and a self-declared rival parliament led by Islamist-aligned groups that have seized Tripoli. International mediation to create a unity government has so far failed to bring the two sides together; fighting has crippled the country’s energy-dependent economy; and Libyans are fleeing in droves, creating a humanitarian disaster that is often overshadowed by crises in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, the Islamic State and militants associated with al-Qaeda have tried to capitalize on the power vacuum to gain a foothold in Libya, threatening to further destabilize the region. Bugaighis, whose father was a general in the Libyan Army under King Idris (the man Qaddafi overthrew in 1969), is a 1987 graduate of the George Washington University. She’s headed the Libyan Embassy here as chargé d’affaires since December 2014, having spent nearly two years as Libya’s deputy minister for political affairs, and as acting foreign minister for a few months last year. She now hopes to be named ambas-

We’ve lost a lot of lives, but despite all the chaos, I think it’s part of the transformation. When countries go from dictatorship to democracy, they go through years of chaos. I personally will never regret the uprising. We needed to do it.”

— Wafa Bugaighis

chargé d’affaires of the Libyan Embassy in the United States

anti-aircraft missiles. Even the doctors were in shock. They had never seen anything like it. I still have trauma from those times.” The trauma back home has not subsided. After rebels, supported by NATO airstrikes, ousted Qaddafi and set up a transitional government, there was an initial period of optimism that Libya, with its vast oil wealth, could become an Arab Spring success story. But the North African nation descended into

August 2015

sador, even as war continues unabated and her government has little control over the embattled country. “My appointment is an indication of women’s empowerment by the elected House of Representatives. The current situation is very critical and requires sending somebody here with experience,” said Bugaighis, 51, explaining that as deputy minister, she headed committees dealing with border security and other key portfolios.

Photo: Lawrence Ruggeri of Ruggeriphoto.com

“Libya is a very rich country, but when you go there, you think you’re in one of the world’s poorest countries,” she lamented.“My dream was to build a democratic nation that promotes human rights, education, quality of life and a fair distribution of Libya’s wealth, where every part of the country could benefit. But soon after our liberation, political divisions started to rise on the surface and it took us by surprise.” Those divisions have emerged along a complex web of ethnic, tribal, geographic and ideological lines “against the backdrop of a hardening Islamist versus non-Islamist narrative,” wrote Andrew Engel, a former research assistant at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “Following the revolution, many Libyans dreamed — not unrealistically — of their country developing along the lines of Persian Gulf states with similarly small populations and abundant natural resources,” he said. “Yet Libya has since become a failed state in what could be a prolonged period of civil war.” With some 430,000 of Libya’s 6 million inhabitants either internally displaced or seeking refuge abroad, according to the United Nations, the country now has two competing parliaments:

the democratically elected House of Representatives in the eastern city of Tobruk, and a resurrected General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli, which Engel calls “an entity dominated by Islamists and with a long-expired mandate.” Bugaighis said various warring factions attending the recent talks in Morocco supervised by U.N. special envoy Bernardino León agreed on a framework for peace, but that a key player — the GNC — isn’t part of that draft accord. (The group boycotted the signing over lingering disputes, but U.N. officials still hope to bring it on board for the next round of negotiations.) “There’s a lot of polarization among my people between the elected, internationally recognized government in Tobruk and the other government in Tripoli,” Bugaighis said. “We’re hoping the current peace talks will end this polarization because we cannot live with this any more.” The outspoken Bugaighis, who last visited Libya in October 2014, talked with The Washington Diplomat for two hours at her official residence on Wyoming Avenue. Ali Aujali, the last ambassador to live here, resigned in

Continued on next page The Washington Diplomat Page 13


Continued from previous page February 2011 after years of defending — and then disowning and denouncing — the Qaddafi regime. Asked for his take on the current situation back home and what Bugaighis might do about it, Aujali said “this is a very serious crisis. What’s going on is unbelievable.” “The person now in charge of Libyan-American relations should be constantly in contact with the U.S. government and Congress, explaining what’s happening and telling them frankly what we need from them,” said Aujali, who, like Bugaighis, is from Benghazi but doesn’t know her well. “The person in charge should ask the U.S. to play its role responsibly. The Americans supported the revolution in the first place, and now it’s crucial for them to support the formation of a new government — and to stand firm against the people opposing this agreement.” Aujali added that “being soft” when negotiating with radicals is pointless. “I don’t hear a strong voice from the United States about what’s going on in Libya.They should speak firmly and loudly if they really want to help the Libyan people out of this crisis,” the retired diplomat suggested. “We have an army fighting terrorists in the entire country, and this army cannot fight with words. They need weapons. Discussion by itself does not help if we have no strong support from the international community. That’s the only choice we have now.”

CredIt: U.n. photo / IASon FooUnten

A celebratory atmosphere pervades the city of msallata, libya, in november 2011 against the silhouette of guns and libyan flags. today, however, libya is riven by various armed militias, two competing governments and Islamist jihadists looking to capitalize on the power vacuum.

The terrorists Aujali despises are Islamic State fighters (also known as ISIS) who have established a beachhead in Libya, far from the group’s original strongholds of Iraq and Syria. The situation is “very critical, very dire,” said Bugaighis. “We need to reach a political situation very soon. We were hoping to reach consensus on a government of national accord so that we can utilize international help, especially recently with the presence of ISIS in Libya.” Many fear that Libya has become

fertile training ground for militants looking to stage attacks in neighboring countries. One suspect in the June 26 terrorist attack in the Tunisian tourist town of Sousse that killed 38 people reportedly trained in Libya. Bugaighis warned that extremism doesn’t recognize borders.“We now have two stable countries as neighbors: Tunisia, an example of success, and Egypt, which is paving its way forward. However, the one shared, common element is terrorism. Egypt is threatened, Tunisia is threatened — and Libya is right in the middle.”

Bugaighis estimates that the Islamic State has about 3,000 fighters in Libya, including many locals but also Tunisians, Saudis and others. “It doesn’t matter where they’re from. They have a lot of resources and very modern, new weapons, but ISIS is not socially accepted at all,” she told The Diplomat. “Libyans are conservative Muslims, but with no extremism whatsoever. It’s a moderate society. That’s why ISIS will not be able to thrive. We need to confront them, but we can’t do it alone. We need international collaboration.

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However, we don’t want any solution that will trigger more extremism. We don’t want it to become a call for jihadists.We want to empower our national forces to confront the terrorists.” She said this international help should be confined to intelligence sharing, monitoring the Mediterranean Sea and enforcing laws in other countries to prevent the transfer of arms to Libya. But Libya is already awash in arms, its borders are porous and it can be nearly impossible for outsiders to decipher the shifting loyalties among different factions who capitalize more on convenience than religion. In early June, for example, Islamic State militants were expelled from the eastern city of Derna by the Mujahideen Shura Council (DMSC), a militia linked to al-Qaeda. After the Islamic State opened fire on civilians opposing its rule, the DMSC tacitly joined forces with the Libyan National Army — affiliated with the government in Tobruk — and drove the Islamic State out of Derna. While seemingly a victory for the central government, the alliance, like so many others in Libya, is likely fleeting. The DMSC, which has its own extremist ideology, tolerated the Islamic State until the group turned on its fighters. Mohamed Eljarh, a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, argues that truly sustainable peace and stability require the creation of a state-sanctioned force to protect

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August 2015


Derna from all threats. “After that, the internationally recognized government in Tobruk or a future Government of National Accord (as recently proposed by United Nations mediators) would help to set up a local administration to run the affairs of the city and bring it back under state control,” Eljarh wrote June 24 in Foreign Policy. “Most importantly, the Libyan authorities and international organizations should work to create an environment in which civil society organizations can flourish, a key precondition for countering extremist ideology.” Karim Mezran, a senior fellow at the Rafik Hariri Center, calls Bugaighis a “very passionate” diplomat who intends to do exactly that. “She has worked tirelessly to spread the word on the necessity for Libya to reach an agreement and put an end to this horrible situation,” said the Libyan-born Mezran.“The difference [between Bugaighis and her predecessor] is probably in the style a woman brings to the table. Ali [Aujali] was more cold and distant. Even during the revolution, he couldn’t do much because he was the representative of the Qaddafi regime.Wafa is the representative of an elected government in a very difficult political moment, so she needs to be passionate and active — and determined in trying to foster a solution.” As such, Mezran said Bugaighis has the backing of her government, but that “the government is weak, very divided and fragmented.” Even so, he insisted,“She should become the ambassador. There is no reason for her to be chargé d’affaires. She’s fluent in English and has engaged every single diplomat that has anything to do with Libya or the Middle East, and I have not heard any negative comments from anyone so far.” Bugaighis also worked closely with Deborah Jones, who became U.S. ambassador to Libya after her predecessor, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed in a 2012 firefight in Benghazi. That attack sparked a Republican political assault against then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that has shown no sign of abating. (On July 7, Obama nominated Peter Bodde, currently U.S. ambassador to Nepal, to replace Jones.) “She did her best to help us,” Bugaighis said of Jones, who has been running the embassy from the nearby Mediterranean island of Malta for security reasons. “Everybody is now in Tunisia, and your embassy is moving to Tunisia as well. It’s very unfortunate, but it’s because of the deteriorating situation.They do visit Tobruk every now and then.We’re hoping they’ll come back some day.” But that won’t be any time soon, Mezran predicted. “Most of the foreign ambassadors are in Tunis,” he said. “I’m very pessimistic — even if an agreement is signed and a new government of national unity is formed — that full security can be guaranteed in Tripoli and all the foreign diplomats can come back before six to eight months.” In some respects, Bugaighis is already acting as a full-fledged ambassador. “I am not waiting for an appointment to make a difference. The appointment is just protocol,” she said.“The minute I arrived here, I made a plan to reform the embassy’s financial and administrative procedures. We have achieved a lot of progress.” The embassy, which employs 29 people, is located on the third floor of the Watergate building. But there’s also a military attaché on the fourth floor, an educational office on the fifth and a consulate on the seventh. “Our size has tripled since the revolution. One of the reforms I’m looking at is to move into a building. This would save us a lot of money,” she said, estimating that monthly rent August 2015

Photo: Larry Luxner

A young Libyan man walks past a Tripoli mural in 2009 celebrating the 40th anniversary of Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s Great September Revolution. Two years later, Qaddafi was ousted from power and there was a brief period of optimism that Libya would embrace democracy, though the oil-rich country has since fractured along tribal, geographical and ethnic lines.

would drop from the current $63,000 to around $30,000. Just changing the embassy’s health insurance plan has saved her government $600,000 a year, she noted. David Mack, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs and U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, said Bugaighis is “smart and articulate” in English as well as her native Arabic. “She has done an exemplary job of representing her country at a very difficult time,” said Mack, whose diplomatic assignments included Libya as well as Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. “While she is a loyal spokesperson for the internationally recognized governing bodies in Tobruk and Bayda — to whom she owes her appointment to Washington — she has also been realistic about the need for a government of national accord which engages other political actors.” Mack told The Diplomat that Bugaighis “has worked effectively with various parts of the U.S. government while also dealing with public audiences and NGOs that support a better future for Libya.” To that end, she said the U.S. government “has been very supportive” in recognizing her mission, and that “there’s no vagueness here.” “If we have a government of national unity, a security plan will be implemented immediately,” she told us. “That plan is essential to the success of our government. I’m in constant touch with the State Department, the White House and the National Security Council. We have a dire humanitarian crisis in Libya.” For one thing, Bugaighis said, Libyan oil production has fallen from 1.6 million barrels a day to just 250,000 barrels a day — a catastrophe for a country that depends on petroleum for 98 percent of its foreign exchange. “We have a lot of smuggling in Libya now — drugs, arms, illegal immigration. I’m sure terrorists are also benefitting from this kind of business,” she said.“Hopefully if we can secure our oil fields, we’ll start producing oil at high rates again and get Libya on the proper economic track.” In the meantime, Bugaighis, who for over 18 years worked as a chemical engineering specialist in Benghazi, has met with a number of American oil companies that were making money in Libya before fighting broke out, and are ready to go back as soon as the situation allows. With help from the U.S.-Libya Business Association, she’s been pushing passage of a bilateral trade and investment framework agreement that was signed in December 2013 but never activated.Also on her agenda: signing an accord with the Overseas Private Insurance Corp. to guarantee U.S. investments in Libya. “You cannot have security without a strong economy. We need to create jobs for hundreds of thousands of young people. We need to build a strong infrastructure and support the

Credit: U.N. Photo / Iason Foounten

A crowd protests the ongoing use of weapons by rebel militias inside of Tripoli and the accompanying atmosphere of lawlessness in December 2011. Their calls went answered: In 2014, Islamist-aligned militias seized Tripoli, kicked out the weak central government and set the stage for two rival parliaments that continue to duel for power.

health sector,” she said. “That’s why the economy is so important. But local governance is crucial to security.” As of now, however, Libya’s motley crew of militias and dueling governments are jockeying not only for power, but also for territory and oil resources, making foreign investment a pipe dream. Some Libyans, in fact, yearn for the stability that strongman Qaddafi once provided, instead of the turmoil that reigns today. (Bugaighis’s own cousin, human rights activist Salwa Bugaighis, who was on the frontlines of the 2011 revolution, was shot and killed just as she returned from voting in the 2014 parlia-

mentary elections.) “Some people never stopped supporting Qaddafi,” Wafa Bugaighis conceded.“Of course, I personally refuse to wish for those days. The only element threatening us right now is ISIS and the extremists. We’ve lost a lot of lives, but despite all the chaos, I think it’s part of the transformation. When countries go from dictatorship to democracy, they go through years of chaos. I personally will never regret the uprising. We needed to do it.”

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

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Digital Diplomacy Forum

Europe

With New Ambassador at Helm, Swiss Embassy Ups Its Digital Game by Molly McCluskey

W

ithout fail, the arrival of a new ambassador provides an embassy with an opportunity, a pivot of sorts, to evaluate what works and what doesn’t.

Each new ambassador brings his or her own experience, style and message, which carry across both public and private channels, and the transition allows an embassy to change direction or up its game. When Martin Dahinden took his post as ambassador of the Swiss Embassy last October, it offered the embassy a chance to take the next step in its nascent social media program, which was just finding its rhythm. Himself an admittedly light, and private, social media user, the new ambassador found it challenging to take the helm of the embassy’s burgeoning digital footprint. The Swiss Embassy has a Twitter and Facebook presence, built up in the past two years by a team of two: Salome Ramseier, the embassy’s head of communications, and Florence Benz, the media and communications coordinator. Dahinden brought to the post two personal accounts, one each for Twitter and Facebook, both of which he had used privately, as well as a LinkedIn account that was separate from the embassy’s. He immediately set out to establish a strategy for the four accounts with his team, and how each would be used in concert with the others. “This was one of the major challenges.The embassy account is more of an anonymous account directed to the public interested in Switzerland in one way or the other,” Dahinden told us. “The personal account is something where I as a person do communication. It shouldn’t be private. It should be linked to my function as ambassador of Switzerland and all that it entails. But it’s not an account where a private person shares with your colleagues about family events, what you do on the weekends and so on.” Along with selecting content and imagery, the ambassador and his team made the decision to choose one language from Switzerland’s four official national languages to post and tweet in. “Before, when I had the Facebook account, most of the posts were in German, French, some in Italian and, every now and then, something in English,” he said.“So we had to decide to move away from this, knowing that most of the followers were people with one of our national languages, so we had to introduce mostly the English language.” For Dahinden, quality matters over quantity, especially when it comes to his followers. “It is not so important on whether I have really a lot of people following me or not, but it is important to have the people among the followers that I’m interested in [having a future or current] dialogue.” That dialogue can be hampered by a reluctance to communicate via social media. Both Dahinden and Ramseier admit that the staff has been at times hesitant to hop on the digital bandwagon. Ramseier points to traditional diplomacy, which has typically been conducted face to face, especially with confidential or sensitive information, as the root cause of this reti-

16

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Swiss Ambassador Martin Dahinden stands outside the headquarters of Facebook in California.

Photo: Embassy of Switzerland

There is a lot of uncertainty that prevents people from using it — what should I share, what should I not share, where are the risks. — Martin Dahinden

ambassador of Switzerland to the United States

cence. But, she adds, Swiss culture also tends to be more reserved than social media often encourages. “The Swiss are very much about being modest, and social media is often looked at as, ‘Oh, you’re boastful, you’re putting yourself out there like you’re so important,’ and that is completely contrary to how we are raised to be, which is don’t speak out, be modest,” she explained. “There is a lot of uncertainty that prevents people from using it — what should I share, what should I not share, where are the risks,” Dahinden added. Ramseier, the driving force behind the embassy’s social media, has seen uncertainty. “Colleagues here are very reluctant to use social media because they’re worried about saying something wrong, but I want to encourage them to use it as a listening tool, and what I learned, you can only think

social if you actually do it,” Ramseier said.“You have to learn how to approach a situation from a social media perspective. It’s really different from other communications.And if you don’t do it, you don’t know how to do it.That will be one of the challenges I face: how to include the colleagues here at the embassy in the workflow so that they’re using it as a listening tool, but also contributing content.” The ambassador said he would like to see the platforms the embassy uses expand to include more content on Instagram and LinkedIn, as well as to increase engagement on Twitter and Facebook and embrace platforms that have yet to be introduced. “Social media is something we are only at the beginning with. Irrespective now of my job, I’m thinking a lot about those developments in social media, and how does it influence my diplomacy. And it will influence my diplomacy, [just as] other technological innovations — for instance, the telephone or the telegraph or the printing in earlier phases of history — influenced diplomacy,” Dahinden said. “So for me, I think it keeps the main challenges and the main tasks of diplomacy upright but provides a new instrument.”

Molly McCluskey (@MollyEMcCluskey) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat and has covered Switzerland for a variety of publications. August 2015


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retraining initiatives. “Obama had a rare opportunity to force major congressional action on worker training, by tying it to the Pacific trade pact, which Republicans broadly support,” wrote Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. “He had leverage — and he failed to use it.” This oversight may be reflective of a deeper trend in the American economy and educational system. A report by the Council on Foreign Relations points out that the United States lags far behind other industrialized nations when it comes to spending on worker training, allocating only 0.1 percent of total GDP to training and assistance as compared to 0.8 percent in Germany and 2.3 percent in Denmark. A big reason for this discrepancy is that vocational education is simply not built into the American public school system the way it is in many European countries. So while a country like Germany may pride itself on its highly successful apprenticeship model, the high costs of such a program and the general lack of public funding and support for vocational education in the U.S. prevent its educational system from following in Germany’s footsteps. Some help is coming, however. On June 25, the House overwhelmingly approved the worker aid provision of the Trade Promotion Authority that Democrats had originally shot down in an attempt to stall the fast-track bill. The provision will renew and expand the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, which was first introduced in 1962 to protect workers laid off by expanded trade; many Republicans view it as a form of welfare. The newly passed legislation reauthorizes funds for worker retraining, including apprenticeships, on-the-job training and educational degrees. It also increases financial assistance for job search and relocation costs, and adjusts certain eligibility limits so as to allow for wider participation in the program. In particular, the bill extends the maximum time permitted to complete training while receiving financial assistance from 65 to 78 weeks; increases the maximum job search and relocation allowance from $1,250 to $1,500; and stretches the maximum annual income that a newly re-employed worker is permitted to make to receive wage subsidies from $50,000 to $55,000. In a Council on Foreign Relations memo, former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and CFR adjunct senior fellow Matthew Slaughter called on Congress to do more to focus specifically on the long-term unemployed and subject existing job training programs to better oversight to ensure their effectiveness. There have also been calls in the U.S. to

Looking Forward For every statistic and anecdote illustrating American job losses to free trade, there are just as many showing the positive impact of a rules-based system of open markets. But there are also those in the middle who argue that the economic benefits of the TPP will be marginal, at best, and that the importance of the deal has been inflated by politicians. The effects of globalization, which are difficult to quantify, are more critical to understand. But questions about long-term issues such as the lack of democratic input in trade negotiations and the adequacy of existing safety nets for those who find themselves on the losing side of trade liberalization may get put on the backburner. Given the successful passage of the fasttrack authority bill, final negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership are expected to take place at a ministerial meeting to be held in the U.S. at the end of July. Major gaps on automotive and agricultural trade have reportedly been narrowed, but significant disagreements remain and there is no guarantee a final deal can be reached by summer. In the meantime, the actual text of the agreement will remain tightly under wraps. Even once it comes out, the public and congressional review of the pact could drag into 2016, colliding with an American election year and possibly dragging out the TPP tug of war, yet again.

Karin Sun is a freelance writer in New Jersey.

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adopt Europe’s vaunted system of apprenticeships. The same day that the House passed its worker aid bill, a National Press Club conference discussed the possibility of the U.S. emulating the Swiss model of vocational training as an alternative to college preparatory studies in American high schools (also see related story on page 11). While the renewed Trade Adjustment Assistance Act may bring immediate relief to some displaced blue-collar workers, incorporating vocational training into the American public education system may be a more permanent fix. “Though the number of manufacturing jobs has declined in the U.S., those that remain often demand a higher level of skill,” Beijing-based journalist Michael Schuman wrote in Quartz, pointing out that the U.S. has lost out on offshoring to China, which doesn’t even have a free trade agreement with Washington. Low wages abroad, he says, not trade pacts, are the real culprit.And there is simply no way for an American worker who earns five times his Chinese counterpart to compete on cost, even if protectionist walls go up. “Rejecting the TPP won’t save the American worker; better programs to upgrade American skills will.”

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The Washington Diplomat

August 2015


Book Review

Norman Mailer

Latest JFK Tome Offers Vivid Portrayal of 1960 Race by John Shaw

T

maries in the cold and snow of Wisconsin; to the summer heat of the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles; and then the autumn chill across America during the final weeks before the election. Finally, we see JFK at home in Hyannis Port, Mass., on Election Day, nervously awaiting the returns with his family and aides. “Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket” provides a striking perspective on American politics. We experience the momentum of the campaign — the sparse crowds and lonely motorcades at the outset succeeded by the surging crowds and palpable enthusiasm of the homestretch. We see campaign buttons and hats, makeshift podiums, simple voting tally boards, streaming confetti and people staring at the candidate from stairs, balconies, fire escapes and sidewalks. We feel like we are there. The photos also offer powerful and poignant glimpses of America in 1960, with its small towns, large cities, diners, hotels and interested citizens. Men often attend campaign events in suits and ties while women wear dresses. The politics of this time seems less staged than now, almost like a sacred civic ritual. “Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket” confirms the cliché that a good picture is worth a thousand words. There are so many memorable photos it’s hard to know where to begin. Some of the highlights include:

he 1960 presidential campaign has earned a special place in American political history and popular culture. The campaign was dominated by two unforgettable candidates, Sen­ ator John F. Kennedy, the Demo­crat, and Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican. The race included consequential and vivid secondary characters such as retiring President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Senate Majority Leader Lyndon B. Johnson, JFK’s running mate.The fiercely contested campaign featured, and was profoundly influenced by, the first televised debates and was decided by a razor-thin margin. The election was followed by a dramatic changing of the guard in Washington, as the oldest president in American history, the 70-year-old Eisenhower, was replaced by the youngest elected chief executive, the 43-year-old Kennedy. Finally, the campaign was brought to life by television and several remarkable chronicles, including a controversial magazine article by Norman Mailer that the writer credited with helping push Kennedy over the edge of victory and ushering in a new form of first-person journalism. “Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket” is a 21st-century homage to that article and to one of the most riveting political events of the 20th century. The book is a lush, even lavish, account of the 1960 presidential campaign. It’s a large book, literally, running 370 pages and weighing almost 10 pounds, with coffee-table dimensions tucked into a cardboard carrying case. The book is published by Taschen, a German-based company that specializes in art, photography, painting, design, fashion, film, architecture and popular culture books. “Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket” has three parts. First, there are more than 300 photographs related to the 1960 campaign; then, there is Mailer’s famous essay,“Superman Comes to the Supermarket,” that was published in Esquire magazine on the eve of the election; and finally, there are detailed chronologies of Kennedy’s personal life, political career and presidential contest. Amazing photographs are the heart and soul of this book, with most depicting JFK during his quest for the presidency. About two-thirds of the photos are in black and white and wonderfully evoke the feel and texture of the time. Several of the most remarkable images are spread over two pages in what the publisher describes,

August 2015

• JFK officially announcing his presidential bid in the Senate Caucus Room, packed with reporters and aides standing in the background.

Photo: Taschen

• Jackie Kennedy slumped in a chair after a day on the campaign trail, weary and unguarded. In the caption, she is quoted as saying that her face hurt because she had to smile all day.

One saw him immediately. He had the deep orange-brown suntan of a ski instructor, and when he smiled at the crowd his teeth were amazingly white and clearly visible at a distance of fifty yards.

• Kennedy standing on a tractor in West Virginia, addressing a small group of schoolchildren on a hillside. There is another great photo of Kennedy sitting on a step in his suit and tie, talking with a group of coal miners who are taking a break from their work.

— Norman Mailer

• A wonderful series of photos from the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles that speaks volumes about the convention as political carnival and human theater.

author of ‘Superman Comes to the Supermarket’

perhaps tongue-in-check, as “heroic size.” The photos are the work of several of the great photojournalists of the second half of the 20th century: Cornell Capa, Henri Dauman, Jacques Lowe, Lawrence Schiller, Paul Schutzer, Stanley Tretick, Hank Walker and Garry Winogrand. The photographs reveal Kennedy as an ambitious, determined and dogged candidate who would go any place and meet

anyone to advance his campaign. They convey JFK’s many moods during his race for the presidency: serious, bemused, concentrated, playful, intense, exhausted, worried, exuberant, detached and triumphant. The mostly chronological presentation of photos traces the trajectory of the campaign, from Kennedy’s official announcement of his candidacy on Jan. 2, 1960, in the Senate Caucus Room; to the early pri-

• An iconic photo of JFK in a hotel room, huddled in serious conversation with his brother and campaign manager, Robert. • A young couple sitting by candlelight on an outdoor Park Avenue terrace in New York City, watching a debate be­­tween

Continued on next page The Washington Diplomat Page 19


Continued from previous page Kennedy and Nixon on their small TV. • Vice presidential candidate Lyndon Johnson shouting in anger at protestors at an airport rally in Texas. JFK is in the background and steps forward to restrain his furious running mate. • The inaugural dais on the Capitol just minutes before Kennedy is sworn in as president. JFK is chatting with Eisenhower, while LBJ and Nixon (the two men who will succeed Kennedy) are involved in their own private discussion. • JFK and Jackie being driven in a convertible from the Capitol to the White House on Inauguration Day, waving to the crowd in a moment of triumph that also foreshadows their trip through Dallas in a convertible less than three years later that will end with JFK’s assassination. (The book has about a dozen photos of JFK in convertibles, often in the middle of surging crowds, with little apparent security, all of which foreshadow Kennedy’s death in Dallas.)

CREDIT: RALPH CRANE / TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES

The textual core of the book is Mailer’s provocative 14,000-word essay that ran in Esquire just weeks before the 1960 election.At the time, Mailer was one of America’s most famous writers. An acclaimed novelist, he also wrote poetry, short stories, stage plays, screenplays, TV miniseries and essays. He was one of the originators of what was called New Journalism, a literary movement in the 1960s that employed fictional narrative techniques when writing about real events. In the summer of 1960, Mailer agreed to write about the presidential campaign for Esquire, largely focused on the Democratic convention in Los Angeles. Mailer’s article was published just three weeks before Election Day and attracted considerable attention. Mailer sometimes claimed it provided a critical boost to Kennedy’s campaign and contributed to his narrow victory.

Delegates for John F. kennedy at the democratic national Convention engage in a demonstration from the floor of the l.A. Sports Arena on July 13, 1960. By the time a delegate got to the convention, anticipation was running high, and the arena was busy with activity.

In the essay, Mailer argued that America had lost its energy and purpose after eight listless years of the Eisenhower administration. The United States, he declared, needed an “existential” hero to rescue it from its torpor and infuse it with purpose and passion. That hero, in Mailer’s account, is JFK. He saw Kennedy as a politician with conventional policies but who was also daring, brave and bold. He said Kennedy decided to run for president years before party elders believed he should, thus breaking established rules and risking “political suicide” to seek the White House. Mailer is best at setting scenes. This is how he described Kennedy arriving at the Biltmore in Los Angeles, the main hotel of the Democratic

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John f. Kennedy’s appeal as an everyman was built in part by giving photographers from magazines such as life and look open access to capture quotidian moments from his campaign, like this April 1960 jaunt through a West Virginia grocery store.

Convention: “One saw him immediately. He had the deep orange-brown suntan of a ski instructor, and when he smiled at the crowd his teeth were amazingly white and clearly visible at a distance of fifty yards.” Mailer later described JFK at a convention press conference as a man who had “a cool grace which seemed indifferent to applause, his manner somehow similar to the poise of a fine boxer, quick with his hands, neat in his timing, and two feet away from his corner when the bell ended the round. There was a good lithe wit to his responses, a dry Harvard wit, a keen sense of proportion in disposing of difficult questions,” Mailer wrote.“Yet there was an elusive detachment to everything he did. One did not have the feeling of a man present in the room with all his weight and all his mind…. Kennedy seemed at times like a young professor whose manner was adequate for the classroom, but whose mind was off in some intricacy of the Ph.D. thesis he was writing.” Mailer later wrote than JFK had “a subtle, not quite describable intensity, a suggestion of dry pent heat…. He had the eyes of a mountaineer. His appearance changed with his mood.” Expanding on this theme, Mailer argued that “Kennedy’s most characteristic quality is the remote and private air of a man who has traversed some lonely terrain of experience, of loss and gain, of nearness to death, which leaves him isolated from the mass of others.” Mailer portrayed the race between Kennedy and Nixon as a choice between the risky and bold and the conventional and dull. Nixon, he wrote, was “the apotheosis of opportunistic lead, all radium spent,” while Kennedy was “handsome as a prince in the unstated aristocracy of the American dream.” In a later essay written in 1963, also published in this book, Mailer backtracked on his original work and called his “Superman” essay “propaganda,” adding,“I was forcing reality.” He believes he overestimated Kennedy as a force for change in his lofty portrayal of the charismatic candidate. Extensive chronologies and notes comprise the final part of the book and place Kennedy’s life and political career in context. One section, “JFK: A Life, 1917-1963,” summarizes his jour-

CredIt: henrI dAUmAn/dAUmAnpICtUreS.Com. All rIghtS reServed.

Jacqueline Kennedy, 31, was magnetic on the campaign trail. while her travel had been limited due to her pregnancy, she re-emerged on an important swing through New York City on Oct. 19, 1960, culminating in a ticker-tape parade down 5th Avenue.

ney from young boy, to World War II hero in the South Pacific, to congressional candidate, to senator and then president. “Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket” is a delightful book that is both fun and educational.The photographs tell the story of JFK and his political career vividly and evocatively; they transport us back in time. The notes and chronologies are clear and helpful, summarizing both JFK’s career and the 1960 campaign. Mailer’s essay is an interesting, provocative example of New Journalism style and should be read as an intriguing contemporary perspective on JFK and his campaign, rather than as a definitive account of the 1960 election. While this book is about JFK, I would have preferred a few more photographs of Nixon, the other figure in this drama. Nixon, after all, almost won the election. But in this book, Nixon’s role is limited to that of villain and foil. “Norman Mailer. JFK. Superman Comes to the Supermarket” is an excellent complement to other books on the 1960 election. My favorite is still Theodore White’s “The Making of the President 1960.” Other interesting and more recent books include: “The First Modern Campaign” by Gary Donaldson;“1960 — LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon” by David Pietrusza; “The Real Making of the President” by W.J. Rorabaugh; and “Kennedy v. Nixon” by Edmund Kallina. John F. Kennedy’s ability to fascinate only seems to grow with the passage of time. This book will add to the enduring intrigue and allure of JFK.

John Shaw is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. August 2015


MEDICAL ■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

LIGHTS

OUT H

Good Night’s Sleep Keeps Health Bugs Away by Gina Shaw

PHOTO: LIGHTSOURCE / DEPOSIT PHOTOS

ow much sleep do you need? Almost certainly more than you’re getting, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

(AASM). Adults should be getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night in order to function well and avoid many chronic health conditions associated with lack of sleep, an

academy panel recommended in an article published in June in Sleep magazine. In fact, sleep is so important that the academy said you almost can’t get too much of it. The panel did not put an upper limit on daily hours of sleep, saying that sleeping even nine hours or more regularly might be appropriate for some people, including young adults and those recovering from illness.

MEDICAL August 2015

■ August 2015

Continued on next page

The Washington Diplomat Page 21


Continued from previous page

Finally!

December found that the pervasive glow of electronic gadgets can impact sleep It’s become almost a competitive patterns long after they’re turned off. sport to lament/brag about how little A group of a dozen adults were asked sleep you’re getting, as a way of showing to either read on an iPad for four hours how busy or important you are. But it’s each night before bedtime for five conputting your health at risk, said panel secutive nights, or to read printed books moderator Dr. Nathaniel Watson, incom- in dim light. After a week, the groups ing AASM president. “Sleep is critical to switched. The study participants who health, along with a healthy diet and read on iPads displayed reduced levels of regular exercise. Our consensus panel the sleep-promoting hormone melafound that sleeping six or fewer hours tonin, took longer to fall asleep and per night is inadequate to sustain health spent less time in the dream-filled rapidand safety in adults.” eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, the The 15-member panel spent a year most restorative sleep we get. And even reviewing more than 5,300 scientific after eight hours of sleep, the iPad readarticles about the link between sleep ers reported being sleepier and less alert and optimal health. They found that the next morning sleeping less than seven hours a night is “It’s in part the blue light, the shortassociated with a daunting list of health wave length light that these devices problems: depression, high blood pres- emit,” said Anne-Marie Chang, an assistant sure, obesity and heart disease. Not get- professor of biobehavioral health at Penn ting enough sleep can also weaken your State University and a co-author of the immune system, heighten your sensitivi- study. “However, these devices not only NOTE: is made your ad light, is free mistakes in spelling and ty toAlthough pain, put every you ateffort increased risk ofto assure emit this blue butofthey also are accidents,content impair work andto the it isperformance ultimately up customer proof. handheld close to to make the facethe andfinal the readultimately put you at a higher risk of er is looking directly at the light source, which increases theadvertiser, likelihood of these Theearly first death. two faxed changes will be made at no cost to the subsequent changes One of theathabits that be keepeffects happening. theconsidered evening, approved. will be billed a rate ofmight $75 per faxed alteration. SignedLight ads in are ing you from a good night’s sleep is especially blue light, has an alerting focusing on Please your phone, tablet other effect.Mark It makes less sleepy. check thisorad carefully. anyuschanges to” your ad. electronic device. And it’s not just about The researchers didn’t test devices procrastinating turning off the light so other than an iPad, Chang noted. Some If the ad correct signa few andmore fax to: (301)of949-0065 needs changes thatisyou can play rounds other e-readers, like the Paperwhite, your favorite online game or read the have a different kind of light; and others, The Washington next chapterDiplomat of your book on the(301) e-read-933-3552 like the original Kindle and the original er. Even once you’ve settled down for Nook, don’t emit light and require an shut-eye, the blue glow of your tablet has external light to read. Approved __________________________________________________________ a lingering effect on your sleep, research“I would speculate that if the light Changes ___________________________________________________________ ers say. wasn’t shining directly in your eyes, you ___________________________________________________________________ A study published in the Proceedings would not see this effect,” she suggestof the National Academy of Sciences in ed.

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MEDICAL Diplomat

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August 2015


One of the habits that might be keeping you from a good night’s sleep is focusing on your phone, tablet or other electronic device. Even once you’ve settled down for shut-eye, the blue glow of your tablet has a lingering effect on your sleep, researchers say.

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• Make your to-do list for tomorrow and get it out of your head so you don’t lie awake thinking about everything you have to do. • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy meals before bed; they can all disrupt sleep.Try to finish eating two to three hours before going to sleep. • Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. If it’s more than 10 years old, it’s probably time for a new one. • Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool (about 60 to 67 degrees is optimal for sleep) and quiet. If your partner snores, consider a white noise machine or earplugs. Pleasant dreams! Gina Shaw (@writergina) is the medical writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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arts

Worldly American Icon The Kennedy Center may be as American as apple pie, but its programming has a decidedly worldly flavor, hosting an array of international festivals and events that reflect the diversity on which this country was founded. PAGE 27

ART

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entertainment

■ AUGUST 2015

FACING

IRAN

ART

Gustave and Joachim

ART

Bucking Nature Historically, nature was considered safe territory for women artists, the assumption being that women were better at studied observation than creative imagination. Two recent exhibits, however, blow those outdated assumptions out of the water. PAGE 29

Shirin Neshat’s 1993 “I Am Its Secret (Women of Allah)”

PHOTO: PLAUTO / © SHIRIN NESHAT / COURTESY GLADSTONE GALLERY, NY AND BRUSSELS

Separated by 200 years and vastly different artistic genres, Gustave Caillebotte and Joachim Wtewael nevertheless share a few things in common, as seen in two generously expansive shows at the National Gallery of Art. PAGE 28

“Every Iranian artist is, in one way or another, political. Politics has defined our lives,” says Shirin Neshat, whose compelling observations on the turbulence and transformation that have defined her exiled homeland make up “Facing History,” a timely exhibition on identity and power in Iran. PAGE 26

DINING

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Two new restaurants, Fig & Olive and Mango Tree, are injecting CityCenterDC with international flair. PAGE 32

“Best of Enemies” provides a rare chance to witness the birth of the television political pundit. PAGE 34


[ art ]

Iran In Your Face Exiled Shirin Neshat Offers Compelling Insights Into Homeland by Lauren Hodges

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ummer headlines are abuzz with updates and analysis of the recent nuclear agreement in Vienna. Open any major media outlet and Iran is likely to have a comfortable place somewhere in front. Yet many American readers are comfortably removed enough to either absorb the news or flip right past it in search of last night’s game or the latest think piece about online dating. But for those born in Iran, there is no distance. Tehran is their daily think piece. They cannot just turn the page. “Every Iranian artist is, in one way or another, political,” said Shirin Neshat.“Politics has defined our lives.” Neshat is the artist behind the lens at the Hirshhorn Museum’s exhibit “Facing History,” a film and photography collection on identity and power in Iran, Neshat’s home country. Born there in 1957, Neshat left for the United States in 1975 to finish high school and go to college. After a visit home in 1978, she made the choice to stay overseas in America during the turmoil of the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. But she couldn’t stay away, returning in 1990 with her camera. “She was utterly astounded by the transformed culture and society,” said Melissa Ho, curator of the Hirshhorn exhibit.“When she left, it was still the regime of the Shah.When she came back, a revolution had occurred. The way they dressed, communicated with each other was very different from what she remembered.” It was there, Ho says, that Neshat began to feel a disconnect with the religiously conservative Iran she encountered and the cosmopolitan society she remembered, turning to her camera to capture what was lost.“She had missed this incredible event. I think it was sort of this effort to, in some small way, have contact with Shirin Neshat: Facing History what had happened.” through Sept. 20 What “happened” next was Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden a collection called “Women of Allah,” a series featuring Iranian 7th Street and Independence Avenue, SW women with Farsi text written For more information, please call (202) 633-1000 on the surface of the photoor visit http://hirshhorn.si.edu. graphs. In Neshat’s statement, she points out four recurring elements: the text, the veil, the gun and the gaze. “Despite the Western representation of the veil as a symbol of Muslim women’s oppression, the subjects of these images look strong and imposing,” she said. “In fact, the use of the black veil as a uniform has transformed the feminine body into that of a warrior, determined and even heroic.The women’s confident possession and firm grasp of the gun, the phallic object of masculine power, not only reiterates this transformation but also charges the images with a certain eroticism.” Moving from photography into film, Neshat produced “Turbulent,” a video installation consisting of two screens facing each other, one featuring a male singer and the other a female singer. The work shines a light on the Iranian practice of banning women from participating in musical performances. The man sings to a full house while the woman has no audience. “The women in her work are the ones who rebel,” Ho said. “They’re also the ones with the most to lose.They try to take control of their destinies and express

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The Washington Diplomat

PHOTO: LARRY BARNS / © SHIRIN NESHAT / COURTESY GLADSTONE GALLERY, NY AND BRUSSELS

Shirin Neshat, seen below, has become renowned for provocative works such as her 1996 series “Untitled (Women of Allah)” showing women’s bodies inscribed with Farsi poetry, at left, and the 2013 “Rahim (Our House Is on Fire),” above, part of a series of portraits that examines political unrest in Egypt.

themselves.” Ho uses the interactive structure of “Turbulent” to point out how Neshat pulls others into not just the work but also the experience of the Iranian citizen. “As a viewer, you’re caught in between two screens so you have to choose in your bodily movements how to PHOTO: LARRY BARNS / © SHIRIN NESHAT / COURTESY GLADSTONE GALLERY, NY AND BRUSSELS take in the piece, which screen to face.You’re not in a passive role.” Ho said Neshat’s penchant for challenging her viewers also spilled into her ideas for curating the exhibit. Instead of the traditional approach, which might show the entirety of an artist’s work, usually arranged chronologically, Neshat wanted to experiment and try something different. “We knew we wanted to focus on Iran itself,” Ho said. “We all wanted to showcase the country and what it has been through.” So Iran became the main character and the show a visual civics lesson. Divided into PHOTO: RODOLFO MARTINEZ movements, “Facing History” is concentrated into the 1953 coup d’état that brought the U.S.-backed Shah to power; the 1979 Iranian Revolution that deposed the Shah; and then the Green Movement after the 2009 Iranian presidential election.Though it may seem that Neshat plays the role of teacher with the audience as her pupils, the artist acknowledges that she was every bit the student in this process, using her work to educate herself on the struggles and experiences of the Iranian people, specifically women, in the movements she watched from overseas. Neshat’s thought-provoking work has made her one of the most renowned contemporary artists to come out of Iran, although the New York-based Neshat has not returned to her homeland since 1996. Yet the exiled artist continues to have a profound impact on how Westerners view the Islamic theocracy. “She has observed and engaged with Iran throughout her career,” Ho said. “I think this provided her a chance to kind of reflect on all of that. What she kept saying over and over to us is that this show is her graduation.” Lauren Hodges (@LaurEHodges) is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

August 2015


[ events ]

Worldly Center An American Icon, Kennedy Center Thrives on International Exchange Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin funded the Kennedy Center’s Russian Lounge, which is situated on the Box Tier of the Opera House and recently marked its first anniversary.

PHOTO: ALAIN JARAMILLO

by Stephanie Kanowitz

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he Kennedy Center may be as American as apple pie, but its programming has a decidedly international flavor. That’s no accident. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a quasi-federal agency with a board appointed by the U.S. president and a congressional mandate stating that it should put on its stages the best in arts and culture and be reflective of the people of this country. “Since America is a nation of immigrants, both willing and unwilling, it is incumbent upon us then to reflect those various cultures that are part of American heritage in the work that we do,” said Alicia Adams, the center’s vice president of international programming and dance. “Washington, I think, is a microcosm of this country in terms of the population and the various people of the world that are represented.” Among the best examples of this commitment are the international festivals that the center hosts regularly — now every other year. For these, Adams works closely with foreign governments and embassies. Absent a Ministry of Culture in the country, she and her staff essentially assume that role, she said. Earlier this year, for instance,“Iberian Suite: global arts remix” celebrated culture from the Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking world. Next year,

August 2015

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, left, greets Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter during a March visit. Next year, the center is hosting the festival “Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture!” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ireland’s uprising against British rule.

the Embassy of Ireland is honoring the 1916 Rising, or Easter Rebellion, which led to the country’s independence, during “Celebrating a Century of Irish Arts and Culture!” at the Kennedy Center from May 16 to June 5, 2016. “Outside of Ireland, there is no country in which this centenary will have a greater resonance than the United States,” said Claire Fitzgibbon, the embassy’s cultural attaché.“The U.S. is the only foreign country mentioned in the 1916 PHOTO: MARGOT SCHULMAN Proclamation; five of the seven signatories of that proclamation spent time in the United States that influenced their thinking and strengthened their resolve for freedom and independence; it has the greatest concentration of our diaspora; and the contemporary ties are of extraordinary depth and breadth. So we aim to have an appropriate celebration here in the U.S. as well as in Ireland, one that will honor and interrogate the 1916 legacy but also present the dynamic and multifaceted Ireland of today.” The festival here is the centerpiece of centenary celebrations that Ireland is planning around the United States, Fitzgibbon said, adding that she hopes it will further strengthen the U.S.-Irish bond. “Our culture is one of our best calling cards,” she said. “It is through

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[ art ]

Overdue Recognition Caillebotte and Wtewael Exhibits Reveal Unsung Talent PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER GALLAGHER / ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

by Gary Tischler

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he National Gallery of Art recently debuted two large, rewarding and scintillating exhibitions that at first glance seemingly don’t have much in common but upon closer inspection, offer viewers a rare glimpse into two uncommon artists. The exhibitions — both generously expansive and thorough — celebrate and examine the work of Gustave Caillebotte, an unsung talent of French impressionism, and Joachim Wtewael, whose varied oeuvres more than 200 years earlier left their mark on the Dutch Golden Age. “Gustave Caillebotte:The Painter’s Eye” is the first major U.S. retrospective of the artist’s work in 20 years, focusing largely on Caillebotte’s (1848-94) depictions of the Parisian bourgeoisie and the dramatic changes brought about by modern city life. Meanwhile, the nearly 50 works that make up “Pleasure and Piety:The Art of Joachim Wtewael (1566-1638)” comprise the artist’s first monographic exhibition and explore his fascination with portraits, mytholoPHOTO: ASSOCIATION DES AMIS DU PETIT PALAIS, GENEVE / ERICH LESSING / ART RESOURCE, NY gy and religion. Caillebotte’s singular 1877 painting “Paris Street, Rainy Day” is From clockwise top, Gustave the centerpiece of his show, both encompassing aspects of Caillebotte’s “Paris Street, Rainy impressionism and announcing the departure from classic Day” and “The Pont de French salon styles. A pious Calvinist, Wtewael’s works are rich l’Europe,” as well as Joachim in vibrant colors and almost lurid in their quasi-religious Wtewael’s “Kitchen Scene with themes. the Parable of the Great Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., curator of the National Gallery’s Supper” and the artist’s 1601 Northern European art collection, introduced Wtewael’s show self-portrait are among the by noting that there aren’t any obvious links — whether in works in two fascinating shows period, styles or manner — between the two artists. “There at the National Gallery of Art. really isn’t a connection, except maybe for the fact that both PHOTO: GEMÄLDEGALERIE, STAATLICHE MUSEEN ZU BERLIN BPK, BERLIN men were wealthy and well off and came from a certain class of people, and there’s the fact that their names are difficult to proupper-class clothing, the triangular building at the center and nounce.” cobbled streets so tidy you could eat off them. Striking lines, But sometimes biography is, if not everything, indicative of symmetry, shadows and a super-sharp focus are also at the some things. In the annals of artist lives — with all the attendant heart of the bridge featured in Caillebotte’s “The Pont de bipolar sufferings, economic hardships and “starving artist” clil’Europe,” as people and the occasional dog complement the chés — the lives of the underappreciated Caillebotte and industrial strength of the structure. PHOTO: COLLECTION CENTRAAL MUSEUM UTRECHT Wtewael seemed to be, by all appearances, ones of conThese paintings are enticing in the detail and tentment. precision they celebrate, not unlike Edgar Degas’s Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye Both came from the upper classes. Wtewael was ballet scenes. There’s also an undercurrent of stoastute at gaining lucrative commissions and was a highly and Pleasure and Piety: The Art rytelling in Caillebotte’s off-kilter portraits, includsuccessful businessman, owning a flax business, along ing an emotionally packed scene of a couple by a of Joachim Wtewael (1566–1638) with real estate and stock equities. Similarly, Caillebotte window — the woman looking out, the man readthrough Oct. 4 didn’t even bother to sell his paintings because he was ing a newspaper and the distance between them already well off from familial inherited wealth, and large. Later, Caillebotte’s landscapes both depart National Gallery of Art instead he often collected the work of his artist friends. from and anticipate the post-impressionist era — on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets Neither starved and both were free to pursue their pasfrom his flat yet inviting rivers and fields to the at Constitution Avenue, NW sion for art. sweet fruits of his still lifes. For more information, please call (202) 737-4215 There’s something quiet about their lives, if not their When it comes to content, Wtewael was a difor visit www.nga.gov. paintings. Wtewael was recognized in his lifetime and ferent animal altogether. An affluent pillar of his certainly sold well, having understood his patrons and community in Utrecht, he understood his elite the temper of his times. Caillebotte didn’t need to paint for a living, which may clientele but also embraced and pushed the taste of the times. He touched on both account for the fact that while his paintings are considered part of the impressionist religion and sex, and in “Pleasure and “Piety,” we see portraits of family members, lore (he organized the 1877 impressionist exhibition in Paris), they also diverge from witty mythological depictions and moralizing biblical scenes. Here, ancient Greeks the storyline. and Romans meet the New Testament, while the flesh of the gods frolics among the Caillebotte is an impressionist, but he’s more than that.“Paris Street, Rainy Day” has gospels. a certain sheen to it, but it goes beyond the hazy luster of impression with a realism Some of Wtewael’s paintings are larger than life — breathtaking circus shows of that captures the Parisian urban renewal spearheaded by Baron Haussmann on See NATIONAL GALLERY, page 30 behalf of Napoleon III. It’s a clean scene punctuated by round, gray umbrellas, dark,

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[ art ]

Natural Selection ‘Organic Matters’ Bucks Historical Assumptions About Nature and Women by Kate Oczypok and Anna Gawel

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ature was long considered safe territory for women artists. As the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) points out, subject matter relating to the natural world seemed a natural fit for women because it merely required observation, whereas religious or historical subjects required imagination and analytical thinking — qualities that apparently only men were thought to possess. NMWA’s latest exhibits, however, are about as far away as you can get from safe and unimaginative, turning those sexist assumptions on their head. “Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015,” part of a biennial exhibition series NMWA hosts to present emerging or underrepresented artists from around the world, celebrates the relationship among women, art and nature. The wide-ranging show, which includes photography, drawing, sculpture and video, features fantastical landscapes (both real and imagined), fragile ecosystems and women’s complex views on the theme of nature. A companion exhibit,“Super Natural,” focuses on women artists’“unrestrained absorption with nature,” as seen in a diverse array of works that depict unique plant specimens, seldom-seen creatures and the artists’ own bodies fused with natural backdrops. Like the artists in “Super Natural,” the women in “Organic Matters” investigate the world around them,“to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect,” said Virginia Treanor, associate curator of the museum. “Collectively, their PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST work addresses modern society’s complex relationship with the Ysabel LeMay’s “Reflection,” above, environment, ranging from concern for its future to fear of its and Lara Shipley’s “In the Ozarks There power.” Are Lights (Devil’s Promenade),” left, are Treanor told The Diplomat that the exhibition is unlike any other part of “Organic Matters—Women to in town. “The idea of taking a theme — in this case plant and aniWatch 2015.” A complementary exhibit, mal life — and looking at how and why women artists portrayed “Super Natural,” features Sharon Core’s these things over the past 400 years or so, is completely novel and “Single Rose,” below, which is made something you won’t see anywhere else in Washington,” she said. from pig ears. Treanor said it is important to examine this connection because the notion that women are closer to nature is engrained in our society.“The most obvious is the personification of Mother Nature, who can be generous and bountiful or capricious and destructive — a pendulum of emotions similarly ascribed to women,” she explained. To that end, the works in the show tackle the full spectrum of emotion that nature inspires — from the Organic Matters—Women to Watch 2015 peaceful serenity of Ysabel LeMay’s flora and fauna in and Super Natural pieces like “Reflection”; to the menacing eeriness of Lara Shipley’s “In the Ozarks There Are Lights (Devil’s through Sept. 13 Promenade)”; to the environmental degradation porNational Museum of Women in the Arts trayed in Jennifer Celio’s black-and-white drawings. Celio said she was “honored and thrilled” to be 1250 New York Ave., NW included in the exhibition, whose artists were chosen For more information, please call (202) 633-1000 by a nomination process. She said that at least for the or visit http://hirshhorn.si.edu. time being, it is important to have high-profile exhibits PHOTO: NMWA / © SHARON CORE / COURTESY YANCEY RICHARDSON GALLERY that focus exclusively on female artists. “I certainly hope that one day, all things being equal, these things will become made in 1997 when Core was a graduate student.The piece plays with the diverunnecessary,” she said. “But, given that male artists receive more focus and legiti- gent concepts of beauty and disgust.“It is an important early seminal work for me macy than females from the overall art world system, a show like this allows rec- in terms of influencing the work I have made since,” she said.“I sculpted this ‘rose’ from pig’s ears purchased from the supermarket.” ognition of quality work being created by artists who happen to be women.” Treanor said that for a variety of reasons, nature is a motif that women artists The exhibit is unique in that it highlights artists from around the world (anywhere that has an outreach committee associated with the museum). Included all over the world have examined and continue to explore — on their own artists are Dutch,American, British, German, Italian and Australian.“The viewer can terms. According to Treanor, the feedback on the exhibit has been very positive. Some compare and contrast thematic content, concepts and techniques between artists from multiple countries and from many regions of the United States,” Celio said. remarks from the visitor comment book include:“This is one of your most beauti“For me it was interesting to see how the artists from varied areas approached the ful and surprising exhibitions,” and, “So proud of these strong women and the beauty of their expressions.” theme of the natural world in their work.” For those who are on the fence about visiting NMWA, Treanor said that going A featured artist in “Super Natural,” Sharon Core lives and works in the Hudson Valley in New York State. “I think the NMWA is critical for showcasing women’s to other museums, you may get the impression that women artists are few and far art, which is sorely underrepresented in major institutions, galleries and in the between, but “we are here to set the record straight.” press,” she said. “Women have come a long way in their quest for equality, but Kate Oczypok (@OczyKate) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. there is still an unfortunate gender gap in the art world.” Core’s photograph in the exhibition, “Single Rose,” is an early work of hers Anna Gawel is managing editor of The Washington Diplomat.

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from page 32

Each had its merits, but the shrimp pad thai — another mainstay in American Thai restaurants that often tastes uninspired and bland — stole the show. music floated softly across The pad thai arrived in an elegant the room. It came as no surpresentation: a steaming bowl of nooprise to learn that the space dles draped with a lattice cover made of was designed by Lázaro egg. Once mixed and tasted, it was Rosa-Violán, the 2013 winimmediately clear that Mango Tree takes ner of Architectural Digest’s this staple to a whole new level. The coveted España Prize. noodles were tender and hot, but the Our efficient and friendly shrimp, a very small variety that had server took time to explain been dried and then re-infused with Mango Tree’s concept, which water, had a dense texture and flavor involves cuisine from each of that lent the dish a surprising heft. Thailand’s four main culinary Flecks of diced red chilies and ground regions: rich and fully flaPHOTO: GORAN FOTO peanuts punctuated its authenticity. vored dishes from the north; The “crispy” catfish filets were anyspicy cuisine from the north- Thai powerhouse Mango Tree thing but, though the sweet chili sauce east; milder dishes influenced gets the ubiquitous satay redeemed the dish, injecting it with a by the Chinese cooking style skewered-meat dish just right. pleasing and original flavor.The krapow from the central region; and hot and spicy cuisine from the south. Mango Tree’s minced pork rice offered a generous portion of pork dinner menu features 20 different rotating entrées with a steaming scoop of rice topped with a wokwith 10 different desserts. The less expensive lunch fried egg. Our server encouraged us to mix it all offerings are fewer but still maintain an interesting together, so that’s what we did — to tasty effect. I had requested the pork dish Thai spicy but was disdegree of complexity and sophistication. We started with traditional chicken satay, which appointed to find that the kitchen either didn’t trust has a tendency to arrive overcooked and chewy in my Western palate with real Thai spice, or never got run-of-the-mill American Thai restaurants. Mango the message.A requested side of fresh chilies lent the Tree gets the ubiquitous dish just right. Plump, moist dish the heat I had anticipated. Sticky rice with coconut sorbet and crushed peaand steaming hot skewers of grilled chicken accented by marinated cucumber and a spicy peanut nuts was a satisfying, if not spectacular, end to an sauce jumpstarted our taste buds. A calamari green enjoyable lunch. Fig & Olive and Mango Tree and their sophisticatsalad was more subdued, the calamari pieces dusted with a light batter and flash fried. The salad could ed, ambitious menus are welcome additions to a have used a touch more of the chili-lime dressing to downtown D.C. dining scene that, while improving, punch up the flavor, but the cool, tender greens and has long languished under the comfortable mantle of crushed peanuts made for a satisfying textural con- often-predictable American food. trast. We chose three different entrées: krapow minced Michael Coleman (@michaelcoleman) is a contributing writer pork rice, crispy catfish rice and shrimp pad thai. for The Washington Diplomat.

Dining

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National Gallery color, detail and action — while others are equally electric but in miniature, painted in tiny form on copperplate. An orthodox Calvinist — a somewhat austere form of Protestantism — Wtewael understood the call of the flesh and its varied shades of beauty. When you’re sourcing the Roman poet Ovid, some license PHOTO: NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART PHOTO: MAURITSHUIS, THE HAGUE and licentiousness is to be expected. Consider, for Joachim Wtewael’s “Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan,” above left, instance, all the flesh on view and Gustave Caillebotte’s “Interior, Woman at the Window” are featured in “Mars and Venus Surprised at the National Gallery of Art. by Vulcan,” with Vulcan being the spouse, Mars the lover and Venus the wife, brushes, full of ownership and intent. Caillebotte comes across differently. You can see an almost plus attendant muscular, deeply tanned viewers. Wtewael’s real gift comes to the fore in mixing stony, defensive look and strong features in one religious themes with daily life, as seen in the self-portrait, and something less direct, more eludown-to-earth “Kitchen Scene with the Parable of sive in an earlier self-portrait of him at work with the Great Supper.” In foreground is a woman a vague Renoir painting behind him, his hands cleaning up from the night’s accumulation of also holding paintbrushes. Whatever movement you might associate with waste — wine poured, fish on the floor and a woman fending off the advances of an eager these two artists, they relished their particular life swain — while deep in background you can make and tastes and their paintings reflect that. Up until now, though, many of these works retreated into out Jesus and his apostles at a table. Both exhibitions are expansive, hinting at the relative obscurity until being rediscovered for the personalities of each painter and the subjects they important genius that they represented. It’s only portrayed. Their self-portraits, in fact, reveal inter- fitting that the two artists now share space — and esting tidbits about each man: Wtewael seems recognition — at the National Gallery of Art. almost challenging and self-assured, with his aggressively pointy beard, the sumptuous collar of Gary Tischler is a contributing writer the time period and a strong grip on his paint- for The Washington Diplomat.

PHOTO: SCOTT SUCHMAN

Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter speaks at the May unveiling of the Blue Star of Life, a globe-shaped porcelain vase given to the center by Japan.

from page 27

Kennedy Center our culture that most Americans recognize Ireland and Irishness.” And it is that role of unofficial ambassador that helps the center continue diplomacy through culture, even when political relations are strained. For instance,“Arabesque,” a festival with 800 artists from 22 countries in the Arab world, took place in 2009 despite hostility between Arab nations and the United States over issues such as the Afghan war, Guantanamo detention center and Israeli settlement building. “I wasn’t even sure that the artists would come, but they wanted to come because they wanted to put a different face on that region of the world, that they’re not all terrorists, but there is a beauty and a humanity that is very much a part of their lives,”Adams said. Similarly, despite the current rift between America and Russia — not to mention the fact that the center is named after a president who fought the Cold War — the Kennedy Center’s Russian Lounge recently marked its first anniversary.The lounge, situated on the Box Tier of the Opera House, was a gift by Russian billionaire entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin to celebrate the center’s long history of presenting Russian culture, including the Bolshoi Ballet and Mariinsky Theatre companies. Still, the fact that a Russian oligarch footed the bill for a sleek, exclusive lounge in the heart of the American capital at a time of heightened Moscow-Washington tensions raised a few eyebrows. Potanin’s foundation announced the multimillion-dollar donation to the Kennedy Center at the end of 2011 — just before protests erupted against President Vladimir Putin — in part to show the world a different side of Russia. Three years later (behind schedule and over budget), the lounge quietly opened amid the fighting in Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But Adams insists that the Russian Lounge, like all of the Kennedy Center’s international collaborations, is about cultural exchange, not politics. “One of the things that I think people sort of forget is that arts and culture have always continued even though there was the Cold War going on between Russia and the United States, even with Cuba, throughout all of these years,” Adams said. “Those things never stop because they are about the humanness of us and the need to continue to develop and progress and show our humanity through our arts and culture.” Other international gifts to the center since it opened in September 1971 include 3,700 tons of Carrara marble from Italy that lines the interior and exterior of the building; 60-foot grand mirrors from Belgium in the Grand Foyer; a 50-foot-wide Lobmeyr crystal chandelier from Austria in the Opera House; 16 Orrefors crystal chandeliers from Sweden in the Grand Foyer; six Aubusson tapestries from Australia in the Nations Gallery; and a Waterford crystal chandelier from Ireland for the opening of the center. On May 29 — President Kennedy’s birthday — Japan gave the center the Blue Star of Life, a globe-shaped porcelain vase, to display in the Terrace Theater lobby as a token of the relationship between the center and Japan. That bond dates to the center’s opening, when Japan gave it a 3,000-pound red-and-gold silk curtain for the Opera House stage. Since then, Japan has also provided funds to build the Terrace Theater in the 1970s, and in 2008, the Kennedy Center presented “Japan! culture + hyperculture,” a two-week festival that brought in 467 artists from 17 performing companies specializing in music, dance and theater. All of this serves the center’s mission, Adams says. “Washington is the seat of government for the United States, but it’s also the seat of power for America,” she said.“This is the intersection of arts and government and politics, so we have a very interesting context for presenting work.” Stephanie Kanowitz is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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[ literature ]

Where the Writers Grow Expanding Project Offers Map of D.C.’s Literary Stars by Lauren Hodges

“I

t just started with wanting to know where my favorite authors from D.C. lived. It was a strange little hobby.” In 2002, Kim Roberts was digging through a collection of Walt Whitman’s letters, written while he lived in various boarding houses around Washington. She had the addresses, but what she really wanted to know was how Whitman lived day to day. She found the answers in letters to his mother, Louisa Van Velsor Whitman.“What do you write to your mother?” asked Roberts. “You tell her if the landlady is nice, how the food is and whether your bed is lumpy. Because that’s what mothers want to know.” Whitman moved to Washington in December of 1862, when he volunteered as a nurse in army hospitals during the Civil War. For years, he struggled to find and keep jobs in the government as his controversial poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” was criticized as obscene for its sexual themes and content. He went on to publish “O Captain! My Captain!” about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, which elevated his name in the literary community. It was here in the District that he continued to add new poems to “Leaves of Grass,” releasing several new editions until it became the 400plus volume still published today. He also kept up the letters to his mother, mentioning visits with his friends and colleagues. “He would write about walking to this person’s house or meeting another person around the corner, so that’s what led me to other writers,” said Roberts.“I realized these people lived in the neighborhood and I started tracking down their addresses, too.” And so began an extensive online project called DC Writers’ Home to document the homes of literary authors who once lived in the greater D.C. area, from novelists to poets to playwrights. At last count, the project had over 270 writers on its roster, including U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Bogan; Cuban poet Mariano Brull; jazz legend Duke Ellington; “first woman of American theater” Helen Hayes; influential Black Arts Movement poet Gaston Neal; and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. There are also various foreign diplomats who moonlighted as writers on the list, including Andrei Gromyko of the Soviet Union, France’s Jean Jules Jusserand and China’s Tcheng Yu-hsiu. Roberts herself is the author of four poetry books and an editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly. In 2010, she published “Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC,” by which time her collection of writers’ addresses had grown substantially. She asked her friend and fellow writer Dan Vera to help her continue the project. “I’m not visual,” Roberts said. “Dan is a very talented photographer.” They began a ritual of research that included extensive digging through old phone books, city directories and correspondence. Once they confirmed an address, they made the trip and Vera snapped some photos. “We already had a substantial number of houses, very few of which were marked by historic plaques,” said Roberts. “People who lived there had no idea.” PHOTO: GEORGE K. WARREN In 2011, they secured a grant from the Humanities Council of Washington, DC to turn the list into a website. Each D.C. writer was given a page with a headshot, a bio and, of course, an address. Organized in several ways, visitors can search for specific authors alphabetically or by neighborhood — or, which Roberts gleefully recommends, you can browse the site’s many categories.“We have eight new ones, including children’s literature, society hostesses and religious leaders,” she said.“I’m excited about that one.” But no matter the method, viewing the collection is overwhelming. The site perfectly illustrates the enormous attraction and influence the city has had on writers for over a century. The list of names is long and diverse, the neighborhood maps crowded with dots.“What we love is the combination of people who are famous and people who

August 2015

PHOTOS: DAN VERA

Above, the Anacostia home of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, pictured on the far left, is now a museum. At left, the Wyoming Apartments in D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood housed writers Betty Friedan and Christopher Hitchens.

are new discoveries,” Roberts said.“A literary community isn’t just made up of famous names. People who we’re not reading any more were really important at the time. They added to the texture of the city.” Nevertheless, the map is not starved for stars. Sinclair Lewis lived at 3028 Q St., NW, in Georgetown in the 1920s, where he wrote “Main Street,”“Babbitt” and “Elmer Gantry.” Betty Friedan and Christopher Hitchens both lived in Wyoming Apartments in Kalorama. Cedar Hill, the Anacostia home of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, is now a museum that features a recreation of the small stone outbuilding he used as his writing studio. Ezra Pound was technically a D.C. resident, though not willingly. After being accused of treason, he was institutionalized at St. Elizabeths Hospital from 1946 to 1958. Nora Ephron and Carl Bernstein lived at the Ontario in Adams Morgan. Ephron’s name is featured on Roberts’s list but her ex-husband is not. That’s because Bernstein was a journalist and never published literary work, which is one of the site’s rules of membership.The writer also has to be deceased and the home must still be standing. “There are many writers who lived here and we can’t include them because the building was knocked down,” Roberts said. The rules do, however, allow for several pages showcasing names that might not have “writer” listed at the top of their resumes. TV host and cookbook legend Julia Child (listed in the “spies” category) wins entry because of her 2006 memoir, “My Life in France.” President Ulysses S. Grant also got in with his memoirs, published by Mark Twain. And the list promises to grow. Roberts said they often get tips from readers, sharing possible addresses or just rumors that can fuel a discovery. And despite the occasional dead end or heartbreaking reveal of a torn-down home, the site’s founders don’t give up easily. They even posted a list of mystery residencies yet to be nailed down, asking for the public’s help. “If anyone ever hears about a writer living in their neighborhood, we want to hear about it.” Lauren Hodges (@LaurEHodges) is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

The Washington Diplomat Page 31


[ dining ] Fig & Olive, left, is an airy 10,000square-foot space that evokes the coastal regions of the Mediterranean while Mango Tree, below, features a darker ambience inspired by its Thai roots.

CityCenter Branches Out Fig & Olive, Mango Tree Inject Welcome Flair to Washington PHOTO: TAA PR

by Michael Coleman

W

hen construction began four years ago on CityCenterDC, the posh, mixed-use development in downtown Washington, some of us were a bit skeptical about the upscale chains announced as part of the restaurant roster. Sure, the prices at well-established eateries such as the Dallas-based Del Frisco’s and New York’s STK would allow the recruitment of capable chefs and quality ingredients, but would the new restaurants offer anything beyond standard fare done well? With the openings of international Thai powerhouse Mango Tree in February and the Mediterranean-inspired Fig & Olive in June, the answer appears to be yes. Fig & Olive and Mango Tree both inject CityCenterDC with a welcome international flair and a chic, sexy aesthetic. The airy 10,000-square-foot space at Fig & Olive evokes the coastal regions of Spain and Italy and the French Riviera, including a 40-seat outdoor terrace reminiscent of café dining in Cannes. Mango Tree features a darker ambience inspired by its Thai roots, punctuated by European touches. Both eateries are flat-out gorgeous with their sleek lines, vibrant colors and expensive furnishings. But thankfully, neither is content to coast on its good looks. At Fig & Olive, which also has locations in Los Angeles and New York, founder Laurent Halasz has created a modern and highly sophisticated menu based on classic Mediterranean flavors and dishes. Not surprisingly, olive oil is the star attraction (no butter on any of the dishes here). Carpaccio de langoustine with mango lime olive oil dressing proved a near-perfect starter. Bon Appétit magazine recently hailed langoustine — a crustacean in the lobster family that looks a lot like a shrimp — as “the new marker of haute cuisine.”And based on Fig & Olive’s presentation, who are we to argue? Substantial without being heavy and succulent with a refreshing zip of lime, Fig & Olive’s approach to langoustine sets the bar high for this relatively obscure entry on the D.C. dining scene. Chef Frederic Guerin’s truffle risotto was also outstanding. Warm and woody with white truffle olive oil, cremini and hardto-find black trumpet mushrooms, the risotto was perfectly textured — creamy but retaining just the right al dente firmness. Anyone who has prepared risotto, especially for a large crowd, knows how difficult attaining this textural balance can be. PHOTO: TAA PR Guerin’s kitchen demonstrated impressive mastery. Moving on to the main course, the Provence rack of lamb was beautiful to behold, a well-prepared and attractive presentation bejeweled with glittering green herbs de Provence. However, we did find a couple of quibbles. First, the portion was a bit small, even if the flavor was big. Second, a side of cream-stuffed zucchini blossom with ratatouille and thyme juice — drizzled with a rare olive oil — was rich, maybe a bit too rich for this diner’s taste. But somehow the flavor was so subtle as to barely register. The Chilean sea bass marinated with lemon thyme did subtlety better.The dish was light, but flavorful and tender, while a celery root puree and heirloom potato mascarpone added some earthy heft. For dessert, a green apple sorbet with fresh mint drizzled with an expensive

32

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[ ] Fig & Olive

PHOTO: GORAN FOTO

want to

go?

934 Palmer Alley, NW (202) 559-5004 www.figandolive.com/locations-reservation/dc/

PHOTO: GORAN FOTO

Above, phia goong is one of the Thai-inspired dishes at Mango Tree. Fig & Olive’s Mediterranean-influenced offerings include chef Frederic Guerin’s mushroom croquettes, at left.

Mango Tree

929 H St., NW (202) 408-8100 www.mangotreedc.com

Marques de Griñon olive oil was a refreshing palate cleanser. The olive oil-muted sweetness of the dish served as an interesting, if unorthodox, enhancement. A few days after enjoying dinner at Fig & Olive, we joined friends for lunch next door at Mango Tree. All of us were surprised to learn just how international this Thai restaurant group, founded in 1994, actually is. With franchises in cities as farflung as Doha, London, Mumbai, Sydney, Osaka and elsewhere, the Asian powerhouse is literally flung all over the globe. But until last February, there was no American location.The opening of the CityCenterDC location marks the Bangkokbased chain’s first foray into the United States. We bypassed the downstairs bar/dining area with expansive views of CityCenterDC’s bustling outdoor square and decided to head upstairs to the lush dining room instead. Good call. The dim space, illuminated with soft natural light from expansive windows at the periphery of the room, felt cool and inviting on a sweltering summer day. Jade green and dark wood accents, along with red leather chairs, seemed especially sumptuous on a working, weekday afternoon.A blend of chill, relaxing electronica

See DINING, page 30 August 2015


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[ film reviews ]

Downhill Debate ‘Best of Enemies’ Marks Birth, Bad Blood of Today’s Political Pundits by Ky N. Nguyen

A

merican directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville deserve to be proud of “Best of Enemies,” their first political documentary that turns out to be a first-rate commentary on the 1968 debates between two defining public intellectuals. Those live TV debates between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr. set the stage for the vitriolic media environment that marks public discourse today. The directors (who earned a documentary Oscar nomination for “20 Feet from Stardom”) exceeded all expectations with “Best of Enemies,” transcending what seemed to be their relatively narrow filmmaking background, almost all of it in music documentaries. Amazing archival footage allows viewers to feel like they are watching the debates in 1968. Insightful interviews — notably of Christopher Hitchens — and PHOTO: 2010 AMERICAN BROADCASTING COMPANIES, INC. a solid story structure complement Conservative William F. Buckley Jr., above left, spars with liberal Gore Vidal (also seen below with actor Paul Newman) during the historic clips. “Best of Enemies” provides a rare a series of debates in 1968 that are the subject of the documentary “Best of Enemies.” chance to witness the birth of a discourse, which has sadly deniunique species: the television politigrated further in terms of civility cal pundit. In the summer of 1968, distant and intellectual rigor. also-ran ABC was willing to take a new Gordon and Neville presented risk to shake up its perpetual status as a the world premiere of “Best of third-place broadcast television news netEnemies” at Sundance in January, work. At that time, network news was followed by screenings at South by much more important in terms of ratings, Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. Living advertising income and influence than in in the capital of Texas, Austinites today’s media landscape fragmented by assuredly possess no small degree proliferation. of familiarity with the grinding ABC hired conservative William F. machinery of (state) politics and Buckley Jr. and liberal Gore Vidal, both government. That’s true even if the household names for expressing their executive branch is unusually small strong political viewpoints — at opposite for its size, being sharply constrictends of the ideological spectrum. Despite ed by a Republican-controlled legistheir ideological differences, they shared PHOTO: MAGNOLIA PICTuRES lature and governor. some commonalities: celebrity as successIn June, the D.C. premiere of “Best of ful writers, patrician backgrounds, less than ideal educaEnemies” served as the AFI Docs opening night tion and failed runs for public office. Best of Enemies film, followed by a panel with Neville, Gordon, In lieu of traditional reporting, the dynamic duo and ABC’s Sam Donaldson, who covered the debated each other on live television for each of 10 (English; 88 min.) 1968 convention in Chicago and witnessed nights of the political party conventions. Outside, riotLandmark’s E Street Cinema firsthand the bad blood between Buckley and ing took place in the sweltering August heat of Chicago Opens Fri., Aug. 7 Vidal. during the Democratic National Convention, following The film’s theatrical release on Friday,Aug. 7, the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and months ★★★★✩ provides a second chance to see “Best of of political turbulence. Inside, Vidal and Buckley’s verEnemies” in the nation’s political hub, where bal sparring was just as heated, trading barbs that ranged from Vidal calling Buckley a “crypto-Nazi” while the conservative policy wonks, government worker bees and the like thrive on punditry and ideology. That interest is sure to be amped up as campaigning for the fired back by labeling his leftist counterpart a “queer.” Their palpable animosity for each other spills onto the screen, where White House in 2016 picks up steam with intensifying media coverage, they launch ad hominem attacks that in many ways presage the culture impending debates and, sadly, the kind of antagonism the world witnessed wars that still resonate across the country today (the issue of income on TV in 1968. inequality, for example, was dissected). Their debates were watched by over 10 million people and set the stage for modern TV and radio political Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.

[

34

The Washington Diplomat

]

August 2015


[ film interview ]

Scrutinizing Genocide ‘Look of Silence’ Delves Into Deaths Behind ‘The Act of Killing’ by Ky N. Nguyen

E

Adi, below, is an optometrist who seeks

to confront the death squad leaders arly during the 2015 responsible for his brother’s death during South by Southwest the 1965 Indonesian genocides in (SXSW) Film Festival,The Washington Diplomat “The Look of Silence.” had the pleasure of engaging in a lengthy one-on-one discussion with American writer-director Joshua Oppen-heimer, a rising star. We met at the Omni Hotel, a calm oasis in the midst of the chaotic SXSW crowds invading downtown Austin. Friendly and chatty, the Texas native provided intelligent, comprehensive insights into his most recent documentary, “The Look of Silence,” considered to PHOTO: DRAFTHOuSE FILMS AND PARTICIPANT MEDIA be a companion piece to “The Act of efforts of an optometrist to conKilling,” his earlier hybrid doc. front the men who killed his The latter’s success enabled brother during the 1965-66 Oppenheimer to imprint his mark on mass slaughter. discerning viewers on the interna“I don’t consider ‘The Look of tional film festival circuit and in art Silence’ to be a sequel or even a houses around the world.“The Act of follow-up to ‘The Act of Killing,’” Killing” relates a “true tale” about the Oppenheimer explained.“I view Indonesian death squads that swept them as two parts of the same the country prior to the installation story. In fact, ‘The Look of of longtime military dictator Suharto, Silence’ was the movie I had committing brutal atrocities that originally planned to make. I purged Suharto’s communist political wanted to tell the stories of suropponents and terrorized widespread vivors of the reign of terror and swaths of the population. their families. But the military Oppenheimer’s unorthodox and placed widespread pressure on unforgettable documentary chalPHOTO: DANIEL BERGERON everybody not to talk. lenged these former death squad lead“I turned my attention to the ers to re-enact their mass killings in Joshua Oppenheimer followed up his documentary “The Act of Killing” killers, who were eventually their favorite cinematic genre, includ- with “The Look of Silence,” which focuses on the victims of Indonesia’s willing to talk on camera, to ing classic Hollywood gangster scenes. anti-communist purge. make ‘The Act of Killing,’” The filmmaker staged the death squad Oppenheimer continued. “By veterans’ confessions to their crimes the time I completed the shoot, against the backdrop of lavish musical By the time I completed the shoot, I was known to be close to the routines, as in opera. Using their own men who ran the country. At words, the real-life killers themselves I was known to be close to the men who times, I embellished that reputaperformed the song-and-dance numtion by putting spin on it. bers, an astonishing sight to behold. ran the country. At times, I embellished “At that point, everybody “The scene is so artificial that it that reputation by putting spin on it. assumed I had the blessing of becomes hyper-realistic,” remarked the ruling class. Nobody got in the innovative helmer about his my way when I went back to unique blend of reality and fantasy. — JOSHUA OPPENHEIMER talk to the survivors, allowing Oppenheimer didn’t have to dig American writer-director me to shoot ‘The Look of Silence’ deep to convince the aging assassins without hindrance.” to speak openly about their roles in But the killings mark a dark chapter in history that many Indonesians, Indonesia’s violent history. Many proudly recounted their part in the U.S.including the government, aren’t eager to revisit. The communist purge backed purge and even today are celebrated as national heroes. “They can walk around with impunity. They even boast about their still enjoys widespread public support and Oppenheimer has not exactly actions, of which they are very proud,” the director said. “I had already been hailed as a hero in Indonesia for resurrecting the country’s past. He lived in Indonesia for years and got to know my way around. I found a was only able to finish filming “The Look of Silence” because “The Act of highly connected guy who wanted to talk plenty about what he’d done in Killing” hadn’t yet been released. “Its production closed before ‘The Act of the past. He introduced me to other powKilling’ had public screenings,” he said. “Now erful men, all from military backgrounds. “The Look of Silence” everybody hates me. It’s too dangerous for me to I worked my way up the food chain.” to return to the country.” is now playing For “The Look of Silence,” however, Oppenheimer switches his focus from at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat. the killers to the victims, following the

learn

more

August 2015

The Washington Diplomat Page 35


[ film ]

CINEMA LISTING *Unless specific times are listed, please check the theater for times. Theater locations are subject to change.

Cantonese Diva Directed by Heiward Mak (Hong Kong/China, 2012, 101 min.)

Set in the Hong Kong pop music world, “Diva” stars real-life pop star Joey Yung as a singer who loses her voice in the midst of a concert. While she lays low on the mainland, striking up a relationship with a blind masseur, her fast-talking manager casts his eye on a talented young singer to take her place (Cantonese and Mandarin; director in person). Freer Gallery of Art Sun., Aug. 16, 3 p.m.

Full Throttle (Lie huo zhan che) Directed by Derek Yee (Hong Kong, 1995, 108 min.)

This fast-paced action movie stars Andy Lau as Joe, who rides his motorcycle in illegal street races. Joe befriends a professional racer sponsored by his estranged father, which spurs a familial rivalry with high-speed stakes. Freer Gallery of Art Sun., Aug. 2, 2 p.m.

Gangster Payday (Da cha fan) Directed by Lee Po-cheung (Hong Kong, 2014, 97 min.)

Anthony Wong gives a terrific performance as an aging mob boss who helps a feisty young restaurateur stand up to greedy property developers. Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Aug. 7, 7 p.m.

The Long Arm of the Law Directed by Johnny Mak (Hong Kong, 1984, 100 min.)

Presented in a rare 35mm print, Johnny Mak’s directorial debut is a seminal film that established the Hong Kong gangster movie genre. Lam Wai plays Tung, the leader of a gang of former soldiers living on the edge of poverty in mainland China who hatch a plot to rob a Hong Kong jewelry store and return to China with their spoils. Freer Gallery of Art Sun., Aug. 9, 2 p.m.

Czech Krásno Directed by Ondrej Sokol (Czech Republic, 2014, 119 min.)

Childhood friends Michal and Adam return after 20 years to their rural hometown to investigate the mysterious death of Michal’s mother in this dark Czech comedy. The Avalon Theatre Wed., Aug. 12, 8 p.m.

English Anastasia Directed by Anatole Litvak (U.S., 1956, 105 min.)

In 1920s Paris, a suicidal amnesiac, Anna is saved from drowning by exiled White Russian General Bounine. Noting

36

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT

August 2015 Phoenix

Anna’s resemblance to the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna — rumored to have escaped her family’s execution and fled Russia — Bounine and his cohorts coach Anna/Anastasia into believing she is in fact the missing heir.

Directed by Christian Petzold (Germany/Poland, 2015, 98 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., Aug. 23, 12:45 p.m.

A disfigured concentration-camp survivor, unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband who might have betrayed her to the Nazis (English and German).

Best of Enemies

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 7

Directed by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville (U.S., 2015, 88 min.)

Raiders of the Lost Ark Directed by Steven Spielberg (U.S., 1981, 115 min.)

This documentary delves into the legendary series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 7

Photo: GKIDS Inc.

The timeless verses of “The Prophet” by celebrated Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, among the most popular volumes of poetry ever written, are brought to life in a new animated film.

Dark Places Directed by Gilles Paquet-Brenner (France/U.K./U.S., 2015, 113 min.)

Libby Day was only 7 years old when her family was brutally murdered in their rural Kansas farmhouse. Twenty-five years later, she agrees to revisit the crime and uncovers the wrenching truths that led up to that tragic night. Angelika Pop-Up Opens Fri., Aug. 7

Grandma Directed by Paul Weitz (U.S., 2015, 79 min.)

Self-described misanthrope Elle has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help. The two of them go on a daylong journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 28

Hitman: Agent 47 Directed by Aleksander Bach (U.S./Germany, 2015, 108 min.)

A genetically engineered assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry. Theater TBA Opens Fri., Aug. 21

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Directed by Steven Spielberg (U.S., 1984, 118 min.)

After a bravura action sequence that begins in a Shanghai nightclub that sees him jumping out of a plane over the Himalayas, archeologist Indiana Jones ends up confronting an Indian death cult that has enslaved village children. AFI Silver Theatre Fri., Aug. 14, 9:30 p.m.

Joan of Arc Directed by Victor Fleming (U.S., 1948, 145 min.)

Ingrid Bergman brings a fiery conviction to her portrayal of the Maid of Orleans.

British couple Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders see their already strained marriage come undone by mutual recriminations on a trip to Naples, but after threatening each other with divorce and separating for most of the trip, the two are surprised to find their union rekindled and their spirits moved by a visit to the ruins of Pompeii. AFI Silver Theatre Aug. 15 to 19

Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet

Directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (India/U.S., 2015, 87 min.)

Three elite climbers struggle to find their way through obsession and loss as they attempt to climb Mount Meru, one of the most coveted prizes in the high stakes game of Himalayan big wall climbing. Angelika Pop-Up Opens Fri., Aug. 28

Directed by Roger Allers (U.S./France/Canada/Lebanon/Qatar, 2014, 84 min.)

Midnight in Paris

Celebrated Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran’s timeless verses, among the most popular volumes of poetry ever written, have been given enchanting new form in this painterly animated cinematic adventure about freedom and the power of human expression.

While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée’s family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.

Directed by Woody Allen (Spain/U.S./France, 2011, 94 min.)

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Fri., Aug. 7, midnight

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 21

No Escape

A LEGO Brickumentary

In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.

Directed by Klef Davidson and Daniel Junge (U.S./Denmark, 2014, 92 min.)

This documentary looks at the global culture and appeal of the LEGO buildingblock toys, asking the fundamental question: Is it a toy or something more? AFI Silver Theatre Angelika Pop-Up

Directed by John Erick Dowdle (U.S., 2015, 103 min.)

Theater TBA Opens Wed., Aug. 26

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.

Shaun the Sheep Movie Directed by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak (U.K./France, 2015, 85 min.)

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home. Theater TBA Opens Wed., Aug. 5

Stromboli Directed by Roberto Rossellini (Italy/U.S., 1950, 107 min.)

In Roberto Rossellini’s neorealist classic, Ingrid Bergman plays a refugee and war bride who made a hasty marriage with an Italian POW to escape from a hellish internment camp (in English and Italian; screens with “Bergman and Magnani: The War of the Volcanoes [La Guerra dei vulcani)” (Italy, 2012, 52 min.)]. AFI Silver Theatre Sat., Aug. 8, 3 p.m.

That Sugar Food Directed by Damon Gameau

Listen to Me Marlon Directed by Stevan Riley (U.K., 2015, 95 min.)

With exclusive access to his extraordinary unseen and unheard personal archive including hundreds of hours of audio recorded over the course of his life, this is the definitive Marlon Brando cinema documentary. Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 14

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Directed by Guy Ritchie (U.S., 2015, 116 min.)

Journey to Italy (Viaggio in Italia)

In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

Directed by Roberto Rossellini (Italy/France, 1954, 97 min.)

Theater TBA Opens Fri., Aug. 14

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., Aug. 29, 1:20 p.m.

Meru

This a rip-roaring, action-packed yarn breathlessly careens from steamy South American jungle to snowy Nepalese mountaintop to dusty Egyptian desert — with the intrepid and wily adventurer/ archaeologist Indiana Jones battling ruthless Nazis to be the first to discover an ancient and possibly magical relic.

Photo: Mike Gillman / Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Actor Marlon Brando is seen with his daughter Cheyenne in a still from the documentary “Listen to Me Marlon.”

The Washington Diplomat

August 2015


(Australia, 2015, 90 min.)

(France, 2015, 102 min.)

In one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar, Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as “healthy.”

A baby-faced intern begins work at a busy Parisian hospital, confronted with his own limits and fears, as well as those of his patients and fellow staff.

Angelika Pop-Up

Three Kings Directed by David O’Russell (U.S., 1999, 114 min.)

Spring of 1991: Having removed a treasure map from an Iraqi POW in Kuwait, a motley crew of Army personnel use the momentary disruption of Saddam Hussein’s authority to breeze into Iraq and collect a secret stash of gold bullion. AFI Silver Theatre Tue., Aug. 18, 7 p.m., Thu., Aug. 20, 9:20 p.m.

Underdogs Directed by Juan José Campanella (Spain/Argentina, 2015, 102 min.)

A young man named Amadeo sets off on an unexpected adventure with the players of his beloved Foosball game in this animated film. Theater TBA Opens Fri., Aug. 14

We Are Your Friends Directed by Max Joseph (U.K./France/U.S., 2015)

An aspiring DJ looks to make it in the electronic music scene. Theater TBA Opens Fri., Aug. 28

We Come as Friends Directed by Hubert Sauper (France/Austria, 2015, 110 min.)

At the moment when Sudan, the continent’s biggest country, is being divided into two nations, an old “civilizing” ideology re-emerges — one of colonialism and a clash of empires — with new episodes of bloody (and holy) wars over land and resources (English, Chinese and Arabic). AFI Silver Theatre Opens Fri., Aug. 21

Zardoz Directed by John Boorman (Ireland, 1974, 105 min.)

In the distant future, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity’s achievements (English, Italian, Swedish, Latin, German and French).

Directed by Xavier Dolan (Canada/France, 2015, 102 min.)

Sat., Aug. 29, 2 p.m.

A grieving man meets his lover’s family, who were not aware of their son’s sexual orientation.

Roma Ore 11

Angelika Pop-Up Opens Fri., Aug. 14

A freak accident prompted the idea for “Rome 11:00,” a neorealist tale of five women among hundreds of hopefuls applying for a low-paying secretarial job in postwar Rome.

Coming In Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner (Germany, 2014, 104 min.)

When notoriously hip celebrity hair dresser Tom Herzner plans his first hairproduct line, he is forced to work incognito at a hair salon-cum-barber-shop somewhere in an edgy Berlin neighborhood run by the sassy, gut-honest Heidi, with whom he falls in love. But there’s one problem: Tom is gay.

Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor Directed by Thomas Lilti

Photo: Distrib Films US

A young medical intern, played by Vincent Lacoste, left, is overshadowed by a colleague, Reda Kateb, and soon realizes the world of medicine is much grimmer than he imagined in “Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor.”

Goethe-Institut Mon., Aug. 31, 6:30 p.m.

An American writer in Rome witnesses an attack inside an art gallery while he’s trapped in a glass foyer, recounting the lurid incident over and over inside his head until, after other events ensue, his recollection of the original crime is called into question.

Fack ju Göhte

National Gallery of Art Sun., Aug. 30, 4 p.m.

Directed by Bora Dagtekin (Germany, 2013, 118 min.)

Set against the smugness in German teachers’ lounges, “Fack ju Göhte” tells the story of swamped teachers and disturbed pupils, adding spice to this school comedy with crude dialogue. Goethe-Institut Mon., Aug. 24, 6:30 p.m.

Indonesian The Look of Silence Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer (Multiple countries, 2015, 103 min.)

An optometrist confronts the men who killed his brother during Indonesia’s anticommunist purge and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Italian Le Amiche Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni (Italy, 1955, 100 min.)

Il Bidone

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., Aug. 22, 3 p.m.

Directed by Giuseppe de Santis (Italy/France, 1952, 104 min.)

German

Elena and Her Men aka Paris Does Strange Things (Elena et les hommes) In fin de siècle Paris, penniless Polish princess Elena Sokorowska makes a good marriage with the Count Henri de Chevincourt (Mel Ferrer), but continues to follow where her passion leads her, in this case dashing, ambitious General François Rollan.

The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860s Sicily (Italian, Latin and French). National Gallery of Art

Tom at the Farm (Tom à la ferme)

French

Directed by Jean Renoir (Italy/France, 1956, 98 min.)

Directed by Luchino Visconti (Italy/France, 1963, 187 min.)

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Aug. 7

Returning to her native Turin to open a salon on the heels of her big Roman success, fashion stylist Eleonora Rossi Drago painfully tries to bond with the local au courant crowd.

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Fri., Aug. 14, midnight

The Leopard (Il Gattopardo)

National Gallery of Art Sun., Aug. 9, 4p.m.

Directed by Federico Fellini (Italy/France, 1955, 104 min.)

A trio of con artists subsists by playing tricks on the gullible poor, disguising themselves to fit the mood of each putup escapade. National Gallery of Art Sun., Aug. 23, 4 p.m.

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (L’uccello dalle piume di cristallo)

Directed by Dario Argento (Italy/W. Germany, 1970, 96 min.)

The Days Are Numbered (I giorni contati) Directed by Elio Petri (Italy, 1962, 100 min.)

An aging tradesman observes a man his own age keel over on a Roman tram, an event that awakens a sense that he needs to change his life in this modernist take on a working-class life in crisis.

(Italian and German). AFI Silver Theatre Sat., Aug. 15, 1 p.m., 203526A01 Tue., Aug. 18, 5:10 p.m.

National Gallery of Art Sat., Aug. 22, 2:30 p.m.

Totò Diabolicus Directed by Steno (Italy, 1962, 92 min.)

In this 1960s parody of a giallo crime thriller, legendary comic actor Totò plays five siblings: the murder victim, his dowager sister, and his two brothers. National Gallery of Art Sat., Aug. 8, 2 p.m.

The Fiancés (I fidanzati) Directed by Ermanno Olmi (Italy, 1963, 77 min.)

Poor Milanese lovers Giovanni and Liliana have been engaged for years but lack the financial means to marry. When Giovanni, a welder, leaves for Sicily and better pay, their separation only strengthens the relationship. National Gallery of Art Sat., Aug. 8, 4 p.m.

Violent Summer (Estate violenta) Directed by Valerio Zurlini (Italy/France, 1959, 98 min.)

In the summer 1943, the war is not going well, but the wellheeled sons and daughters of the privileged romp around the Adriatic coast as if nothing were wrong. National Gallery of Art Sat., Aug. 15, 3 p.m.

National Gallery of Art Sun., Aug. 16, 4 p.m.

Days of Glory (Giorni di gloria) Multiple directors (Italy/Switzerland, 1945, 71 min.)

The first documentary on the German occupation of Rome and Italian resistance in the waning years of World War II was shot over two years covering the trial of Fascist police chief Pietro Caruso, who organized the Ardeatine massacre of 300 Italian prisoners as reprisal for a partisan attack. National Gallery of Art Sat., Aug. 15, 1 p.m.

arm yourself with information. Do you know what to do if there’s a chemical or biological attack in your community? How about a radiological explosion? In an emergency like that, knowledge and common sense will help you stay calm and safe. To find out what you need to know and do, visit www.ready.gov. Or, call 1- 800 -BE -READY (1- 800 -237- 3239) for a free brochure.

Europe ’51 aka The Greatest Love (Europea ’51) Directed by Roberto Rossellini (Italy, 1952, 113 min.)

George and Irene Girard are a wealthy couple in post-WWII Rome, caught up in the family’s industrial business and society life. But after they lose their neglected son to suicide, Irene begins to take an interest in those less fortunate than her, and devotes herself to charitable work. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., Aug. 9, 4 p.m.

Fear aka Angst (Non credo più all’amore (La paura)) Directed by Roberto Rossellini (W. Germany/Italy, 1954, 84 min.)

Married scientists Irene and Albert have two beautiful children and work together at a top research lab. But Irene has been discreetly conducting an affair with Erich

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August 2015

The Washington Diplomat Page 37


[ around town ]

EVENTS LISTING **Admission is free unless otherwise noted. All information on event venues can be found on The Diplomat Web site at www.washdiplomat.com. Times and locations are subject to change. Unless listed, please call venue for specific event times and hours of operation.

ART Through Aug. 2

From the Library: Florentine Publishing in the Renaissance

This exhibition presents a variety of books from the late 15th through the early 17th century and explores the development of publishing related to the artistic and scholarly community in Florence. National Gallery of Art Through Aug. 5

Miguel Rep’s Bella Artes (Cartoons)

Cartoonist Miguel Repiso is the author of more than 30 books and has created nearly 60 popular characters and series. He has been publishing in the newspaper Página/12 from its very first issue and has also written for magazines and newspapers in various other countries.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, this exhibit will showcase 20 artifacts collected from the debris of the bombings, six large folding screens that depict the horrors of the bombings and a collection of drawings by Japanese children created two years after the war ended. AU Museum at Katzen Arts Center Aug. 20 to Sept. 4

Justine Otto: hyder flares

Leading German contemporary figurative painter Justine Otto, who won the Phillips Collection’s second annual Emerging Artist Prize, creates representational pictures that burn themselves into the viewer’s retina, simultaneously fascinating and disturbing. Otto’s exhibition “hyder flares,” borrows its name from this cosmic phenomenon as it focuses on such peculiar constellations, incidents and connections in human interactions. Goethe-Institut Through Aug. 23

Through Aug. 5

Ships, Clocks & Stars: The Quest for Longitude

This photographic exhibition illustrates the Italian people’s struggle to protect their cultural patrimony from the ravages of war. A century later, the images not only document early preservation efforts, but have become works of art in their own right, reminding us of the enduring struggle to save the highest expressions of the human spirit from the degradations and savagery of war. Woodrow Wilson House Through Aug. 7

A Touching Note from the Past

A total of 32 works by the four artists, each employing her own medium and style, seek to capture the unique sense of bittersweet emotion that permeates Korean culture, and the natural color palette of Korea’s iconic art and landscape. Blending traditional techniques and modern aesthetics, the artists of Fiber 4 Now work collaboratively with fabric, natural fiber, dyes and synthetic materials to create a uniquely textured and handcrafted conversation on the broader theme of personal communication. Korean Cultural Center Through Aug. 9

Jacob Lawrence: Struggle … From the History of the American People

Produced between 1954 and 1956, Jacob Lawrence’s “Struggle … From the History of the American People” portrays scenes from American history, chronicling events from the Revolutionary War through the great westward expansion of 1817. The Phillips Collection

38

The Washington Diplomat

August 2015

Through Aug. 16

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Exhibition

Embassy of Argentina

War & Art: Destruction and Protection of Italian Cultural Heritage during World War I

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT

To mark the 300th anniversary of the passing of the Longitude Act in 1714, this landmark exhibition tells the extraordinary story of the race to determine longitude (east-west position) at sea, helping to solve the problem of navigation and saving seafarers from terrible fates including shipwreck and starvation.

SINGAPORE SHOWS ITS LIGHTER SIDE WITH ‘FAT KIDS ARE HARDER TO KIDNAP’ Singapore is marking its 50th anniversary of independence this year and in that half century, the tiny city-state has transformed itself into a global economic powerhouse renowned for rule and order. Precision might best describe this Southeast Asian island of 5 million people, not chaos. But that doesn’t mean Singaporeans can’t get a PHOTO: HOW DRAMA little crazy. “Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap” by Singapore’s How Drama theater company runs for one night only at the Kennedy Center To celebrate this milestone and show off the on Aug. 7. country’s own brand of humor, Singaporean theater company How Drama is “We are delighted to partner How Drama bringing its mainstay production, as citizen ambassadors to share insights into “Fat Kids Are Harder to Kidnap,” the way of life and current affairs of to the Kennedy Center for one Singapore through this innovative and interacnight on Aug. 7. tive theatrical platform for young people,” said The show crams 31 plays into “Fat Kids Are Harder to supporter Soh Lai Yee, head of cultural one hour, with the audience Kidnap” runs Fri., Aug. 7, exchange for the Singapore International deciding on the order. It tackles at 7:30 p.m. at the Foundation. “This is one example of the Kennedy Center Family everything from technology, penpower of the arts and culture to promote Theater. Tickets are $25. guins, war, more penguins and, understanding for an inclusive world, enrichyes, it even broaches the subject ing and uplifting lives.” of Singapore’s infamous ban on chewing gum. The company, above all, doesn’t take itself too seriAmong the burning questions “Fat Kids” raises: ously. As it says in its press materials: “No, we aren’t What if yoga was an Olympic sport? What is the worst known to be a funny people, but we try all the same.” time for a heart attack? What if Singapore were a category in “Jeopardy?” — Anna Gawel

want to

go?

Folger Shakespeare Library Through Aug. 28

Definition of Color

Colombian-born, New York-based mixed-media artist Andés Hoyos primarily works with objects that have been discarded or left behind by others. His hope is that by giving these objects new life he helps to start a broader discussion about recycling. Viewings are by appointment only; email mrueda@colombiaemb.org to schedule a visit. Colombian Ambassador’s Residence Aug. 29 to June 5, 2016

Perspectives: Lara Baladi

Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi experiments with the photographic medium, investigating its history and its role in shaping perceptions of the Middle East, particularly Egypt, where she is based. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Through Aug. 30

Hot to Cold: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation

On the heels of its summer blockbuster “BIG Maze,” the international design firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) returns to take visitors from the hottest to the coldest parts of our planet and explore how BIG’s design solutions are shaped by their cultural and climatic contexts. More than 60 three-dimen-

sional models will be suspended at the second-floor balconies of the museum’s historic Great Hall in an unprecedented use of this public space. National Building Museum Through Sept. 7

Watch This! Revelations in Media Art

This exhibit of pioneering and contemporary artworks that trace the evolution of a continuously emerging medium celebrates artists who are engaged in a creative revolution — one shaped as much by developments in science and technology as by style or medium. Smithsonian American Art Museum Through Sept. 11

Miguel Salom: Ictum Olim III: Ambrotypes and Tintypes

Miquel Salom’s exhibited works resulted from decades of applied photographic research and visits to the united States to observe, firsthand, original works by photography pioneers. Selected portraits and landscapes use wet collodion, an early form of photographic emulsion. OAS Art Museum of the Americas Through Sept. 13

American Moments: Photographs from the Phillips Collection In celebration of recent major gifts, the

Phillips presents for the first time a major photography exhibition drawn exclusively from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibit showcases more than 140 photographs that capture the changing landscape of America after World War I, with more than 30 renowned artists represented and many works new to the collection.

frequently explored by photographers who seek not simply to reflect the world but to illuminate how photography constructs our understanding of it. This exhibition explores the work of 26 contemporary artists who investigate the complex and resonant relationship of photography to time, memory and history. National Gallery of Art

The Phillips Collection Through Sept. 13 Through Sept. 13

Chief S.O. Alonge: Photographer to the Royal Court of Benin, Nigeria

This retrospective showcases the work of noted Nigerian photographer Chief S.O. Alonge, the first indigenous photographer of the Royal Court of Benin, in conjunction with royal arts from the Benin kingdom. The collection of historic photographs was captured on Kodak glass-plate negatives and documents more than 50 years of the ritual, pageantry and regalia of the obas (kings), their wives and retainers. National Museum of African Art Through Sept. 13

The Memory of Time: Contemporary Photographs at the National Gallery of Art

In the decades since 1990, the concepts of time and memory have been

Organic Matters – Women to Watch 2015 / Super Natural Historically, women artists were encouraged by society to take the natural world as their subject. Rather than narrative art, which was thought to require invention and imagination beyond women’s capabilities, subjects such as botanical drawings, still-life paintings and images of animals seemed to require merely the power of observation. Turning this archaic paradigm upside down, these featured contemporary artists actively redefine the relationship of women, nature and art by investigating the natural world — to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Sept. 13

Super Natural

Rather than merely document beauty,

August 2015


artists in “Super Natural” engage with nature as a space for exploration and invention. Historical painters and naturalists focused on the singularity or strangeness of plant and animal specimens, sometimes adding narrative details and imagined settings. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Sept. 20

Shirin Neshat: Facing History

This major exhibition of works by Iranian-born, New York-based video artist, photographer and filmmaker Shirin Neshat is the first to place Neshat’s work in the context of the history of modern Iran, a significant influence on her career. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Mexican Cultural Institute

Through Sept. 27

Through Nov. 1

Waterweavers: The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture

The confluence of the image of the river and the act of weaving is present both metaphorically and literally across contemporary practices in Colombia. Using the river as a conceptual device to explore the intersections in Colombian culture today between design, craft and art, “Waterweavers” investigates the intricate ways in which culture and nature can intertwine across disciplines. OAS Art Museum of the Americas Through Oct. 4

Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-94) was among the most critically noted impressionist artists during the height of their activity in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Some 45 paintings from the period when Caillebotte was fully engaged with the impressionist movement will provide a focused understanding of the provocative character and complexity of his artistic contributions. National Gallery of Art Through Oct. 4

Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael

The first monographic exhibition on Dutch painter Wtewael will showcase his international mannerist style and remarkable technical ability through some 45 complex biblical and mythological narratives, as well as portraits and genre scenes. National Gallery of Art Through Oct. 4

Recent Acquisitions of Italian Renaissance Prints: Ideas Made Flesh

Prints played a pivotal role in the development and transmission of Italian Renaissance style. But because many of these 16th-century prints reproduce the designs of other artists, they have often been undervalued. This exhibition presents some two dozen, reflecting the principal styles and numerous major masters of the period. National Gallery of Art Through Oct. 31

Celebrating 25 Years of the MCI Silver on Silver: William Spratling, An American in Taxco

Adventurer, writer, collector, illustrator,

fundraising event for the Art Museum of the Americas, rings in its sixth year with a night filled with video art, live music by Matias Aguayo of Chile, performance art by Dominique Paul of Canada and a renowned DJ. The museum’s exhibition “Waterweavers” will stay open late for the occasion, and there will be a VIP section and raffle. Tickets are $45 or $90.

architect, designer, entrepreneur and businessman are just a few words that have been used to describe William Spratling, a person who undoubtedly had much to do with Taxco’s transformation from Mexican small town to center of design. Granted to the Museo Franz Mayer for a 10-year loan in 2012, this exhibition shows the trajectory of Spratling’s vision for design as tool of not only aesthetics, but also one of social transformation. In four parts covering different themes, silver pieces, including jewelry and documents, seek to show Spratling as a designer committed to his context and his community.

The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists This dramatic multimedia exhibition reveals the ongoing global relevance of Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic as part of a shared intellectual heritage and includes original commissions and renowned works of art by approximately 40 of the most dynamic contemporary artists from 19 African nations and the diaspora. National Museum of African Art Through Dec. 31

Ingénue to Icon: 70 Years of Fashion

The first exhibition at Hillwood to present Marjorie Post’s full range of style, “Ingénue to Icon” will examine how Post’s lifelong passion for objects that were exceptionally beautiful and impeccably constructed extended to her taste for clothing Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens Through Jan. 2

Peacock Room Remix: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre

“Peacock Room REMIX” centers on “Filthy Lucre,” an immersive interior by painter Darren Waterston who reinterprets James McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room as a resplendent ruin, an aesthetic space that is literally overburdened by its own excesses — of materials, history, and creativity. Like “Filthy Lucre” and the original Peacock Room, this exhibition invites viewers to consider the complex relationships among art, money and the passage of time. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Through Jan. 3

Bold and Beautiful: Rinpa in Japanese Art

The modern term Rinpa (Rimpa) describes a remarkable group of Japanese artists who created striking images for paintings, ceramics, textiles and lacquerware. Freer Gallery of Art Through Jan. 3

Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626-1705)

Born a prince of the Ming imperial house, Bada Shanren (1626–1705) lived a storied life, remaking himself as a secluded Buddhist monk and, later, as a professional painter and calligrapher. Featured in this exhibition are examples of his most daring and idiosyncratic works, demonstrating

Art Museum of the Americas

THEATER Through Aug. 2

Let Them Eat Chaos

Photo: Johnny Shryock / Synetic Theatre

Synetic Theatre remounts its playful adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with a trademark movement-based visual storytelling.

his unique visual vocabulary. Freer Gallery of Art

DANCE Tue., Aug. 4, 10:30 a.m.

Kankouran West African Dance Company: Visit Africa

Experience the sights and sounds of West African culture with D.C.’s premier dance company, replete with colorful costumes and dynamic drumming. Tickets are $8. Wolf Trap

DISCUSSIONS

people were surprised. But they shouldn’t have been: Every president since Eisenhower has tried to melt the Cold War ice encasing U.S.–Cuba relations, using secret, back-channel communications. William LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh explored this secret diplomacy as they uncovered hundreds of formerly undisclosed American documents and interviewed dozens of negotiators, intermediaries, and policymakers, including Fidel Castro and Jimmy Carter. Tickets are $42; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

S. Dillon Ripley Center

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mon., Aug. 3, 6:45 p.m.

MUSIC

Brazil’s Buildup to the Olympics

Sun., Aug. 16, 2 p.m.

Landing the Olympic and Paralympic Games demands that a country enter into an international competition that takes as much stamina, preparation and sheer determination as anything its athletes will face. What happens, then, once a nation is selected? How does a whole country go into training? Luis Fernandes, Brazil’s former deputy minister of sports, offers an insider’s perspective on how his sports-obsessed country is preparing for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics — and how the games will transform it. Tickets are $25; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org. S. Dillon Ripley Center Tue., Aug. 11, 6:45 p.m.

Voltaire for the 21st Century

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris last winter, a surprising book shot to the top of the French best-seller lists: Voltaire’s “Treatise on Tolerance,” first published in 1763. Jennifer Tsien is not surprised that readers find Voltaire relevant 250 years later. A professor in the French department at the University of Virginia, she explores this fascinating man, his forward-thinking work and what Voltaire can mean to us in the 21st century. Tickets are $42; for information, visit www.smithsonianassociates.org. Smithsonian Castle Wed., Aug. 12, 6:45 p.m.

Lessons in Secret Diplomacy: Approaching Cuba Through Back Channels

When President Obama changed U.S. policy toward Cuba last winter, many

Famed Chicago troupe the Second City returns to Woolly with its latest uproarious offering, a blast of irreverent sketch comedy and razor-sharp satire that skewer American culture. Tickets are $35 to $100.

Concert: Orquesta Mexicana

The Pasatono Orquesta, masters of traditional music for over 17 years, will be performing as the new Orquesta Mexicana. Paying homage to composer Carlos Chávez’s original 1933 Orquesta Mexicana, the group will be playing arrangements of traditional pieces by Chávez (1899-1978) and others from the concert series played by the original Orquesta at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1940. To RSVP, email rsvp@instituteofmexicodc.org. Mexican Cultural Institute Sat., Aug. 29, 4:30 p.m.

Afro-Cuban Drumming Class

Hosted in conjunction with the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club performance at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, this is your chance to set the hot Havana beats to Afro-Cuban drumming. Tickets are $15. Wolf Trap Filene Center Sat., Aug. 29, 8 p.m.

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club: Adios Tour

Warm, acoustic rhythms and AfroCuban jazz made this band a staple of Cuban music’s golden age and a Grammy-winning international success. Don’g miss their final tour as they deliver “a shot of pure musical adrenalin that hits the mark every time” (BBC). Tickets are $25 to $50. Wolf Trap Filene Center

RECEPTIONS Fri., Aug. 28, 8 p.m.

Art After Dark

Art After Dark, the annual after-hours

August 2015

Fri., Aug. 7, 8:15 p.m.

Madama Butterfly

Experience Puccini’s heartbreaking masterpiece of passion, honor and sacrifice with Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra in this new staged and costumed production with custom video projections. Tickets are $25 to $75. Wolf Trap Filene Center Through Aug. 9

Synetic remounts its playful adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy with a trademark movement-based visual storytelling. This fantastical, darkly playful game of love, mistaken identity and the supernatural was honored with nine Helen Hayes Award nominations when it was first produced in 2010. Tickets start at $35. Synetic Theatre Aug. 11 to Sept. 20

The Fix

When a popular presidential candidate dies in his mistress’s bed, his ambitious wife Violet thrusts their lackluster son Cal into the spotlight. With the help of her strategic brotherin-law, Violet transforms Cal into the perfect citizen and together they create one of the most dysfunctional — and brutally entertaining — almost-first families ever. Tickets start at $40. Signature Theatre Through Aug. 16

The Book of Mormon

Hailed by the New York Times as “the best musical of this century,” this outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word. Tickets are $43 to $250. Kennedy Center Opera House Through Aug. 16

Once

Theatrically breathtaking, the eighttime 2012 Tony Award–winning musical tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. Tickets are $65 to $160. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

The Washington Diplomat Page 39


DIPLOMATIC SPOTLIGHT

The Washington Diplomat

August 2015

Opera Ball

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

From left, cardiologist Robert Marshall; former U.S. Protocol Chief Capricia Marshall, chair of the 2015 Opera Ball; Huberta von Voss-Wittig; Ambassador of Germany Peter Wittig; Callista Gingrich; and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich attend the 2015 Opera Ball at the German ambassador’s residence.

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

Natalia Kislyak and Ambassador of Russia Sergey Kislyak attend the 2015 Opera Ball, a highlight of the city’s cultural, philanthropic and social season.

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

This year’s Opera Ball was held at the German Residence, one of the most architecturally striking diplomatic residences in the city. The blacktie fundraiser was preceded by dinners at various embassies and ambassador residences.

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

From left, Daniel Biaggi of Palm Beach Opera greets Ambassador of Japan Kenichiro Sasae and his wife Nobuko Sasae at the Opera Ball, which last year was hosted by the Japanese Embassy.

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

Photo: rod carrasco

Former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and his wife Ximena Ximena Iturralde Sánchez de Lozada attend the 2015 Opera Ball held at the German Residence.

Opera Ball guests enjoy a beer tasting in the Berlin Bar of the German ambassador’s residence. The event celebrated the Washington National Opera’s first complete performances of Richard Wagner’s epic “Ring Cycle” in 2016 and performances of popular arias from the German repertory by members of WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

From left, journalist Huberta von Voss-Wittig, Ambassador of Germany Peter Wittig, surgeon Frank Lowe and Ambassador of Ireland Anne Anderson attend the 2015 Opera Ball held at the German Residence.

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri photo: rod carrasco Photo: rod carrasco

From left, Anne Kline, Jovita Gross of the Kennedy Center and Kate Mangione attend the 2015 Opera Ball.

From left, Susan DiMarco, her husband Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson, journalist Huberta von Voss-Wittig and Ambassador of Germany Peter Wittig attend the 2015 Opera Ball.

Opera Ball Chair Capricia Marshall of the Atlantic Council, left, welcomes Kennedy Center Board Chairman David M. Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group to the 2015 Opera Ball.

photo: rod carrasco

From left, the Kennedy Center’s Stefanie Wallace, Lauren O Sullivan, Natalie Cronin and Ali Pohanka attend the 2015 Opera Ball at the German Residence.

3From left, Kennedy Center performers pose with Callista Gingrich and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the 2015 Opera Ball. photo: rod carrasco

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

Constance Whiteside, senior outreach officer at the European Union Delegation to the U.S., and Randall Yim attend the Opera Ball, which supports the Washington National Opera’s award-winning artistic, educational and outreach programs.

40

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

From left, philanthropist Adrienne Arsht joins Ambassador of Germany Peter Wittig and his wife Huberta von Voss-Wittig at the 2015 Opera Ball.

4The expansive grounds and pool of the German Residence were decorated for the Opera Ball. Photo: Yassine El Mansouri

The Washington Diplomat

August 2015


Canada at Preakness

American World Cup alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, left, and Ambassador of Canada Gary Doer attend the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Canada was the host nation for the 2015 International Pavilion.

Ambassador of Canada Gary Doer fist-bumps one of American Pharoah’s trainers at the Preakness Stakes in Maryland. The American thoroughbred racehorse won the American Triple Crown in 2015.

PHOTOS: EMBASSY OF CANADA

Royal Canadian Mounted Police watch the race at the 2015 Preakness Stakes.

Azerbaijan Republic Day

PHOTO: EMBASSY OF AZERBAIJAN

PHOTO: EMBASSY OF AZERBAIJAN

PHOTO: EMBASSY OF AZERBAIJAN

Ambassador of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov cuts the cake on stage at the Azerbaijan Republic Day celebration held at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

The Silk Road Dance Company performs traditional Azerbaijani dances at the country’s Republic Day celebration held at Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

3Ambassador of Lithuania Žygimantas Pavilionis with his wife Lina Pavilioniene attend the Azerbaijan Republic Day celebration. PHOTO: GAIL SCOTT

PHOTO: GAIL SCOTT

u.S. Assistant Chief of Protocol Gladys Boluda, center, joins Ambassador of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov and his wife Lala Abdurahimova at Azerbaijan’s Republic Day celebration held at Mellon Auditorium.

PHOTO: GAIL SCOTT

From left, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Kairat umarov, his wife Galiya umarova and Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago Neil Parsan attend the Azerbaijan Republic Day celebration.

3Deputy Chief of Mission of the Albanian Embassy Mamica Toska, left, and Ambassador of Hungary Réka Szemerkényi attend the Azerbaijan Republic Day celebration. PHOTO: GAIL SCOTT

European Games From left, Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan Kadyr Toktogulov joins Ambassador of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov and his wife Lala Abdurahimova to watch the first European Games in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. More than 6,000 athletes from 50 countries competed in 20 sports.

August 2015

PHOTOS: GAIL SCOTT

From left, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Kairat umarov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov and Ambassador of Montenegro Srdjan Darmanovic celebrate the opening of the first-ever European Games, held in Baku, at the Embassy of Azerbaijan.

4Sixth-graders from Alice Deal Middle School, which partners with the Embassy of Azerbaijan through the Embassy Adoption Program, sing the national anthem at the Azerbaijan Republic Day celebration. PHOTO: EMBASSY OF AZERBAIJAN

The Washington Diplomat Page 41


DIPLOMATIC SPOTLIGHT

The Washington Diplomat

August 2015

Africa Day

photo: larry luxner

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. and various African ambassadors and dignitaries pose for a group photo at the 2015 Africa Day Gala Dinner.

Ambassador of Morocco Rachad Bouhlal, left, and Ambassador of Egypt Mohamed M. Tawfik were the co-chairs of the 2015 Africa Day Celebration Dinner Gala held at the JW Marriott, where more than 600 dignitaries attended an extravaganza of music, dancing and speeches aimed at promoting solidarity among Africa’s 54 independent nations.

From bottom row left, Tony Culley-Foster, president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C., PR consultant Jan Du Plain and Miriam Menda welcome guests to the 2015 Africa Day Celebration Dinner Gala.

photo: larry luxner

Donald Teitelbaum, former U.S. ambassador to Ghana and now deputy assistant secretary of state for East African affairs, speaks at the 2015 Africa Day Gala Dinner.

photo: larry luxner

From left, Ambassador of Guinea Mamady Condé, Ambassador of Chad Mahamat Nasser Hassane and Ambassador of the Republic of Congo Serge Mombouli attend the 2015 Africa Day Celebration Dinner Gala.

From left, Hakeem Toyin Balogun of the Nigerian Embassy, Ambassador of Cameroon Joseph Foe-Atangana, Wale Oloko of the Nigerian Embassy and Akin Rockson of the Nigerian Embassy attend the 2015 Africa Day Celebration Dinner Gala.

From left, Ambassador of Egypt and co-host Mohamed M. Tawfik, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and Amani Amin attend the 2015 Africa Day Celebration Dinner Gala, which marked 52 years since the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, later renamed the African Union.

A traditional dancer from Côte d’Ivoire performs for guests at the Africa Day Gala Dinner, which celebrated Africa’s successes and highlighted the African Union’s 2015 focus on women’s empowerment.

photo: larry luxner

Voice of America reporter Mariama Diallo, right, interviews Ambassador of Morocco Rachad Bouhlal on the sidelines of the 2015 Africa Day Gala Dinner.

Maria Da Cruz Gabriel, left, and Ambassador of Angola Agostinho Tavares da Silva Neto attend the 2015 Africa Day Celebration Dinner Gala at the JW Marriott.

Russian National Day

Monaco Summer Soirée

Photo: Zaid Hamid

Photo: Zaid Hamid

Ambassador of France Gérard Araud, left, joins Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle at her residence for a summer soirée celebrating the 10th anniversary of the accession to the throne by Prince Albert II of Monaco.

From left, Julie Butler, Syd Butler, Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle, Fredrick Schaufeld of SWaN Investors, Karen Schaufeld of All Ages Read Together and restaurateur Nora Pouillon attend Monaco’s summer soirée.

From left, U.S. Protocol Chief Peter Selfridge, Ambassador of Iceland Geir H. Haarde, former Protocol Chief Capricia Marshall, and Shaista and Ray Mahmood attend Monaco’s summer soirée.

From left, Ambassador of Russia Sergey Kislyak, The Washington Diplomat publisher and editor-in-chief Victor Shiblie and Cultural Tourism DC Executive Director Steven Shulman attend the Russian National Day reception held at the embassy.

From left, Ambassador of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Kairat Umarov and his wife Galiya Umarova attend the Russian National Day reception.

A small crowd of demonstrators gathered outside the Russian Embassy during its National Day celebration to protest Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Photo: Terry Crouch

From left, Carolyn “Bo” Aldigé, founder and president of the Prevent Cancer Foundation, talks with Lorenzo Ravano, deputy chief of mission of the Monaco Embassy, and his wife Sophie Ravano at Monaco’s summer soirée.

42

Photo: Zaid Hamid

Reta Jo Lewis of the German Marshall Fund, left, joins Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle for a summer soirée held at the Monaco Residence.

Photo: Zaid Hamid

Ambassador of Liechtenstein Claudia Fritsche, left, joins Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle for a summer soirée held at the Monaco Residence.

The Washington Diplomat

3From left, founder and CEO of the Institute for Education Kathy Kemper, CEO of Sahouri Insurance & Financial Services Fuad Sahouri and Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines La Celia A. Prince attend the Russian National Day reception held at the embassy.

August 2015


World Affairs Council

Photo: Emilia Honkasaari

State of the District

From left, Ambassador of Monaco Maguy Maccario Doyle; Ambassador of Denmark Peter Taksøe-Jensen; Ambassador of Liechtenstein Claudia Fritsche; Ambassador of Finland Ritva Koukku-Ronde; Institute for Education (IFE) founder and CEO coach Kathy Kemper; District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser; and Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo Faida Mitifu attend IFE’s 17th annual State of the District Forum held at the Finnish Residence.

Photos: Lynn Dykstra / Focused Images

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, at far right, and his friends hold up Los Angeles Lakers jerseys auctioned off to raise money for the World Affairs Council during the group’s 35th anniversary fundraising gala. The worldfamous basketball star surprised the crowd by announcing he’d personally donate $200,000 to the group and its mission.

Ambassador of Germany Peter Wittig, left, and former Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) hold up the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award given to Wittig by the World Affairs Council, a nonprofit network that fosters grassroots engagement in international affairs and serves as a leader in creating global education programs.

Javier Miyares, president of the University of Maryland University College, accepts the Educator of the Year Award from the World Affairs Council, which during its 35th anniversary gala, held at the Ritz-Carlton in D.C., raised $900,000 for the council’s education programs.

US-ASEAN Business Council

British Order

Photo: British Embassy / Kate Greer

American Douglas Arnot, left, is presented with the Order of the British Empire by British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott in recognition of Arnot’s leadership in organizing the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics Games.

Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcomes guests to the US-ASEAN Business Council Annual Gala Dinner, which celebrated the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement.

From left, Vice President for Operations with the US-ASEAN Business Council Elizabeth Dugan, Ambassador of Indonesia Budi Bowoleksono and John Walsh of the Children’s National Medical Center attend the Annual Gala Dinner for the US-ASEAN Business Council held at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Photos: US-ASEAN Business Council

Ambassador of Thailand Pisan Manawapat, right, mingles with guests at the Annual Gala Dinner for the US-ASEAN Business Council held at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Ambassador of Myanmar Kyaw Myo Htut attends the Annual Gala Dinner for the US-ASEAN Business Council, which for 30 years has advocated for U.S. corporations operating in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Italian National Day

Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero poses with one of the racecars outside the Italian Embassy during the country’s National Day festivities, which marked the 69th anniversary of the founding of the Italian Republic.

Photos: Derek Parks for the Embassy of Italy

From left, Ambassador of Pakistan Jalil Abbas Jilani and his wife Shaista Jilani join Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero for the country’s National Day reception held at the embassy.

Deputy Chief of Mission of the Italian Embassy Luca Franchetti Pardo, left, welcomes former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to the Italian National Day reception.

Laura Denise Bisogniero, wife of the Italian ambassador, welcomes guests to the Italian National Day reception.

From left, Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero welcomes Ambassador of Ghana Joseph Smith and his wife Douha Smith to the Italian National Day reception.

3From left, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Kairat Umarov and his wife Galiya Umarova join Lala Abdurahimova and her husband Ambassador of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov at the Italian National Day reception.

4Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, left, and Sunjin Choi, director at Langham Partners, attend the Italian National Day reception. photos: Gail scott

3Ambassador of Latvia Andris Razans, left, and Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero celebrate Italy’s National Day at the embassy. Photo: Derek Parks for the Embassy of Italy

Photo: Derek Parks for the Embassy of Italy

From left, Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.), Tom Hemmer (R-Minn.), Mike Capuano (D-Mass.), Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero, Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) celebrate Italy’s National Day.

August 2015

4The Italian National Day reception celebrated EXPO Milano 2015, whose theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” Photo: Derek Parks for the Embassy of Italy

The Washington Diplomat Page 43


DIPLOMATIC SPOTLIGHT

The Washington Diplomat

August 2015

Hermione Voyage

PHOTOS: EMBASSY OF FRANCE / AFP

Director of u.S. Homeland Security Jeh Johnson was among the 250 prominent guests at a gala dinner held at George Washington’s estate, Mount Vernon, celebrating the Marquis de Lafayette’s frigate Hermione.

Guests celebrate the arrival of a replica of the French frigate Hermione at George Washington’s historic Virginia home, Mount Vernon, after its six-week transatlantic journey. The naval vessel belonged to the Marquis de Lafayette, who used the ship to help Gen. Washington’s troops in the Battle of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War.

Ségolène Royal, French minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy, speaks at a June 9 dinner honoring the Hermione voyage. Seated behind her are, from left, Curt Viebranz, president and CEO of George Washington’s Mount Vernon; Christophe Navarre, chairman and CEO of Moët Hennessy; Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken; and Barbara Lucas, regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, attends a dinner at Mount Vernon celebrating the frigate Hermione, a replica of which is on a historic journey from France to the u.S. and Canada, and back to Europe, to mark 235 years of French-American friendship.

3Ségolène Royal, French minister for ecology, sustainable development and energy, left, and Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken welcome guests to a celebration of the French frigate Hermione and its historic journey during the American Revolutionary War.

A replica of the Marquis de Lafayette’s vessel Hermione recently made landfall at Yorktown, Va., where in 1781, Gen. George Washington and allied French forces besieged Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis’s British army, effectively ending the war and ensuring America’s independence.

PHOTOS: EMBASSY OF FRANCE / AFP

IFE at Singapore

PHOTOS: INSTITuTE FOR EDuCATION

Dhanurjay “DJ” Patil, chief data scientist at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, leads a discussion on smart, responsible data use at an Institute for Education (IFE) INFO roundtable held at the Embassy of Singapore.

Ambassador of Bulgaria Elena Poptodorova, left, and Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Kumar Mirpuri attend an Institute for Education (IFE) INFO roundtable at the Embassy of Singapore. IFE recently partnered with the university of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering to provide a free coding camp to local L.A. kids in third through ninth grade.

Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast, left, and Jan Smith attend an Institute for Education (IFE) INFO discussion featuring u.S. Chief Data Scientist Dhanurjay “DJ” Patil.

The Washington Diplomat

From left, Scientific Attaché at the Italian Embassy Giulio Busulini, Microsoft Director of Technology and Civic Innovation John Paul Farmer and Vice President of Microsoft’s u.S. Public Sector Curt Kolcun attend an Institute for Education (IFE) INFO roundtable held at the Embassy of Singapore. 3From left, Sokwoo Rhee, a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Kristen Honey of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and Alexandra Ghara of the Robertson Foundation for Government attend an Institute for Education (IFE) INFO discussion.

From left, Institute for Education (IFE) Fellow Brandon Kline; John Paul Farmer, the Director of Microsoft’s Technology & Civic Innovation team; and coach Kathy Kemper, IFE founder and CEO, attend an IFE INFO discussion on data usage.

3Scott Wu, a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow (PIF) with uSAID, left, speaks with ZTE uSA Chairman and CEO Lixin Cheng at an Institute for Education (IFE) INFO discussion on data usage.

44

From left, Laura Rodriguez; Gouri Mirpuri, wife of the Singaporean ambassador; White House Senior Advisor R. David Edelman; Joanne Ke of the International Finance Corp.; and Jennifer Rudy of Microsoft attend an Institute for Education (IFE) INFO discussion held at the Embassy of Singapore.

PHOTOS: INSTITuTE FOR EDuCATION

3Johanna Shelton, public policy director at Google, asks a question during Institute for Education (IFE) INFO discussion on government data usage.

3Kimberly Twombly Wu of uBS Financial Services, left, and Judith Needs attend an Institute for Education (IFE) INFO roundtable held at the Embassy of Singapore.

August 2015


AROUNDTHEWORLD HOLIDAYS AFGHANISTAN Aug. 19: Independence Day ANDORRA Aug. 15: Assumption AUSTRIA Aug. 15: Assumption BAHAMAS Aug. 1: Emancipation Day BARBADOS Aug. 1: Emancipation Day Aug. 1: Kadooment Day

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC Aug. 13: Proclamation of Independence Aug. 15: Assumption CHAD Aug. 11: Independence Day CHILE Aug. 15: Assumption COLOMBIA Aug. 7: Battle of Boyacá Aug. 15: Assumption

BELGIUM Aug. 15: Assumption

CONGO, REPUBLIC OF Aug. 15: Independence Day

BENIN Aug. 1: National Day Aug. 15: Assumption

COSTA RICA Aug. 15: Assumption/ Mother’s Day

BOLIVIA Aug. 6: Independence Day

CÔTE D’IVOIRE Aug. 7: National Day Aug. 15: Assumption

BURKINA FASO Aug. 5: Independence Day Aug. 15: Assumption BURUNDI Aug. 15: Assumption CAMEROON Aug. 15: Assumption CAPE VERDE Aug. 15: Assumption

CROATIA Aug. 5: Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day Aug. 15: Assumption CYPRUS: Aug. 15: Assumption DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Aug. 16: Restoration Day

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EAST TIMOR Aug. 15: Assumption Aug. 30: Constitution Day ECUADOR Aug. 10: Independence Day EQUATORIAL GUINEA Aug. 3: Armed Forces Day Aug. 15: Constitution Day ESTONIA Aug. 20: Day of Restoration of Independence FRANCE Aug. 15: Assumption GABON Aug. 15: Assumption Aug. 17: National Day GAMBIA Aug. 15: Assumption GEORGIA Aug. 28: Assumption (Mariamoba)

GUYANA Aug. 4: Freedom Day HAITI Aug. 15: Assumption HUNGARY Aug. 20: National Holiday ICELAND Aug. 3: Commerce Day INDIA Aug. 15: Independence Day INDONESIA Aug. 17: Independence Day IRELAND Aug. 3: Bank Holiday ITALY Aug. 15: Assumption JAMAICA Aug. 1: Emancipation Day Aug. 6: Independence Day

GREECE Aug. 15: Assumption

KAZAKHSTAN Aug. 30: Constitution Day

GRENADA Aug. 1: Emancipation Day

KYRGYZSTAN Aug. 31: Independence Day

GUATEMALA Aug. 15: Assumption

LEBANON Aug. 15: Assumption

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LIBERIA Aug. 24: National Flag Day LIECHTENSTEIN Aug. 15: National Holiday (Assumption) LITHUANIA Aug. 15: Assumption (Zoline)

People Aug. 21: King’s Birthday NAMIBIA Aug. 26: Heroes’ Day NIGER Aug. 3: Independence Day

SLOVAKIA Aug. 29: Slovak National uprising Day

Ascension of St. Mary

SLOVENIA Aug. 15: Assumption

PORTUGAL Aug. 15: Assumption RWANDA Aug. 15: Assumption ST. KITTS and NEVIS Aug. 3: August Monday

August 2015

SOUTH AFRICA Aug. 9: National Women’s Day SOUTH KOREA Aug. 15: Liberation Day

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO Aug. 1: Emancipation Day Aug. 31: Independence Day TuNISIA Aug. 13: Women’s Day TURKEY Aug. 30: Victory Day UKRAINE Aug. 24: Independence Day UNITED KINGDOM Aug. 24: Summer Bank Holiday

PAKISTAN Aug. 14: SPAIN Independence Ascension NOTE: Although every effort is made to assureAug. your15:ad is free of mistakes in spelling and LUXEMBOURG Day of the Virgin URUGUAY Aug. 15: Assumption content it is ultimately up to the customer to make the final proof. Aug. 25: ST. LUCIA The PANAMA first two faxed changes be made at no cost to the advertiser, Independence subsequent changes Aug.will 1: Emancipation SWITZERLAND Day MACEDONIA willAug. be 15: billed Signed ads are considered approved. The at a rate of $75 Day per faxed alteration. Aug. 1: National Day Aug. 2: National Founding of Aug. 15: Assumption Day (Ilinden) Panama City Please check this ad carefully. Mark any changes to VENEZUELA your ad. ST. VINCENT and Aug. 15: Assumption THEto: GRENADINES is correct sign and fax (301) 949-0065 TANZANIA needs changes MADAGASCAR If the ad PARAGUAY Aug. 3: August Aug. 8: Farmers’ Day Aug. 15: Assumption Aug. 15: Founding Monday ZAMBIA The Washington (301) 933-3552 (Nane Nane) of AsunciónDiplomat Aug. 4: Farmers’ Day MALAYSIA Approved __________________________________________________________ SENEGAL THAILAND Aug. 31: National PERU Changes Aug. 15: Assumption Aug. 12: HM the ZIMBABWE Day Aug.___________________________________________________________ 30: St. Rosa Queen’s Birthday Aug. 11: Heroes’ Day ___________________________________________________________________ of Lima Aug. 12: Defense SEYCHELLES MALTA TOGO Forces’ National POLAND Aug. 15: Assumption Aug. 15: Assumption Aug. 15: Assumption Aug. 15: The Day MOLDOVA Aug. 27: Independence Day Aug. 31: National Language Day MOROCCO Aug. 14: Commemoration of Oued Eddahab (Reunification Day) Aug. 20: Revolution of the King and the

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APPOINTMENTS Albania Floreta Faber became ambassador of Albania to the united States on May 18, 2015. Ambassador Faber previously served as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania since its opening in 2000, working closely Ambassador with the business community and Floreta Faber representatives of the Albanian and American governments, international organizations and the European union. From 1995 to 2000, she worked with Deloitte & Touche in Tirana, including a secondment program with Deloitte & Touche in Prague. From 1990 to 1993, Ambassador Faber was in Shkoder, Albania, working at a local chamber of commerce, a regional business agency and a public import-export company that gave her expertise working with the Albanian government and emerging business environments. Born in Shkoder on March 19, 1968,

August 2015

Ambassador Faber is a graduate of the Faculty of Economics at Tirana university. From 1993 to 1995, she studied the two-year master’s of science program for international marketing and strategy at the Norwegian School of Management in Oslo, including a period as an exchange student at Washington State university in the u.S. She earned her master’s in marketing and operational management from Marin Barleti university in Albania. She has also participated in several executive programs and trainings, such as International Visitor Leadership Program of the State Department and Harvard university. Ambassador Faber is married to Dr. Edmond Faber, a vascular surgeon, and they have a daughter Kesli (born in 2000) and a son Klint (born in 2003). Eni Jucja assumed the position of second secretary on July 6, having previously served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2008, as well as in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of Culture.

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month. Available immediately! Call (703) 501-5015 or email: Vera@weichert.com.

T: 5.25 in

Free Ads for Diplomats

Prestigious McLean location; minutes to DC; excellent schools, ideal for diplomats or executives. Stately 3-4 BR, 2.5 BA 3,300+ sq. ft. Colonial; updated kitchen and baths. Marble/hardwood main level; wall-to-wall carpet second floor. Bright vaulted ceiling great room, large charming landscaped yard; 2-car garage. Available August 2015; Lease 2, 3, or 4 years, starting at $4,850 per month. Email: Jack.Roepers@gmail.com.

ARLINGTON — For Rent Luxury 2 BR Condo with balcony near Metro. The Monroe at 3625 10th St. N, Arlington, VA 22201 $2,950 Includes all utilities – Call (703) 351-0777.

PLACING CLASSIFIEDS ADS

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August 2015

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AMBASSADOR INSIDER SERIES Brief, one-on-one interviews with ambassadors followed by networking reception with food and drink.

Mingle with the city’s ambassadors in this exclusive series of intimate, casual discussions at some of the area’s top venues. Meet and greet

ELIN SULEYMANOV Ambassador of Azerbaijan

foreign envoys and top officials while learning about world affairs, politics, foreign investment opportunities, tourism, culture and more — all straight from the source.

Tuesday, October 6

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August 2015


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