■ INSIDE: EDUCATION AND
TRAVEL & HOTELS SPECIAL SECTIONS
A World of News and Perspective
EDUCATION ■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat
■ VOLUME 21, NUMBER 1
International Students in U.S. Reach Record-High Numbers
War Reporter Says Military Brass Needs To Shape Up ■ INSIDE: D.C. schools are giving students
Continued on next page
they expand their language
offerings. PAGE 25 ■
Thomas E. Ricks, the Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist and author of five books on American warfare, is a self-proclaimed fan of the military and of President Obama, but he calls Obama’s performance as commander-in-chief “quite disappointing” and accuses military brass of tolerating, even rewarding, mediocrity in its leadership ranks. PAGE 4
Croatia Now Part Of European Union, So Who’s Next?
“Heaven and Earth” spans the centuries to resurrect the Byzantine Empire, the longestlived political entity in European history. PAGE 36
something to talk about as
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The United States promised Afghan and Iraqi interpreters the chance to apply for visas in return for helping American troops, but thousands of applicants whose lives are in danger every day have been left waiting in limbo as the State Department decides their fates. PAGE 7
Byzantine Empire Endures in D.C.
by Carolyn Cosmos
he waves of international college students landing on the shores of the United States are reaching new heights, hitting a record high of nearly 820,000 foreign students in the U.S. during the 2012-13 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education’s latest Open Doors report.
Afghan, Iraqi Interpreters Stranded In U.S. Visa Logjam
■ JANUARY 2014 ak ing INFLUENCE PEOPLE OFBre WORLD Down Doors T
Across the Balkans, the accession of Croatia to the European Union inspired countries in the once war-torn region that they too could join the EU. So who’s next in line? The bloc won’t be experiencing a major enlargement like it did in 2004, and each candidate faces its own obstacles. PAGE 9
■ January 2014
SoutheaSSt aS Southea aSia ia
IndonesIa’s next PresIdent? Dino Patti Djalal loves his current job, but he’d love being president even more. That’s why the popular envoy is officially resigning as Indonesia’s ambassador to the United States and throwing all his efforts into getting himself elected leader of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. PAGE 11
Danish Envoy, Economist Find Balance Gitte Wallin Pedersen, who analyzes macroeconomic and financial trends in the U.S. for the International Monetary Fund, and Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen are juggling two careers in one demanding city, but they also work hard to carve out time to explore the United States. PAGE 37
H a pp y Hol i day s f rom T H e W i l l a r d.
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CONTENTS THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT
14 Ambassadors feed hungry
International college students
[ news ] 4
PEOPlE Of WOrld iNfluENCE
iNTErPrETErS lEfT SPEEChlESS
COvEr PrOfilE: iNdONESia Dino Patti Djalal loves his current job as Indonesia’s ambassador to the U.S., but he’d love being president even more.
[ culture ] 36
ByzaNTium’S BaCk For the first time at the National Gallery of Art, a vast, almost impassively expansive exhibit showcases 170 pieces of Byzantine art from 13 museums throughout Greece.
‘POrTraiTS Of POWEr’ “Portraits of Power” dissects and reconstructs the faces of prime ministers, presidents and heads of state to cast a new light on power and authority figures throughout time.
diNiNg Tim Ma gave up a promising career in engineering to become a chef and restaurateur — and area diners are reaping the rewards of his job switch at Water & Wall.
film rEviEWS Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation” lost the 2012 Oscar race to “The Artist,” but he picks up the latter’s leading lady for his latest family drama, “The Past.”
high-PriCEd iTaly From the haute couture fashion houses of Milan to the magnificent villas that pepper the countryside, Italy is dripping in luxury. But that isn’t the whole story.
‘liNgEr ON!’ The German state of Saxony-Anhalt is home to wind farms, castles, chemical factories, churches — and a burgeoning contemporary art scene.
Area hotels weathered the latest government shutdown and are looking to 2014 to expand their business base and implement “cool” changes.
COvEr: Photo taken at the Embassy of Indonesia by Lawrence Ruggeri of ruggeriphoto.com.
idB SCOrES! The Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center shows us how soccer is being used as a venue to give children around the world a sporting chance at a better life.
[ hotels & travel ]
Ben Bernanke steps down as Fed chairman in January, the end of an eight-year tenure that’s been hugely consequential and unexpectedly controversial.
The man who helped craft a sweeping post-9/11 terrorism law under the Bush administration is now pushing for that law to be updated — and reined in.
diPlOmaTiC SPOuSES Gitte Wallin Pedersen and Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen have been balancing two demanding careers since arriving in Washington in 2010.
Walk around D.C. and you could easily hear half a dozen languages — a diversity not always reflected in school language classes. But that’s changing as local schools push the boundaries of traditional immersion programs.
huNgry TO hElP Ambassadors normally seen at cocktail parties were slicing and dicing in the kitchen as part of a State Department effort to highlight local community service projects.
iNTErNaTiONal STudENTS The waves of international college students landing on the shores of the United States are reaching new heights, hitting a record high last year.
Croatia’s accession to the European Union gave its Balkan neighbors hope that they might be next, but the path to EU membership is lined with hurdles for each candidate country.
[ education ]
Congress is likely to extend programs that offer visas for Afghan and Iraqi interpreters, but thousands have been left stranded in backlogs while facing danger back home.
Portraits of Power
A new cardiovascular risk calculator to determine if otherwise healthy patients should go on statins was released with much fanfare in November — and plenty of confusion.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas E. Ricks is a self-proclaimed fan of the military and of President Obama, but ask him about top brass and Obama’s performance as commander-in-chief and you’ll get an earful.
film iNTErviEWS Iranian director Asghar Farhadi talks about filming in France, and in a foreign language, for his new film “The Past.”
44 46 48 53 54 55
CiNEma liSTiNg EvENTS liSTiNg diPlOmaTiC SPOTlighT WOrld hOlidayS ClaSSifiEdS rEal ESTaTE ClaSSifiEdS
P.O. Box 1345 • Silver Spring, MD 20915-1345 • Phone: (301) 933-3552 • Fax: (301) 949-0065 • E-mail: email@example.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, Zachary Colman, Carolyn Cosmos, Audrey Hoffer, Rachel Hunt, Stephanie Kanowitz, Kathy Kemper, Luke Jerod Kummer, Molly McCluskey, Ky N. Nguyen, Gail Scott, Dave Seminara, Gina Shaw, John Shaw, Gail Sullivan, Gary Tischler Photographers Jessica Latos, Lawrence Ruggeri account manager Chris Smith graphic designer Cari Bambach 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 $25 for 12 issues and $45 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.
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PEOPLE OF WORLD INFLUENCE
Thomas E. Ricks
War Reporter Has Fighting Words For Obama, Military to Shape Up by Michael Coleman
homas E. Ricks, the Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist and author of five books on American warfare, is a self-proclaimed fan of President Obama, but ask him about Obama’s performance as commander-inchief and you’ll get an earful.
Ricks, author of the 2006 bestseller “Fiasco,” which named names while scorching the Bush administration’s handling of the war in Iraq, isn’t impressed with Obama as a wartime president, either. Now a senior advisor in the New America Foundation’s National Security Program, Ricks told The Diplomat that many of Obama’s military advisors are political “hacks” who don’t understand that generals aren’t political pawns. He blatantly says that former National Security Advisor Thomas E. Donilon, a longtime Washington operative and lawyer who served Obama from 2010 until June of this year, was “awful.” “I still am a fan of Obama, but I think he’s handled the military establishment very poorly,” Ricks said in a wideranging interview.“I have been bothered for a long time by the very narrowness of the background of Obama’s national security people. To a surprising degree, they are political hacks and [Capitol] Hill rats — former congressional staffers who see the world though a political lens and probably think Congress is much more important in national security affairs than it really is,” complained Ricks, who has reported on U.S. military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq. “I don’t see diversity in the national security people and I see a highly politicized lens through which these people look at national security issues,” he continued. “You have domestic advisors — hacks out of [Obama’s hometown of] Chicago — much more involved in national security issues than in the past. “I think that Obama has been quite disappointing in national security issues,” Ricks said. The former Washington Post reporter isn’t optimistic about Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s tenure either. Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, was narrowly confirmed by the U.S. Senate in February, but only after a bruising and embarrassing confirmation hearing that left him fumbling for answers on Iran, Israel and other subjects. Ricks called Hagel “a weak secretary of defense who had a horrible confirmation hearing” and said his nomination reflected ambivalence about the job from the Obama administration. “The signal it sent is basically we don’t really care,” Ricks argued.“I was surprised at how rough Senate Republicans were on Hagel. It showed a lack of thoughtfulness — [Obama advisors] weren’t talking to enough people to find out how Hagel would be received on the Hill.” Ricks doesn’t mince words or serve up political niceties. The reporter recently grabbed his own headlines during a Fox News interview in which he said the U.S. consulate attack in Benghazi had been “hyped” for political purposes, especially by Fox News, which he called “a wing of the Republican Party.” However, the old-school former newspaper reporter doesn’t seem to take sides in Washington’s partisan warfare. He told Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post that MSNBC had invited him to speak but
Photo: The Penguin Press
We owe it to the enlisted men to give them good leadership, but we don’t necessarily give it to them these days. — Thomas E. Ricks
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author
he declined, telling them, “You’re just like Fox, but not as good at it.” Ricks’s no-nonsense writing has propelled him to the top of the media echelons. In addition to covering the Pentagon for the Washington Post from 2000 to 2008, Ricks wrote about defense for the Wall Street Journal for 17 years. When The Diplomat caught up with Ricks by phone, he was holed up in his “writing house” in Maine, where he is working on his sixth book, an analysis of the ways Winston Churchill and George Orwell helped shape the 20th century.The book, tentatively titled “Churchill, Orwell and the Making of the 20th Century,” is a departure for Ricks, whose previous books all focused on military affairs. “One’s on the right, one is on the left — they’re very different people — but they agree that there must be a way beside fascism and communism,” he said of the two subjects in his latest book. “They helped preserve liberal democracy.” Ricks also maintains a regular and award-winning online presence, penning the popular blog “The Best Defense” on Foreign Policy’s website.The blog is a compelling compendium of his thoughts on U.S. military policy, links to articles he finds interesting, and contributions from guest bloggers, including current combat veterans. The book that catapulted Ricks to literary fame was “Fiasco:The American Military Adventure in Iraq.” Published in 2006, at the height of the Iraq War,“Fiasco” was a devas-
tating indictment of the U.S. military’s handling of the conflict, and especially its failure to anticipate the Iraqi insurgency while using conventional warfare that actually fueled escalating hostility and bloodshed. “Fiasco” was particularly noteworthy for its slew of on-the-record interviews with military officials and use of thousands of government documents to show that the United States had planned poorly for the war and its aftermath. The book reached the top of the New York Times bestseller list and was widely credited for helping to transform public opinion about the war. Last year, Ricks released his latest book,“The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today.” The tome takes aim at a U.S. military culture that Ricks says tolerates, and even rewards, mediocrity in its leadership ranks. In the book, Ricks examines why more U.S. military generals aren’t fired or demoted for poor performance. His research led him to the policies of revered military icon Gen. George C. Marshall Jr., who served as chief of staff of the U.S. Army, secretary of state and secretary of defense and is widely credited for the Allied victory in World War II. Ricks found that of 155 men who commanded Army combat divisions in World War II, 16 were fired for their job performance under Marshall. “You had a removal rate of better than 10 percent,” Ricks pointed out. After the Vietnam War, only one U.S. general was fired for subpar performance. “The tradition was lost and didn’t come back,” Ricks said, lamenting that poor planning and bad decisions should have resulted in multiple firings during and after the Iraq War. “Coming out of Iraq, nobody got fired for anything and mediocrity was kind of a core value among American generals,” Ricks charged. “If you believe the U.S. Army, it’s like Lake Wobegon — all of our generals are above average.We know that’s not true. We’ve just fought two endless wars — our longest wars go on forever. They don’t seem to be
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Ricks resolved, people come and go, they rotate in and out, nobody wins the war, and nobody owns the war. “What do we have now?” Ricks asked.“We have a situation where being an army general is like being a university professor with tenure. You can be professionally incompetent but as long as you don’t embarrass the institution you won’t be fired.” That point leads the conversation naturally to David Petraeus, the former four-star general who resigned his post as CIA director one year ago after he acknowledged having an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.That rankled Ricks, who credits Petraeus with helping to clean up some big messes after the initial botched occupation of Iraq. He said Americans’ obsession with punishing sexual indiscretions deprives them of some otherwise supremely competent leadership. “What gets people fired nowadays tends to be zipper problems,” Ricks said bluntly.“The professor who boffs an undergraduate or the general who sleeps with a junior officer. You can be a lousy teacher in the classroom or a lousy commander in the battlefield and you don’t get fired for that.That strikes me as kind of screwy. It’s not just a hit on the Army; it’s also a hit on the American people.We care more about the private love life of our generals than we do about whether they are good combat leaders.” Critics of that thinking point out that the U.S. military claims to uphold the highest standards and should practice the values it preaches. But more important, Petraeus was in charge of the CIA, and affairs are frowned upon in the intelligence world precisely because they leave officers vulner-
able, possibly compromising national security. Broadwell reportedly enjoyed unprecedented access to Petraeus while writing his biography, raising questions about whether she was privy to classified information; in one speech she even appeared to divulge sensitive details about the consulate attack in Benghazi. But Ricks said Petraeus, whom he knows well, could have weathered the political firestorm over the Broadwell affair if Obama had backed him despite the circumstances. “I think what Obama should have said was,‘Hey Dave, you screwed up big time. Take some time off, go home, make it up to your wife as best as you can and then get back to work,’” Ricks said.“But I don’t think Obama had any interest in expending political capital on the part of Petraeus partly because they didn’t trust him and partly because they suspected that Petraeus had political ambitions. I don’t think he had any political ambitions.” Regardless, Petraeus has found his post-scandal footing, teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and working for the investment firm KKR. But Ricks says many other top — yet subpar — American military officials fly under the performance radar. He suggests that the lack of accountability among the top ranks might be solved, at least partially, by reinstating the draft and making military service compulsory. “If you want to support the troops, one of the best ways is to make sure they have good leadership,” Ricks said.“We owe it to the enlisted men to give them good leadership, but we don’t necessar-
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ily give it to them these days. That’s one reason I favor a draft.” A draft might also restrain politicians eager to rush to war, Ricks says. “If you had a draft, then American families would care and that would make congressmen care and they’d begin asking questions like they did in World War II,” he told us. “Harry Truman came to prominence in the U.S. Senate by leading a commission looking into military acquisition problems. Nowadays nobody seems to want to ask a lot of questions of the military.” He added: “I think it would reconnect the American military Photo: The Penguin Press to American society and one of the benefits is yes, it would inject more accountability into the system.” While Ricks is critical of Obama’s handling of the military generally, he came to the president’s defense on the question of Syria, where he says Obama has thoroughly considered the ramifications of a U.S. intervention in that war-torn nation. “To Obama’s credit, I think he’s been a very deliberative president,” Ricks said.“George W. Bush was one of our least deliberative presidents, who tended to shoot first and ask questions later. It’s not a bad idea to be deliberative. I think Obama’s done OK on Syria partly because I don’t think there are any good answers there. “We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t,” he said. “If we support the Syrian rebels, it raises the question of if the rebels win, what happens to the Syrian minorities, the Armenians, the Christians, the Jews and others? Do we create a new refugee problem? I don’t see good answers on Syria.” Likewise, while the recent deal struck with Iran could herald a major breakthrough in the longstalled talks over the country’s nuclear program, it could also lead to unintended consequences. The landmark interim deal negotiated by the P5+1 to curb aspects of Iran’s nuclear program for six months while a more comprehensive agreement is hashed out has infuriated Israel and much of the American Jewish community. It’s even fueled speculation about a joint Israeli-Saudi strike on Iranian nuclear installations, a possibility Ricks does not discount. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see a joint IsraeliSaudi Arabian operation against Iran,” he said. “It would make it militarily so much easier to do if you could fly Israeli aircraft out of eastern Saudi Arabia…. I could see a large strike that not only hit nuclear sites, but also air defense sites and missile sites because of course you’d be worried about retaliatory missile shots at Riyadh, Jeddah and Tel Aviv. “You could also see Iran retaliating with
Hezbollah getting frisky in Lebanon and various other Shiite disturbances in eastern Saudi Arabia. It would run the danger of a general war breaking out in the Middle East.” Ricks also said he doubts it would be possible to pull off such a bold strike without at least tacit approval from the United States. However, he envisions Secretary of State John Kerry — whom he compared to the depressive, downer character Eeyore in “Winnie the Pooh” — “getting up there and calling all parties to cease fire.” “Frankly, I don’t think they could really pull it off without us knowing, especially if it was a joint Saudi-Israeli operation with Israeli aircraft flying into Saudi Arabia to do it,” he said.“The real worry would be twofold: Would such a strike lead to a general war in the Middle East?” he asked, “and would the United States somehow get dragged into the consequences of a strike?” That leads the longtime military observer to warn that U.S. soldiers can’t be the only tool in America’s foreign policy arsenal — and military intervention can’t be used as a constant fallback option. Diplomacy, he says, should be bolstered. Ricks said he thinks the U.S. government should give the State Department a bigger budget, and sometimes a bigger role in overseas conflicts. Walter Pincus, a Washington Post reporter, found in 2010 that the U.S. Army had more musicians than the State Department had Foreign Service officers, a fact that Ricks pointed out in making his case for more spending on diplomacy. “The State Department clearly needs more money,” he said, referring to annual international affairs spending, which is roughly one-tenth the Pentagon’s base budget.“It’s tiny compared to the U.S. military. I think there should be more cooperation between the military and other parts of the government. We need a military that is sometimes going to be taking orders from Foreign Service officers.” While he’d like to see more money flowing to Foggy Bottom, Ricks advocated slashing spending across the river at the Pentagon. Despite dire warnings from Pentagon brass that sequestration will hollow out the military, the latest bipartisan budget deal will blunt some of the harshest cuts, and defense spending for fiscal 2014 is still set to clock in at roughly $600 billion, including the war in Afghanistan. Ricks said the defense world needs less money and more critical thinking. “The American military between World War I and World War II had almost no money, but they did a lot of thinking and in that time they produced a great generation of generals,” he said, citing Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George S. Patton.“They did that because those guys did a lot of reading, writing and thinking. I think our military leaders can do a lot more of that and a lot less spending money.”
Michael Coleman is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
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Afghan, Iraqi Interpreters Stuck in U.S. Visa Bottleneck by Zachary Colman
ongress is likely to extend programs that offer visas for Afghan and Iraqi nationals who assisted the U.S. military in the coming weeks, but the work to clear their sizable backlogs is just beginning.
The programs were designed to recruit Afghan and Iraqi locals to assist the U.S. war effort in those countries. In exchange, at the end of their service, those who worked for the U.S. government for at least one year would be able to apply for visas. But thousands of applicants whose lives are in danger every day have been left waiting in limbo as the State Department decides their fates. In fact, they must demonstrate their lives face a persistent risk to even be considered for the visa — and even then that may not be enough to overcome the bureaucratic holdups. The issue has become more acute as U.S. forces draw down in Afghanistan, leaving potentially thousands of eligible applicants and their families exposed to retribution from the Taliban.And supporters of the programs fear their muddled implementation could harm future efforts to court local assistance in combat zones. “It’s about the contribution they made, but it’s also about American credibility. How do we persuade people in the future in a conflict to help us when we just turn our backs when we leave?” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who helped push through a 90-day extension of the Iraqi program before it expired in October, said in an interview. Congress first created the Iraqi program in 2008, giving State the authority to distribute 5,000 visas per year to Iraqis and their families — spouses, children, parents and siblings — over the course of five years.The Afghan endeavor followed in 2009 at a clip of 1,500 visas each year for five years, though those visas were limited to spouses and children. A similar program, which has no end date and specifically targets translators, offers 50 visas per year. The programs’ supporters have been working to get them extended — as of press time, the Iraqi one was slated to end Dec. 31, 2013, while the Afghan counterpart closes Sept. 30, 2014 — because they say the State Department has issued just a fraction of those visas. Shaheen and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who took the Republican lead on the October extension for the Iraqi program, are spearheading another extension as part of the Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014. Foggy Bottom won’t comment on how many applications it has received for the visas. According to State documents, the department has fallen short of its 5,000-visa mark for the Iraq effort each year — handing out a total of 5,837 since the program began five years ago. It has also awarded 1,185 visas to Afghan nationals out of the allotted 7,500. That breaks down to roughly 200 visas for Afghan nationals a year, even though the State Department is authorized to approve up to 1,500. Those familiar with the programs estimate the waiting list is in the thousands. A lengthy, complicated, risk-averse bureaucratic process has led to years of delays for applicants and their family members, said Matt Zeller, a research fellow with the Truman National Security Project. “It’s the goldilocks syndrome. You have to perfectly January 2014
Credit: DoD Photo by Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras, U.S. Air Force
It’s about the contribution they made, but it’s also about American credibility. How do we persuade people in the future in a conflict to help us when we just turn our backs when we leave?
— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
thread the needle,” said Zeller, a U.S. Army captain who fought to get his Afghan translator, Janis Shinwari, a visa. It took two and a half years to get Shinwari his visa, Zeller said. And that’s relatively speedy — most of the few applications that are eventually approved take three and a half years, he said. Shinwari succeeded where many others haven’t thanks in large part to a media blitz launched by Zeller with help from Change.org. The campaign captured the attention of CBS News, the New Yorker, National Public Radio and other major news outlets. Zeller said he had a duty to help Shinwari because the translator saved his life in a firefight, killing two Taliban fighters in the process.They grew close enough to call each other “brother.” As their relationship grew,so did the threats on Shinwari’s life.The Taliban one day found Shinwari’s car and scratched, “Your day of judgment will come” into the hood, Zeller said. “They wanted more than their standard revenge for this. They wanted to make an example of him,” Zeller said. For his safety, Shinwari was transferred from Ghazni Province to live in a compound inside a Kabul military
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Benjamin Riley, right, and a Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul interpreter, center, meet a villager during a 2011 patrol in Afghanistan. In return for helping with the U.S. war effort, Afghan interpreters were given the chance to apply for U.S. visas, but the State Department has only approved a tiny fraction of the allotted visas so far.
base. Over the next two years, he saw his wife and two kids three times. But he took on more responsibility for the U.S. military, agreeing to manage the 200 or so translators who also lived on the base. The urgency to get Shinwari his long-awaited visa ramped up in July, when the contractor who employed him informed the translators that they would all be laid off when U.S. forces left the area in October.That would leave all of them to fend for themselves against potential retribution from the Taliban. Shinwari’s visa was inexplicably revoked in September, sparking an urgent appeal by Zeller, who didn’t mince words about the delay. “For almost a decade of faithful, honorable and heroic service to the U.S., the State Department and the U.S. Embassy seem content to break our nation’s promise to the interpreters who risk their lives to help us,” the Army captain said. While Shinwari, after many hiccups, eventually arrived in the United States at the end of October, many of his fellow countrymen still face mounds of red tape. The visa application process is comprised of two steps. First, an applicant must complete one year of service for the U.S. government and provide all the documentation to support it — such as letters of commendation from commanders. Second, the applicant must clear an intensive multi-agency background review to quash any fears of a national security threat. But that multi-agency portion can take a while, as clear-
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securing visas. “If we’re looking at image, the image is in tatters at this point. It’s already common knowledge in the ance from each agency has a limited time window before Middle East that we just left these people behind,” it expires. So if the Department of Homeland Security Johnson said in an interview. “They’re like the laughclears an applicant but State doesn’t begin its review in ingstock [among other locals] for standing by us.” time, the process starts all over again, Zeller said. The 2010 U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan also exacShaheen said the Defense funding bill would make erbated the applicant-to-visa deficit, Zeller said. changes to the programs to eliminate some of those Congress approved the program’s 7,500-visa authocomplications. One of the tweaks would force the fedrization before the U.S. presence spiked by 30,000 to eral government to approve or deny all applications surpass 100,000.The number of Afghan personnel on within nine months, while another would require State which those soldiers depended ballooned as well. to designate officials to oversee the process in Kabul But there hasn’t been a commensurate bump in the and Baghdad. amount of visas available to Afghan nationals, nor does “The renewed attention and interest in the program there appear to be one coming. The language in the will help address the slow speed in which those cases Senate Defense Authorization Act would leave that were being processed,” Shaheen said. “If we don’t see number unchanged. that working, then we’re going to be providing some As such, Zeller said the program is “grossly inadeoversight.” quate” — though his main focus is on making sure In any event, the State Department appears to be State can adhere to what it’s already agreed. angling for Congress to give it a little more time to carry “We had no idea how egregious and horribly manout the programs. aged the process is,” Zeller said of when he first started “We welcome any actions by Congress to extend the PhOTO: ChAnGE.ORG pushing for Shinwari’s visa. Afghan SIV [Special Immigrant Visas] program and to Capitol Hill has picked up on that. The Senate further extend the Iraqi SIV program,” it says on its web- afghan translator Janis Shinwari, right, is welcomed by U.S. Army Capt. Matt Zeller and supporters at Washington’s Reagan National Airport after a lengthy battle waged by Zeller to secure Shinwari’s unanimously passed the short-term extension for the site. Iraq program and the House did so under suspension A State official said in an email that processing times U.S. visa. More than 100,000 people signed a Change.org petition supporting Shinwari. of the rules — a device used for noncontroversial bills. have declined, but noted that the department would The program also has attracted letters of support from in an ambush to carry out the bodies of fallen American soldiers. “continue to strive for even greater efficiencies.” These military supporters say the interpreters have already both sides of the aisle and in both chambers. “More broadly, the State Department, and the other U.S. governJohnson said he wants to see more urgency out of the Obama ment departments and agencies involved in this process have the proven their loyalty by risking their lives — sometimes for years on administration. He suggested that an executive order from President highest respect for the men and women who take enormous risks end — to help American troops. But applicants must also prove that their lives are in actual dan- Obama could end the stalemate overnight. in helping our troops and diplomats. We are committed to helping “Obama is not taking a lonely stance here,” Johnson said.“We all ger, and some interpreters who’ve been denied visas complain those, who despite the risks, have helped us,” the official added. The process is thorough and long because of the security risk about the seemingly arbitrary decision-making process. “What’s a came together and said,‘Yes, we have to do this.’” That step is unlikely considering Congress is moving on the serious ongoing threat for them? Do they need someone to bring in involved, State said. issue by incorporating the Iraqi extension into the latest Defense “We also have a responsibility to the American people to ensure my decapitated head?” one interpreter told the Washington Post. Those frustrations are sure to mount as Afghans who helped U.S. spending bill. that all those who enter the United States, including special immi“I don’t think I can say anything more [about the level of supforces are exposed to even more threats from the Taliban as solgrant visa recipients, do not pose a threat,” the official said. port] than that in the middle of the government shutdown, we The program’s supporters, however, say the security fears are diers leave. And that has many Afghans who threw their lot in with the were able to get this passed by unanimous consent,” Shaheen said, overblown and the Afghans and Iraqis have been thoroughly vetted by the U.S. military. In fact, military service members like Zeller United States feeling like they were duped, said Kirk Johnson, referring to the Iraqi visa extension.“Our goal is to make sure those have often been the ones leading the fight to bring their interpret- founder and executive director of the List Project, which he origi- [administrative] obstacles are reduced.” ers to the United States. A four-star general intervened in one case nally started to help get Iraqi translators their visas. He said Afghans to push through a visa for an Afghan translator who risked his life and Iraqis who aided other nations have faced fewer headaches Zachary Colman is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.
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12/11/13 1:11 PM
Roadblocks, Speculation Line Path to EU Membership by Molly McCluskey
cross the Balkans, the accession of Croatia to the European Union last summer was greeted as a triumph, and an encouraging sign that countries in the once war-torn region could reach what formerly seemed like an unattainable goal. Croatia’s breaking with EU tradition to join independent of other candidate countries also sent a message: that candidates could join when they had met all of the membership criteria, regardless of their neighbor’s progress (also see “Post-EU Croatia Experiences Growing Pains, and Compromise” in the November 2013 issue of The Washington Diplomat). So who’s next in line to join the EU club? The bloc won’t be experiencing a major enlargement like it did in 2004, when 10 countries joined. And each of the candidate countries currently faces its own challenges along the path to membership. Despite its progress on EU accession, Iceland ceased talks in late 2013, having largely recovered from its banking crash in 2008. Macedonia (FYROM) has been at loggerheads with Greece over its name for more than 20 years. Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo’s independence, despite reaching a recent EU-brokered deal to normalize relations. Turkey’s occupation of Cyprus, an EU member, has kept its EU aspirations at bay — along with wider worries in the bloc about absorbing a Muslim nation of 80 million.Three potential candidate countries — Kosovo, Albania, and Bosnia and Herzegovina — round out the list, and bring their own troubles to the mix. “Some people had a sense that the EU wouldn’t expand any further after Croatia,” said Serbian Ambassador Vladimir Petrovic. “That with the [euro] crisis, countries wouldn’t want to join.” And yet the EU has agreed to open accession talks with Serbia, despite its ongoing feud with Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nearly a decade after NATO intervened to stop the bloodletting between Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians and Serb forces. Although Serbia still refuses to recognize Kosovo’s independence (along with a handful of EU members), Belgrade is keen to join the bloc, in part to turn around its sluggish economy and high unemployment. Serbia has worked with EU authorities to turn war criminals over to The Hague, and it inked an accord last April to cede de facto control of a Serb enclave in northern Kosovo (in return, the 50,000 or so Serbs will be granted autonomy from the central Kosovar government). Although skirmishes occasionally erupt between the two sides (most recently during Kosovo’s local elections in November), they’ve agreed not to stand in the way of each other’s pursuit of EU membership. In fact, the Balkans represent the next frontier in EU expansion, with the field narrowed to three candidate countries: Serbia, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), all of which belonged to the former Yugoslavia (like current EU members Slovenian and Croatia). However, Serbia and Macedonia both have troubled relationships with their neighbors that could prove detrimental to their accession hopes. January 2014
Photo: European Union, 2013
It is not only about the membership; it is about the process. You change your society very much in the process. So … you are changing the basics of your economy, democracy, rule of law, even other sectors. Transforming society in this process is vital. It is crucial. — Srdjan Darmanovic
ambassador of Montenegro to the United States
Macedonia was granted permission to begin accession talks in 2009, and the European Commission has repeatedly recommended that those talks begin, but a longstanding dispute over its name with neighboring Greece has stalled the country’s EU aspirations. Greece argues that the name Macedonia implies territorial rights over the northern Greek province of the same name. Despite progress in key political and legislative areas, Macedonia won’t be able to continue talks until a permanent bilateral agreement can be hatched with Athens, which has taken issue with Macedonia’s name since its independence in 1991. Georgios Tsarouchas previously worked with the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States and as an advisor to the Greek government. “Europe generally is much more careful now,”
Representatives from the European Commission and Bosnia and Herzegovina meet for a high-level dialogue on the accession process in Brussels in October 2013. Croatia’s recent accession to the European Union gave many of its Balkan neighbors hope that they too could join the bloc.
Tsarouchas said in regards to the EU accepting Macedonia before the name issue is resolved. “They have so many problems — they don’t need more.” That means it will be a race to the finish among the remaining two candidate countries. On the streets of Belgrade this summer, talks of Croatia’s accession inevitably fueled impatience over Serbia’s prospects. It’s an impatience echoed recently by Ambassador Petrovic. “We strongly feel that we are the next country to join the EU,” Petrovic told us. “I think we had some political problems, Kosovo to name one, and problems with The Hague tribunals. But in terms of technically being capable, I think Serbia has been a strong candidate for 10 years now and I feel the institutions are pretty strong, and we’re going to move really fast.” Despite progress in relations with Kosovo this year,“we were told from the EU that recognizing Kosovo is not one of the things [the EU] would ask of us,” Petrovic said.“We are not planning to recognize their unilateral declaration of independence, but we want to fix this problem through negotiations, through diplomacy in the European spirit.” Bucking the belief that the batch system is a thing of the past, Petrovic said it would be wise for the European Union to accept all of the Balkan nations at once.“I think to get all the Balkans in the next few years will cement the peace process of the Balkans, and of Europe. Because without the Balkans, there is no Europe. And without the Balkans, there is no peace in Europe. It’s in the interest of all Europeans to speed up this process.” He added:“It wouldn’t be a big deal for Europe to get [all of] us in even next year.”
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Photo: European Union, 2013
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In the event that the European Commission doesn’t share Petrovic’s vision of admitting the Balkan countries at once, Montenegro is the most logical candidate to join the EU, according to Luka Orešković, a Harvard University researcher focusing on European affairs. “Institutional reform is definitely one of their hurdles, but they have one of the most stable political environments in all of Eastern Europe. They have very experienced leadership. It has very clear goals.And it also has the will to join the EU,” Orešković said. “To some extent, they’re the only option.” But MontenegrinAmbassador Srdjan Darmanovic refuses to speculate on the great race. “We very much support our neighboring countries to go as fast and be as successful as they can,” he said.“We would like to hold a torch of the negotiations in our hands and to be the most successful one, but we very much realize how important it is for the region to be part of the united Europe, whole, and without exceptions. So we very much salute and praise and are happy with the success of any countries.” Despite Petrovic’s confidence that all of the Balkan countries could join the EU within the next year, Darmanovic says Montenegro could be ready by 2020.“It is not only about the membership; it is about the process. You change your society very much in the process. So, preparing your society or your country to be a member, you are changing the basics of your economy, democracy, rule of law, even other sectors.Transforming society in this process is vital. It is crucial. “As much as the process is important, at the end of the road is membership,” Darmanovic added. But for other countries, it seems to be the end of the road for membership, at least for now. Following its financial meltdown in 2008, Iceland applied to join the EU in 2009 and seemed to be a shoo-in. The country, which had been fasttracked to join the EU, participates in NATO, the European Economic Area, the Schengen passportfree travel area and European Free Trade Association and already follows a number of EU laws. But in September, Icelandic Foreign Minister Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson dissolved the country’s EU negotiation committee. Iceland, whose economy is now on the mend, had long clashed with EU officials over fishing quotas and harbored lingering bitterness about the union’s involvement in the banking collapse that struck Iceland particularly hard. But the road to EU membership has been bumpy and seemingly never-ending for one country in particular. Long considered the wildcard among the EU candidate countries, Turkey reopened negotiations with the European Union in early November after a hiatus of more than three years. Talks had initially stalled due to Turkey’s occupation of Northern Cyprus and suffered again after the Turkish government’s harsh
Filip Vujanovi, president of Montenegro, left, and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, walk by a large photograph of Jean Monnet, a French diplomat who’s considered by many to be a chief architect of European unity, during a meeting on Montenegro’s accession to the European Union and future EU enlargement.
crackdown on protestors in May. Negotiations between the EU and Turkey, which began in 2005 (18 years after Ankara first applied), have also been slowed because of reservations in France, Germany and elsewhere about being able to integrate the large, Muslim-majority nation into Europe, which is predominantly Christian. Orešković of Harvard says that regardless of Turkey’s viability as a candidate, the negotiations themselves serve a critical function. “It is not clear that it is a feasible option for Turkey to join at all. But negotiations can bring about normative measures to the candidate that make them a better neighbor,” Orešković said.“The process of EU talks has enabled it to institute a lot of change, from minority rights to legal reforms to economic reforms to fiscal independence to political reforms.” He added: “Granting a country member candidate status can be a very strategic foreign policy tool.” Tsarouchas said that while it’s unlikely Turkey will join the EU in the current climate, Europeans will soon have to face a startling reality. “Europe is dying,” Tsarouchas declared. “Turkey has a very young population. In the future, it might be essential for the EU to get a young population. For the moment, it’s very difficult.” Moreover, Turkey is not the economic backwater it once was. Now, it’s a dynamic powerhouse, while the EU’s economy has stagnated. “So, you keep Turkey at the door, and hope the timing works,”Tsarouchas said.“But most certainly, Turkey will not be the next country to join.” Montenegrin Ambassador Darmanovic, whose country could very well be the 29th EU member, said that there will continue to be challenges throughout the European enlargement process. And whether the 29th member joins alone, or with its neighbors, the most important element is the strength of the union overall, and that is the responsibility of all its members, and member candidates. “Maybe the European Union can borrow the slogan of the U.S. founding fathers,” he said. “Let’s try to do our union more perfect.”
Molly McCluskey (@MollyEMcCluskey) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
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Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal
Indonesian Envoy Steps Down In Long-Shot Bid for President by Larry Luxner
ino Patti Djalal loves his current job, but he’d love being president even more. That’s why on Dec. 31, Djalal will officially resign as Indonesia’s ambassador to the United States and throw all his efforts into getting himself elected leader of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. The ambassador’s unlikely quest began back in February, when Djalal said he received a call from the current head of state, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (known by his initials, SBY), inviting him to compete in the ruling Democratic Party (PD) primary set for next April. “I very much enjoy the world of diplomacy and could do this for another 15 years, but this is a historic moment for Indonesia, and I’ve always wanted to go into politics,” said Djalal, who’s spent 26 of his 48 years in the Foreign Service.“In August, after extensive consultation with my wife and parents, I decided to go for it. I have the right combination of age, experience and idealism to make a good leader for Indonesia.” On Nov. 22, The Washington Diplomat interviewed Djalal for an hour and a half at the stately Indonesian Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, where he’s served as ambassador for just over three years. (It’s the same embassy where Djalal, as a teenager in the early 1980s, got on-the-job training in his first official function — dishwasher — while his father, Hasjim Djalal, was deputy chief of mission.) “I’m definitely not in this for the ego. I see this as a chance to serve on a higher level,” he told us. “Indonesia in 2014 will reach a historic milestone. We will end the present era under SBY, and a new generation of leaders will take the baton.” The July 2014 race will mark the third direct presidential election since the fall of the Suharto dictatorship in 1998; Indonesia’s constitution bars Yudhoyono from running a third time. Yet for all his enthusiasm, Djalal — known on Embassy Row for his easygoing charm and his beautiful wife Rosa — faces a very hard road ahead. For starters, only 7.1 percent of respondents in a May 2013 poll conducted by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said they’d vote for Djalal’s party in legislative elections to be held next April. That’s down from 21 percent in 2009, when Yudhoyono won a second five-year term as president. A more recent CSIS report poll conducted from Nov. 13 to Nov. 20 on the presidential race didn’t even mention Djalal, even though he’s one of the 11 declared candidates for the PD ticket.
Much of that report focused instead on Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, who was chosen by 34.7 percent of respondents, followed by Prabowo Subianto (10.7 percent) and Aburizal Bakrie (9 percent). Widodo, the 52-year-old governor of Jakarta who’s known by his nickname Jokowi, has generated the most excitement among voters, edging out Prabowo, a retired general who has a strong following among the rural poor but has been associated with the human rights abuses of the Suharto regime. Jokowi “has a charismatic, pavement-pounding style that is new to Indonesian politics,” said CSIS researchers Gregory Poling and Blake Day.“As mayor of Surakarta, he proved an effective, pragmatic and, most importantly, clean leader. Unsurprisingly, Jokowi has dominated presidential opinion polls for months, leading the second-place Prabowo by double digits. And he is not even officially running yet.” (Jokowi must secure the approval of his party’s leader before pursuing the nomination.) “He’s a good man and we like each
Photo: Lawrence Ruggeri / ruggeriphoto.com
I very much enjoy the world of diplomacy and could do this for another 15 years, but this is a historic moment for Indonesia, and I’ve always wanted to go into politics. — Dino Patti Djalal
ambassador of Indonesia to the United States
other,” Djalal said of Jokowi.“We are alike in the sense that we are leaders driven by idealism, and we’re solution-oriented.” Many analysts agree that the main reason Djalal’s Democratic Party is faring so poorly in the polls is the rising incidence of corruption in Indonesia, despite the president’s widely publicized efforts to fight it. Under Yudhoyono, the young democracy survived the 2008 financial crash relatively unscathed and gross domestic product has expanded by a healthy 6 percent clip over the last three years. Yet economists say rampant corruption is holding the country back. Transparency International says Indonesia was viewed as more corrupt in 2012 than a year earlier, dropping from
100th to 118th place in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index. That means respondents say Indonesia is even more corrupt than Albania, Niger and the Philippines, and only marginally better than Belarus, Mauritania and Vietnam. According to Transparency Interna tional’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer, an overwhelming majority of Indonesians described the police, legislature, judiciary, political parties, public officials and civil servants as corrupt. In addition, more than a third of Indonesians reported that they or someone in their household had paid a bribe in the last 12 months. Djalal readily concedes that graft, bribery and political favoritism constitute some of the biggest problems in Indonesia
— whose population of 250 million makes it the world’s fourth-most populous country after China, India and the United States and the third-largest democracy after the United States and India. “There are too many old faces and too many corruption scandals.The credibility of politicians in Indonesia is very low, below 10 percent,” the ambassador said. “Parliament has 600 members, and there are corruption cases almost every day. Of all occupations, Indonesians trust politicians the least.That gives me an opportunity. I’m a fresh face, and I’m not tainted by corruption.” But his party is. Despite the establishment in 2002 of the Corruption Eradication Commission (known as the KPK), and Yudhoyono’s willingness to have his own son’s father-in-law — a PD member and former central bank governor — arrested and sentenced to four and a half years in prison for embezzlement, the perception is that the president has grown soft on graft. On Oct. 2, the KPK detained a sobbing Akil Mochtar, who as chief justice of the constitutional court was Indonesia’s top
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up,” he said, estimating he’ll need at least $1 million in contributions. “Once the country hears anti-corruption official. The commission also my vision, funds will come.To win the primaries, seized $590,000 in cash, which it said was a bribe all I need is to focus on the 10 biggest cities and to rig a court ruling over a disputed district electalk to the media every day.” tion. The arrest of Mochtar — who once said Talking has never been a problem for the those convicted of corruption should have their media-savvy Djalal, who’s written five books fingers amputated — has infuriated ordinary including a bestseller on leadership that later Indonesians fed up with dishonesty at the highbecame a TV show.A former presidential speechest levels of government. writer and spokesman, Djalal brought a youthful Yudhoyono’s “inability to groom a suitable sucenergy — and creativity — to Washington, D.C. cessor and more generally his failure to build a In addition to shoring up Indonesia’s political sound Democratic Party around him have been and economic ties with the United States, he his key failures as president,” political analyst instituted a number of clever initiatives to showKevin O’Rourke said in a recent interview with case Indonesian culture, including the world’s Reuters. “The consequence of that has clearly longest angklung ensemble on the National Mall been poor performance in cabinet and parlia(angklung is a traditional musical instrument ment.” made of bamboo) and the first foreign competiDjalal, the first Indonesian diplomat ever to tion to challenge fashion designers and graphic run for president, hopes to lift his party’s sinking artists to design an American-style Indonesian numbers in the polls. Since September, he’s batik (he’s even moon-walked for D.C. school returned home for two weeks of every month, students). hitting the campaign trail with his wife — a den“I’ve served my country well in Washington, PhOTO: EMBASSy OF InDOnESIA tist who was recently named on Washingtonian indonesian ambassador Dino Patti Djalal is surrounded by thousands of students after giving a speech at the representing the Indonesian people and fighting magazine’s “Style Setters” list — and handing out Selamat Islamic Boarding School in central Java. The Indonesian envoy is resigning his post in Washington to for them.At the end of my tenure, I have contriba 192-page booklet filled with campaign slogans, run for president of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. uted to making America even more pro-Indonesia inspirational quotes and occasional one-liners than before,” Djalal told The Diplomat. (i.e., “Hello, my name is Ambassador Dino Djalal “In the last three months, I’ve been going But before competing against Jokowi, Prabowo he campaigned very aggressively and won.” of Indonesia. I used to be a frog until Rosa kissed or any of the other frontrunners in the election, The ambassador’s 180,000 Twitter followers home a lot to campaign, and I’m always introme.”). Djalal must first clinch his own party’s nomina- should also serve him well in his presidential duced as Indonesia’s ambassador to the United “I have a good vision, a good product to sell,” tion in April. quest. According to the Asia Society, of the pro- States, because that’s my job. I’ve been able to he told us. “My challenge now is how to convey Other leading candidates for the PD nomina- jected 187 million eligible voters in Indonesia’s draw large crowds. They respect that. They also this message to as many people in Indonesia as tion include the recently retired head of the army, 2014 elections, over a third will be first-time vot- respect President Obama,” he said (Obama spent possible. I have found that in the last few weeks Pramono Edhie Wibowo, who also happens to be ers between the ages of 16 and 20 — an influen- part of his childhood in Indonesia).“People want everythe effort is madebrother-in-law; to assure yourDahlan ad is free of mistakes and content is ultimately up to the that customer of campaigning, people areNOTE: receptiveAlthough to my mesto know the international community is president’s Iskan, tial bloc in of spelling young people who areitincreasingly to make the final proof. sage.” Indonesia’s minister for state-owned enterprises connected to the internet and social media, and comfortable with me, and that I have internaThat message, Nasionalisme is loosely tional But this will be a totally and a media mogul; Gita Wirjawan, the coun- subsequent demandingchanges transparency. The firstUnggul, two faxed changes will be made at and no cost to the advertiser, will be(Jokowi, billed atbefore a ratehis of $75 per experience. faxed alteration. translated as “enlightened nationalism.”The basic try’s U.S.-educated minister ofSigned trade. ads are considered upset victory in the Jakarta governor’s race, used domestic affair. The Indonesian people care approved. idea, Djalal says, is that while Indonesia is in a “What encourages me about Indonesian poli- his social media presence to reach millions of about jobs, health and education. Jobs will be a good place, it can be even better. “From good to tics is that key issue. The price of food will also be imporyou cancheck go fromthis beingad a nobody to a Mark young voters.) Please carefully. any changes to your ad. great, we need a tipping point,” he said. “That somebody in a matter of months,” Djalal said, Djalal says he plans to use grassroots support tant. So will religious freedom and tolerance.” requires the right and it’s called winning Djalal said another urgent long-term challenge Jokowi as a perfect example. “One to build up his as well. “I have hunIf themindset, ad is correct sign and fax to: offering (301) 949-0065 needs changes Thecampaign Washington Diplomat (301) 933-3552 nationalism, as opposed to narrow nationalism, month before the election [for governor of dreds of volunteers on my team working for free. is urban decay. Approved _____________________________________________ Changes ultra-nationalism or exclusive nationalism.” “For generations, our development philosophy Jakarta in 2012], nobody knew who he was._____________________________________________________________________ But I found them through Twitter and they signed
JFK IN THE SENATE: Pathway to the Presidency By John T. Shaw
New book is a balanced and careful account of JFK’s political evolution A.E. Fletcher Photography
BEForE JoHN F. KENNEdy became the charismatic 35th president of the United States, and an enduring global
icon, he served for nearly eight years as the junior senator from Massachusetts. From 1953 to 1960, he mastered the nuances of American politics and carefully charted a path to realize his presidential dreams. In the first book to focus on his tenure as a Senator, John Shaw shows how Kennedy used the upper chamber as a policy and political training ground. Shaw, a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat, explores Kennedy's role in some of the most important domestic and international struggles of that era, including the challenge posed by the Soviet Union and China, France's faltering military interventions in Vietnam and Algeria, and the battle to reform the labor movement in the United States.
“This book clarifies and deepens our understanding of an endlessly fascinating American leader. Shaw is in control of his material, has an easy flowing style and a good eye for apt quotations and amusing stories.” Richard Baker, Senate Historian Emeritus and co-author of The American Senate
“We learn in this book that JFK entered the Senate as an uncertain backbencher and grew into a formidable presidential candidate and compelling American statesman. Shaw gives us a vivid, memorable account of how this transformation occurred.” Tom Daschle, Former Senate Majority Leader
“Mining newly available archival materials, ‘JFK in theSenate’ offers a riveting and revealing account of Kennedy's transformation from unremarkable freshman congressman to dynamic presidential contender. It is sure to be a classic in Kennedy scholarship and American presidential history.” Amy Zegart, Stanford University professor and Hoover Institution fellow
To PUrcHASE: HTTP://US.mAcmIllAN.com/JFKINTHESENATE Page 12
The Washington Diplomat
has always been about rural poverty, and it should be that way,” he explained. “But in our generation, 70 percent of Indonesians will live in cities, and we will have a very large middle class that will soon represent 50 percent of the population.The fact is, people living in cities now have more money but are not happier.They’re stressed out.The quality of life is decreasing.” Jakarta, the capital, is home to 9.7 million people, and Java, which is smaller than Alabama, contains more inhabitants than the rest of Indonesia’s 17,508 islands combined. “There have been systematic efforts to move people, but Java is still the most densely populated island in Indonesia, so creating livable green cities is crucial for Indonesia,” Djalal said. Another problem is that Indonesia’s economy ranks 17th in size, way behind less-populated countries such as Turkey, Mexico and Brazil. There’s no reason Indonesia can’t be among the world’s top 10 economies by 2030, and among the top five by 2040, the ambassador insists. “We’ve been very insecure about our national identity as a multiethnic nation. But it’s not enough for Indonesia to be independent or sovereign. In the 21st century, you need excellence for the country to move forward.You need to be competitive and connected to the world,” Djalal said. “I define excellence in terms of achievements. For example, Indonesia has huge geothermal energy potential, but there’s only one geothermal facility in Indonesia. In that sense, our achievement is way below our potential,” he lamented. “It’s the same with tourism. Indonesia is the most beautiful country in Southeast Asia, but we get only 7 million tourists a year. We’re an archipelago, but we are not a maritime nation.” On the other hand, Indonesia ranks 38th on the World Economic Forum’s 2013-14 Global Competitiveness Index, up from 50th place a year ago — right behind Thailand and just ahead of Azerbaijan — and its annual per-capita income has climbed to nearly $5,000 in 2012, according
indonesia at a glance independence: Aug. 17, 1945 Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean Capital: Jakarta size: Slightly less than three times the size of Texas Population: 251 million (July 2013 estimate) Life expectancy: 71.9 years Religions: Muslim 86.1 percent, Protestant 5.7 percent, Roman Catholic 3 percent, Hindu 1.8 percent, other or unspecified 3.4 percent (2000 census) GDP (purchasing power parity): $1.237 trillion (2012 estimate) GDP per-capita: $5,100 (2012 estimate) GDP growth: 6.2 percent (2012 estimate) Unemployment: 6.1 percent (2012 estimate) Population below poverty line: 11.7 percent (2012 estimate) Exports: Oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, textiles, rubber imports: Machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs Source: CIA World Factbook
to the World Bank. “When SBY took over, it was $1,100. He tripled it in nine years,” Djalal pointed out. “By the time he steps down, it will be four times as much.” According to the U.S. Trade Representative Office, U.S. foreign direct investment in Indonesia was $11.6 billion in 2011. Major U.S. corporate investors in Indonesia include ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and mining giant Freeport-McMoRan. “I’m glad that during my time, Indonesia has been more on the radar screen of Washington and the U.S. business community,” said Djalal, warning nonetheless that “it’s very important for the United States to stay neutral in Indonesia’s
elections, and to avoid any perception or misperception that it is interfering in the electoral process.” Djalal said he was part of the team that formulated Indonesia’s foreign policy doctrine, which is called “A Million Friends and Zero Enemies.” “That means we must turn every adversary into a friend, and every friend into closer friends and even partners,” he said. “Before, the U.S. and Indonesia were just friends, and it was all about security and counterterrorism. But in 2010, we formed a comprehensive partnership. Basically, that means the U.S. and Indonesia recognize that this is a strategic relationship. Now, it is broadbased and forward-looking.”
The highlight of Djalal’s U.S. posting was President Obama’s November 2011 visit to Bali, which hosted the 19th ASEAN Summit as well as the Sixth East Asia Summit. Obama, whom Djalal has met at least half a dozen times, was received ecstatically by the Indonesian people, who almost claim him as one of their own. After all, Obama spent much of the late ’60s attending elementary school in the Jakarta suburb of Menteng. Djalal said that growing up the son of an ambassador opened him up to other perspectives and encouraged him to aim high.“My father trained me to be a diplomat, so I get on very easily with other cultures,” he told The Diplomat in the November 2011 cover profile “Indonesia’s Ambassador Embodies Ambitions of His Emerging Nation.” Even so, Djalal’s diplomatic skills, his friendship with Obama and his years of experience on the world stage may not be enough to propel him to the presidency. (It may, though, boost his domestic profile and land him a top government job down the line.) The fact that he’s spent the last three years outside of Indonesia will likely work against him — even as the campaign itself subjects the Djalal family to public scrutiny as never before. “You have to be thick-skinned to be a politician these days,” he said. “It requires mental toughness and a lot of discipline. I need to brace myself for what comes ahead.”
Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.
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Local, Global Charities Help Feed the Hungry by Larry Luxner
mbassador Akramul Qader of Bangladesh, one of the world’s most densely populated countries, sliced and diced yellow squashes with a sharp knife. Nearby, Ambassador La Celia Prince of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, one of the world’s smallest countries, sealed a continuous stream of trays full of turkey meat and gravy with cellophane wrap. The two diplomats are normally seen at cocktail parties, not in kitchens. But on Nov. 21, they — along with representatives from Egypt, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and a dozen other countries — spent two hours slaving away over hot stoves and cutting boards.All wore mandatory hairnets and navy-blue aprons bearing the State Department’s official seal, and all had been briefed on proper hand-washing techniques. The pre-Thanksgiving event was organized by the State Department’s Office of the Chief of Protocol as part of a daylong “Share the Season” showcase — the first of its kind — to give the diplomatic corps a firsthand look at local community service projects and donation drives that support those in need during the holiday season. It took place at DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit located a few blocks from Union Station,next to a homeless shelter.Operating on an annual budget of $11 million, its staffers and volunteers prepare 5,000 meals a day for poor people throughout the Washington metropolitan area. DC Central Kitchen, founded in 1989, also offers culinary job training, local farm partnerships and other programs to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.
Sadly, in every single country — including this one — there are significant populations in need. In America, 17 million children live in food-insecure homes. It’s a hard statistic for the secretary of agriculture to repeat, but it is a reality.
— Tom Vilsack U.S. secretary of agriculture
“We try to provide the most healthy, nutritious food we can, and bringing as many locally grown products as we can into the equation, like winter squash from a farm in Queen Anne’s County,” said Dan Hall, director of administration, in a welcome speech to the visiting diplomats before
sending them off to their various work stations. “We pick up extra crops that won’t be harvested,” said Hall, explaining how DC Central Kitchen functions.“We also connect with local farmers to buy seconds, or stuff that won’t sell at the highest prices. So far this year, we’ve recovered 630,000 pounds of food that otherwise would have been thrown out.” Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, used the occasion to tell the gathered ambassadors and their spouses about AmeriCorps, the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps. “Many Americans want to serve their country. They really can’t find themselves traveling overseas, but they want to do something related to volunteer service,” she explained.“That was the idea of AmeriCorps: to address problems here like helping people get out of homelessness and find jobs.” Spencer’s agency,which runsAmeriCorps, the Senior Corps and Social Innovation Fund, employs 600 staffers and operates with $1 billion in federal funds and another $850 million in matched funds. It has offices in every state and this year marks its 20th anniversary. She said 80,000 AmeriCorps members “give a year of their lives to service” — some full time, some part time. She noted that those who volunteer are 27 percent more likely to find jobs later in life. “We also have 360,000 senior corps volunteers, age 55 and up, who are foster grandparents, working alongside kindergarten teachers or volunteering as senior companions for the elderly,” she noted. Earlier that afternoon, at a nearby roundtable, some 40 ambassadors attended a lunch co-sponsored by local nonprofits like Martha’s Table, Manna Food Center and A Wider Circle.There, diplomats learned how their embassies can organize their own community service projects to fight hunger, homelessness and illiteracy. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke of the positive role volunteerism had on his own career. “I started out life in a Catholic orphanage after my birth mother was not able to raise me,” he told the diplomats.“I was fortunate enough to go to college, got married and moved to my wife’s hometown: Mount Pleasant, Iowa. I realized I needed to do something to establish an identity, when the
Photo: Larry Luxner
Ambassador of Bangladesh Akramul Qader, with Ukrainian Ambassador Olexander Motsyk and his wife in the background, slices yellow squashes at DC Central Kitchen as part of a State Department-organized event showcasing local community service projects.
opportunity presented itself to lead an effort to raise money to build athletic facilities for our children.” Vilsack explained that “when the mayor of our town was tragically shot and killed during a city council meeting, I ran for mayor. That mayor’s job led to an opportunity to be state senator, then governor, then secretary of agriculture — and it all started with volunteerism. Had I not engaged in that program, I would probably have become a successful lawyer, but I would never have had the opportunities I’ve had in my lifetime.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture chief told the assembled ambassadors and other dignitaries that his agency has accumulated nearly 9 million pounds of food through the establishment of 1,900 “people’s gardens” around the United States and at U.S. embassies overseas. “Sadly, in every single country — includ-
ing this one — there are significant populations in need. In America, 17 million children live in food-insecure homes. It’s a hard statistic for the secretary of agriculture to repeat, but it is a reality,” said Vilsack. “You can help make their day just a bit brighter by the work that you do. They, in turn, might learn something about the country you come from,” he said. “You are obviously a conduit through which information about your country is transmitted to Americans.Thank you and your spouses for the important role you play in educating America about the world in which we all share.” S A Z X C C V
Like DC Central Kitchen, Florida-based Food For The Poor Inc. fights hunger —
The Washington Diplomat
See charities, page 16 January 2014
Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill
Bush Lawyer Wants Post-9 /11 War Authorization Revised by Luke Jerod Kummer
nside a futuristic office building occupying a block of downtown D.C., a cylindrical atrium of metal and glass opens to a skylight that appears poised to retract for rocket ships transiting to and from the blue beyond.
Nearby in the lobby, a club chair and floor lamp stand before shelves bearing rows of thick law encyclopedias with well-worn spines. It’s like finding a reading nook in a spaceport. This impressive edifice is the headquarters of Arnold & Porter, a law firm that did more than $700 million in revenue in 2012, and I’m here to see one of its partners, John B. Bellinger III. Previously, Bellinger was the legal advisor for President George W. Bush’s National Security Council from 2001 to 2005 and the top lawyer at the State Department from 2005 to 2009. He worked closely with Condoleezza Rice in both roles. Since leaving government, he has become an outspoken critic of both Bush and Obama’s detention policies at Guantanamo Bay, and he has called on Congress to revise the law that authorizes the war against al-Qaeda and its supporters, known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force. “For the past decade, executive branch agencies have relied on a sparely worded statute that Congress passed hastily on Sept. 18, 2001, while the wreckage of the World Trade Center was still smoldering,” Bellinger wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2010. “The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) provides insufficient authority for our military and intelligence personnel to conduct counterterrorism operations today and inadequate protections for those targeted or detained, including U.S. citizens.” The law allows the president to use all necessary force against those who contributed to the 9/11 attacks, but as “U.S. forces continue to target terrorist leaders outside Afghanistan,” Bellinger wrote, citing drone strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen,“it is increasingly unclear whether these terrorists, even if they are planning attacks against U.S. targets, are the same individuals, or even part of the same organization, behind the Sept. 11 attacks.” Bellinger also pointed out that the law does not expressly authorize the detention of suspected terrorists, nor does it contain “specific provisions for killing terrorists who are U.S. citizens and who enjoy at least some constitutional rights. ” He urged Congress to “update and clarify the legal authority” under which the January 2014
United States confronts terrorism, a call that seemed especially poignant because Bellinger himself — along with other administration lawyers and officials — helped shape the original law during the White House’s negotiations with Capitol Hill. In Bellinger’s office, family photos — married for nearly 30 years, Bellinger is the father of two daughters — sit beside his computer, while diplomas from Princeton, the University of Virginia and Harvard share the walls with an action shot of Bellinger and Rice prepping for her testimony to the 9/11 Commission in the backseat of a limousine. But the most arresting display is a certificate, signed by President Bush, thanking the people who were at the White House on Sept. 11, 2011. I asked him about that day. He recalls how Rice’s staff was filing into a morning meeting when they caught wind of the World Trade Center emitting a black plume on TV. Soon after,“somebody came in and passed a note to [Rice] that said a
Photo: Council on Foreign Relations
As a matter of good government, I continue to believe, as I have for years, that we should revise the AUMF [Authorization for Use of Military Force], which is now 12 years old and was written very rapidly after 9/11 and has covered all manner of things from detention to drone strikes to electronic surveillance. — John B. Bellinger III
former legal advisor to the National Security Council and State Department
plane had hit the second tower, and she immediately left,” he said,“and we realized we were in the midst of a terrorist attack.” When he took the National Security Council job in February 2001, Bellinger says he “signed up thinking I was going to work for a sort of extension of the Bush 41 administration.” He’d risen to prominence a little more than a decade earlier as a special assistant to William Webster, the CIA director during much of George H.W. Bush’s presidency. “I expected I was mostly going to be
dealing with trade issues and law enforcement issues,” said Bellinger, looking courtroom-ready in his starchy white buttondown shirt, red-and-blue striped tie, gleaming oxfords and neatly parted hair. Instead, seven months later, Bellinger was hunkered down in the White House’s Situation Room, grappling over an almost inconceivable dilemma: “We were trying to figure out on the fly what legal authority the president would have to actually shoot down passenger aircraft that might be heading toward Washington,” he said. “I remember standing out at 3 or 4 in
John B. Bellinger III, John B. Bellinger III, a top legal advisor under President George W. Bush, says that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which he helped craft shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has expanded beyond its original intent and should be updated.
the morning — at that point on September 12 — with one of my deputies under a streetlight on a deserted corner at 17th and Pennsylvania, realizing that the world had changed,” Bellinger said.“For the next eight years I became an expert on the law of war, and the Geneva Conventions and the use of force.” In many ways, Bellinger was primed for this role. His father was an Army colonel who went on to work at the Office of the Secretary of Defense and his mother was a Russia analyst for the CIA. The younger Bellinger also served as a special counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee and then as counsel on issues of national security in President Clinton’s Justice Department. But after war struck in 2001, Bellinger
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Continued from previous page soon clashed with other members of the Bush administration regarding matters of detention, torture and the wisdom of straying from international agreements and norms. According to Jane Mayer’s 2008 book “The Dark Side,” a group of Bellinger’s colleagues, who were referred to as “The War Council,” regarded him as too dovish, too circumspect about what they considered necessary expansions of executive power. They began whispering to each other,“Don’t tell John,” she wrote. Bellinger admits he “is personally not a very partisan person” and calls himself a “chronic moderate,” which may have put him at loggerheads with some of the other personalities in the executive branch. However, Bellinger bristles at the way the Bush administration sometimes has been cast as a monolithic slab. In a recent post on Lawfare, an influential national security blog, Bellinger chided President Obama for going “out of his way to blame and caricature the Bush administration” in a speech on counterterrorism to the National Defense University. Later, I asked Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare’s cofounder and editor, whether or not the stark portrayals of the Bush administration have weighed on Bellinger, and if he believes Bellinger actively seeks to dispel some of the stereotypes. “Look, I think it’s clearly a matter of sensitivity to him. People have painted with a very broad brush in talking about the Bush administration. [It] actually is a fairly diverse lot,” said Wittes, who wrote for the Washington Post’s editorial board during the Bush years. “There was a very significant debate within the Bush administration about the positions that it should and shouldn’t take. And different forces within those discussions prevailed at different times.” By the same token, Bellinger is no pacifist or lefty. He has received plenty of criticism from liberals and human rights groups for Bush policies he helped craft — and for some of his more recent views, including accusations that he is actually seeking to dramatically expand the authorization for using force under the guise of revising it. Bellinger tells me that he simply wants the rules for how we combat terrorism to be clearly codified and brought up to date through a democratic process and with regard to international commitments. He doesn’t believe the AUMF should be used as a sweeping legal justification for targeted drone killings in places like Pakistan and Yemen or indefinite detentions without trial in Guantanamo Bay. But he also doesn’t advocate for getting rid of the law altogether. On that note, Bellinger took umbrage at what he called a “truly bizarre” New York Times editorial in March that recommended an immediate repeal of the law. “But they then stopped there and they didn’t say,‘Well, what would be the legal basis for counterterrorism operations?’” Bellinger asked. “It seemed to be motivated by this naïve, childlike view. “And one gets it. I used to say to my children before 9/11, you are living in this wonderful time. We have an expanding economy, you’re safe and your grandparents were in wars. I think all of us would like to go back to that. But you can’t just say, ‘Well, if we repeal the president’s authorization to use force, he’s going to stop using it and all of the terrorists are going to go home.’” Likewise, Bellinger dismisses notions that the AUMF represents a calculated move by the Bush administration as part of some grand scheme.That view, he says, represents revisionist history seen through a partisan light. “It was too soon after 9/11 for the Bush administration to have adopted any robust philosophy that maybe came about later on. If you look at that eight years later, you might say,‘Oh, this is the first inklings of the Bush administration trying to make a power grab.’ I think that it was too early for them to have even decided what they were doing.” Instead, he sees a natural tendency throughout American history for the executive and legislative branches to tussle over the authority to wage war,
and the crisis of 9/11 meant that the White House wanted as wide a berth as possible without the burden of having to come back to Congress to reauthorize future missions. “The United States was basically dealing with an enemy which we had not faced before. I mean the traditional rules really didn’t fit very well, so we were trying to fit square pegs in round holes. In each case, decisions were made that sort of were off-base by five degrees. And if you make 20 decisions, all of which go off by five degrees, sooner or later you get pretty far off the mark.” For example, he says trying detainees under military commissions made sense to some people in the administration at the time, even though he now calls that “one of our worst procedural decisions.” “On the other hand, what they were trying to do is to say, ‘Well, the last time we had a group of unlawful combatants who were caught was during World War II, and we used military commissions then and it was upheld by the Supreme Court, so that’s the closest thing that we can find, so it ought to work now.’” Guantanamo was conceived in a similar fashion, he says. “Our military commanders said you’ve got to get these people out of Afghanistan. Nobody was going to hold a group of terrorists inside the United States, so to hold them on an island that was essentially like Alcatraz near the United States seemed to be the reasonable thing to do. Of course, we now know what happened. It’s been a disaster for the United States. And when you look at a disaster, you tend to think, well, it should have been obvious from the start. But not all disasters are obvious from the start that they’re going to be disasters,” Bellinger said. “The administration kept compounding its errors and had a really difficult time getting out of the hole that it had dug itself into,” he added.“I
mean we really did try very hard in the second term.” Bellinger in particular seemed to be on a personal mission after he was asked by Rice, then secretary of state, to represent the State Department in 2005. A profile of Bellinger that appeared in Princeton’s alumni magazine in 2006 describes him as a “leading salesman” for an initiative by the Bush administration, led by the State Department, to shore up America’s standing abroad. At the time, Bellinger was crisscrossing the globe, reportedly traveling one week per month as part of “an aggressive public relations campaign aimed at convincing anyone who will listen that Americans aren’t a bunch of trigger-happy cowboys who view the world as their OK Corral,” wrote Kathy Kiely. Bellinger recalls that during his foundational years in college and grad school, “many of the heroes in my life had been diplomats.” And today, it’s clear that Bellinger is a great believer in the power of explanation and dialogue. In addition to Bellinger’s work at Arnold & Palmer, he contributes analysis to Lawfare, has penned op-eds for the Post and New York Times, appears on C-SPAN, and holds a seat on the Council of Foreign Relations. He talks to reporters. He contributes amicus briefs to court cases. He is busy explaining law and policy seemingly every chance he gets, which not everyone in a profession that measures time in billable hours is inclined to do. Bellinger says there’s an “earnest desire in me for people to understand.” “When I became legal advisor [at the State Department], the Bush administration’s policies had become so deeply unpopular, but they also were really misunderstood. I felt we really needed to do a better job of explaining what we’re doing
from page 14
Charities though on a vastly bigger scale. Ranked by the Chronicle of Philanthropy newspaper as the largest international relief and development organization in the United States, Food For The Poor has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. It boasts 1,200 employees, including more than 300 just at its sprawling 160,000-square-foot headquarters in Coconut Creek, Fla. Its interdenominational Christian ministry serves the poorest of the poor in 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. “We’re feeding over 2 million people a day, six days a week,” said Robin G. Mahfood, the organization’s president and CEO. “These are not poor people, they are destitute people. What we’re seeing today are naked children with no clothes, no shoes and no food.We work in garbage dumps, we work with the homeless, we work with handicapped and mentally retarded people who are forgotten.” Since its establishment in 1982, Food For The Poor has provided more than $10 billion in aid to poor people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean — with half that just in the last five years. According to Charity Navigator, the group maintains its operating expenses under 5 percent to ensure that more than 95 percent of donations go directly toward programs that help the poor. In 2012, the Christian charity built 6,805 housing units, bringing the total to more than 84,000 since 1982. In Haiti alone, Food For The Poor has built 3,668 permanent two-room homes with sanitation units. Mahfood, speaking to The Washington Diplomat at length last month, keeps on the wall of his office a framed portrait of a homeless Jamaican man who receives food from the NGO every day. “We’re not social workers,” he said. “We live by the gospel, we adhere to the gospel, and it’s
Photo: Food For The Poor
A worker installs solar panels on the roof of the community center in an Amerindian village in Guyana. The solar panels will charge a battery storage unit, which will be the power source for the computers distributed by Food For The Poor for students and their families living in the remote village.
because of the gospel we do what we do. And we work only through churches.” Born in Detroit and raised in Jamaica, Mahfood attended a Jesuit school and was a soft drink and food executive for years. In 2000, he took the helm of Food For The Poor, which had been started by his brother Ferdinand, who resigned amid allegations he diverted money to two female employees with whom he was reportedly having an affair. Since that scandal, the family-supported charity has grown more than five-fold, with new management brought in to increase transparency. Despite the explosive growth, Mahfood said the need is still overwhelming. “We could go into 10 more countries tomorrow but we don’t have the wherewithal.We can’t even cope with what we have. We work with one family to get out of poverty.” Food For The Poor depends totally on donations, and its Christmas 2013 catalogue lets people “give a gift that will change a life.” For example, $24 provides 100 pounds of rice and beans for a poor family; $125 buys a solar-
because in some cases the criticisms are right, but in other cases they’re just criticizing us for things that we’re not even doing, or that are unfair or because they don’t really understand it,” Bellinger said.“So even though I often disagreed with a lot of our policies, I still felt we needed to go out and explain them.” “John has stayed very involved on the set of issues that he worked on both at the NSC and at the State Department, and he has a very welldeveloped set of thoughts on national security, international law, domestic law and the representation of the United States abroad,” said Wittes, Lawfare’s editor, adding that Bellinger has focused on the AUMF because so many of the policies being debated hinge on it. Bellinger continues to press for revisions to the law, although in the wake of the 16-day government shutdown in October and today’s rampant political gridlock, he revealed a surprisingly resigned attitude about a system he’s long defended, in times thick and thin. “As a matter of good government, I continue to believe, as I have for years, that we should revise the AUMF, which is now 12 years old and was written very rapidly after 9/11 and has covered all manner of things from detention to drone strikes to electronic surveillance — things that were not contemplated specifically at the time,” he told us. “I have now come to the conclusion, though — and had really come to the conclusion before the shutdown, but certainly after the shutdown,” Bellinger added with a shrug and a tone of exasperation,“that we just can’t do good government anymore, and it’s sadly better to maybe leave an outdated law on the books, rather than to try to open up a can of worms.”
Luke Jerod Kummer is the congressional correspondent for The Washington Diplomat.
powered light kit; $3,200 builds a house with sanitation; $5,750 buys a fisherman a fiberglass boat; and $10,560 ships a tractor trailer full of food. In Haiti, the rapid spread of cholera has complicated post-earthquake recovery efforts, so Food For The Poor financed the installation of 70 water chlorination systems, each of which provide 10,000 gallons a day of filtered, chlorinated water. “I personally feel that if it weren’t for all these units, the cholera disaster would have been really tremendous,” Mahfood said. Since it began in October 2010, the cholera epidemic has killed 8,300 Haitians and sickened another 650,000, sparking riots against U.N. peacekeeping troops (a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers has been widely blamed as the source of the outbreak) and a class-action lawsuit against the United Nations. In Haiti and throughout the rest of the Caribbean, the high cost of electricity has also been a major contributing factor to poverty, Mahfood said. “Here in America, residential customers pay about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. In Jamaica, it’s 46 cents. Families cannot afford to pay their electric bills, much less a school or a hospital. It’s just ridiculous, so everybody’s trying to find alternatives.” For this reason, Food For The Poor has purchased more than 6,000 solar-powered light kits for impoverished people in Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti and Guyana. Each unit, imported from China, costs $125 and includes a solar panel, a battery, three light bulbs and cables for charging mobile phones. “Many of these people live in the middle of nowhere, and half their problems come from bad sanitation and lack of light,” said Mahfood. “They’ve never had light in their life. They’ve never seen ice before. This is totally changing their lives.”
Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.
The Washington Diplomat
Bernanke’s Book Is Useful Primer On Fed’s Efforts to Save Economy by John Shaw
t the end of January 2014, Ben Bernanke will step down as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Bernanke’s eight-year tenure as the head of America’s central bank has been hugely consequential and unexpectedly controversial. Neither the consequence nor the controversy was anticipated when the scholarly Bernanke assumed the chairmanship of the Fed on Feb. 1, 2006, following the nearly two-decade tenure of Alan Greenspan. Few suspected that Bernanke would face a crushing financial crisis and would be compelled to create a raft of new programs to prevent the American economy — and even the world economy — from unraveling. And few would dispute that the 2008 financial meltdown fundamentally shaped Bernanke’s tenure at the Fed, which controls the nation’s money supply. Bernanke’s book explains what he did and why during this remarkable time. “The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis” is based on a series of lectures Bernanke delivered in the spring of 2012 at the George Washington University. It is a clear exposition of his views about the financial crisis and the challenges that America’s central bank still faces. Bernanke has been an aggressive and innovative central banker. He is regarded by some as a dangerous revolutionary and by others as the savior of American capitalism. He was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2009 and is frequently heralded on Wall Street and in financial markets around the world as a cool crisis manager and a strikingly creative Fed chief. However, some Republicans in Congress are sharply critical of Bernanke, likening his easy money policies to a narcotic the American economy has become addicted to. The passion he’s inspired among his critics is intriguing given the mild-mannered Bernanke’s rather staid (albeit impressive) intellectual background. Born in Georgia, raised in South Carolina, and educated at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bernanke came to the Fed with sterling academic credentials. He has taught at Stanford University, New York University, MIT and Princeton University. He took a leave from Princeton in 2002 to become a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors and served there until 2005, when he was appointed chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers by President George W. Bush. When Bernanke accepted the chairmanship, there was widespread speculation that he was auditioning to succeed Greenspan, whose reign at the Fed was winding down. Bush did appoint Bernanke and he has served memorably as America’s preeminent central banker. As one might expect from a former chairman of Princeton’s Economic Department and a renowned scholar of the Great Depression, Bernanke explains central banking and the financial crisis he confronted in a clear, deliberate way. Each of the book’s four sections is based on a lecture that Bernanke delivered at George Washington. He carefully builds a foundation that describes central banking, the 2008 financial crisis, the subsequent recession and the gradual recovery of the American economy. There are few rhetorical flourishes and no name-dropping or juicy accounts of policy debates. He strives to describe the January 2014
Photo: Princeton University Press
Bernanke said he reflected on the Fed’s policy failures during the Great Depression as he formulated his actions to the financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. He was determined to stabilize the banking system and push interest rates down to near zero. financial and economic crisis in concise, jargon-free language. In the first section of the book, Bernanke discusses the role of central banking and the early history of the Federal Reserve. He argues that a central bank has two central responsibilities. First, it’s mandated to achieve macroeconomic stability with sound economic growth and low inflation. The main tool to achieve this is with monetary policy, usually through adjustments in the federal funds rate, which is the overnight rate the Fed charges banks to lend them money. Low interest rates are designed to spur growth while higher interest rates slow growth and contain inflation.The second role of a central bank is to maintain financial stability by the provision of liquidity through short-term credit to financial institutions. This is a central bank’s “lender of last resort” responsibility.
Central banks, Bernanke notes, have been around for a long time. Sweden set up its central bank in 1668 while the Bank of England was established in 1694.The United States is, of course, a much younger nation and its central bank is a relative infant. The Federal Reserve was born out of financial panics in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the aftermath of a serious economic crisis in 1907, Congress contemplated whether an American central bank was needed. It commissioned what turned out to be a 23-volume study about central banking practices but no immediate action was taken. Finally, after intense lobbying by President Woodrow Wilson, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which created the Federal Reserve to serve as a lender of last resort, ease financial panics, and manage the nation’s gold standard.The law created a seven-member Board of Governors in Washington led by the Fed chairman, and it also set up 12 regional bank districts, each of which elected its own president. According to Bernanke, the Fed had an uncertain role in its first decades because the United States was on a gold standard.This is a monetary system in which the value of the currency is fixed in terms of gold and sharply limits policy discretion. The Great Depression, which extended from 1929 to 1941, was a shattering event in the United States and President Franklin D. Roosevelt created a raft of initiatives to respond to it. But the Fed was not very helpful; in an initial attempt to preserve the gold standard, it kept interest rates high.This made a bad situation worse and by the end of the 1930s, unemployment remained stubbornly high at about 13 percent. Bernanke argues that Roosevelt made plenty of mistakes but was innovative and aggressive. Unfortunately the Fed at that time was neither, and its policies hampered recovery from the Depression. In the second section of the book, Bernanke describes American economic policy from World War II until the first signs of the financial crisis in 2006. During this time, two Federal Reserve chairmen were towering figures: Paul Volcker and Alan Greenspan. Volcker was appointed Fed chairman by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 with the near singular mission of wringing skyrocketing inflation out of the economy. When Volcker began his tenure at the Fed, the consumer price index was nearing an astonishing 13 percent. Volcker dramatically tightened monetary policy, increasing key interest rates to nearly 20 percent. Between 1980 and 1983, Volcker drove inflation down from 13 percent to 3 percent, but his policies also triggered a serious recession. Despite the disruption and economic hardship caused by tight monetary policy, high interest rates and the resultant recession, Volcker is still credited with rescuing the U.S. economy during a perilous time. President Ronald Reagan appointed Greenspan to succeed Volcker as Fed chairman in 1987. He served until 2006 and his tenure has been called the Great Moderation. The American economy grew steadily, job growth was robust, and inflation was low. Some in Congress touted Greenspan as the greatest central banker in history. After the housing bust and financial crash, though, Greenspan’s decision-making, particularly when it came to financial deregulation, came under harsher scrutiny.
See Book Review, page 20 The Washington Diplomat Page 17
The State of Statins: Do Risks Add Up? by Gina Shaw
am a 46-year-old, generally healthy white female who’s never smoked a cigarette in my life. I do not have diabetes or high blood pressure, and my cholesterol levels are all smack within normal ranges. This morning, I entered all of that information into the new downloadable “Cardiovascular Risk Calculator” from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. The calculator was released with much fanfare in mid-November, along with the announcement of new cholesterol guidelines that advise doctors to consider putting otherwise healthy patients on a statin drug if the calculator puts their risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years at 7.5 percent or more. (A quarter of Americans over 40 already take statins.) The calculator told me that my 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke is less than 1 percent — pretty much what I expected. No statins for me. But then, I decided to see what the calculator would say if I told it I was someone else. It turns out that if you’re a woman, you have to have some pretty out-of-whack cholesterol or blood pressure numbers before the calculator says that you need statins. I pretended to be a 65-year-old white woman with an overall cholesterol level of 250 and a systolic blood pressure of 130, and it still put my 10-year risk of heart attack or stroke a bit below 7 percent, nudging closer to that 7.5 percent “you need statins” threshold, but not there yet. On the other hand, if I were a totally healthy white man of 65, with “optimal” values for cholesterol, blood pressure and everything else in the calculator, I would blow past the 7.5 percent threshold with a 10-year risk of nearly 9 percent. I may be wrong, but that seems to suggest that pretty much every white male over 65 should be on a statin drug. When I switched the race to African American but left everything else the same, the 10-year risk actually went down, to just a hair under 7.5 percent, even though the Office of Minority Health at the Department of Health and Human Services notes that African American men are about 30 percent more likely to die of heart disease than non-Hispanic white men. I’m not the only one who’s confused by the calculator. So are some of the nation’s top cardiologists. Dr. Steven Nissen, chief of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, was quoted by CNN on Nov. 12 as saying, fairly approvingly, that the new guidelines would likely double the number of Americans who are considered candidates for statin therapy, to about 72 million. But then the calculator that accompanies the guidelines came out — and just five days later, in the New York Times, Nissen did a 180, calling for a delay to the implementation of the guidelines while the mess was untangled. According to the Times story, he plugged some hypothetical patients of his own into the calculator and got similarly confounding results: a 60-year-old African American man with total cholesterol of 150, HDL (the good cholesterol) of 45, and systolic blood pressure of 125, neither a diabetic nor a smoker, got a 7.5 percent 10-year risk.
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The accumulated evidence should convince those with a philosophical aversion to statin therapy for primary prevention to reconsider their stance. — Dr. Jennifer Robinson professor at the University of Iowa College of Public Health
“Age and race seem to drive it a lot,” he told Medscape’s HeartWire. To muddle matters further, the past several weeks have brought competing opinions in two major medical journals. Dr. Paul Ridker and Dr. Nancy Cook of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital published an analysis in the Lancet using data from three large-scale primary prevention studies and found the new tool overestimated heart attack and stroke risk by 75 percent to 150 percent. Officials with the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology note that the populations in those studies tended to be younger and healthier than the average American. And on Nov. 25, Dr. Jennifer Robinson of the University of Iowa, a coauthor of the guidelines for assessing cardiovascular risk, fired back in the Journal of the American Medical Association, writing that recent large statin studies “provide evidence that largely refutes the major criticisms against statins used for primary prevention.” “Statins are well tolerated in properly selected individ-
uals. Statins reduce total mortality as well as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events in lower-risk individuals,” she wrote. “The accumulated evidence should convince those with a philosophical aversion to statin therapy for primary prevention to reconsider their stance.” It sounds like this debate is just warming up. So what does it mean for you? Everyone seems to agree that the calculator itself is not, and should not be, the determining factor in whether or not you get a statin prescription. Even the authors of the guidelines are very clear about that. At most, it should be the start of a conversation with your doctor about your overall risk of heart attack and stroke — including other risk factors that don’t even show up in the calculator, like a family history of heart disease. The evidence to date seems pretty clear that statin drugs do have the ability to lower heart attack and stroke risk for many people. But they also come with risks, just like any other drug that actually does anything. (Show me a drug with no risk and I’ll show you a drug with no benefit.) Statins are well tolerated by most people, but they do carry a small risk of muscle inflammation and, for even smaller numbers of people, potentially severe muscle damage. Some people who take them may also develop type 2 diabetes. Critics of prescribing statins for generally healthy individuals also point out that they may offer patients a false sense of security, leading them to abandon other heart-healthy habits, like exercise. On that note, if you, your doctor and/or your numbers are on the fence about whether you should start taking a statin, consider that eating a healthier diet, not smoking, and getting more exercise are also extremely effective ways to reduce your heart disease risk, with no side effects and no prescription necessary.
Gina Shaw is the medical writer for The Washington Diplomat.
The Washington Diplomat
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The Washington Diplomat Page 19
from page 17
Book Review Without disparaging Greenspan, Bernanke observes there were imbalances that built up in the U.S. economy during the later years of Greenspan’s leadership that helped precipitate the financial crisis of 2008. For example, from the late 1990s to early 2006, housing prices in the United States jumped about 130 percent. As that was happening, lending standards for new mortgages sank. Millions of new homebuyers got loans without making significant down payments or documenting their finances. Many of those subprime loans were further repackaged into risky, opaque mortgage-backed securities that were sold on the stock market. The American housing bubble collapsed in 2006, when housing prices plunged 30 percent. For about one quarter of all mortgages, the amount of money owed was greater than the value of the house. Mortgage delinquencies soared. Bernanke observes that the amount of wealth destroyed by the collapse of the housing bubble was comparable to the amount lost during the dot.com bust in 2000 and 2001. However, the housing sector is integral to the American economy, partly because Wall Street bundles trillions of dollars in residential mortgages into exotic securities that are sold around the world. So the collapse of the American housing sector rocked the global financial system. Bernanke describes how the Fed tackled the financial crisis that exploded during the fall of 2008 with the failures of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers, the American International Group and other firms. Bernanke defends the Fed’s massive loan to AIG, arguing that the insurance giant was integral to the functioning of the U.S. and global financial systems. “In our estimation, the failure of AIG would have been basically the end…. We were quite concerned that if AIG went bankrupt, we would not be able to control the crisis any further,” he writes. Bernanke said he reflected on the Fed’s policy failures during the Great Depression as he formulated his actions in 2008 and 2009. He was determined to stabilize the banking system and push interest rates down to near zero. Bernanke details how the Fed provided short-term funding to commercial banks and created special liquidity and credit facilities that allowed it to make loans to other kinds of financial institutions such as investment banks, commercial paper borrowers and money market funds. The methodical former professor gives a clinical rundown of his
intervention, but in its profile of Bernanke, Time magazine was far more blunt in describing just how far the Fed chairman went to save the financial system: “[W]hen turbulence in U.S. housing markets metastasized into the worst global financial crisis in more than 75 years, he conjured up trillions of new dollars and blasted them into the economy; engineered massive public rescues of failing private companies; ratcheted down interest rates to zero; lent to mutual funds, hedge funds, foreign banks, investment banks, manufacturers, insurers and other borrowers who had never dreamed of receiving Fed cash; jump-started stalled credit markets in everything from car loans to corporate paper; revolutionized housing finance with a breathtaking shopping spree for mortgage bonds; blew up the Fed’s balance sheet to three times its previous size; and generally transformed the staid arena of central banking into a stage for desperate improvisation,” Michael Grunwald wrote. “He didn’t just reshape U.S. monetary policy; he led an effort to save the world economy.” Bernanke argues that the programs he instituted helped the United States avoid another Great Depression but could not prevent a deep recession. In the final section of his book, Bernanke discusses the Fed’s response to the recession. He acknowledges the central bank has adopted unconventional policies but says the Fed’s aggressive response to the economic crisis was in line with the historic role of central banks to provide liquidity to stem panic and stabilize the economy. Bernanke says the Fed realized that its conventional monetary policy tools, such as adjusting the federal funds rate, were insufficient for the crisis it faced. By December of 2008, the federal funds rate was down to almost 0 percent and the central bank needed to take other steps to boost the economy. The Fed commenced largescale asset purchases of Treasury bonds and mortgage securities to reduce long-term interest rates.This is often referred to as quantitative easing.The first round of quantitative easing was announced in March of 2009, the second in November of 2010, and the third round began in September of 2012. Bernanke rejects criticisms that this program has insinuated the Fed into the realm of fiscal policy. He argues that quantitative easing is simply monetary policy by another name. Bernanke also defends a program called Operation Twist to drive down long-term interest rates and the Fed’s announcement of its future interest rate plans as important steps to revive the economy. Bernanke notes that the recession in the United States officially
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began in December of 2007 and ended in June of 2009. But he acknowledges the recovery has been frustratingly slow, with the housing market strengthening only gradually and unemployment remaining stubbornly high. Bernanke says there are several different tools the Fed can use to unwind its aggressive monetary policy when the economy is stronger. “The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis” is a valuable book. Bernanke provides an excellent primer on monetary policy. He is clear, organized and persuasive.This is an excellent guide for those seeking to understand Bernanke’s thinking and will be an essential document for historians seeking to understand his tenure as Fed chairman. He acknowledges the Fed made important mistakes before the crisis by failing to use its powers to better regulate mortgage lending practices. Bernanke probably should have been more critical about his own slow reaction to the financial crisis.As the subprime mortgage crisis was intensifying in 2007, Bernanke made public remarks that downplayed the severity of the situation in an assessment that ultimately turned out to be flat wrong. He said in May 2007 that “we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.” “The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis” would be even more valuable if Bernanke had described in more personal terms what it was like to be at the epicenter of a global financial crisis and if he had reflected on the difficulty of operating under great pressure with imperfect information.Those kinds of revelations may not seem characteristic for a quiet academic who shuns the political spotlight, but Bernanke has become one of the most important voices in Washington, despite his unassuming nature. Hopefully, these insights will be part of a memoir that he will likely write after leaving the Fed. Bernanke does not indicate how the Fed will eventually climb down from the unprecedented steps it took to stanch the financial bleeding, but he insists the central bank has plenty of mechanisms to do so. His decision not to begin this process of “unwinding” has left many in financial markets worried that Bernanke does not have a plan to return monetary policy to a more normal stance. So it will fall to his successor, Janet Yellen, to gracefully exit from the policies that Bernanke was compelled to initiate.
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EDUCATION ■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat
Breaking Down Doors
■ January 2014
International Students in U.S. Reach Record-High Numbers
PhOtO: yIn yang / IStOck
by Carolyn Cosmos
he waves of international college students landing on the shores of the United States are reaching new heights, hitting a record high of nearly 820,000 foreign students in the U.S. during the 2012-13 academic year, according to the Institute of International Education’s latest Open Doors report. Continued on next page
■ INSIDE: D.C. schools are giving students something to talk about as they expand their language offerings. PAGE 25 ■
EDUCATION January 2014
The Washington Diplomat Page21
States from Iran also grew significantly, by 25 percent. Washington-area statistics hewed to these national trends, with a few notable differences. Compared to the U.S. average, Saudi Arabia sent slightly higher percentages of students to D.C. and Virginia; the latter also had higher numbers of students from India, South Korea and Vietnam. Maryland’s fourth-largest student group came from Nigeria, with larger numbers of Nigerian students here than anywhere else in the country. Maryland also had a higher-than-average number of students from Taiwan.
Continued from previous page
Most of the growth — a 7 percent increase over 2011-12 figures — was driven by China and Saudi Arabia. According to the Institute of International Education, “There are now 40 percent more international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities than a decade ago, and the rate of increase has risen steadily for the past three years.” Likewise, the number of American students studying abroad is at an all-time high, with more than 280,000 heading overseas. This cross-cultural surge is reshaping not only higher education around the U.S. MArkeT ShAre world, but also local economies. In fact, foreign students poured $24 billion into America’s higher education system can expect strong demand from internathe U.S. economy during the 2012-13 school year alone, reported the Association tional students over the next decade and probably beyond,Alan Ruby, a professor of International Educators (NAFSA). at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, told The Spending by international students and their families creates three jobs in the Diplomat. communities where they study for every seven who are enrolled in school, Ruby teaches about globalization’s effects on universities and education according to NAFSA. These students — the majority of whom are supported by around the world. He’s also currently a consultant to the World Bank, where he personal and family funds — also contribute cash to the local economy. was a former director, leading programs in education, health and social insurance The nearly 40,000 foreign students attending colleges and universities in D.C., in 12 countries. He also served for six years as Australia’s deputy secretary of Maryland andisVirginia $1.2your billionadinto economy. area and employment, education, training and youth affairs. NOTE: Although every effort madepumped to assure is the freeregional of mistakes in(The spelling saw an overall increase in international enrollment of 7.5 percent.) In a June 2013 article on international student trends published by NAFSA, contentalso it is ultimately up to the customer to make the final proof. The largest group of international college students in the United States in 2012 Ruby cited a UNESCO prediction and other figures indicating that the global came from China, with 235,000 Chinese students enrolled here, an increase of 21 population of roving international students could reach a stunning 7 million by The first two faxed changes will be made at no cost to the advertiser, subsequent changes percent over the previous academic year. Students from India were in second 2020, thanks to world population growth, middle class expansion and increased will be billed at a rate of $75 per 97,000 faxed enrolled, alteration. Signed considered place, with nearly followed by ads Southare Korea. Combined,approved. China, demand for internationally skilled workers. He noted that many students in this India and South Korea now represent nearly half of all foreign students in the large influx will seek out English-language academics. Please check United this States ad carefully. Mark any changes to your ad. Ruby also analyzed the amount of international students that countries could Enrollment though was down for the second year in a row for India and South absorb, and he predicts that the United States will be the leading destination for Korea, reflection perhaps of improved education andchanges employment opportuni- international students who want to study abroad, with the U.S. currently comIf the ad is correct sign andafax to: (301) 949-0065 needs ties back home. manding an 18 percent “market share.” He also sees the United Kingdom, Canada On the flip side, several countries saw significant jumps, in part because of and Australia as its chief competitors. The Washington Diplomat (301) 933-3552 government support for their citizens to study abroad. For instance, there was a At the moment, the number of foreign students that different countries absorb 30 percent increase in the number of students from Saudi Arabia, with nearly spans the spectrum.According to the Institute of International Education’s recent Approved __________________________________________________________ 45,000 Saudis studying in the United States, largely funded by the Saudi govern- Open Doors report, international students make up about 1 percent of the higher ment scholarship program, now approaching its 10th year. Kuwait, which has education population in China, 3.9 percent in the United States, 11.1 percent in Changes ___________________________________________________________ similar government scholarship programs, saw a 37 percent rise. Likewise, Brazil Germany and 12.1 percent in France. Britain and Australia have the highest per___________________________________________________________________ experienced a 20 percent spike thanks to scholarships from the Brazil Scientific centages, at 19 percent and 26.4 percent, respectively. Mobility Program. Interestingly, the number of students coming to the United “In summary, global demand [for international higher education] is up, the
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“International students coming to study in the U.S. benefit from access to some of the finest professors and research laboratories in the world, and Americans benefit substantially from the presence of international students who bring their own unique perspectives and knowledge to the classroom and the wider community.” — Allan Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education Australian market is approaching saturation, Canada is planning for growth at current rates to sustain market share, and U.K. capacity is constrained by price and visa policy,” Ruby surmised in his June NAFSA article.“That leaves the U.S. market as the focus of unmet demand for onshore, English language-denominated education for the next five to 10 years.”
Institutional Impact The growing recognition of how important an internationally skilled workforce is to a country’s bottom line is prompting public policy changes at the top, Ruby said in his conversation with The Diplomat. Brazil and other Latin American countries, as well as Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan, now have programs that provide government scholarships to students who study abroad, sometimes with formal or informal strings attached to bring students with degrees back home to prevent a brain drain. When it comes to welcoming these students, Canada and Britain are making their visa processes slightly easier to attract more foreign students. Ruby also noted that last October, Australian Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced changes in student visa rules that eased financial requirements for foreign students and extended the reach of a streamlined “fast-track” visa process. The stated goal was making Australia’s education system more attractive to overseas students. Changes in the makeup of incoming student populations are also going to affect the economics and structure of a university, Ruby pointed out.A university with a focus on doctoral degrees that may take many years to complete will have a different business model than an institution focused on four-year undergraduate
degrees, he said, noting that until recently, international graduate students outnumbered undergraduates. That’s now reversed — and the current uptick in foreign students at the undergraduate level could have an impact on institutional structures if the trend continues. In addition, Ruby noted that on-campus culture and day-to-day life will change with increasing internationalization. Student diversity will expand, and universities will have to offer new kinds of courses and teaching strategies. Ruby said the effect will be similar to the transformation of universities and colleges in the West that shifted from systems designed for elites to ones serving large numbers of students from diverse backgrounds — that is, the relatively recent democratization of higher education. This happened in the United States after World War II, when vets coming home from the front could take advantage of the GI Bill to help pay for college. Schools were initially not prepared for the large influx of veterans — many of them older and married — pouring into their classrooms.A similar phenomenon occurred in Britain when university student slots were greatly expanded in the early 1960s. Today, the effects of foreign students are already being felt on campuses across the United States. In 2012, the American Council on Education and the State Department held a forum on university internationalization in America. Faculty hiring standards had started to change, the forum found, with more than half of all universities polled now considering international experience and skills in the hiring process and many changing their tenure codes to include them.
Continued on next page
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The Washington Diplomat Page23 11/18/13 7:06 PM
Foreign Student Presence in Washington maryland Institutions with the Highest Number of Foreign Students • University of Maryland, College Park: 4,492 • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore: 3,889 • Montgomery College, Rockville: 1,637 • University of Maryland, Baltimore County: 1,068 • Towson University: 838
Estimated 2012-13 student expenditures in millions of dollars: $462.9 Virginia Institutions with the Highest Number of Foreign Students • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg: 2,674 • University of Virginia, Charlottesville: 2,399 • George Mason University, Fairfax: 2,274 • Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale: 1,901 • Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond: 1,729
Estimated 2012-13 student expenditures in millions of dollars: $456.4 Washington, D.C., Institutions with the Highest Number of Foreign Students • The George Washington University: 3,635 • Georgetown University: 2,240 • American University: 1,311 • Catholic University of America: 506 • Gallaudet University: 179
Estimated 2012-13 student expenditures in millions of dollars: $338.4 Sources: Open Doors 2013 Fact Sheets and economic analyses produced by NAFSA: Association of International Educators based on Open Doors data.
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InDIvIDUAl IMpAcT What does this fluid education landscape mean for international students who wish to study in the United States? What does it mean for their families back home? As much as the chance to study in the U.S. presents a valuable opportunity for students, it also presents them with a challenge, because teaching methods in this country can differ greatly from those at home. “If they are used to large classes with lectures and suddenly walk into a small Socratic seminar with discussions, it can be very difficult for them,” Ruby said.The quickness of American speech and the rapid responses expected of students can also be difficult to handle. International students can prepare themselves, and their parents can help, by making sure to ask about pedagogy when researching college options in the United States — ideally during an actual campus visit, though questions can also be done by phone or email if necessary. Common questions include: How do you work with international students in class? How much individualized instruction is there? Do you have writing coaches or other support? See what programs, clubs or extra help a campus offers for international students in general and for students from your part of the world in particular. Finding the right school and the right program will make all the difference in the world, Ruby said. In fact, the explosive growth of international education will make a huge difference to the world itself.“International students coming to study in the U.S. benefit from access to some of the finest professors and research laboratories in the world, and Americans benefit substantially from the presence of international students who bring their own unique perspectives and knowledge to the classroom and the wider community,” Allan Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education, said in the Open Doors report. “We encourage U.S. schools to continue to welcome more international students to their campuses,” added Evan M. Ryan, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.“International education promotes the relationship building and knowledge exchange between people and communities in the United States and around the world that are necessary to solve global challenges.” Carolyn Cosmos is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
EDUCATION The Washington Diplomat
[ language ]
New Voices Chinese, Other ‘Critical’ Languages Make Themselves Heard in D.C. Schools
PHoTo: MICHAEl JUNG / FoTolIA
by Gail Sullivan
alk around Washington, D.C., for a while and you could easily overhear conversations in half a dozen languages. Historically, the language offerings at D.C. schools have not reflected the diversity of the city’s population. But that is changing as local schools — public, private and parochial — push the boundaries of traditional high school language education with advanced immersion programs. These include courses in what the U.S. government considers “critical languages,” such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Russian, Turkish and Urdu — marking a shift away from the conventional language classes that taught Spanish and French to legions of American students. A year ago, the DC Public Charter School Board approved
Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, a Chinese language immersion elementary school in Ward 5, paving the way for the creation of the city’s first public charter language immersion secondary school. Chinese has been gaining in popularity in D.C. public schools in recent years. Chinese studies are offered at School Without Walls Senior High School, Woodrow Wilson, Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School, and Roosevelt Senior High School, among others. A small group of D.C. students even traveled to Beijing as part of the DC China Scholars Program. But with the establishment of Yu Ying, the Chinese language is making its way into the city’s burgeoning charter system — and not only in occasional classes, but throughout the school day. Yet with only 32 kids in its upper-grade classes,Yu Ying would struggle to field a football team on its own. To deal with the
EDUCATION January 2014
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The Washington Diplomat Page25
“When you’re learning a new language, you are learning how other people think…. I think that has tremendous value for kids.” — Virginia Vassar Arabic teacher at Saint Anselm’s Abbey School
Photo: Saint Anselm’s Abbey
Saint Anselm’s Abbey, an independent all-boys Catholic school in Northeast D.C., started offering Arabic as a regular four-year language course, along with French and Spanish.
Continued from previous page capacity issue, the school teamed up with four other public charter schools: Latin American Montessori Bilingual, DC Bilingual and Mundo Verde, all of which offer Spanish immersion, and Elsie Whitlow Stokes, which offers both French and Spanish immersion, to create DC International (DCI), a public charter middle and high school. At full capacity, DCI, which will be housed together in one building, would enroll 1,000 to 1,400 students in grades six through 12. With the creation of DCI, students will be able to continue their bilingual education throughout high school. There are currently no public high schools in the District that offer level-appropriate language education for kids coming from language immersion elementary schools. At the typical public high school, students get 45 minutes of foreign language instruction twice a week, while students in language immersion
programs get a full day of interdisciplinary instruction in their target foreign language. It was a logical collaboration given the schools’ similar curricula and shared mission emphasizing internationalism, sustainability, and social justice. To some extent, though, the member schools had to check their individual identities at the door. Mundo Verde is environmentally focused while Elsie Whitlow Stokes emphasizes community service. But “good teaching and good curricula have more in common than they do differences,” said Carmen Rioux-Bailey, a Yu Ying parent and DCI’s chief education officer. The whole process went pretty smoothly, despite having quite a few cooks in the kitchen. It helped that the Public Charter School Board was “immensely helpful and excited about the prospect of this innovation and the collaboration,” Rioux-Bailey said. DCI will offer language immersion through the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework in all three of the languages taught at its five elementary schools. English and math will be taught in English, while students will learn social studies in their target language. Physical education, fine arts and science will be taught in English or in one of the three target languages — e.g. if the science teacher DCI hires speaks Spanish, the Spanish immersion students will take science in Spanish, while the French and Chinese immersion students will take science in English. Students will also have the opportunity to learn a third language. It’s not clear what the language of the lunchroom will be. With students segregated by target language for at least part of the day, social groups may divide along linguistic lines as well. The administration is wise to that possibility and is planning to teach basic phrases in all three
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languages at orientation so that students are at least comfortable with the other languages. “We really expect our kids to come out bi-literate and bilingual and maybe multi-literate and multilingual,” Rioux-Bailey said.“Their world is not going to be limited to their community, or even this country … they will really have an opportunity to have an impact on the environment, on global social justice and service through their language skills.” DCI will be overseen by a board that includes representatives from the five member schools.The elementary schools will continue to operate independently in their current locations, but the middle and high school will be managed cooperatively at a single location. That single school will open its doors next fall in a temporary space (the location will be announced in early 2014) before moving to a permanent site in a multiuse facility at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center site for the 2015-16 school year. Appropriately, the school’s future neighbor will be the State Department’s new Foreign Missions Center. Students will experience DCI as a single school, but they will remain officially enrolled in one of the five member schools.That way, kids enrolled in an elementary immersion program do not have to go through the D.C. charter lottery process for secondary school, and risk losing their spot. While kids enrolled in one of the five member schools are given preference, the remaining spots will be available via the citywide lottery. Enrollment tops out at about 1,200 for grades six through 12. Rioux-Bailey expects to have about 200 sixth- and seventh-graders when the school opens its doors in the fall. As with other public charter schools, siblings of enrolled students will be given preference. Public charter schools are not the only ones breaking new ground. This year, Saint Anselm’s Abbey, an independent all-boys Catholic school in the Michigan Park neighborhood of Northeast DC, started offering Arabic, one of 13 languages deemed “critical” to national security and diplomacy by the State Department and Pentagon, as a regular four-year language course, along with French and Spanish.The course was first offered as an elective for high school juniors and seniors in 2007. Despite being more difficult — students learn both a new alphabet and new language — the course is popular. Roughly 20 students are enrolled in Arabic 1, more than double the course’s enrollment two years ago, making the course the most popular language offered by the school, second to Spanish. For the first two years, students study spoken Arabic, specifically the Egyptian dialect, which is spoken by 20 percent of Arabic speakers and Diplomat_SU_Ad_2013_Layout 1 8/8/13 3:12 PM Page 1
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Continued from previous page understood by most, given the prevalence of Egyptian media. Once students have a grasp on spoken Arabic they learn modern standard Arabic, the more formal written language. Students can take Arabic starting in eighth grade.This spring, the school will also offer an honors class on Middle Eastern culture, history and religion that is open to all students. The language classes also have a cultural component that includes discussion of current events and reading Arabic literature, in translation at the lower levels and in Arabic for more advanced students.“[T]he cultural side of things is really valuable for students,” said Virginia Vassar, who has taught Arabic at Saint Anselm’s since 2011, explaining that it gives students a context for processing things they hear in the news, or depictions of Arabs in Hollywood films, both of which have provided fodder for classroom talks. “When you’re learning a new language, you are learning how other people think, Vassar said.“I think that has tremendous value for kids.” Opportunities for learning aren’t limited to the classroom. This fall, Arabic students got an up-close look at Middle Eastern politics and cultural diplomacy as observers at the Arab-U.S. Policy Makers Conference in D.C. This coming spring they will have a chance to test their own diplomatic skills as participants in the Model Arab League. Through Saint Anselm’s Arabic program, high school students have also gained access to internship opportunities usually reserved for college or graduate school students. Arabic students in the upper grades have interned with the SETA Foundation, a D.C.-based Turkish think tank, where they had the opportunity to work with scholars studying social media and the Arab Spring. Michael Lemmon, a former ambassador to Armenia and former dean of the School of Language Studies at the State Department‘s Foreign Service Institute, is among a group of Saint Anselm’s parents and teachers eager to expand opportunities for internships, exchanges and collaboration with other institutions. Government is “hungry for people with language skills,” said Lemmon, who advised the school in developing its Arabic program. He emphasized the value of developing fluency early on. If students are fluent before they get to college, “it allows the undergraduate experience to be much richer and more substantive,” he said, adding that government and businesses are looking to hire people who understand language not just superficially, but on a cultural level.
Gail Sullivan is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
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The Washington Diplomat
T R A V E L &
HOTELS ■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat
■ January 2014
PHoTo: JAMES T. MURRAy / WIllARD INTERCoNTINENTAl WASHINGToN
The ballroom at the Willard InterContinental Washington
Hotels Show Washington Is More Than Government
Versatile H Hospitality
by Audrey Hoffer
otels are a frontline for diplomats and their guests in the city. Whether it’s a new arrival previewing the local real estate and school options, or a visiting delegation in town for a major meeting, or members of the diaspora
converging for a National Day celebration, hotels are constantly playing host to the international community. And it’s a role they’re constantly working to improve on, as part of an overall effort to keep up with an increasingly sophisticated city — and clientele. “We are continually investing in the community and striving to evolve with our neighborhoods,” said Gregory leinweber, area director of sales and marketing for Kimpton Hotels, the boutique brand that owns Hotel Monaco, Madera, Helix and the George, among others.
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“It’s one of those things we have to continually be mindful of and be sure our overall strategy incorporates multiple channels for business. We can’t rely on just the government. We must have other things that balance our business.” — ErICA GoNzAlEz, area director of sales and marketing for Kimpton Hotels
Continued from previous page But while the city rarely slows down, official Washington sometimes grinds to a halt — as seen in the 16-day government shutdown in October. Ongoing political battles have also tightened U.S. government spending, putting the kibosh on many junkets, conferences and out-of-office meetings. But has the city’s political paralysis put its hospitality and convention business on ice? Years ago, when Washington was synonymous with government and nothing else, a shutdown might have spelled disaster for area hotels. Today, however, it means a hit, but not a knockout. While the region’s economy is still inextricably linked to the federal government, it has also diversified and developed a well-rounded urban identity — helping to buffet its businesses against the turbulence of politics in the nation’s capital.
openIng DoorS DeSpITe ShUTDoWn The shutdown in October caused anxiety across the region’s service industry, but its impact on bookings was mixed. “The shutdown didn’t affect us at all,” said
Liliana Baldassari, director of public relations for the Four Seasons in Georgetown. “We have lots of industries that book our facilities.” In fact, many U.S. government-funded meetings tend to take place outside the Beltway, throughout the rest of the country, and D.C. hotels host a variety of non-government-related conferences. Over the years, the area has developed a range of industries, specializing in everything from biosciences to cybersecurity. Yet there’s no denying that government remains the lifeblood of the area’s economy, nourishing everything from defense contractors to the army of lobbyists, consultants and former bureaucrats that make the city one of the wealthiest in the nation. “We were definitely impacted,” said Erica Gonzalez, area director of sales and marketing for Kimpton Hotels.“Groups cancelled because they were government-funded or had business to do on the Hill and couldn’t meet members of Congress. “It’s not news that D.C. is a politically driven market. It’s always been this way and it’ll happen again [because] the government is a huge demand driver for the city,” she said. “We have businesses with government contracts and with trade associations whose biggest job is to push through policy, so if there’s no government, then policy can’t be discussed” and we lose business, Gonzalez added. Nevertheless,“D.C. is still a much more stable market” than other cities “because the government operates all year round,” she noted.
PHoTo: FoUR SEASoNS
The Four Seasons in georgetown is introducing a new ice program for its cocktails and other themed offerings as part of Dc cool, a citywide marketing campaign.
occupancy was 74.9 percent. From January 2012 to October 2012, occupancy was 77.6 percent, and during the same period this year, occupancy was 77.4 percent, down only 0.3 percent. A key part of Destination DC’s mission is to highlight the importance of travel to Washington’s coffers. In 2012, visitor spending in D.C. topped $6.2 billion and supported 75,300 jobs in the District, according to the group. That makes the hospitality industry the second-largest employer in the city, behind only the federal government, with 65,000 people directly employed by the industry. “Every visitor to the District of Columbia plays a vital role in sustaining our local economy since they stay in our hotels, dine in our restaurants, visit our attractions and shop in our stores,” D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray said during the U.S. Travel Association’s National Travel and Tourism Week in May. “It’s important that we continue to invest in tourism and keep D.C. at the forefront of the consumer’s mind.”
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The Sofitel’s French-inspired ICI Urban Bistro will welcome a guest chef from Buenos Aires in March.
“It’s one of those things we have to continually be mindful of and be sure our overall strategy incorporates multiple channels for business. We can’t rely on just the government. We must have other things that balance our business,” said Gonzalez. “While the government shutdown was certainly an unfortunate event that had a negative impact on travel, we were pleasantly surprised to see that our hotels didn’t suffer too terribly,” said Sarah Maciejewski, director of communications for Destination DC, a nonprofit corporation with 850 business and organization members that support the city’s travel and tourism sector. “This speaks to the strength of the D.C. tourism market in general, but in this case specifically to how strong our meetings and conventions market is,” she said. Comparable figures from Destination DC bear out her assessment: In 2012, total hotel
TRAVEL & HOTELS The Washington Diplomat
Hotels are doing just that, adopting myriad changes to attract new guests and help them take advantage of all that the city has to offer, from the traditional museums on the National Mall to its many newer attractions. New chefs are taking over hotel kitchens, rooms and whole buildings are undergoing renovation, meeting spaces are being refurbished, shops and luxury features are being added, paintings hung and discounts rolled out. Bland neutrality is out and specialty marketing is in. These changes fit neatly into Destination DC’s new 2014 yearlong marketing and advertising campaign, tagged “DC Cool,” which aims to drive tourism to the city.And hotels are front and center in the effort to promote Washington as a cool place. “There’s so much excitement here. There’s so much happening. We want people to really tap into it all,” said Maciejewski. Hotel George is doing its part on Capitol Hill. The 15-year-old Kimpton boutique property is undergoing a top-down, multimillion-dollar renovation, said Leinweber, and all 139 guestrooms will be more stylish and comfortable. The redesign, which debuts in January 2014, will also highlight the city’s history through a contemporary Kimpton lens — such as the parchment-and-ink wallpaper depicting George Washington’s inaugural address and customaccent pillows based on his famous uniform. The Donovan House’s refurbishment began
last month to make rooms more business-friendly and chic. The changes will be subtle, such as the addition of desks and other small aesthetic touches to make the rooms “more fun and Kimpton-like,” said Jaclyn Randolph, area public relations manager for the company. Meanwhile, at Washington Marriott Wardman Park, a renovation of the 95,000-square-foot exhibit space was recently completed. “The result is a remarkably brighter, warm and business-space-friendly area,” said Mark Indre, director of public relations for Marriott Hotels in D.C. “It’s really ballroom-like now with new carpeting, lighting and design detail that offers a contemporary professional aesthetic.” The Marriott at Metro Center also underwent a recent room renovation, and in 2013, the Renaissance DC Downtown Hotel, at 999 9th St., NW, finished a $30 million redesign of its 807 guest rooms and suites. In addition, a new mobile check-in app permits Marriott Rewards members to use smartphones as an alternative way to check into local Marriott properties. “They can check in after 4 p.m. the day before arrival and receive automatic notification when their room is ready. A pre-programmed key card will be waiting,” Indre explained.
Breaks and Perks Other hotels are also offering their guests perks framed around promoting the city’s distinct character. The Willard InterContinental Washington is introducing “Insider Breaks” during conference coffee breaks. That’s when the meeting planner will present guests with a brief overview of Metro-accessible, must-see destinations such as Ben’s Chili Bowl eatery. “We want to create a moment to learn, discuss and experience the city’s history and the Willard’s connection to that history,” said Barbara Bahny, director of public relations for the Willard InterContinental in both D.C. and New York. “We want guests to have experiences they wouldn’t otherwise have if not provided by the concierge.” Informing visitors of what to do outside their hotel doors is precisely what Destination DC’s cool campaign is championing.
The Renaissance DC Downtown Hotel recently finished a $30 million redesign of its 807 guest rooms and suites.
take our cocktails to a whole new level,” said Baldassari,“proving that ice does more than keep a drink cool.” At the Loews Madison Hotel on 15th Street, a new concept restaurant run by Jose Garces, a James Beard award winner and “Iron Chef”TV personality, is taking shape.“Garces will dip his toes in the Washington waters come April,” said David Folkson, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing. “It’ll be a great addition to our hotel and the D.C. Photo: Marriott food scene.” The Madison, which last year celebrated its 50th In Georgetown, the Four Seasons hotel’s M29 Lifestyle shop will feature a DC Cool wall with rotating seasonal anniversary, is also “bringing back music to the hotel,” said displays, said Baldassari. For example, there will be a “keep Folkson, with jazz performances on weekends and a piano cool” spring and summer sun and swim series; “be cool” player on weeknights. Meanwhile, the Sofitel off Lafayette Square will launch a graduation gifts and gadgets; “keep your cool” apothecary offerings; “too cool for school” with back to school ideas; high-end Sunday brunch this month.“We feel there’s a need and “a cool kind of holiday” with unique gifts — all featur- for another nice place in our neighborhood,” said Alexandra Byrne, Sofitel’s director of sales and marketing. ing exclusive, D.C.-centric products. The hotel’s ICI Urban Bistro, which offers a contempoMeanwhile, the spa at the Four Seasons is trying to help stressed-out Washingtonians unwind with a unique cold- rary twist on traditional bistro cuisine, will also be introducstone massage.“It’ll be a spin on the classic hot-stone mas- ing a distinct international flavor next spring. In March, a sage,” Baldassari said, “a 20 minute treatment with cool guest chef from Buenos Aires will take over the kitchen, white marble stones that will reduce soreness and draw and in July, the Sofitel will celebrate the wine country of southern France with a special menu and bar selections. heat from the body to boost energy levels.” Also in March, the Sofitel will showcase the work of an For guests who’d rather rough it, as much as you can rough it at a Four Seasons, the hotel will offer families with Argentinean photographer.The French-inspired property is children the chance to make believe they are camping renowned for its striking art collection. “We are guided by with the Capital City Family package. Rooms will be three pillars — culture, gastronomy, design — in the operaequipped with a tent, child-friendly foods, kids’ bathrobes, tion of our hotels worldwide,” said Byrne. “Everything has to be based on them and be linked with French elegance.” slippers and National Geographic Kids magazines. Maciejewski of Destination DC said hotels embody the For the single female traveler, Four Seasons is planning Gal on the Go packages with goodies like beauty wipes, diverseness of the nation’s capital.“D.C. is really a cool city,” lint rollers, fashion magazines and a going-out guide to the she said.“We want visitors to come and engage with everything the city has to offer” — starting with the hotels. coolest hotspots in the city. Finally, mixologists at the hotel’s restaurant, Bourbon Steak, are brewing up a beverage ice program. “This will Audrey Hoffer is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
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[ italy ]
The Good Life Luxury Still Abounds in Italy, But So Do Simplicity, Spirituality The colorful Italian town of Positano sits perched on a cliff along the Amalfi Coast, one of the most scenic stretches of coastline in the world.
by Kathy Kemper
he year 2013 marked the “Anno della Cultura Italiana,” a massive celebration of Italian culture throughout the United States. While hundreds of events were held in more than a dozen American cities to fête the occasion, my family and I believed there was no better way to honor the U.S.-Italian friendship than to travel to Italy.We wanted to experience the country’s essence, learn about its history, absorb its cultural heritage, and feel its soul. And we wanted to go beyond the average tourist experience, just as “2013: The Year of Italian Culture in the United States” sought to present a deeper understanding of the country.That’s why the nationwide showcase focused not only on the obvious — Italy’s storied cultural achievements — but also on its legacy of innovation, discovery and research, including the leading scientists, engineers and economists who are poised to leave their mark on 21st-century civilization. Likewise, we set out to explore the country’s present-day dynamism and how historic Italy is connected to modern Italy. Giorgio Caire di Lauzet, president of Dream&Charme, and his team made it all possible. Our trip began with a flight to Milan, where we stayed
at Hotel Principe di Savoia and were treated to fabulous service and a prime national pastime: people-watching. But we wouldn’t be leisurely bystanders for long. The next day, we drove straight into the action with the “Ferrari Challenge Experience” — laps at Modena racetrack in Maranello with a bona fide Ferrari Formula One driver. The price was steep, but for a performance car lover, nothing can beat this adrenaline-fueled rush. All drivers are briefed by an instructor, and there’s an F1 simulator beside the track for practice.Then each person got four laps in a Ferrari F430 Challenge production-based racecar. “Given that the cars are beasts and participants strap in with almost no training, it’s less of a racecar driving experience than a whirlwind exposure to the high-testosterone world of fast cars and fast tracks,” a friend said. “The best part by far was observing how professionals handled the track after your turn was up. Makes you realize just how much of a sport this is!” Back in Milan, it was time to decompress — in style — at the Armani Restaurant, where everything from the napkins and chairs to the lamps and saltshakers are designed by Giorgio Armani himself.While anyone can make a reservation, we had the privilege of dining with a few of Armani’s global design leaders. Each Armani representative was a living example of
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When Welcoming the Diplomatic Community The Choices Are Clear
Photo: Kathy Kemper
the elegant style and class for which the fashion brand is world-famous. Another face-to-face encounter with Italy’s living treasures awaited us at Palazzo Arese Lucini in Osnago, an hour outside of Milan, where we spent the evening with the owners, Count and Countess Arese Lucini. Our hosts, joined by their beautiful daughters, gave us a private tour of their villa, which was splendid and majestic, but also charming.While the American frame of reference can often be measured in decades, theirs stretches across centuries, dating to 1500.The villa is truly a secret treasure. Count Marco Arese Lucini took us to the chapel where he was married — and where perhaps his daughters will wed. The chapel was built with the house in the first half of 1600 and frescoed with scenes from the Bible, the Four Evangelists and, over the altar, a painting by Annibale Carracci of Jesus on the cross. Our hosts were married here with special permission (“consecration”) from the pope for this specific wedding. Meanwhile, the villa’s library houses more than 20,000 rare books, including a 1480 Bible, the “sacrilegious” Luther Bible, original first editions of Galileo and Newton’s works, the first edition of the French encyclopedia, and documents from the American Revolution.
Photo: Edgar Jiménez from Porto, Portugal
Pope Francis greets throngs of admirers in St. Peter’s Square last spring.
Count Arese spoke about the family being close to Napoleon Bonaparte and actively supporting him during the French leader’s campaign to free Northern Italy from the Austrian Empire’s domination in the late 1700s and early 1800s.The family holds in its archives numerous letters from the emperor together with the imperial seal, the camp bed said to be used by Napoleon during his Russian campaign (which they politely asked their guests not to sit or jump on), and the Légion d’honneur awarded to the family by Napoleon. To have the family share their treasures and stories was extraordinary, and made us
The Pirzio-Biroli and Kemper-Valentine family stand in front of the 11th-century castle ruins that are said to have inspired Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
feel close to history. As an American, I was continually reminded of the youth of our democracy. We also witnessed history firsthand at Castello di Brazzà, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, near Venice.This extraordinary villa blended a revered past, including an 11th-century castle and chapels, with modern-day, country club-like comforts such as a tennis court and swimming pools. Owned by Count Corrado Pirzio-Biroli and Countess Cecilie Pirzio-Biroli, who hails from a noble Belgian family, Villa Brazzà has been in the Pirzio-Biroli family since the 10th century. The landscape from the Dolomites mountains to the Adriatic Sea is spectacular and serene — no traffic, just the sound of the birds singing and our questions about the property’s intriguing past. Count Pirzio-Biroli spoke of an illustrious family lineage that includes the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus; the explorer Pietro Savorgnan di Brazzà, founder of the African country of Congo; as well as the well-known artist and student of Italian sculptor Antonio Canova, Ascanio di Brazzà, and his wife Giacinta Simonetti, who was descended from two doges (a position akin to a duke) of Venice. We approached the 11th-century castle ruins in the backyard that are said to have inspired Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Luigi Da Porto, who wrote the original story of two star-crossed lovers that was later reprised by the Bard, and Lucina Savorgnan (both members of two distinct branches of the Savorgnan family) were said to be the real-life inspiration behind tragedy. In the evening, our hosts invited another aristocratic couple that owned a villa close by to join us for an authentic Italian meal: The pasta was fresh and al dente; the ham was thick, salty and brimming with flavor; and the fruit tasted like it had been picked that morning (indeed, it had). We washed it all down with the fresh and bright local wine. The conversation ranged from Italian and American politics to wine, music and Italian design. Federico, the heir, joined us with several of his 20-something friends for afterdinner drinks and coffee overlooking the property. It was a taste of aristocratic privilege that endures today while evolving for future generations. Italy’s villas — pieces of history that live
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Continued from previous page on as modern-day havens of luxury — are an intrinsic part of the country’s landscape.This is exemplified by Villa Sola Cabiati in Lake Como, one of Europe’s deepest and most picturesque bodies of water. Arriving by boat, we were at once struck by the villa’s Baroque architecture. We walked up a double staircase with an ornate gray-stone balustrade from the water to a wrought-iron gate gilded with an “S” and a Duke’s crown.This was the summer residence of Duke Gabrio Serbelloni from the second half of the 1700s. Beyond the gate lay four parterre flower gardens, where the owners escorted us for cocktails. It was as though we were in a movie. The estate itself was, like so many of Italy’s villas, a living museum — home to magnificent artwork, 18th-century tapestries, a Sevres porcelain collection, and the four black Stradivarius violins that were played at the funeral of Empress Maria Luigia of Austria. Legend has it that Napoleon spent many nights in the villa (he seemed to be shadowing us during our trip). We too felt like royalty as we dined with crystal, china, silver and service fit for kings, queens and emperors. At dinner, the large doors opened up to a view of Lake Como, with the colors on the walls complementing the lake’s shimmering reflection. It was a spectacular vista — whose breathtaking beauty could only be rivaled by another Italian treasure: the iconic town of Positano on the Amalfi Coast, one of the most scenic stretches of coastline in the world. La Sirenuse, overlooking the bay of Positano, was our hotel — a refined haven of lemon trees, enchanting terraces, white-washed walls, vaulted ceilings, handmade tile and a natural ambience that reflected the stunning coast and cliffs to which it clings.
The American writer John Steinbeck, who often lived at La Sirenuse, said in 1953 that, “Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” And therein lie some of the idiosyncrasies that fascinate and frustrate observers of this complex nation. Italy’s beauty seems unreal, but of course not everything is dreamy. Luxury and the good life are still in abundance throughout the country, though not everyone is able to bask in it. Italian art and culture are still the envy of the world. Its limping economy and feuding political system are not. The country will have to tackle huge challenges if it wants to spearhead a 21st-century renaissance. Yet Italy’s past remains an inextricable part of its identity, and always will be. It is the magnet that will continue to attract visitors — and a source of immense pride among its people. Perhaps that’s why the overwhelming highlight of our trip was St. Peter’s Basilica and sitting in the heart of the Vatican, waiting for three hours to spend time with Pope Francis. PHoTo: DADERoT St. Peter’s Square and the papacy itself speaks to Italy’s own journey, as the Catholic Church, and what he calls the “idolatry of with its venerated past, looks to forge a new money,” this pope is determined to remake the church’s image. path in a modern world. His inclusiveness was palpable In many ways, Pope Francis embodies this evolution, as he seeks to re-energize what in the crowd that day at St. many see as an antiquated institution by forc- Peter’s Square, where Buddhists, ing it to rediscover its humble roots — and Catholics, Sikhs, Hindus and other faiths patiently waited for refocus on the poor and neglected. As it did with all aspects of our trip, this holy man. As the hour grew Dream&Charme arranged our morning with closer, the crowd’s excitement the pontiff, who has grabbed the world’s atten- was electric and contagious. We tion by openly embracing all people, not just felt a kinship with the people Catholics. From the moment he washed and around us, no matter their backkissed the feet of a Serbian Muslim girl to his ground. Francis entered on is hismade to assure your ad is free of mistakes in spelling and outspoken criticism of economic inequality NOTE: Pope Although every effort Popemobile and itslowly rode up to the customer to make the final proof. content is ultimately PHoTo: KATHy KEMPER around the monumental square. The pope was energized, stopping frequently Villa Carlotta, above, and Villa Sola Cabiati are The first twokiss faxed willHisbeprayers madeand at no cost to the advertiser, subsequent changes to hold, and changes bless people. among the many historic properties that dot lake will be billed at a rate of $75 per faxed alteration. Signed ads are considered approved. homily were delivered not only in English, but como, one of Europe’s deepest and most picturin Croatian, Polish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, esque bodies of water. German, Italian andcheck Spanish. Hisad theme was Please this carefully. Mark any changes to your ad. inclusiveness — no one is considered unwor- pepper the stunning countryside, Italy is dripthe church, we are all necessary, we all ping in luxury. But that isn’t the whole story. If the adthy is in correct sign and fax to: (301) 949-0065 needs changes can be redeemed. My family is Catholic but While “la dolce vita” may sound clichéd to fornot devout. His enormous heart and message eigners, the sweet life still resonates with many The Washington Diplomat (301) 933-3552 of inclusiveness touched our souls. From his Italians, who savor the natural beauty and Argentinean compatriots sitting behind us to bounty of their homeland. There are problems, to be sure. There were Buddhist monks in front of us, it was clear Approvedthe__________________________________________________________ his remarks — and his actions thus far as pope plenty throughout Italy’s turbulent history as Changes—___________________________________________________________ had the same awe-inspiring effect on every- well. But the wealth of that history — its culture, art, innovation and soul — continues to one in the audience. ___________________________________________________________________ In the end, the most uplifting moment of a be the lifeblood connected to modern Italy’s trip that showcased Italy’s riches came from beating heart. listening to a man who preaches simplicity and helping those who are less fortunate. From the Kathy Kemper is founder and CEO of the Institute haute couture fashion houses of Milan to the for Education, a nonprofit that aims to promote leadership, magnificent villas and their noble lineage that civility and finding common ground.
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culture & arts
■ JANUARY 2014
Work-Life Balance Gitte Wallin Pedersen, an economist at the IMF, and Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen work hard to represent their nation while taking time to experience America as well. PAGE 37
Level Playing Field HISTORY
“GOLS for Development” at the IDB Cultural Center shows the power of sports to level the playing field for children around the world. PAGE 38
“Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections” is the largest exhibition of art from the Byzantine Empire ever shown in the nation’s capital, and a rare chance for Greece to share treasures from its rich past, and not bad news from its present-day economic woes. PAGE 36
Reason to ‘Linger’ From wind farms to historic castles, the German state of Saxony-Anhalt is about as German as it gets. But a group of contemporary artists is revealing a more cutting-edge side to Saxony-Anhalt. PAGE 39
StrikeS Back Photos: MuseuM of Byzantine Culture, thessaloniki (fresCo) / nuMisMatiC MuseuM, athens (Coins)
Water & Wall is overflowing with potential — and daring professional choices. PAGE 41
Relationships new and old resurface to test a family’s bonds in “The Past.” PAGE 42
[ history ]
Byzantine Riches Masterpieces from enduring empire in D.c. for First time by Molly McCluskey
vidence of the Byzantine Em pire has long existed in pock ets in Washington, D.C. In Saint Sophia Greek Ortho dox Cathedral, icons ven erate the altar. At Dumbarton Oaks, the Byzantine collec tion includes Greek, Roman and west ern medieval art. But for the first time at the National Gallery of Art, a vast, almost impassively expansive exhibit showcases 170 pieces of Byzantine art from 13 museums located throughout mainland Greece and the islands, span ning the fourth to the 15th centuries. The exhibit, “Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections,” Among the 170 pieces of Byzantine art on features icons, coins, jewelry, sculp display in “heaven and earth” are a 14th-centures, mosaics, glass, ceramics and tury icon of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, embroideries crafted in Egypt, Asia left; a 12th-century rock crystal cameo of Minor,Syria,Cyprus and Constantinople, Christ, above; a pair of 6th-century gold bracenow Istanbul. lets, below; and a 14th-century icon showing Ambassador to Greece Christos the hospitality of abraham, bottom left. Panagopoulos said “Heaven and Earth” is “the first exhibition on Byzantine art of such magnitude to ever be shown in Washington, D.C. It is an excellent opportunity for Greece to showcase the invaluable treasures, many of them for the first time, that are a significant and integral part of our cultural and historical heritage.” He added: “This continuous evolu Photos: Benaki MuseuM, athens, 2013 tion of the Greek philosophical and theological thought from the ancient to paganism and Christianity dur Byzantine era traces the impact of its cultural ing the fourth to sixth centuries. foundation and visual language to the world.” “The Christian Era: Spiritual Life” In fact, the Byzantine Empire — the Greek showcases pieces created for worship speaking continuation of the Roman Empire in churches or private worship from the sixth — was the longestlived political entity of to the 14th centuries. “The Pleasures of Life” Europe. In 330, Emperor Constantine the Great features secular items for daily living, such as moved the capital of the Roman Empire from floor mosaics and silver dinnerware.The manu Italy roughly 1,000 miles to the east, near the scripts of Homer, Euripides, Socrates, and Euclid site of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium on are prominent in a section devoted to the Bosphorus Strait linking the Aegean and “Intellectual Life.”“The Last Phase:Crosscurrents” Black Seas.The empire survived the collapse of rounds out the exhibition with items devoted the Roman Empire to the west in the fifth cen to the final days of Byzantium and art created tury and lasted for more than a millennium under the emperors of the Palaiologan dynasty Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium before falling to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. All (12611453), the longestlived of all Byzantine throughout, the empire’s borders were constantly from Greek Collections dynasties. expanding or retracting, but the admiration for through March 2 Eleni Zachariou, a scholar of ancient Greek his Byzantine artwork, architecture and literature National Gallery of Art tory and archaeology and cofounder of Vacances remained constant and endures to this day. Travel, said that this critical era of history is not The display itself was a herculean work in prog on the national Mall between 3rd and 9th always given the attention it deserves. ress.Three years in the making, the opening of the streets at Constitution avenue, nW “What is Byzantium? Many people have no exhibition in October was delayed by the U.S. gov For more information, please call (202) 737-4215 idea,” she said. “Over nine centuries, this region ernment shutdown. Consequently, the exhibit of or visit www.nga.gov. amassed twothirds of the riches of the ancient the world’s most prestigious and comprehensive world — the intellect, the art, the wealth.All were collection of Byzantine art opened without the found in Byzantium.” fanfare it so richly deserved, requiring the art, instead, to speak for itself. And for a short time, it can all be found at the National Gallery. And speak it does. The title “Heaven and Earth” refers to the focus on both secular and religious artwork in the collection, curated into five sections.“From the Ancient to the Byzantine World” highlights the era of coexistence between Molly McCluskey (@MollyEMcCluskey) is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
The Washington Diplomat
[ diplomatic spouses ]
Work-Life Balance Juggling Two Careers, Danish Couple Still Keeps It ‘Hygge’ by Gail Scott
any ambassadors’ spouses don’t officially work while in Washington beyond their unofficial diplomatic duties, which often feel like full-time jobs anyway. But some perform double-duty, juggling two demanding careers in one hectic city. Gitte Wallin Pedersen and Danish Ambassador Peter TaksøeJensen have been performing this balancing act since arriving in Washington in 2010. An economist with a master’s degree from the University of Copenhagen, Pedersen currently works at the International Monetary Fund as an advisor to the executive director of the IMF NordicBaltic Constituency Office. “I work full time, so most of the time Peter will have to go on business trips on his own,” she told us.“Nevertheless, I do have five weeks of vacation at the IMF, so every now and then it is possible to combine business and pleasure and helping him in representing Denmark around this great country.” In between, she says she loves her work analyzing and reporting on mac roeconomic and financial trends in the United States. “I have always worked,” said Pedersen, a former advisor to the Danish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Danmarks Gitte Wallin Pedersen, an economist at the International Nationalbank who noted that she’s particularly inter Monetary Fund, seen above at the Empire State Building, ested in how economics affects society and politics. previously served as minister-counselor at the Danish One time, Pedersen even took a position as ministerEmbassy in D.C. while her longtime partner, Danish counselor here at the embassy while Taksøe-Jensen Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen, worked in New York. worked in New York as assistant secretary-general The two enjoy traveling and have seen all 50 U.S. states. for legal affairs at the United Nations.“We took turns going back and forth by train to see each other on utes away. In Denmark, everyone lives in close.We the weekends,” she recalled.“But three months later, live a five-minute walk to my mother.” it was announced that he would be the next ambas The short distances have spawned a very dif sador to the U.S. and I was asked to give up my job ferent system in Denmark, one that discourages since he would have become my boss.” car use in favor of public transport — an ecoPedersen and Taksøe-Jensen have been together friendly philosophy seen throughout Europe. for 14 years, though they are not married — “that’s a “Fifty percent of all Danes don’t own cars. For very Danish thing,” she notes. Their family those who do, the fee is very high — 180 includes his two children: Christian, 24, is study Americans misunderstand that percent of the price of the car. That’s why ing law in Denmark while Caroline, 22, is study many people buy small,‘formerly owned’ cars. ing medicine. “It’s a great profession but when although Denmark is a welfare state Gas is about $8 a gallon,” Pedersen explained. she was 12, she wanted to become a nurse.After The high taxes in Denmark and other a few years, she just adjusted her dream to with free health care, education and Nordic nations seem anathema to many become a doctor instead. They come for holi Americans, although Pedersen says socialist days, especially if we offer to pay for their tick considerable other social benefits stereotypes oversimplify how economically ets,” Pedersen quipped. competitive her homeland is. She says you can Despite their busy schedules, the couple financed via taxes which are, consehave both a strong social safety net and a works hard to find time to relax and experience robust private market. quently, fairly high compared to other life outside the Beltway. “Americans misunderstand that although “We have been to all 50 states,” she said countries, it is not an inefficient and a Denmark is a welfare state with free health proudly. “Peter and I love to travel…. California care, education and considerable other social has fantastic land and cities. We saw a sweet socialist country…. Denmark is a well- benefits financed via taxes which are, conse black bear in Sequoia National Park, and Utah fairly high compared to other coun and Arizona have the red, green and yellow rock functioning and market-based country, quently, tries, it is not an inefficient and a socialist formations.You have so many national parks.We country. For instance, health care in Denmark loved Colorado. Minnesota is flat like Denmark which ranks as number five on the — with free access for all citizens — is quite and Iowa has lots of Danes — descendents from efficient and half as costly as in the U.S. the original Danish immigrants who settled World Bank’s Doing Business Index. Denmark is a well-functioning and marketthere. based country, which ranks as number five on “On the weekends, we take small road trips in — Gitte Wallin Pedersen the World Bank’s Doing Business Index.” the convertible. If we have a one-day trip, we partner of Danish Ambassador Peter Taksøe-Jensen Denmark is also consistently ranked in vari might go to the Chesapeake Bay, the Shenandoah ous surveys as one of the happiest countries mountains or Williamsburg [in Virginia],” she added. Pedersen said they particularly enjoy driving in America because the country on earth. In fact, it nabbed the top spot in this year’s U.N. World Happiness is so vast.“In Copenhagen, if you drive for 15 minutes, you could be in a different Report — for good reason, Pedersen says. “We know that our children’s education will be provided for, our health care country,” she pointed out. “Denmark is so much smaller that we are used to biking or walking to work, too. Even if we have cancer, we don’t have to be concerned with the cost. We to dinner. We have lots of friends who don’t even have cars,” she said. “Danes don’t have any big worries.” would rarely commute an hour to work as you would here or drive half an hour for dinner. Your distances are just so much longer here. Sweden is only 15 min See Spouses, page 45
The Washington Diplomat Page 37
[ photography ]
Score! ‘GOLS’ Shows How to Give kids Sporting chance in Life by Audrey Hoffer
[ Page 38
n the beautiful woodpaneled gallery of the InterAmerican Development Bank Cultural Center, a photography exhibit titled “GOLS for Development” stands out in simplicity and profundity. Development initiatives in poor countries around the world typically bring to mind infrastructure projects such as schools, highways and bridges. But here, through a montage of oversize photographs plus two videos, a story emerges about another venue for development — sports as recreation and charac ter building for children. In particular the show focuses on soccer, i.e. football to everyone around the world but Americans, a pastime that has a tremendous impact on children and adults alike. One look at the face of any grownup soccer fan glued to a match — whether in Spain, Qatar, Colombia, Britain, Egypt, Brazil or elsewhere — and the seriousness of the sport quickly sinks in. It can both unify — the Colombian rebel group FARC recently agreed to play in a match for peace — and divide — in Ireland and Egypt, political divisions have occasion ally played out in the stadium, where riots have broken out. But soccer can also offer children opportunities for success that might otherwise be lacking in their environment. The photos on display attest to that. They show that sports, especially soccer, can be a terrific influence on young minds, giving them a vision of the future filled with possibility and hope. More than $15 million in grants has been financed for sports projects by the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), mainly through the Multilateral Investment Fund, working hand in hand with public and private organizations such as the Nike Foundation, Clinton Foundation, USAID, Microsoft and PepsiCo. According to the bank, an estimated 53 percent of young people ages 13 to 23 in Latin America and the Caribbean are currently not enrolled in school, and 16 percent of 15 to 24yearolds are unemployed. Sports programs, the IDB says, help young people “develop teamwork skills and enhance their employability, thereby boosting their selfesteem. Other social and economic development benefits gained through sports programs include promoting conflict resolution, violence prevention, health and wellness, and social inclusion skills.” They also just bring happiness to many people’s lives, vividly captured here by Brazilian photographer José Dias Herrera. One picture shows boys joyously playing ball on a cobblestone street in El Alto, Bolivia. Unseen are the rehabilitated water and sewer systems improved by the IDB. Another shot captures the sport’s camaraderie, as a group of Paraguayan boys stand with their arms around each other, thoroughly satisfied with the game they just played.Another depicts a barefoot girl clad in a parochial school plaid skirt clutching a GolS for development football and smiling as if this were the happi through Jan. 24 est moment of her young life. Soccer is a sport that doesn’t require much inter-American development Bank — just a ball and some feet. In Valdivia, Chile, a Cultural Center group of children play soccer in a rural field 1300 new york ave., nW using makeshift goals, surrounded by trailer For more information, please call (202) 623-3558 like shacks imbedded in the green hillside or visit www.iadb.org/cultural. around the field. “In Latin America sports offers a ray of hope for millions of poor children,” reads the wall narrative.“Even if they have no talent or expectations of glory, sports are a way and a path to avoid violence, dodge drugs or delinquency.” Sports undoubtedly can change lives, and the goal of efforts like the IDB’s is to give children the space and equipment they need to excel and realize their poten tial. The poster child for the transformative power of sports is the worldfamous Brazilian soccer player Pelé, who grew up poor and went on to become the “king of soccer.” His talent was nurtured and discovered early, and he joined Brazil’s profes sional leagues by the age of 14. From then until the rest of his life, he became a symbol of hope for impoverished children everywhere.
The Washington Diplomat
Photo: faBian koss / iDB Photo arChiVes
Above, a child holds a soccer ball in Bolivia, where, as part of an iDB loan for re-urbanization, a sports center was built in el alto. in José Dias herrera’s photograph, Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, pictured far right, stands with fellow players Pepe, Gilmar and zito at the 1958 World Cup, which was won by Brazil.
“There is not just one Pelé,” says the exhibition catalogue.“In Latin America and the Caribbean, millions of chil dren are born into situations of vulner ability, and sports, perhaps a soccer ball, open a door to dreams of a better future, a life with dignity, a steady path to progress and help for loved ones.” Photo: Galeria luMe anD leGenDs 10 Beautiful photographs of Pelé abound. One standout, blackandwhite photo from 1963 depicts Pelé clad all in white, hands casually on his hips, standing in the middle of a field facing four pho tographers in black trench coats snapping pictures of the superstar with their cam eras. It’s a fabulous shot that is simple and elegant at once. Other images reveal the football legend before he became a legend — though he retains that air of victory and confidence even in his younger days. In 1956, a 16year old Pelé is seen leaning against a chainlink fence, smiling broadly, wearing a Santos Futebol Clube shirt. He is the picture of kindness, happiness and accomplishment. That exuberance is echoed in a 2010 color photograph of a little Haitian boy in a royal blue jersey grinning from ear to ear. He is training at the Foundation L’Athlétique d’Haiti, a sports center development project financed by the IDB. In another shot, Haitian boys play in a field flanked by makeshift tents set up after that country’s devastating earthquake. “What is important,” said Soledad Guerra, office coordinator and communications senior analyst at the Cultural Center,“is the discipline and teamwork that come with sports.These are all the things, the attributes, that make you a valuable person.” And the value of sport is clear in these inspiring images.You should make time to swing by the gallery to catch it.You’ll walk out energized and uplifted. Audrey Hoffer is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
[ photography ]
Reason to ‘Linger’ contemporary artists Stage revitalization in Saxony-anhalt by Gary tischler
axonyAnhalt, once a part of East Germany, emerged from German reunification in 1990 with a rich history but a weak econo my. Two decades later, the GDP of this landlocked federal state has more than doubled and unemployment — once the highest in Germany — has been slashed. Today, SaxonyAnhalt has a diverse eco nomic base that ranges from chemical production to wind farms to food, including Germany’s oldest chocolate factory. Its economic innovation comple ments an illustrious history that incubated the stir rings of modern Protestantism — it’s where Martin Luther hammered his ringing edicts on a church door in Wittenberg — and gave rise to the Bauhaus school of architecture and musical geniuses such as George Frideric Handel. It’s also home to a cornucopia of World Heritage Sites, from fairytale castles to Luther memorials, which together form a quintessential German landscape. Yet SaxonyAnhalt is also home to a burgeoning contemporary art scene, a cuttingedge slice of which can be seen in “Linger On! (Verweile doch)” at the GoetheInstitut. The photography exhibit is an exten sion of the SaxonyAnhalt Arts Foundation’s efforts to promote homegrown artists. Capturing fleeting moments in time, the images range from documentary photography that enhances Photos: Goethe-institut reality through the deft use of framing and lighting, to From clockwise top, meticulously staged produc images by photographers tions. Carina linge, robert The six photographers in schlotter and iris Brosch the show eschew tradition reveal a cutting-edge side al or predictable depictions to saxony-anhalt that defies of a region that has wit its quintessential German nessed power struggles character. among empires and nations for centuries. Nor do they paint a cohesive picture of Matthias Ritzmann modernday SaxonyAnhalt. appears to be the Yet the photographers — while not sharing discernible trends, styles or most accessible of themes — are blessed with an abundance of originality. It’s hard to see a con the photographers nection among them, except their talent and a penchant for either subtlety or in terms of captur an outright desire to be as different as possible. The eclectic subject ing expected German subjects and sen matter ranges from two women with bright orange, afrolike hair linger on! (Verweile doch) sibilities. Germans, he happily notes, are whose milky white bodies are draped only in pearls, to a Sovietera inveterate joiners — they’re fraternal to through Jan. 31 train racing through a desolate forest, as if speeding through a time a fault. If there is an activity, be it row warp. Goethe-institut ing, soccer, yodeling, mountain climb That train shot belongs to Robert Schlotter, who uses the prosaic 812 7th st., nW ing or ornithology, then there is a to hint at a history that’s anything but. His photographs seem almost For more information, please call German club for said activity. And dull in their focus — trees, roads, sky, the geography of the Harz (202) 289-1200 or visit Ritzmann has chosen to chronicle Mountains, and villages with ancient names like Sorgen (sorrow) and www.goethe.de/washington. almost all of them.What’s best about his Elend (misery). His images are part of a project to document the bor photographs is that they are neither ders of the Cold War — areas of tension, grief, drama and conflict that condescending nor critical. They do not try to interpret the people or their lurk beneath today’s mildmannered landscapes. In contrast, Max Baumann contributes stunning, bold portraits of faces that interests.They are just full of human energy, the warmth of companionship and the celebration of doing something — anything. convey a powerful, affecting simplicity, like masks waiting to speak. Together, the images form a kaleidoscope of everyday life in SaxonyAnhalt Two of the women in the exhibition seem particularly intrepid: Iris Brosch, who stages women in artsy, decadent and energetic nudity, and Carina Linge, — and its population of 2 million — but as seen through the extraordinary lens whose unforgettable piece depicts a woman petting a skinned rabbit, which of contemporary photographers who are proving that the region has under after the first shock, seems peacefully decadent. Both photographers, however, gone not only an economic revitalization, but an artistic one as well. echo almost classic styles, a kind of ancient Greek aesthetic set in motion, Gary Tischler is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. especially in the active women that Brosch portrays.
The Washington Diplomat Page 39
[ art ]
Unofficial ‘Portraits’ argentinean artist Blurs Lines of Power by Gary tischler
he people in “Portraits of Power,” a series of photographs (on top of photographs) of political leaders from around the globe, look almost transparent, as if a light is shining through them. That’s the impression Argentinean artist Alejandro Almaraz wants to convey as he manipulates official portraits to upend tradition and cast a new light on popular authority figures throughout time. Each of his “portraits” — now on view at the Organization of American States Art Museum of the Americas — are really numerous portraits, comprised of anywhere between four and 40 translucent images, layered over one another. While most can be called “photographs,” some of the composites actually origi nated from paintings. This technique creates a haunting, even dizzying effect that distorts the view er’s perception, as they struggle to focus on the blurry subject.That, in turn, forces viewers to really concentrate on the person — on their essence — instead of the smudgy edges, deceptive shadows and overlapping images that seek to obscure the subject.The end result is that any formality has been stripped from the official portraits, replaced with an inexactness that’s both transformative and disturbing. Almaraz seems to be exploring the nature of power by dissecting and reimagin ing the official portraits of men (mostly) in charge of nations and empires. You might expect that powerful personalities would overshadow mediocre ones, but that’s not always the case. In fact, sometimes the opposite happens: Powerful personalities disappear and sink into the overwhelming assault of the postures of office, enabling ordinary bureaucrats to take the reins of the state. The portraits run the gamut (from 1810 to 2008) and include a parade of prime ministers, presidents and heads of state from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Chile, China, France, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Vietnam and other nations. It is difficult to draw conclusions from the results, especially because we all have emotions draped in clichés about other countries, or our own, and about how power is supposed to look. Time, of course, alters the appearance of power and is an important element in a project like this. For instance, we see the passage of time in the portraits from preWorld War II Japan, in which the antiquated formal dress uniforms feel dragged along by centuriesheld traditions. Meanwhile, the composites of British prime ministers appointed by Queen Elizabeth seem to carry the stoic air of Victorianism about them, along with a touch of imperial moustaches. Some of the portraits project not power but bygone regality, seen in gazes that suggest the ephemeral nature of human life, even for those who exude confidence, as if they’ll go on conquering forever. Some dominant personalities shine through despite the passage of time, while others fade into the annals of history. Others aren’t represented at all:There is no trace of Abraham Lincoln or Andrew Jackson in the early part of the American presidents. On the other hand, the advent of photography has a strange effect on a few U.S. presidents, burying John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon in a “Mad Men” esque sheen of white man hegemony. The two portraits of the leaders of South Africa speak to upheaval and Portraits of Power change — apartheid and postapartheid — with the postapartheid face through Jan. 31 bearing a distinct smile, the only one that we could see in the exhibition, while his predecessor wears the stern mask of officialdom. Art Museum of the Americas Clothes make a difference, as does size. All the leaders of the Soviet F Street Gallery Union seemed to have merged into a bulky Leonid Brezhnevlike form, 1889 f st., nW, by appointment only while modernday Russia’s leaders all just resemble Vladimir Putin. No For more information, please call (202) 370-0151 surprise then that Vietnam’s composite should resemble Ho Chi Minh, or visit http://museum.oas.org. but it is surprising that the North Korean leadership composite looks almost exactly like Pyongyang’s current youthful leader. There is also something to be said for the man behind the curtain in the Chinese composite, where you can make out the silk presence of Zhou Enlai, just out of reach but nonetheless there. Interestingly, Almaraz decided to pursue a career in art and photography after studying philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires. Perhaps those philosophical underpinnings are what imbue his por traits with such power, in all its guises. Leadership here is an enigma — constantly being shaped by time, the political tides and an artist’s clever touch.
Photos: art MuseuM of the aMeriCas
Argentinean artist alejandro almaraz superimposes portraits on top of one another to create striking compositions such as “all the Presidents of argentina from 1826 to 1892,” top, “all the Presidents of Brazil from 1889 to 2008,” above, and “all the Presidents of the united states of america from 1789 to 1889.”
Gary Tischler is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
The Washington Diplomat
[ dining ]
Flood of Possibility Ma Makes Smart career Move With arlington’s Water & Wall by rachel G. Hunt
ver the past few decades, Washington has seen the comings and goings of chefs with impres sive culinary pedigrees as it has developed into a serious restaurant town. Older chefs who have been cooking their entire profes sional careers stand shoulder to shoulder in the local pantheon of culinary luminaries with celebrity chefs and hotshot newbies whose lives revolve around food. Recently, a new type of chef is joining their ranks.The area is welcoming chefs who began their professional careers in entirely different fields but could not ulti mately resist the pull of the kitchen. These are not hob byist restaurateurs.They are savvy individuals who study the industry before diving in to make sure they under stand what is required for success. Some have gone on to receive formal training, others have joined the teams of established ventures, while others have jumped right in by opening their own spot, though they frequently partner with seasoned professionals. Chefowner Tim Ma is one of the new breed, and his new Arlington, Va., restaurant, Water & Wall, is a striking example of things done right. Chef Ma began profes sional life as an engineer but the culinary calling was too powerful, so he left that first promising career to attend the French Culinary Institute in New York City. After a stint at a restaurant in St. Thomas, he returned home to open his own place. His first solo venture, Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, Va., has drawn criti cal acclaim and proved that Ma’s decision to switch careers was a good one, especially for diners. With just a few years of experience, Ma recently opened Water & Wall as Maple’s more sophisticated little sibling. Also described as mod ern American cuisine,Water & Wall demonstrates the ability of Ma and his eclec tic team of chefs to blend the techniques and ingredients of various culinary tradi tions into a creative, appealing menu. Water & Wall That menu, in fact, is fairly brief and 3811 n. fairfax Drive, depends heavily on what the team can source locally, so it changes frequently. suite 105, arlington, Va. Broken into either starters or main plates, (703) 294-4949 diners can sample from a nice range of www.waterandwall.com meats and fish, though the purely vegetar ian options are limited. Somewhat refresh dinner: Mon. - thu., 5 - 9:30 p.m.; fri., ingly, unlike many chefs, Ma takes fresh, sat., 5 - 10 p.m.; sun., 5 - 9 p.m. local and seasonal ingredients as a given and does not play them up in promoting Starters: $9 to 12 his restaurants. It simply is the only way Main plates: $19 to $25 he does things in his kitchens. The chicken wings at Water &Wall may desserts: $8 well be the best in the Washington area and even rival those prepared by the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, the reputed originator of the archetypal Buffalo chicken wing. Ma and his team come to their version quite differently but end up with something every bit as enticing and addictive. While deepfat frying is an essential first step in both versions, Water & Wall uses Korean red chili paste and crème fraîche to achieve a perfect balance of richness and spice.They alone make the trial of finding a parking place in Arlington worth it. Buffalo wings are actually a favorite snack of sous chef Keelan Thompson, which might explain why these are so good. Similarly, the team has put together their version of the coastal Southern clas sic shrimp and grits as a starter, but they reinterpret it by adding a mild venison sausage, piquillo and tiny okra slices. On the Asian side of things, steamed mussels are prepared with saffron, coco
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Specializing in modern american cuisine, Water & Wall in arlington, Va., blends techniques and ingredients from various culinary traditions to create simple, locally sourced dishes.
nut, Chinese sausage, cilantro and Thai basil. The Burmese chicken salad, with turmeric onions and chili vinaigrette, is a slightly spicy and traditional dish that’s a nod to chef Nyi Nyi Myint’s native cui sine.The chicken liver pâté, on the other hand, with crostini, duck prosciutto and orange vincotto glaze, is decidedly continental in its appeal. One of the notable characteristics of Water & Wall’s dishes is their relative simplicity, both in design and presentation.They depend on just a few wellpaired flavors and attractive, nofuss presenta tion for their effect on the eye and palate. On a recent visit, drum fish was pan seared and served with a warm salad of julienne leeks and pickled cab bage, as well as golden beet chunks and a buttery kabocha squash puree. The panseared steelhead fish was paired with sunchoke slices, bits of kale, potato and lemon fish broth. Both dishes were striking with their contrasting colors and textures, and we could not help but think of the old adage that one way to eat healthy is to get a lot of color on your plate.Water & Wall dishes not only look and taste good, they are good for you. The sides that accompany each dish are also a mark of distinction for Water & Wall. Each is an integral part of the dish as a whole but could easily stand alone. (At this time the menu does not offer sides to be ordered separately, but the kitchen will usually accommodate requests for sides by themselves.) The various purees are particularly well done, but the caramelized Brussels sprouts — quar tered, deepfat fried and tossed in truffle aioli with black radish strips — redefine the lowly little cabbage. Dessert choices are limited and change frequently, but what’s there stands out. Small pastel mochi balls (pounded sticky rice cake), each filled with different flavors of ice creams such as apple pie, almond and raspberry, are a light and fun
Photos: JessiCa latos
see diNiNG, page 45 The Washington Diplomat Page 41
[ film reviews ]
Messy Reunion ‘The Past’ Picks Up Where ‘A Separation’ Left Off by Ky N. Nguyen
ranian writer-director Asghar Dickens’s Farhadi’s stunning near-masterpiece ‘Invisible Woman’ “A Separation” proved to be a fantasBritish actor-cum-director Ralph tic success, winning Iran’s very first Fiennes’ second turn behind the helm Academy Award for best foreign lanin “The Invisible Woman” is a much guage film in 2012. Farhadi also more calm, dignified journey than the received an Oscar nomination for overwrought craziness of his directobest writing in an original screenplay — rial debut, “Coriolanus.” The refined quite a rarity for a non-English language “Masterpiece Theatre” look worn script. In a normal year, such honors at the handsomely well by “The Invisible Academy Awards would stick out for a Woman” provides a fitting backdrop foreign film. for Fiennes’s direction and acting (he But in 2012, a sleeper French producalso stars in the title role) tion,“The Artist,” unexpectedly dominated Historic costume dramas continuthe Oscar largess after initially getting out ally pour out of the United Kingdom, of the gates rather quietly.The modern-day but they’re seldom as in vogue as they silent movie leveraged its dialogue-free are today due to the widespread popgimmick, which many early pundits ularity of “Downton Abbey” and the viewed as a handicap, to steadily pick up Photo: Carole Bethuel / Sony Pictures Classics like. “The Invisible Woman” is a fine steam throughout the Oscar race. The example of the genre that proves to overwhelming juggernaut cleaned up Bérénice Bejo, left, and Ali Mosaffa portray an estranged couple formalizing their divorce in Iranian writerbe by no means tired out across the with a shocking five Academy Awards, director Asghar Farhadi’s latest film, “The Past.” centuries. Costume designer Michael including best picture and best director O’Connor (“The Duchess”) may even win another Academy Award for his fashionable crefor French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius. Its 10 total Oscar nominations, also remarkable for a foreign feature, included a nod for ations that artfully drape the players. Fiennes rings in his usual distinguished performance as legendary author Charles Dickens. best supporting actress given to French actress Bérénice Bejo. Her charming performance launched her path into international stardom, but Though Fiennes rightfully portrays an older, successful Dickens as a busy, confident, powersome critics claimed she did little more than smile, ful figure, he’s not by any means the center of the storyline. The Past That ground is firmly stood by Dickens’s 18-year-old lover Nelly Ternan, a wannabe theslook pretty, grimace, and gesture at the camera. Bejo (“Le passé”) pian who’s a decidedly more troubled character. She is vividly brought to our imagination needed a chance to prove her detractors wrong. (French and Farsi with subtitles; 130 min.) out of the dusty pages of history courShe got that chance by Landmark’s E Street Cinema tesy of a career-making performance by joining forces with Farhadi to Opens Fri., Jan. 10 Felicity Jones at the tender age of 30. play his leading lady in “The Throw in the always delightful to Past,” the latest film from the ★★★★✩ watch Kristin Scott Thomas — a nationtalented Iranian writer-direcal treasure, but of which country, Britain tor. “The Past” gives Bejo a grown-up role that allows her to show or France? — as Nelly’s rightfully conoff her serious acting chops, as she gets down and dirty portraying cerned stage mother Frances Ternan, an unlikeable character. and it provides a long anticipated Farhadi’s assured direction is all the more remarkable consideropportunity for Fiennes to reunite on ing he’s directing his actors speaking in French, a language in which screen with his costar from“The English he isn’t fluent. Iranian-born actor Ali Mosaffa (who gained notice in Patient,” the 1996 hit that made both Iranian director Dariush Mehrjui’s “Leila” and “Pari”) makes the most actors internationally famous. out of a difficult role as the estranged screen husband of Bejo’s British screenwriter Abi Morgan character. French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim (whose star perfor(“Shame,” “The Iron Lady”) carefully mance in “A Prophet” caught Farhadi’s eye) delivers a quietly stiradapts her script from Claire Tomalin’s ring performance as the third leg of the tense love triangle. 1990 biography of Nelly, whose 13-year “The Past” serves as a worthy follow-up to “A Separation,” respectaffair with Dickens in his final twilight fully honoring the groundbreaking legacy of the family drama about Photo: David Appleby / Sony Pictures Classics years managed to stay remarkably a couple torn by the desire to start a new life abroad and the guilt unknown despite his celebrity. The of leaving their elderly father in Iran (also see “Family Portrait Ralph Fiennes, left, directs and stars in “Invisible Woman,” about Charles famous author meets budding actress Exposes Idiosyncrasies of Iran’s Authoritarianism” in the February Dickens’s affair with a younger woman, played by Felicity Jones. Nelly while staging a play by his play2012 issue of The Washington Diplomat). In a way, the story of “The wright buddy Wilkie Collins (Tom Past” picks up where “A Separation” left off. “The Past” opens at the Hollander).The starry-eyed girl quickly becomes enamored airport in Paris, where Marie (Bejo) has fetched her Iranian-descended husband The Invisible Woman of Dickens, and the rest is history. Eventually, their affair after a lengthy absence. Initially, the scene appears to be a happy reunion, but it (English; 111 min.; scope) leads to the destruction of Dickens’s marriage to his wife turns out that Ahmad (Mosaffa) is actually finally agreeing to grant a long overdue Angelika Mosaic Catherine (Joanna Scanlan), whom he finally divorces late divorce to Marie. Landmark’s E Street Cinema in his life. Screenwriter Morgan crafts the story’s structure In the meantime, they must coexist under the same roof in Marie’s home, also with alternate viewpoints from Nelly’s life after Dickens’s Opens Fri., Jan. 17 inhabited by Lucie (Pauline Burlet) and Léa (Jeanne Jestin), Marie’s children from death. As an adult, she’s still working in the theater — a relationship prior to Ahmad. What Marie does not tell Ahmad, until he finds out ★★★★✩ though she’s yet to find peace with her life. for himself, is that her current lover Samir (Rahim) has moved in with his young stepson Fouad (Elyes Aguis).That’s rather a big mess in a small space, leaving little room for Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat. secrets.
The Washington Diplomat
[ film interview ]
Moving ‘Past’ Iranian Filmmaker Works in France Without Skipping a Beat by Ky N. Nguyen
France who made a film 15 years ago, and it’s a very good film. He released that film, but he can’t make another film because no one is willranian writer-director Asghar ing to finance his next film.” Farhadi’s previous release, “A Farhadi said he collaborated with Separation,” won the coveted his actors, both French and Iranian, Academy Award for best foron the same level.“I don’t take sugeign language film, a first for gestions easily, but if I believe in Iran. On a crisp fall afternoon them, I accept them. I don’t divide at the legendary Waldorf the world into French or Iranian. I Astoria New York, The Washington don’t look at actors as either French Diplomat spoke to him about his actors or Iranian actors. I thought new film,“The Past,” about an Iranian both were excellent.” man who returns to Paris to divorce But there were certain differenchis long-estranged wife, who has es filming in France — namely the moved on to another relationship. language barrier, because the direcWith “The Past,” Farhadi shot his tor was filming in a language he first film outside of Iran.“Before me didn’t fully understand. “Of course, deciding to make a film in France, it filmmaking in itself is a difficult job. was the story that dictated to me to Don’t expect filmmakers to tell you make it in France. It was the story of that it was comfortable or easy. And a man who’s traveling to another it’s good that it is difficult. Otherwise, country. Being far and being on a Photo: Carole Bethuel / Sony Pictures Classics 99 percent of the people would be trip was part of this story. I chose making films right now,” he quipped. France because of all the other Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi, left, and cinematographer Mahmoud Kalari collaborate “Not knowing the language at countries, I had the most trips to on “The Past.” first seemed like an obstacle, but France and was more familiar with later on, it turned into a merit in itself. I learned from it. I learned that communicating it,” the director explained through a translator. The nugget for the plot was also planted years ago.“My friend had told me he was with people is not only through language. It could be through gestures, looks, from the on his way to another country to make his divorce from his wife an official divorce mimic of your face, many other ways. “Even language itself has many different layers to it. One layer is the information that and to finalize it on paper. This memory had we choose to exchange.Another layer goes to the history and culture that’s behind the stayed with me for years,” Farhadi said. Of course, filmmaking in itself The helmer benefited from local talents like language. In the two years that I spent in France, I decided to get to know the rhythms popular star Bérénice Bejo and French- and music of the language — and the way this music brings us closer together.” is a difficult job. Don’t expect Algerian French actor Tahar Rahim. He actually met Bejo filmmakers to tell you that it was while touring the United States to Spike Lee Talks ‘Oldboy’ promote “A Separation.” She was At the Conrad New York Hotel, The comfortable or easy. And it’s there promoting her OscarWashington Diplomat interviewed winning silent film “The Artist.” American director Spike Lee (“Do the good that it is difficult. Otherwise, “We kept running into each Right Thing,” “Inside Man”), writer/co-proother in the hotels or in different ducer Mark Protosevich (“I Am Legend,” 99 percent of the people would ceremonies. One of the benefits “Poseidon”) and lead actress Elizabeth of these trips is that you get to be making films right now. Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”) meet new people, but the rest of about their new movie “Oldboy,” an it is boring,” Farhadi said. American adaptation of the classic 2003 — Asghar Farhadi, director of “The Past” “I got to know Tahar through ‘A South Korean thriller of the same name by Prophet,’ and I really liked his actPark Chan-wook. In the Spike Lee reboot of ing,” the director said, referring to the 2009 film about a young Arab man “Oldboy,” Josh Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a sent to a French prison, where he becomes a mafia kingpin.“When I first man who seeks revenge after being imprissaw him in ‘A Prophet,’ I realized that he has a certain intelligence, perPhoto: Hilary Bronwyn Gayle / OB Productions, Inc. oned in a cage-like hotel room for 20 years haps it’s an unconscious intelligence, that makes him separate from the clichéd role that he could be playing. He didn’t play that clichéd role. Spike Lee directs “Oldboy,” an American adaptation of the without any explanation. classic 2003 South Korean thriller of the same name by Park Park’s film was so original and well Instead, he offered us a new kind of acting.” executed that there was fierce opposition The third leg of the love triangle in “The Past” is played by Ali Mosaffa, Chan-wook. by many fans to the idea of a remake. Lee an Iranian actor who has also directed several films. recalls watching the original Korean film when it came out. “I’d never seen anything Farhadi reflected on how the election of Iran’s new reformist-minded president, Hassan Rouhani, might make it easier for filmmakers to work in Iran.“I have two expla- like this in my life,” he told us.“Josh went to Park and asked for his blessing. Park gave nations. One is that it’s still very new and very early to judge what the political scene it, and the one thing he said to Josh — which Josh related to me — was ‘make a differis. The new government has only been in office for a few months, and we still need ent film; don’t do the same thing I did.’ [So] that’s the way we did it.” Protosevich was also drawn to Park’s violent cult classic. “The two things that first more time to judge for that. But in the first few months that they’ve been working, we attracted me to the story was it’s a story about redemption and revenge.Those are two can feel that a lot of pressures have relaxed,” he said. “The second explanation I have is that I didn’t leave Iran in order to escape the dif- things that actually are somewhat contradictory. Revenge is actually not a redeeming ficulties. I made films before in Iran under difficulties.And this time, I let the story take quality. People often mistake revenge for justice. Redemption — because this man is trying to make amends for the wrongs he’s committed in his life — that’s actually one me to where it’s believable to have been made. “What I’d like to stress is that I believe censorship is present all over the world right of the big ideas in the movie that gets addressed, the idea of being responsible for your now,” he added.“In some countries, censorship comes from the government and from See film, page 45 the state. In other countries, it comes from the capital [money]. I have a friend in
The Washington Diplomat Page 43
[ film ]
CINEMA LISTING by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars.
*Unless specific times are listed, please check the theater for times. Theater locations are subject to change.
Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Directed by Peter Jackson (U.S./New Zealand, 2013
The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim their homeland from Smaug the dragon. Area theaters
The Invisible Woman Directed by Ralph Fiennes (U.K., 2013, 111 min.)
At the height of his career, Charles Dickens meets a younger woman who becomes his secret lover until his death. Angelika Mosaic Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Jan. 17
Directed by Justin Chadwick (U.K./South Africa, 2013, 141 min.)
Based on the 1994 autobiography of the same name, “Mandela” chronicles the inspirational life of Nelson Mandela as an international icon and one of the world’s most revered leaders (English, Afrikaans and Xhosa).
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, “Mary Poppins.” Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Walking with Dinosaurs 3D Directed by Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale (U.K./U.S./Australia, 2013)
See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino triumphs to become a hero for the ages.
Directed by David Frankel (U.K./U.S., 2013, 103 min.)
In this true story, Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night, becomes a phenomenon after being chosen for — and ultimately winning — “Britain’s Got Talent.” Area theaters Opens Fri., Jan. 10
The Last Days on Mars
Saving Mr. Banks
Directed by Ruairi Robinson (U.K./Ireland, 2013, 98 min.)
Directed by John Lee Hancock (U.S./U.K./Australia, 2013, 125 min.)
A group of astronaut explorers succumb one
Author P.L. Travers reflects on her
The Bright Day Directed by Hossein Shahabi (Iran, 2013, 86 min.)
A kindergarten teacher sets out to save a student’s father accused of killing a coworker, working to track down witnesses who can prove the death was an accident. At the same time, the dead man’s powerful family wields its influence in an attempt to keep the witnesses silent. Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Jan. 17, 7 p.m., Sun., Jan. 19, 2 p.m.
Closed Curtain (Pardé) Directed by Jafar Panahi and Kambozia Partovi (Iran, 2013, 106 min.)
In 2010, filmmaker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years of house arrest and a 20-year ban on filmmaking for allegedly engaging in propaganda against the Iranian government. In 2011, he flouted the ban with the autobiographical “This is Not a Film.” Now, he returns with a self-reflexive, Pirandello-like consideration of his punishment’s effect on his psyche, which begins as the story of a man (co-director and actor Kambozia Partovi) hiding his adorable dog from Iran’s recent ban on dogwalking. Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Jan. 10, 7 p.m., Sun., Jan. 12, 2 p.m.
Fat Shaker Directed by Mohammad Shirvani (Iran, 2013, 85 min.)
Intended as an attack on Iran’s patriarchal social structure, this unconventional film stars Levon Haftvan as a gluttonous alcoholic who uses his deaf-mute son to lure attractive young women into drug- and booze-fueled nights of illegal excess.
Photo: Benoît Peverelli / Sony Pictures Classics
A young woman (Golshifteh Farahani), left, watches over her comatose husband and vents her frustrations to him in “The Patience Stone.”
Afterward, he extorts money from the women by threatening to go to the authorities. But one female photographer refuses to be intimidated and instead attempts to rescue the young man from his controlling father. Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Jan. 31, 7 p.m.
CAN YOU DO IT YOURSELF? 20 Year Annualized Investment Returns
The Washington Diplomat
The Patience Stone Directed by Atiq Rahimi (Afghanistan/France, 2012, 102 min.)
In an unnamed country torn apart by war, a young woman (Golshifteh Farahani) watches over her comatose husband, venting her frustrations about living under his control. Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Jan. 24, 7 p.m., Sun., Jan. 26, 2 p.m.
French The Past (Le passé) Directed by Asghar Farhadi (France/Italy, 2013, 130 min.)
An Iranian man returns to France to grant his wife a divorce and discovers she has started a relationship with an Arab man who has a son and a wife in a coma (French and Farsi). Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Jan. 10
German Lessons of Darkness (Lektionen in Finsternis) Directed by Werner Herzog (Germany, 1992, 50 min.)
Werner Herzog’s film shows the disaster of the burning Kuwaiti oil fields, but in contrast to common documentary style, there are no comments and few interviews. Rather, the viewer is presented with stunning scenery and beautiful music from “Rheingold” and “Götterdämmerung” (screens with “The Transformation of the World into Music”). Goethe-Institut Mon., Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m.
The Transformation of the World into Music: Bayreuth before the Premiere and Lessons of Darkness Directed by Werner Herzog (Germany, 1994, 90 min.)
Often lauded for his incorporation of German composer Richard Wagner’s concept of the “total work of art (Gesamtkunstwerk)” into cinema, director Werner Herzog provides the viewer with more than a behind-the-scenes documentary (screens with “Lessons of Darkness”). Goethe-Institut Mon., Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m.
from page 27
Spouses Perhaps as a result, Danes have been able to focus their attention on their charming yet dynamic capital, Copenhagen, which is home to world-class architecture and design, colorful seaside attractions, a pulsating nightlife, and lots of Michelin stars. “What I wish Americans and others knew about Denmark is that we are part of the Nordic food trend. Copenhagen’s Noma is widely known as one of the very best restaurants in the world. It was recently featured on CNN on Anthony Bourdain’s show, ‘Parts Unknown.’ Noma is the prominent example of a more general trend in Denmark of excellent farmto-table restaurants in Denmark, which focus on high-quality and seasonal ingredients with a creative and distinct Nordic touch.” While Noma is a culinary hotspot that has put Copenhagen on the map “as one of the most eco-minded and creative cities in Northern Europe,” according to the New York Times, for her part Pedersen would much rather stay at home than dress up for a glitzy night on the town. She and the ambassador often cook their own dinner in the residence’s shiny stainless-steel industrial kitchen or they grill out on the terrace, even though they have an executive chef whom “we love.” It’s all part of the Danish tradition of “hygge,” a laidback, cozy atmosphere that cherishes relaxing with good friends or loved ones. “Danes are very good at being cozy,” Pedersen said. “We like informal visits at home with friends. Usually, we start around 7 p.m. and don’t go home until 11 p.m. or midnight.When we do go out to a restaurant, we go with a group. It is expensive to eat out.Where a hamburger might cost $10 to $12 here, in
from page 41
Dining choice. The panna cotta — pumpkin on a recent visit — is dense and not too sweet. Partnered with a triangular walnut-chocolate-butterscotch bar, the dish is substantial. Only chocolate diehards will be disappointed with the dessert choices. Simplicity in design carries through to the space itself. Ma brought on Sucha Khamsuwan of Studio Ideya to create a vision for the space that interprets the restaurant’s name, Water & Wall, which refers to an intersection in lower Manhattan where Ma first met his partner in life as well as business, Joey Hernandez (who is the current general manager for Maple Ave). But Khamsuwan took the literal meaning of the words and used strong vertical elements and shimmery wire-mesh curtain walls that effectively create a sense of flowing water. There is mini-
Photo: Jessica Latos
Tim Ma left a promising career in engineering for an equally promising culinary career as chef and owner of Maple Ave Restaurant and Water & Wall, both in Virginia.
mal ornamentation to interrupt the flow, and the light sand-colored wood floors further evoke the essence of a streambed. Dramatic lighting fixtures
Gitte Wallin Pedersen, right, explores rock formations during a trip to the American West.
Denmark it would cost $20 to $30.” Of course, it’s not all sunshine in Denmark — literally. “All the time, Danes talk about the weather, which is often gray and rainy. We are deliriously happy when we have a sunny day. Everyone is smiling, but we still don’t talk to a stranger,” Pedersen noted. “Danes are not as talkative as Americans; we never speak to someone on the street.” Another fundamental difference between the two countries: Denmark has a royal family, a tremendous source of pride for the nation. “The Danish Kingdom is the oldest in the world and an integral part of Danish society,” Pedersen told us. “The members of the royal family are perceived as very good representatives for Denmark and Danish virtues. They do an important job for the Danish businesses around the world and are also very interested in other cultures and contribute to social causes.”
soften the exposed ductwork and cast a muted glow over the earth-toned spaces to create a restful atmosphere. The elegance of Khamsuwan’s design might easily have overshadowed the comfort of Ma’s laidback concept. But the capable front-of-thehouse ministrations of general manager Nick Seo bring out the casual instead. A Washington native, Seo got the restaurant bug early on and left Temple University for the Culinary Institute of America.After graduating, he took on a range of roles at several places in the area before ending up on Ma’s team. Those career intersections — some of which, like Ma’s, took unlikely detours — have all thankfully led to one place:Water & Wall, where the professional prospects of Ma and his entire crew are overflowing with potential. Rachel G. Hunt is the restaurant reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.
Queen Margrethe II has two sons. Crown Prince Frederik, the heir apparent,and his wife Crown Princess Mary often visit the United States In 2010, they came to Washington to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Danish Embassy. The late Vilhelm Lauritzen, a leading Danish modernist architect, designed the building located on a hilltop at the end of Whitehaven Street, home to both the chancery and residence. It was the first contemporary embassy in Washington, and the building and its interior are the epitome of mod-
from page 43
Film actions, your statements, your thoughts throughout the course of your life,” the writer said, noting that the protagonist is “going through an experience that absolutely transforms him as a human being. A lot of it is about that experience in the hotel room. In our version, it’s a much longer part of the story.” “I read the script [by Protosevich], and that was enough for me to be obsessed with this story,” said Olsen, who plays a woman trying to help the troubled, violent title character. “And then I saw the [original] movie…. It’s basically a perfect film.” “So why remake it?,” she asked. “People retell Greek tragedies all the time. People tell ‘Romeo and Juliet’ stories all the time. People tell ‘Hamlet’ stories all the time. There are all these relationships. If it’s a good story, it’s a good story…. It’s a crazy story. It’s shocking. And people who don’t know the twist at the end, it’s fun!” Lee said the lead female character that Olsen plays in his film is stronger than in Park’s version. “We definitely wanted to make her character as strong as possible, as strong as it makes sense within the framework of the screenplay. And I think that Lizzie conveyed that…. And also, Josh’s character has something to
ern Danish design. During that D.C. visit, the down-to-earth crown prince surprised Washingtonians by riding around town on a bike. (He regularly bikes around Copenhagen, even taking his children to school.) Furniture by famed Danish designers such as Finn Juhl also grace the Danish residence and chancery. Pedersen and the ambassador have added their own touches as well. “Peter’s Poul Kjærholm desk is in the library and our black leather daybed over there is the same as those at MoMA [New York’s Museum of Modern Art,]” Pedersen said. “The daybed is probably the most famous of all Danish furniture.The ‘egg chairs’ and the daybed are the work Arne Jacobsen, another popular Danish designer. Of course, upstairs we have a swan, as most Danes do. The pottery at the front entrance is from the State Museum in Denmark. Mainly, we don’t like too many things around. When you have too much, you don’t see anything because you don’t have space around the furniture. We took some furniture out because Danish furniture is really sculpture.” But they also have a piece of furniture that reminds them of American royalty — at least as close as we’ll come to it — in the form of a Hans Wegner chair. “This chair was made famous by your presidents sitting in them — first JFK, then [Bill] Clinton and, most recently, Obama.” Gail Scott is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.
play up against to. The character can’t be a pushover,” said the director, who first became aware of Olsen’s potential after watching her performance as an escaped cult member in the indie film “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” “Working with Spike is a world of a difference than working with a firsttime director, and I feel like I’ve worked my fair share of first-time directors now,” Olsen said.“The difference is incredible. The funniest thing is the more experience you have, the more collaborative you are because I think you are more confident in your own abilities. Spike, the first thing he does is want to know everything that you think…. It’s a really comforting thing to work with a director like that.” Lee said he insists on a standard rehearsal time, which is when the collaboration with his actors takes place. “I’m not going to shoot unless I have rehearsal time.That’s built into the budget — two weeks,” the director explained.“Rehearsal time, a lot of people don’t understand this. Rehearsal time is not just actors doing lines. Eating dinner, having meals, talking, watching other films, going to events together — it’s a whole thing to spend time together, and vibing and throwing ideas around.That’s what we do.”
Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat. The Washington Diplomat Page 45
[ 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 Jan. 5
Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris
The first retrospective exhibition in the United States, and the only scholarly catalogue on the renowned 19th-century French photographer Charles Marville (1813-79), presents recent groundbreaking discoveries informing his art and biography, including the versatility of his photographic talents and his true identity, background and family life. National Gallery of Art Through Jan. 5
A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
More than 100 photographs selected from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the museum’s photography collection, examine photography’s evolution in the United States from a documentary medium to a full-fledged artistic genre, and showcase the numerous ways in which it has captured the American experience. American Art Museum Through Jan. 5
Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa Some 100 exceptional works of art from the late 18th to 21st centuries come together for the first major exhibition and scholarly endeavor to comprehensively examine the rich relationship between African artists and the land upon which they live, work and frame their days. National Museum of African Art Through Jan. 5
Northern Mannerist Prints from the Kainen Collection
Some 50 works embody the sophisticated imagery, extraordinary stylization and virtuoso technique of the printmaking industry that flourished in the northern Netherlands and at the imperial court of Prague in the late 16th century. National Gallery of Art Through Jan. 5
Wanderer: Travel Prints by Ellen Day Hale
A selection of prints, drawings and original printing plates demonstrates Ellen Day Hale ‘s passion for travel and her mastery of printmaking. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Jan. 5
Yes, No, Maybe: Artists Working at Crown Point Press
Featuring 125 working proofs and edition prints produced between 1972 and 2010 at Crown Point Press in San Francisco, one of the most influential printmaking studios
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT
Through Jan. 12
ery and costumes — has transfixed audiences for more than 400 years. This 50-item display will feature manuscripts, printed scores, librettos, photographs, correspondence and set designs dating from the late 18th century through the beginning of the 20th century.
Living Artfully: At Home with Marjorie Merriweather Post
Library of Congress James Madison Building
of the last half century, “Yes, No, Maybe” goes beyond celebrating the flash of inspiration to examine the artistic process as a sequence of decisions. National Gallery of Art
From the glamour of Palm Beach, to the rustic whimsy of the Adirondacks, to the distinguished social scene of Washington, D.C., heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post brought to her multiple residences a flawless style of living and entertaining that was made possible only through the gracious management of loyal staff. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens Through Jan. 12
Pakistani Voices: A Conversation with The Migration Series
In April 2013, the Phillips partnered with the State Department to conduct a series of workshops in Pakistan focusing on art and social change. This exhibition features 29 works by emerging Pakistani artists and 20 works by students and orphans who worked together to create visual narratives about identity, personal struggle and Pakistani history. The Phillips Collection Through Jan. 17
Bojagi & Beyond
Showcasing the artistry and originality of the traditional quilted Korean wrapping cloth known as bojagi, this exhibition features seven Korean and American artists who highlight traditional textile techniques along with the modern reinterpretations of this centuries-old family practice. Korean Cultural Center at the Embassy of South Korea Jan. 17 to April 13
Judy Chicago: Circa ’75
The iconic body of work from the 1970s by Judy Chicago demonstrates the prominent feminist artist’s firm belief in the power of art to redress gender inequalities. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Jan. 24
GOLS for Development
This digital and photographic exhibit narrates the impact of sport as a vehicle for social transparency, taking as an example the life of Pelé, the king of soccer, in parallel with several sports development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center Through Jan. 25
“Explorations” presents the winners of the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, a nationwide art competition that aims to discover the next big names in urban photography, painting and multi-media arts, and to celebrate today’s diverse up-and-coming artists on a national stage. International Visions Gallery Through Jan. 25
A Night at the Opera
The grandeur of opera — its unforgettable music, stellar performers, and lavish scen-
Through Jan. 26
Van Gogh Repetitions
In the first Vincent van Gogh (1853-90) exhibition in D.C. in 15 years, the Phillips Collection takes a fresh look at the van Gogh’s artistic process, venturing beneath the surface of some of his best-known paintings to examine how and why he repeated certain compositions during his 10-year career. The Phillips Collection Through Jan. 26
Yoga: The Art of Transformation
Through masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting, “Yoga” — the first exhibit to present this leitmotif of Indian visual culture — explores yoga’s goals; its Hindu as well as Buddhist, Jain and Sufi manifestations; its means of transforming body and consciousness; and its profound philosophical foundations. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Jan. 28 to June 15
Shakespeare’s the Thing
Marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, this exhibition presents a miscellany of treasures in the Folger collection from Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio to modern fine art prints, revealing the Bard’s influence on performance, adaptation, scholarship, printing, fine art and even in mild obsession. Folger Shakespeare Library Through Jan. 31
Icons of the Desert
This exhibition of early indigenous Australian paintings from Papunya, from the private collection of John and Barbara Wilkerson, took more than 10 years of development in close consultation with the aboriginal community and descendants of the artists. Embassy of Australia Art Gallery Through Jan. 31
Linger On! (Verweile doch)
Capturing fleeting moments in time, these diverse works by six artists present extraordinary encounters with contemporary art, ranging from documentary photography that enhances reality via the deft use of framing and lighting to precisely staged productions. Goethe-Institut Through Jan. 31
Portraits of Power: Works by Alejandro Almaraz of Argentina
Since 2006, the Organization of American States’s Art Museum of the Americas has aimed to promote OAS values of social progress and cultural exchange through the visual arts. Continuing along this path, Alejandro Almaraz’s examinations of popular authority figures encourage conversation on vital OAS interests such as democ-
racy and good governance. Art Museum of the Americas Through Feb. 9
Lines, Marks, and Drawings: Through the Lens of Roger Ballen
This exhibit considers the 40-year-plus career of Roger Ballen, one of the more recognized photographic artists working today, through a new approach: an examination of line and drawing in his photographs. National Museum of African Art Through Feb. 14
Illuminating Opportunity: A Photography Exhibit for Social Good
This photography exhibit by Trees, Water and People explores the organization’s solar energy program in Honduras through the eyes of photographer Darren Mahuron. Viewings are by appointment only; for information, call (202) 370-4618 or (202) 370-0151. Organization of American States Through March 2
Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections
In the first exhibition devoted to Byzantine art at the National Gallery, some 170 rare and important works, drawn exclusively from Greek collections, offer a fascinating glimpse of the soul and splendor of the mysterious Byzantine Empire. National Gallery of Art Through March 2
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
Nearly 100 works in all media by 72 leading modern and contemporary artists present the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-20th century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge. Smithsonian American Art Museum Through March 9
Alex Prager: Face in the Crowd
Los Angeles artist Alex Prager’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States debuts her latest series — elaborately staged crowd scenes, both poignant and revelatory — alongside earlier photographs and video works. Corcoran Gallery of Art Through March 15
Man at the Crossroads: Diego Rivera’s Mural at Rockefeller Center
This exposition centers around the mural that Mexican artist Diego Rivera painted in New York City, reconstructing its history with unedited material, including reproduced letters, telegrams, contracts, sketches, and documents, following Rivera’s commission, subsequent tension and conflict, and finally, the mural’s destruction. Mexican Cultural Institute Through March 16
The Dying Gaul: An Ancient Roman Masterpiece from the Capitoline Museum, Rome Created in the first or second century AD,
the “Dying Gaul” is one of the most renowned works from antiquity. This exhibition marks the first time it has left Italy since 1797, when Napoleonic forces took the sculpture to Paris, where it was displayed at the Louvre until its return to Rome in 1816. National Gallery of Art Through April 27
Workt by Hand: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts
Over time, quilts have been revered as nostalgic emblems of the past, dismissed as women’s work, and hailed as examples of American ingenuity. This exhibition breaks new ground by examining quilts through the lens of contemporary feminist theory. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through May 4
In Focus: Ara Güler’s Anatolia
Ara Güler, the “Eye of Istanbul,” is famous for his iconic snapshots of the city in the 1950s and ’60s, but with an archive of more than 800,000 photographs, Güler’s body of work contains far more than these emblematic images — as seen in this exhibition of never-before-shown works by the legendary photographer. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Through May 26
Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950
The first in-depth exploration of the theme of destruction in international contemporary visual culture, this groundbreaking exhibition includes works by a diverse range of international artists working in painting, sculpture, photography, film, installation and performance. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Through June 8, 2014
Perspectives: Rina Banerjee
Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee draws on her background as a scientist and her experience as an immigrant in her richly textured works that complicate the role of objects as representations of cultures and invite viewers to share her fascination in materials. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Through July 13
Dancing the Dream
From the late 19th century to today, dance has captured this nation’s culture in motion, as seen in photos that showcase generations of performers, choreographers and impresarios. National Portrait Gallery Through Aug. 24
Africa ReViewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon
“Africa ReViewed” showcases the African photography of celebrated Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon and explores the intricate relationships between his photographic archives and art collection at the National Museum of African Art. Elisofon’s images had a huge impact in framing America’s perceptions of Africa and its diverse cultures during the 20th century. National Museum of African Art
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DANCE Jan. 21 to 26
Shen Yun 2014: Reviving 5,000 Years of Civilization
Shen Yun Performing Arts, a classical Chinese dance and music company, returns with a lavishly colorful and exhilarating show that includes legends, characters and tales from both the ancient and modern world, presented by the Falun Dafa Association of Washington, D.C. Tickets are $50 to $250. Kennedy Center Opera House Jan. 24 to 26
Canada’s Cas Public dance ensemble uses everyday sounds and objects in to explore the joy, humor and mischief of childhood — all performed to Canadian pianist Glenn Gould’s famous recording of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” Tickets are $20. Kennedy Center Family Theater Jan. 28 to Feb. 2
Mariinsky Ballet: Swan Lake
St. Petersburg’s historic Mariinsky Ballet — one of the most influential classical companies for more than two and a half centuries —returns with Konstantin Sergeyev’s bewitching 1950 production of “Swan Lake,” based on Petipa and Ivanov’s immortal 1895 masterpiece and danced to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score. Tickets are $29 to $150. Kennedy Center Opera House
DISCUSSIONS Sat., Jan. 18, 2 p.m.
Scotch Whisky Master Class with Dougie Wylie Take a memorable journey down the historical Scotch whisky trail with Dougie Wylie, the “Scotch Whisky Man,” sampling Scotch whisky from the Lowlands to the Highlands and from the islands to the small distilleries on the mainland. Tickets are $45.
Music of the Tempest
The Folger Consort hosts a program exploring and celebrating the musical interpretations of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” including Matthew Locke’s 1674 incidental music for orchestra and voices. Tickets are $30 to $50. Washington National Cathedral Sun., Jan. 12, 4 p.m.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Known as Britain’s national orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra founded in 1946 by Sir Thomas Beecham, who envisioned an elite ensemble of the country’s finest musicians. For this concert, guest conductor and violin virtuoso Pinchas Zukerman leads the orchestra to perform Bach’s “Violin Concerto in A minor” and Schoenberg’s romantic masterpiece, “Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night).” Tickets are $37.50 to $75. George Mason University Center for the Arts Fri., Jan. 24, 8 p.m.
National Symphony Orchestra: Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 – Whose World?
For aficionados and newcomers alike, this series uses actors, narration, excerpts, and multimedia to share captivating stories behind a score, in this case Dvorák’s towering “New World” symphony, followed by a full performance of the work. Tickets are $10 to $50. Kennedy Center Concert Hall
THEATER Through Jan. 5
The Apple Family Plays Studio presents the first two plays in Richard Nelson’s quartet of plays about the Apple siblings and their extended family. Set at successive meals over the course of four years, the tensions and compromises, affections and resentments of the Apple family’s personal lives play out against a rapidly changing America. Presented in rotating repertory; tickets are $39 to $75.
George Mason University Hylton Performing Arts Center
The Studio Theatre
A Christmas Carol
Thu., Jan. 2, 8 p.m.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra: Viennese Favorites
The magic of New Year’s in Vienna comes alive as Andrew Grams conducts enchanting miniatures of Mozart, the effervescent favorites of Johann Strauss Jr. and more. Please call for ticket information.
Through Jan. 5
Ford’s Theatre has delighted Washington audiences with “A Christmas Carol” for more than 30 years. Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. Please call for ticket information. Ford’s Theatre
Music Center at Strathmore
Through Jan. 5
Sat., Jan. 4, 8 p.m., Sun., Jan. 5, 3 p.m.
From one of Britain’s most promising young playwrights, this dark and cheeky look at what the future might hold features undercover agents, surveillance algorithms, and explosive karaoke. Tickets are $30 to $35.
National Philharmonic: Sounds of Central Europe The “Serenade for Strings” by Dvorák is laden with hauntingly beautiful melodies suffused with the spirit of Czech folk music; performed by Nurit Bar-Josef, concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 5,” often referred to by the nickname Turkish, is full of energetic and lively melodies; and “Symphony No. 29,” one of Mozart’s early symphonies, is a personal work that combines intimate chamber music style with a fiery manner. Tickets start at $28. Music Center at Strathmore Fri., Jan. 10, 8 p.m., Sat., Jan. 11, 8 p.m.
Folger Consort: Brave New World –
Edgar & Annabel
Studio Theatre Through Jan. 5
Elf the Musical
Buddy the orphan leaves the North Pole to find his true identity in this modern Christmas classic that will make everyone embrace their inner elf. Tickets are $25 to $150. Kennedy Center Opera House Through Jan. 5
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
This fun musical farce based on the classic
plays of ancient Roman playwright Plautus tells the bawdy story of Pseudolus, a slave in ancient Rome, who goes to great lengths to gain his freedom by securing a courtesan for his young master, Hero. Tickets are $20 to $110.
king’s real nature with this celebrated history play — staged, for the first time in Folger history, in an Elizabethan Theatre reconfigured to allow for a production “in the round.” Tickets are $39 to $72.
Shakespeare Theatre Sidney Harman Hall
Folger Shakespeare Library
Through Jan. 5
Fri., Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Chinese New Year Gala – 2014
Broadway and Arena Stage favorite Kenny Leon returns to direct Malcolm-Jamal Warner (in his Arena Stage debut) in a new adaptation of the beloved film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Please call for ticket information.
The Chinese American Association presents more than 300 artists from throughout North America in a performance that celebrates the Chinese New Year 2014
and Chinese culture and art. Tickets are $20 to $100. George Mason University Center for the Arts Jan. 31 to March 9
Mother Courage and Her Children
Kathleen Turner returns to Arena to star as a tough-as-nails matriarch who profits off the very war that steals her children from her one by one. But will the cost of war be higher than she’s prepared to pay? Please call for ticket information. Arena Stage
Arena Stage Jan. 8 to Feb. 23
Tribes When Billy, who was born deaf into a garrulous academic family that raised him to lip read and integrate into the hearing world, meets Sylvia, who is going deaf herself, he decides it’s time to speak on his own terms in Nina Raine’s moving play, the second offering in Studio’s yearlong New British Invasion Festival. Tickets are $39 to $75. The Studio Theatre Jan. 10 to Feb. 16
The Tallest Tree in the Forest
Daniel Beaty brings to life the true story of Paul Robeson, hailed as the “best-known black man in the world” for his incomparable singing and acting, brought low by accusations of disloyalty to America. Please call for ticket information. Arena Stage Jan. 16 to March 2
The Importance of Being Earnest
Keith Baxter returns to direct Oscar Wilde’s most perfect of plays — a comedy of class, courtship, and avoiding burdensome social conventions. Please call for ticket information. Shakespeare Lansburgh Theatre
Through Jan. 19
Flashdance – The Musical Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the pop culture phenomenon of “Flashdance” is now live on stage, with the inspiring and unforgettable story of a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and a bar dancer by night with dreams of becoming a professional performer. Tickets are $45 to $150.
Give your kids a chance to succeed. Up their daily dose of art.
Royal dukes are squaresville. They have no rhythm. And they wear crowns.
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater Jan. 24 and 25
Wedding of Ordos
The Inner Mongolia Ordos National Song and Dance Theatre presents a moving epic that depicts the poetry, music, and dance of a traditional wedding in the ancient Mongolian city of Ordos. Tickets are $10 to $180.
Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater Through Jan. 26
Gypsy Set during the 1920s on the fading vaudeville circuit, Momma Rose, the archetypal stage mother, steamrolls everyone on her way to propel her daughters into child stars. But when the younger, more talented daughter defects, Rose sinks all her hopes (and claws) into the elder. Tickets start at $40. Signature Theatre Jan. 28 to March 9
Explore Shakespeare’s portrait of maniacal ambition and dig into the truth about this
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Country Promotion Strategies (CPS) Conference On Nov. 12, more than 200 diplomats, U.S. policymakers and business executives — including more than 20 ambassadors — gathered at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., for the second annual Country Promotion Strategies (CPS) Conference, hosted by The Washington Diplomat in collaboration with the Meridian International Center. The all-day event — the only one of its kind in D.C. — brings together high-level experts who specialize in helping govNO INTEREST For 12 ernments Months deepen their political and economic ties with the United States. Among this year’s speakers were: former National SAME AS CASH! Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley; Katie Harbath of Facebook; Fred Thomas of MHz Networks; former Jordanian Foreign With approved credit and minimum purchase of Minister Marwan Muasher; Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer; Finnish Ambassador Ritva Koukku-Ronde; Iraqi Ambassador $4000 APR 23.97% Lukman Faily; Ecuadorian Ambassador Nathalie Cely; Heather Podesta; and Mark Cowan of Cowan Strategies. During the off-the-record presentations and panel discussions, Hadley talked about how to get the attention of White House policymakers, Harbath and several envoys examTo view all ined the latest advancements in digital diplomacy — and how embassies can use social the photos media to their advantage — and Muasher offered advice for pushing through bilateral from the Country free trade agreements. The conference also explored effective lobbying strategies, PR Promotion Strategies crisis management, tourism promotion and other timely topics relevant to the diplomatic Conference, be sure to like community. The Washington Stay tuned for an in-depth feature on the changing realm of digital diplomacy in the Diplomat on February 2014 issue of The Washington Diplomat. To view all the photos, like us on Facebook. Facebook. The event was also live-tweeted under the Twitter hashtag #CPS2013.
From left, moderator Stuart Holliday, president and CEO of the Meridian International Center; Victor Shiblie, publisher and editor in chief of The Washington Diplomat; Ambassador of Canada Gary Doer; and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, now principal of RiceHadleyGates LLC and International Advisory Council member at APCO Worldwide, were among the keynote speakers at the CPS luncheon.
— Photos by Lawrence Ruggeri —
Ambassador of Iraq Lukman Faily, second from left, talks on a panel on lobbying and crisis management.
From left, Jan Du Plain of Du Plain Enterprises, Ambassador of Barbados John Beale, and Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines La Celia Prince attend CPS 2013.
Ambassador of Montenegro Srdjan Darmanovic, center, stands with Helen Salazar-Fowler, left, and Silvia Forster of the George Washington University Hospital International Patient Program, one of the sponsors of the 2013 Country Promotion Strategies Conference.
From left, CEO of Cowan Strategies Mark Cowen, President and CEO of the Meridian International Center Stuart Holliday, and founder and CEO of MHz Networks Frederick Thomas attend the Country Promotion Strategies Conference, where Cowan talked about foreign direct investment and Thomas discussed how to disseminate international news. Paul Williams of Aetna, left, speaks with Bandula Somasiri, commerce minister at the Sri Lankan Embassy, at the Aetna sponsor booth.
Katie Harbath, manager for policy at Facebook, speaks on “Your Embassy and Facebook: Something to ‘Like.’”
Ambassador of Iceland Gudmundur Arni Stefansson, left, talks with Stefan Gudjohnsen of GlobeScope, which has managed website projects for more than 100 Washington embassies, diplomatic missions, and travel and trade offices.
Ambassador of Oman Hunaina Sultan Ahmed Al Mughairy, left, joins Heather Podesta, founder of the government relations firm Heather Podesta + Partners, who spoke about lobbying and crisis management.
From right, Vadim Sokolov and Maria Kalugina, both from the Russian Embassy, and Susan Sadigova of the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce listen to CPS speakers.
Valts Vitums of the Embassy of Latvia, left, and Silvia Kofler, head of press and public diplomacy at the European Union Delegation to the United States, talk to guests at CPS 2013.
Stephanie Misar, marketing director at MHz Networks, talks to guests about MHz, which has brought more international television programming into America than all other U.S.-based broadcast television networks combined.
Bandula Somasiri, commerce minister at the Sri Lankan Embassy, left, and Ambassador of Fiji Winston Thompson attend CPS 2013.
The Washington Diplomat
Frank Samolis, a partner at Patton Boggs specializing in international trade, right, talks to a guest at CPS 2013.
Sanna Kangasharju, press counselor at the Embassy of Finland, left, and William De Baets, counselor at the Embassy of Belgium, were among more than 200 diplomats who attended the 2013 Country Promotion Strategies Conference.
From left, moderator Stuart Holliday talks to members of the digital diplomacy panel: Ambassador of Finland Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador of Ecuador Nathalie Cely Suárez, Public Diplomacy, Press and Culture Counselor at the Netherlands Embassy Ilse van Overveld, Press Secretary and Head of Communications at the British Embassy James Barbour, and Digital Strategy Director at APCO Worldwide Marc Johnson.
Ambassador of Ecuador Nathalie Cely Suárez, right, greets guests at CPS 2013.
Ambassador of Finland Ritva KoukkuRonde spoke on the digital diplomacy panel at CPS 2013. Her top social media tip if you really want to capture people’s attention? “Use cat images,” she joked.
Ilse van Overveld, public diplomacy, press and culture counselor at the Royal Netherlands Embassy, participates on the digital diplomacy panel.
From left, Chris Spring, president of Spring O’Brien & Co.; Kathy Devine, corporate marketing director of Monumental Sports Entertainment; and Optriant Vice President Paul Cohen attend CPS 2013.
Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister and ambassador of Jordan who’s now vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, talks about Jordan’s free trade agreement with the United States.
Marc Johnson, director of digital strategy in the Studio/Online group at APCO Worldwide, center, talks with Ilse van Overveld and Carla Bundy of the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
Charles Bakaly, North American director of crisis and risk management practice for Edelman in Washington, D.C., speaks on the lobbying and crisis management panel.
From left, Fuad Sahouri Jr. of Sahouri Insurance, Myra Maldonado of Aetna, Col. Bruce N. Thobane, military attaché of the Embassy of Botswana, and Taweel Tawil of Sahouri Insurance enjoy lunch at the Ritz-Carlton.
Julio Da Costa Freitas, chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of TimorLeste, reads the latest copy of The Washington Diplomat.
Hosai Rashid, left, and Allyson McKithen of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center share a laugh at CPS 2013.
Gizem Salcigil White, President of the American Turkish Association of Washington D.C., offers Turkish coffee at the Turkish Airlines sponsor booth.
Yueh-chin Wang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. (TECRO), left, talks with Tania Koh, first secretary of information at the Embassy of Singapore. From left, Victor Shiblie, publisher of The Washington Diplomat, Ambassador of Barbados John Beale, Nuha Shiblie, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Timor-Leste Julio Da Costa Freitas, James Warren of Warren Global Law, and Devinda R. Subasinghe, former ambassador of Sri Lanka who’s now founder and managing partner of Ambassadors Group LLC, listen to CPS speakers.
Aaron Manaigo of Cowan Strategies, left, and Ambassador of the Arab League Mohammed Alhussaini Alsharif attend CPS 2013.
Darias Jonker, first secretary at the Embassy of South Africa, left, talks with Omer Er at CPS 2013. Carlos Felipe Agurcia, first secretary at the Embassy of Honduras, left, and Erick Marin, counselor at the Embassy of Costa Rica, attend CPS 2013.
Robert Kapla of Patton Boggs, who advises foreign governments on U.S. policy, talks to guests at CPS 2013.
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The Washington Diplomat
Diplomats at DC Central Kitchen
photos: larry luxner
From left, Amani Amin, her husband, Ambassador of Egypt Mohamed Tawfik, and Monica Pellegrini, wife of the Chilean ambassador, enjoy a day at DC Central Kitchen, which prepares 5,000 meals a day for poor people throughout the area.
Rifat Sultana Akram, wife of the Bangladeshi ambassador, participates in a pre-Thanksgiving event to showcase local charities organized by the State Department’s Protocol Office.
Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines La Celia Prince seals trays full of turkey with cellophane wrap at DC Central Kitchen as part of a State Department “Share the Season” showcase to give the diplomatic corps a look at local community service projects that help the needy during the holidays.
Ambassador of Switzerland Manuel Sager, clad in a mandatory hairnet, was one of several ambassadors who volunteered at DC Central Kitchen as part of a State Department event to learn more about local charities and nonprofits (see full story on page 14).
Josefina Martínez Gramuglia, political affairs counselor at the Embassy of Argentina, volunteers at DC Central Kitchen, which offers culinary job training, local farm partnerships and other programs to break the cycle of hunger and poverty.
Estefania Rubiniak of Embassy of Argentina joined other diplomats at DC Central Kitchen to learn more about local community service projects and donation drives.
Indonesia Goes Out in Style
Photo: Alessandro De Giacomo
From left, Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Kumar Mirpuri and his wife Gouri Mirpuri join Rosa Rai Djalal and Ambassador of Indonesia Dino Patti Djalal at a reception marking Indonesia’s 68th Independence Day and to bid farewell to Ambassador Djalal, who is running for president (see cover profile).
photos: gail scott
Rosa Rai Djalal, left, joins hostess Shaista Mahmood at her farewell reception, hosted by the Muslim Women’s Association; Djalal was the group’s president last year.
Sultana Hakimi, wife of the Afghan ambassador and president of the Muslim Women’s Association (MWA), left, and Lala Abdurahimova, wife of the Azeri ambassador, attend a MWA sendoff for Rosa Rai Djalal, wife of the outgoing Indonesian ambassador.
Carmen Stull, left, and Amani Amin, wife of the Egyptian ambassador, attend a farewell reception for Rosa Rai Djalal, wife of the outoing Indonesian ambassador; both Amin and Djalal are dentists back home.
Ambassador of Indonesia Dino Patti Djalal, right, shakes hands with Dr. Alfred Munzer, a Holocaust survivor who was rescued by an Indonesian immigrant family in the Netherlands during World War II, at the event “Indonesian Lullaby: Compassion in a Time of Hate.”
From left, Brunei Ambassador Dato Paduka Haji Yusoff bin Haji Abdul Hamid and his wife Datin Mahani binti Dato Abu Zar join hosts Rosa and Dino Djalal, the departing ambassador of Indonesia who is returning home to run for president, at the American Batik Design Competition Gala. photo: gail scott
The kick-off for Indonesia Celebration Week was the American Batik Design Competition Gala at the Mandarin Oriential, which included two fashion shows by Mary Jaeger of New York and Alleira Batik of Indonesia. The competition challenged designers to create a traditional Indonesian batik garment in an American style. photos: gail scott
photo: gail scott
Rosa Rai Djalal, wife of the Indonesian Ambassador, joins Ambassador Melanne Verveer, executive director of the Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace and Security and former U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues.
Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, monarch of the historic Yogyakarta Sultanate in Indonesia, and his wife Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Hemas, deputy speaker of the Regional Representative Council (DPD), attend the American Batik Design Competition Gala.
Hostess Rosa Rai Djalal, second from right, welcomes panelists to “Invest in Women, Transform the World,” the inaugural event of the Indonesia-U.S. Women’s Council: from left, former Indonesian Minister of Human Settlements and Regional Development Erna Witoelar, World Bank Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati, and Secretary-General of the Indonesian Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection Sri Mulyani.
photo: kate oczypok
From left, Judith Edstrom, who worked with RTI International in Indonesia to manage the largest USAID governance project outside Iraq; Jean Rogers; President, CEO and co-founder of WEConnect International Elizabeth Vazquez; and Kerri Norris attend the inaugural event of the Indonesian-U.S. Women’s Council.
photo: kate oczypok
photo: gail scott
photo: kate oczypok
Gaby Hasnan, economic affairs assistant at the Embassy of Indonesia, left, and Thomas Snitch, professor at the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at University of Maryland, attend the launch of the Indonesian-U.S. Women’s Council.
Moderator Victoria Budson, executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, left, and former Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky spoke at the inaugural meeting of the Indonesian-U.S. Women’s Council.
Janet Steele, associate professor of media and public affairs at the George Washington University, left, and Voice of America Indonesian Service Chief Norman Goodman attend the launch of the Indonesian-U.S. Women’s Council.
photo: kate oczypok
Sofia Blake, left, and Maggie Farley, former LA Times correspondent, attend the inaugural event of the Indonesian-U.S. Women’s Council at the Indonesian Embassy.
photo: kate oczypok
Director of Marketing and Communications at the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Pamelo Nieto, left, and local artist Joanne Gigliotti, winner of the American Batik Design Competition, attend the launch of the Indonesian-U.S. Women’s Council.
The Washington Diplomat
Monaco Farewell From left, Veronica Sarukhan, Ambassador of Liechtenstein Claudia Fritsche, and former Ambassador of Mexico Arturo Sarukhan, now with the Podesta Group, attend a farewell reception for Monaco’s ambassador.
photos: gail scott
From left, former Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall, outgoing Ambassador of Monaco Gilles Noghès, and Assistant Chief of Protocol Gladys Boluda take a spin on the dance floor at the home of Ray and Shaista Mahmood, who hosted a farewell party for Noghès and his wife Ellen.
Ellen Noghès, wife of the Monaco ambassador, left, and Fügen Tan, wife of the Turkish ambassador, attend a farewell reception for the Noghèses, who are moving to Michigan, Ellen’s home state.
From left, Senior Director of International Public Affairs at Alcatel-Lucent Marie Royce, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Ambassador of Lebanon Antoine Chedid, and Nicole Chedid attend a farewell reception for Monaco’s ambassador.
From left, hostess Shaista Mahmood, Christine Sager, wife of the Swiss ambassador, and Lala Abdurahimova, wife of the Azeri ambassador, attend a farewell reception for Monaco Ambassador Gilles Noghès and his wife at the Mahmoods’ waterfront Virginia home.
Canadian Holiday Spirit
photos: luke jerod kummer
photos: anna gawel
From left, Chairwoman of the American Red Cross Bonnie McElveen-Hunter bids farewell to Ambassador of Monaco Gilles Noghès and his wife Ellen at a reception she hosted at her Georgetown residence.
Ambassador of Brazil Mauro Vieira, left, and outgoing Ambassador of Cape Verde Maria de Fatima Lima da Veiga attend a farewell reception for Monaco’s ambassador at the home of Bonnie McElveenHunter.
From left, Ambassador of Belgium Jan Matthysen and his wife Agnes Aerts, who are also leaving their Washington posting this winter, bid farewell to outgoing Ambassador of Monaco Gilles Noghès.
Founder and President of the Prevent Cancer Foundation Carolyn “Bo” Aldigé, left, and Nancy Roe, treasurer of the Prince Albert II Foundation USA, attend a farewell reception for Monaco Ambassador Gilles Noghès and his wife Ellen, a breast cancer survivor who’s active in the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
From left, Defense Attaché for the Canadian Embassy Maj. Gen. Nicolas Matern; Zuzana Babiak, wife of Slovakia’s defense attaché; Mariana Dragusin, wife of Romania’s defense attaché; Barbara Willey; and Sonia Thibault, wife of Maj. Gen. Matern, attend a holiday reception and tree-lighting ceremony at the Canadian Embassy.
From left, Canadian Consul General Denis Stevens and his wife Gen Chanteloup join Christine Constantin, public affairs counselor and spokeswoman for the Canadian Embassy, at the Canadian Embassy holiday reception.
photos: gail scott
From left, Maria Naescher, Ambassador of Liechtenstein Claudia Fritsche, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Kairat Umarov, his wife Galiya Umarova, and Dennis Wholey, host of PBS’s “This is America,” attend the Azerbaijan America Alliance gala dinner held at the National Building Museum.
Ambassador of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov, right, welcomes former Ambassador of Georgia Temuri Yakobashvili, now with the German Marshall Fund, to the Azerbaijan America Alliance gala dinner at the National Building Museum.
Lala Abdurahimova, wife of the Azeri ambassador, left, and Acting Chief of Protocol Natalie Jones attend the second annual Azerbaijan America Alliance. Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attaché for the Romanian Embassy Col. Laurentiu Dragusin and his wife Mariana Dragusin attend a holiday reception and tree-lighting ceremony at the Canadian Embassy.
Musicians and dancers perform at the Azerbaijan America Alliance that celebrated the country’s culture, music, dance, design and cuisine. photo: Azerbaijan America Alliance
Debbie Meadows and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) attend the second annual Azerbaijan America Alliance. photos: anna gawel
Anar Mammadov, founder of the Azerbaijan America Alliance, which works to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Azerbaijan, speaks on the theme of “Celebrating Today, Building Tomorrow.”
From left, Dea Gadua and Ambassador of Georgia Archil Gegeshidze join Natalya Pommersheim and John Mark Pommersheim, director of the State Department’s Office of Caucasus Affairs and Regional Conflicts, attend at the Azerbaijan America Alliance.
Gilles Gauthier, economic minister at the Canadian Embassy, right, and his wife Micheline Laforest attend the Canadian Embassy holiday reception.
The Washington Diplomat Page 51
The Washington Diplomat
Chefs at Capella
Nobel Winners at Sweden
From left, head chef Johan Björkman of Kock & Vin and Hans Borén of 28+, both top-rated restaurants in Sweden, join fellow Swedish chef Jakob Esko, executive chef of the Grill Room at the Capella Hotel in Georgetown, for a chefs’ reception on the Capella rooftop.
photos: gail scott
From left, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Alan Leshner, Ambassador of Norway Kåre Aas, Madeleine Lyrvall, and Ambassador of Sweden Björn Lyrvall attend a symposium at the Swedish Embassy featuring the 2013 American Nobel Laureates.
From left, Lars Peter Hansen of the University of Chicago, Dr. Thomas C. Südhof of the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Martin Karplus of Harvard University were among the 2013 Nobel Laureates featured at a Swedish Embassy symposium.
Robert Shiller, an economics professor at Yale who won the 2013 Nobel for economic sciences, left, is interviewed by Danny Vinik of Business Insider at the Swedish Embassy.
From left, chef Mikko Kosonen, former chef at the Finnish Embassy who now has his own catering business, Swedish Embassy chef Frida Johansson, and chef Johan Björkman of Kock & Vin in Sweden attend a chefs’ reception at the Capella Hotel. photos: gail scott
International Student House
India Farewell Deputy Secretary of Maryland Rajan Natarajan, right, presents a citation on behalf of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to Ambassador of India Nirupama Rao at her farewell reception held at the Indian Embassy Residence.
Photo: Jim Darling
From left, former Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), event co-chair Betty Ann Tanner (event co-chair), diplomatic chair Ambassador of Turkey Namik Tan, event co-chair Lilibet Hagel, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and Fügen Tan attend a Sponsor Appreciation Dinner at the Turkish Embassy Residence to celebrate International Student House.
Ambassador of Liechtenstein Claudia Fritsche, left, and Executive Director of the International Student House (ISH) Thomas O’Coin attend the ISH Global Leadership Awards Dinner. ISH is a D.C. nonprofit that houses an international community of graduate students, interns and visiting scholars.
Ambassador of France François Delattre, left, joins ISH Resident from France Raphaël Guévin-Nicoloff, a resident at the International Student House (ISH) in D.C., at the ISH Global Leadership Awards Dinner.
International Student House (ISH) resident Neena Dominic presents Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns, right, with the ISH Global Leadership Award as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, last year’s winner, looks on.
From left, USA Today travel reporter Jayne Clark, Ambassador of Colombia Carlos Urrutia, and Jayne Wise attend a ColombianAmerican cuisine exhibition held at Rogue 24 restaurant, as part of Colombia’s GastroDiplomacy Initiative.
photos: Gail scott
From left, International Student House resident Naoko Funatsu joins Ambassador of Japan Kenichiro Sasae and Ambassador of Russia Sergey Kislyak at the ISH Global Leadership Awards Dinner.
Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero and his wife Laura Denise attend the International Student House Global Leadership Awards Dinner.
From left, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hariri Foundation USA Rafic Bizri, Didi Cutler, and Kathryn Bizri attend the International Student House Global Leadership Awards Dinner.
Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick F. Kennedy, right, bids farewell to Ambassador of India Nirupama Rao at her farewell reception. photos: embassy of india
Heart’s Delight photos: Anna Gawel
From left, John McCarthy of the Kalbian Hagerty law firm, Penny Ross, and Heidi Arnold, director of the Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction, attend the Heart’s Delight Chairman’s Reception atop the Hay-Adams Hotel.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Retail Federation Matthew Shay, left, and Grant Baker attend a reception to kick off the planning for the 2014 Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction, a premier annual wine showcase that has raised more than $12 million for the American Heart Association. From left, President of the Air Line Pilots Association International Capt. Lee Moak, Michael Robbins, also with the Air Line Pilots Association, and Nicholas E. Calio, president and chief executive officer of Airlines for America and chairman of the Heart’s Delight Wine Tasting & Auction, attend the Heart’s Delight Chairman’s Reception.
photos: Anna Gawel
The Washington Diplomat
Chef RJ Cooper of Rogue 24, center, welcomes Colombian chefs Iván Cadena, left, and Alejandro Fonseca for a seven-course tasting at his Logan Circle restaurant featuring the best that Colombian and American cuisines have to offer.
Leonor Restrepo de Urrutia, wife of the Colombian ambassador, left, and Natalia Moreno attend a Colombian-American culinary showcase at Rogue 24, whose open kitchen stands in the middle of the dining room, allowing diners to see the chefs at work.
THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT
HOLIDAYS ALBANIA Jan. 1: new year’s Day ALgErIA Jan. 1: new year’s Day ANDOrrA Jan. 1: new year’s Day Jan. 6: three Kings’ Day
BOTSWANA Jan. 1: new year’s D ay Jan. 2: Public holiday BrAZIL Jan. 1: new year’s Day BrUNEI Jan. 1: new year’s Day
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BULgArIA Jan. 1: new year’s Day
ANTIgUA and BArBUDA Jan. 1: new year’s Day
BUrKINA FASO Jan. 1: new year’s Day Jan. 3: anniversary of the 1966 uprising
ArgENTINA Jan. 1: new year’s Day ArMENIA Jan. 1-2: new year’s holiday Jan. 6: armenian Christmas AUSTrALIA Jan. 1: new year’s Day Jan. 26: australia Day AUSTrIA Jan. 1: new year’s Day Jan. 6: epiphany AZErBAIJAN Jan. 1: new year’s Day Jan. 20: Martyrs’ Memorial Day BAhAMAS Jan. 1: new year’s Day
BUrMA (MYANMAr) Jan. 4: independence Day BUrUNDI Jan. 1: new year’s Day CAMBODIA Jan. 1: new year’s Day Jan. 7: victory over Genocide regime CAMErOON Jan. 1: new year’s Day CANADA Jan. 1: new year’s Day CAPE VErDE Jan. 1: new year’s Day Jan. 20: national heroes’ Day
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