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■ iNSiDe: EDUCATION

A World of News and Perspective

& LUXURY LIVING SPECIAL SECTIONS

EDUCATION Russian ■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

■ VOLUME 20, NUMBER 9

ResuRgence

■ WWW.WASHDIPLOMAT.COM

■ SEPTEMBER 2013

MySTERy

Mock U.N. Session Becomes Real-Life Crisis as Teen Vanishes Jesse Ross was a rising 19-year-old college sophomore who was excited about participating in an American Model United Nations gathering in Chicago when, on Nov. 21, 2006, he stepped out of an “emergency session” and disappeared. PAGE 6

DIPLOMACy

U.S. Protocol Chief Marshall Bids D.C. Diplomats Goodbye Capricia Marshall has welcomed prime ministers and monarchs, traveled with the U.S. president, and been a close friend to the city’s diplomats. But her most enduring legacy as America’s protocol chief may be the engagement programs she helped pioneer at the State Department. PAGE 9

■ September 2013

“R

U.S. Study of Ex-Cold War Adversary Heats Up as Geopolitical Relevance Rises Anton Fedyashin, executive director of American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture (IRC), far right, poses with students this summer on the annual IRC-funded class trip “Romanov Russia,” created to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty assuming the Russian throne in 1613.

ussian studies are enjoying a slow but steady resurrection on college campuses across the U.S.,” said Anton Fedyashin, executive director of American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture (IRC). There is no single reason for the renewed interest in Russian studies, but certainly here in Washington, proximity to the seat of power in the nation’s capital attracts students with a passion for global affairs. “Diving in and studying another culture and language is common here,” said Eric Lohr, director of the IRC. Many students in the area aspire to jobs with federal agencies, embassies, think tanks, government contractors or trade associations, which comprise the backbone of the city. Continued on next page

by Audrey Hoffer

■ INSIDE: The transition to a new school September 2013

can be bumpy, especially when

coming from overseas. PAGE 26 ■

EDUCATION The Washington Diplomat

Page21

MiDDLe eaST

Battle For Syria Najib Ghadbian, the unofficial Washington envoy for the rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, hopes to become a full-fledged ambassador soon — just as he hopes the United States comes off the sidelines and helps turn the tide of a war that has cost more than 100,000 lives so far. PAGE 13

culture

War Photos Capture Conflicted History A landmark survey of war photography offers a searing picture of carnage, and a cycle of violence mankind can’t seem to defeat. PAGE 36

PEOPLE OF WORLD INFLUENCE

DIPLOMATIC SPOUSES

Ex-NSA Chief Defends Spying, Slams Snowden

Hands-on Ukrainian Wife Preserves Traditions

Michael Hayden, former head of the NSA and CIA, has some harsh words for Edward Snowden and the pundits who criticize the U.S. intelligence community for its tactics, while expecting it to thwart terrorist attacks. PAGE 4

From embroidery to home cooking to hosting embassy performances, Nataliia Terletska seamlessly weaves together the traditions of her homeland with diplomatic life in D.C. PAGE 38


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The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


CONTENTS THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT

September 2013

11 Guantanamo Bay

Russian studies

[ news ] 4

21 19

SPy maSTER

mySTERy iN ChiCagO

maRShall’S FaREwEll

21

26

President Obama pledged to close Guantanamo Bay back in 2008. Today, 166 detainees remain in Gitmo as an enduring blight of the post-9/11 war on terror.

13

[ luxury living ]

ThE ROTuNda 31

Najib Ghadbian went from teaching students the complexities of the Middle East to grappling with those complexities firsthand as the Washington envoy for a coalition of rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

16

SwEET SuCCESS

[ culture ] 36

guaRdiNg alliaNCES The Red Scare is no longer the main fear that drives U.S. foreign policy, but one important Cold War legacy lives on with the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.

NEvER-ENdiNg waR A survey of war photography at the Corcoran touches practically every corner of the planet and offers a searing portrait of mankind’s enduring penchant for conflict.

Guatemala has been raking in profits from its sugar, banana and palm oil industries by investing in its workers.

18

ambaSSadOR RESidENCES Buying a home is one thing — buying a residence for an ambassador is quite another and requires real estate agents skilled in the nuances of foreign property purchases.

COvER PROFilE: SyRia

38

40

diPlOmaTiC SPOuSES Nataliia Terletska, wife of the Ukrainian ambassador, takes a hands-on approach to preserving the traditions of her homeland.

dizzyiNg mExiCO One state, seven distinct regions, four major ethnic groups and countless traditions add up to a jam-packed visual journey through Guerrero at the Mexican Cultural Institute.

41

COlOmbiaN COOl “The Marvelous Real: Colombia Through the Vision of its Artists” is a pretty cool title that doesn’t exaggerate the marvelous nature of its content.

NEw COuNTRy, NEw SChOOl Going back to school can be a chore for any child, but starting a new school in a new country is a whole different mess altogether.

hOuSE(S) OF STylE A new exhibit at the Latvian Embassy looks at the commonalities between two famous buildings in D.C. and Riga that both housed a wealth of artistic creativity.

RuSSiaN RESuRgENCE As Russia’s geopolitical relevance is on the rise, so is student interest in the country on college campuses across the United States.

Capricia Marshall is hanging up her hat as protocol chief, having been on the front lines and behind the scenes of America’s diplomatic engagement at home and abroad for the last four years.

11

39

mEdiCal

[ education ]

They called it an “emergency” U.N. Security Council session but no one had any idea it would lead to a real crisis when a 19-year-old college sophomore vanished into thin air.

9

‘Guerrero’ exhibit at Mexican Cultural Institute

Doctors are always reminding their patients to eat healthy — even though their own nutrition know-how is surprisingly wafer-thin.

Michael Hayden instituted an era of cyber-savvy at the NSA and has since become one of the spy agency’s most vigorous defenders in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks.

6

40

42

diNiNg Darna takes its name from the Arabic phrase for “our home,” and it is indeed a haven for traditional yet sophisticated dishes that traverse the Middle East for their inspiration.

44

Film REviEwS “A woman unloads her broken dreams and pent-up frustrations on her paralyzed husband in Afghan writer-director Atiq Rahimi’s “The Patience Stone.”

46

CiNEma liSTiNg

48

EvENTS liSTiNg

50

diPlOmaTiC SPOTlighT

53

wORld hOlidayS

53

aPPOiNTmENTS

54

ClaSSiFiEdS

55

REal ESTaTE ClaSSiFiEdS

COvER: Photo taken at the office of the Syrian National Coalition by Lawrence Ruggeri.

P.O. Box 1345 • Silver Spring, MD 20915-1345 • Phone: (301) 933-3552 • Fax: (301) 949-0065 • E-mail: news@washdiplomat.com • Web: www.washdiplomat.com Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Victor Shiblie director of Operations Fuad Shiblie managing Editor Anna Gawel News Editor Larry Luxner Contributing writers Sarah Alaoui, Michael Coleman, Audrey Hoffer, Rachel Hunt, Stephanie Kanowitz, Luke Jerod Kummer, Molly McCluskey, Ky N. Nguyen, Gail Scott, Dave Seminara, Gina Shaw, Gail Sullivan, Gary Tischler, Lisa Troshinsky Photographers Jessica Latos, Lawrence Ruggeri account managers Jim Cameron, 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.

September 2013

The Washington Diplomat Page 3


PEOPLE OF WORLD INFLUENCE

Michael Hayden

Ex-CIA, NSA Chief Defends U.S. Intelligence Gathering by Michael Coleman

M

ichael Hayden, former director of both the NSA and CIA, retired from high-profile government work in 2009 to take a lucrative private sector job, but Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency leaks quickly thrust him back into the spotlight.

After Snowden leaked classified information in June about the PRISM program that mines electronic surveillance — including metadata about Americans’ phone calls — Hayden became the mainstream media’s go-to guy for answers about government eavesdropping. Not surprisingly, the retired general used appearances on “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation” and elsewhere to defend the NSA’s tactics while conceding that if the public was better informed about the issue, the programs might have more political support. A retired four-star Air Force general who ran the NSA from 1999 to 2005 and the CIA from 2006 to 2009, Hayden presided over government intelligence before, during and after Sept. 11, 2001, giving him a singularly unique perspective on U.S. counterterrorism strategies. He recently sat down for a more expansive interview withTheWashington Diplomat. During the nearly hour-long talk, the former spy chief echoed his general defense of the NSA but also elaborated on the future of cyber-espionage, concerns that America is becoming a police state, the NSA’s controversial sharing of data with the DEA to nab suspected drug offenders in the U.S., his qualified support for waterboarding terror suspects, and privacy in an age of technology. Today, Hayden is a principal at the Chertoff Group, founded by his former Bush administration colleague Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security secretary from 2005 to 2009. We met Hayden in his spacious, immaculately organized corner office at the firm’s offices, a block from the White House. Despite his role as a keeper of America’s darkest secrets, Hayden projects a sunny, congenial demeanor. But he quickly made clear he doesn’t have much patience for NSA critics, especially in Congress. “America’s political elite feels free to criticize the intelligence [community] for not doing enough when they feel afraid; then they feel free to pontificate about our doing too much when they feel safe again,” said Hayden, who was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the armed forces. He used the case of accused Boston bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as examples of how the public, and by extension Congress, holds the NSA to two different standards. “He’s in Boston but he’s visiting jihadist websites and it’s,‘Well, why didn’t you catch that?’” a visibly exasperated Hayden said.

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“But over here, we’ve got your phone bills and it’s, ‘Oh my God, you’ve got my phone bills!’ To be able to track [the Tsarnaev brothers] going to a website is incredibly more invasive of Americans than anything you’re doing over here with telephone metadata! C’mon guys.” Hayden had some equally harsh words for Snowden, who’s been called a heroic whistleblower by his supporters, and traitor by his detractors. Hayden has stopped short of calling the former Booz Allen security contractor a traitor, reasoning that his action might not fit the strict legal definition of the word. Instead, he called him an “ex-patriot,” a denunciatory play on the more benign “expatriate.” He also called Snowden, who’s been granted temporary asylum in Russia, a defector. “That’s the word I’m going to start using,” Hayden told us.“Just like Guy Burgess and a whole bunch of other people who stole and disclosed American secrets and ended up in Russia. He’s a defector.” Hayden argued that the 30-year-old fugi-

America’s political elite feels free to criticize the intelligence [community] for not doing enough when they feel afraid; then they feel free to pontificate about our doing too much when they feel safe again. — Michael Hayden former director of the National Security Agency and the CIA

tive did more damage to the United States than did Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed for passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, or Aldrich Ames, who compromised the identities of American intelligence officers in Russia, 10 of whom were executed. “Snowden’s different,” Hayden argued.“I’m sorry that we lost our agents in the Soviet Union, I really am, but they were rather singular. The damage was clear; it was great but somewhat limited — in a lane. Those guys leaked buckets of water. Snowden’s telling the world how the plumbing works. Snowden’s effect will be long lasting.” The effects are already being felt. In a speech in mid-August, President Obama addressed public concern over the NSA’s surveillance activities. While he made no assurances that the surveillance would stop,

he did concede the public should be better informed about it and suggested some modest changes, including greater transparency and a review of the section of the Patriot Act dealing with phone records. He also said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) might need to be altered.The law established a secret court to grant warrants for foreign surveillance, similar to a judge who considers police search warrants. Critics of the court say it’s little more than rubberstamp, citing the fact that last year, it didn’t reject a single one of the more 1,850 applications that the government submitted. Obama suggested creating an independent attorney to challenge government prosecutors in the court — an idea long embraced by FISA critics, including Democratic Sens.Tom Udall of New Mexico

and Ron Wyden of Oregon. In late July, Wyden and Udall introduced two bills to level the FISA playing field: The FISA Court Reform Act of 2013 would create a special advocate in the court to argue on behalf of American civil liberties. The second bill, the FISA Judge Selection Reform Act, would reform how judges are appointed to the court to ensure that it is geographically and ideologically diverse (the current court is overwhelmingly stacked with conservatives). Hayden scoffed at the proposals. “Let me tell you something really weird about the FISA court — we actually go to a court,” he said.“No other Western democracy goes to a court to conduct foreign intelligence. People say,‘I don’t like it — it’s a secret court.’Well, that was the deal! You can’t have a court, which I repeat is weird, for foreign intelligence without it being secret.You want an advocate? Does poor Tony Soprano [the fictional mobster in the HBO television series] have an advocate when the FBI goes to a court to get a warrant for that poor besieged citizen of New Jersey?” Asked if he thinks there should be any reforms to the FISA court, Hayden was unequivocally opposed — then softened his stance slightly. “No, of course I don’t,” he said. “Now, would I give? Sure, if it’s the cost of doing business.You want a full-time public defend-

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


er down there? Go ahead, be my guest. But don’t get in the way and don’t slow this stuff down. It’s probably going to be a little more tedious and it will slow it down.You’ll be more confident about what we’re doing. You’re going to be a little less safe, but you’ll be more comfortable. That’s the tradeoff.” But civil liberty advocates say that tradeoff is a false one. Unlike in the immediate post-9/11 landscape, when privacy concerns took a backseat to security, a growing number of Americans are uncomfortable with the thought of the NSA potentially sifting through the calls they make or websites they visit — especially without hard evidence that such domestic spying has thwarted any actual attacks. That the NSA taps into Internet servers to monitor foreign communications hasn’t sparked a major backlash domestically. Obama has made no secret of the fact that the U.S., like all governments, snoops on other countries. Speaking to The Diplomat about the NSA spy scandal for an article in the August issue, Hayden himself joked that “yes, indeed, the United States does conduct espionage,” noting that “the Fourth Amendment that protects American privacy isn’t an international treaty and therefore doesn’t innately protect the privacy of non-Americans.” But Americans are increasingly worried about their privacy, as a steady drip of leaks this summer exposed the surprising extent of the NSA’s reach into their personal lives. In addition to collecting and storing the phone records of millions of Americans, the NSA also reportedly scours the emails and text messages that travel in and out of the country for links to suspected terrorists abroad. “While it has long been known that the agency conducts extensive computer searches of data it vacuums up overseas, that it is systematically searching — without warrants — through the contents of Americans’ communications that cross the border reveals more about the scale of its secret operations,” wrote Charlie Savage of the New York Times, detailing how Americans’ electronic communications can be swept up in the NSA dragnet if, for example, they mention a foreign target or keyword. And an Aug. 15 report in the Washington Post, based on Snowden’s leaks, shows that the NSA broke its own privacy rules thousands of times each year since Congress gave the agency broader surveillance powers in 2008, gathering unauthorized information on Americans, often while not disclosing the violations to Congress or the FISA court. Further piling on the revelations, the Wall Street Journal reported that the NSA has built a network that taps into roughly 75 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic in its hunt for foreign intelligence. Also in August, Reuters detailed how the DEA’s super-secret Special Operations Division uses vast troves of data on foreigners collected by the NSA, CIA, FBI and other intelligence agencies to target American citizens for ordinary drug crimes. Law enforcement agencies are taught to conceal these sources of information by creating something called a “parallel construction,” or a manufactured trail of evidence (like saying the investigation began with a traffic violation instead of a tip). It’s a common tactic used by police enforcement to protect informants, but the problem, critics say, is that the origin of the case is untraceable by defendants, or even prosecutors and judges. Asked about reports that the NSA is sharing data with the DEA for domestic drug prosecutions, Hayden asserted that NSA is collecting its evidence legally. As for what the DEA is doing with it, he declined to comment. “I will make no case with regard to how DEA does or doesn’t use the information,” Hayden told The Diplomat. “All I can tell you is what we have is legitimately collected foreign intelligence.” Hayden did say that drugs are part of the foreign intelligence matrix.“I had a counter-narcotics center at the CIA and at the NSA, and so we all recognize that it is a legitimate foreign intelligence activity. We also know it has a tremendous law September 2013

enforcement nexus. We would go out there and collect legitimate foreign intelligence. Now, how that is shared within the government becomes, frankly, a pretty complicated question because it’s easier to get running room to collect foreign intelligence than it is for a law enforcement agency to get running room to gather data,” he said. “Honest men may differ about the reconstruction [of case history],” Hayden continued. “I’m not a lawyer, but I have read that it is not uncommon in a variety of cases when you want to protect a sensitive source, like a snitch. I’ll let that be fought out in the courts, but that should not affect your judgment about collecting legitimate intelligence.” But Hayden’s critics say a good deal of the intelligence gathered by the U.S. government in the wake of 9/11 was gained through illegitimate means. Hayden, though, was unapologetic about the use of waterboarding — an interrogation tactic that simulates drowning — after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.The strategy was widely condemned as torture and President Obama banned the practice in 2009. While Hayden conceded the controversial nature of the tactic, he also claimed it worked. “What I can’t stand is somebody who says, ‘I don’t want you doing that and by the way it just didn’t work,’” Hayden told us. “It worked for this class of prisoner — the al-Qaeda-I’d-rather-diethan-live-if-I-can-hurt-you prisoner. For this class of prisoner it worked. I don’t make the claim that it’s universally applicable and I don’t make the claim that we should use it in all circumstances. I would make the claim that we found ourselves in unusual circumstances in 2001, 2002 and 2003.” The CIA confirmed that it waterboarded three high-profile al-Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003. Hayden also asserted that the final use of waterboarding by the U.S. government occurred in March 2003, three years before he became CIA director. Critics doubt that claim. Hayden seems unfazed. “Let me tell you a sentence I never heard in either the [NSA or CIA] job: ‘Michael, whatever you do, don’t overreact,’” he said. “I never got that.” That kind of blunt talk has gotten Hayden a lot of media exposure, but it’s also earned him flak from some quarters — including Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who worked with Snowden to divulge his secrets to the world. In an Aug. 12 Guardian article, Greenwald recalled how three federal judges ruled that an earlier incarnation of the NSA surveillance program under former President George W. Bush was illegal because it spied on Americans without a warrant. “The person who secretly implemented that illegal domestic spying program was retired Gen. Michael Hayden, then Bush’s NSA director.That’s the very same Michael Hayden who is now frequently presented by US television outlets as the authority and expert on the current NSA controversy — all without ever mentioning the central role he played in overseeing that illegal warrantless eavesdropping program,” Greenwald wrote. But Hayden is proud of his legacy at the NSA, where he is widely credited (or blamed) for ushering in an era of cyber-savvy. He said that when he arrived at the agency in 1999, he deliberately shook it up. He believed the NSA needed to evolve from the old-school spy games of the Cold War and adapt to a globalized world in which “the volume, variety and velocity of human communications make our mission more difficult each day,” as he put it in congressional testimony in 2002. Hayden told us that the exponential growth of the NSA is a natural outgrowth of the technological age. “We anticipated this back at the turn of the century before 9/11,” he recalled.“I was the director and we realized as an article of faith that if we do this half right, this is going to be the golden age of intelligence. Just think, even in the year 2000, how much of our stuff we were putting out there in ones and zeros that used to be on paper inside a safe.”

See HAyDEN, page 20

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MySTERy

Chicago

mock u.N. Session becomes Real-life Crisis as Teen vanishes by dave Seminara

T

hey called it an “emergency” U.N. Security Council meeting but no one had any idea it would lead to a real crisis. Jesse Ross was a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Missouri-Kansas City when he arrived in Chicago on Nov. 18, 2006, for a four-day American Model United Nations (AMUN) event.

The first three days were a blur of committee meetings, speeches and sightseeing. On what was supposed to be his final night in Chicago, Jesse attended the AMUN dance with some of his friends. Alcohol wasn’t permitted at the event, but, according to students who were there, Jesse and some of his fellow delegates from colleges around the country were partying and drinking before and after the dance.At 1 a.m., Jesse and about 50 of the more than 1,400 students in attendance were called into the emergency Security Council session that was to last through the night. It was a “historical” session from the year 1990 and the delegates were debating how to respond to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Attendees later testified that Jesse, who was part of a delegation representing the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire), didn’t appear to be impaired and wasn’t acting strange. According to hotel surveillance footage, he walked out of the ballroom in the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, where the meeting was held, during a break sometime between 2 and 2.30 a.m. and vanished. Nearly seven years later, Jesse’s parents, Don and Donna, both 65 and retired, are still trying to figure out what happened to their son. His body has never been recovered and neither the Chicago Police Department nor the cadre of private detectives the family has hired has been able to produce a suspect or even a credible clue as to what happened to him. Did he leave the meeting and decide to walk back to his hotel, the Sheraton Four Points, about a half-mile away? If so, was he attacked? Or perhaps he was impaired and fell into the Chicago River, which is just steps away from the Sheraton Towers? Could he have died in the hotel? Perhaps another student delegate disposed of his body after a drug overdose or some other accident? Was he abducted? Is he still alive? “The police told us he probably fell in the river,” said Don Ross, who worked for the Bell Telephone Company before retiring. “But we’ll never accept that. If he fell in the river, we want to know why. Did he fall? Was he pushed? Or did something else happen? We just don’t know.” Jesse Ross had a lot to live for. He was a communications major who joined the Model U.N. because he had a keen interest in international affairs. Jesse was also passionate about music. He was a D.J. who liked to make his own mixes and he managed a rock band called A Dead Giveaway. At least one of the AMUN attendees said that he talked about going to a rave while in Chicago, though no one is certain if he followed through on the plan. “He was a fun-loving kind of guy,” said Bryce Veazey, a friend who was also in the band. “I don’t think Jesse was depressed at all. He wasn’t shy — you were aware of his presence when he entered the room.” His parents say that he was planning a trip to Costa Rica

Page 6

The Washington Diplomat

Jesse Ross — seen here in a promotional photo for the Kansas City radio station where he hosted a show called “Shorty and the Boyz” — went missing on Nov. 21, 2006, after stepping out of an American Model United Nations meeting in Chicago.

PHOTO: COURTESy OF THE ROSS FAMILy

The people who harm the missing, they have no clue what they put the families through. It’s a wound that never goes away. — donna RoSS

mother of Jesse Ross, missing since Nov. 21, 2006

and had just been promoted from unpaid intern to paid morning host on the Kansas City radio station 95.7 FM “The Vibe” for a show called “Shorty and the Boyz.” A redhead with a pale complexion and freckles, he was nicknamed “Opie Cunningham,” inspired by the character Opie Taylor from “The Andy Griffith Show” and Richie Cunningham from “Happy Days,” both played by Ron Howard. The station frequently featured “Where’s Opie Cunningham?” segments in which they’d send Jesse out to mystery locations somewhere in Kansas City and then invite listeners to guess where he was. No one had a clue that one day Jesse would truly disappear. He would also play pranks on people for the show, but friends and family members say they don’t think he had any enemies. “He was kind of square. He went to Catholic schools and was probably what you’d call a social drinker,” recalled Chantal Savage, whose on-air nickname was “Shorty” when she worked at the same radio station with Jesse.“Was he a little gullible? Maybe. He was a little naïve and maybe a little sheltered. I do think he might go off with a stranger if they invited him somewhere. He was looking for excitement but maybe wasn’t worldly enough to go off and do something different on his own.” Jesse lived in the basement of his parent’s home — “it was his little kingdom,” Don says — and there were plans to

paint it the colors of his beloved University of Kansas Jayhawks and have all his friends sign the walls. Don says that when he dropped his son off at the University of Missouri, where he would travel with a group that was heading to Chicago in a van on Nov. 18, 2006, Jesse was excited about going to Chicago. He had attended the AMUN event the previous year and couldn’t wait to return. Later that afternoon, he called Don from the road — he was somewhere near Joliet, Ill. — just to check in and tell him not to worry. The two talked about the movie “The Blues Brothers,” and Don had no idea it would be the last time he’d ever get to speak to his son. “I told him to have fun and that was it,” Don recalled. “I thought I’d see him again in a few days. Maybe I should have talked to him longer. Maybe I should have stuck around after dropping him off. You just don’t know that you have to appreciate each other every single day.”

‘NO ONE WANTED TO TELL US ANyTHING’ On the third day of the gathering, the delegates had five free hours in the afternoon and Jesse brought a friend and fellow delegate named Megan to the Billy Goat Tavern, a place made famous by John Belushi in a comedy skit on the television program “Saturday Night Live.” Megan thought that the tavern was a little “dark and scary” but Jesse liked the place. The details of what Jesse did the night he disappeared are murky. Based on interviews with conference participants and footage from security cameras, his parents know that he and other students were drinking and they know that he walked out of the ballroom during a break in the emergency session, between 2 and 2.30 a.m., and he went down an escalator toward the hotel’s lower level.The hotel

See RoSS, page 8 September 2013


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they didn’t want to talk to anyone,” said Veazey, now an independent video producer in Blue Springs, Mo.“These are the people who should be talking about it. Even if they think they didn’t see anything, they need to come forward because you never know what clues they could provide that could help.”

from page 6

Ross has security cameras at all of its exits, save for the ones on the south side of the property. None of the cameras showed Jesse exiting the hotel, but if he left via the south side, where there were no cameras, he would have exited onto an esplanade along the Chicago River. Could he have fallen in? Anything is possible, but given the fact that there is a four-foot-tall iron security barrier along the length of the pedestrian walkway, he would have had to have been horsing around or trying to climb over the barrier. It isn’t an area where a wayward pedestrian could simply slip and fall into the river. The student delegates were staying at three different hotels, and Jesse and his roommate, Ralph Parker, were at the Sheraton Four Points, just over a half-mile northwest of the Sheraton Towers, where the conference was being held. If Jesse had decided to walk back to his hotel, he wouldn’t have crossed over the Chicago River, to the south, unless he was lost. Late on a Monday night in late November, the streets would have been very quiet, with just a few homeless people and an assortment of night owls out and about. The Sheraton Towers is just east of Michigan Avenue, the city’s iconic “Magnificent Mile” strip of upscale shops, restaurants and hotels. There are a number of hotels and office buildings and a few bars, like the Grape Street Piano Bar and Timmy O’Tooles Pub. The short walk from the Sheraton Towers to the Sheraton Four Points, which is just west of the Magnificent Mile and around the corner from luxury retailers like Rolex and Cartier, would have taken Ross through the heart of Chicago, an area most consider safe, even in the middle of the night. Ralph Parker, Jesse’s friend and roommate at the event, told investigators that he returned to their hotel room after the emergency session was complete, around 6 a.m., but didn’t notice that Jesse wasn’t in his bed because the room was dark and

RESURRECTING A COLD CASE

PHOTOS: COURTESy OF THE ROSS FAMILy

“he could be alive and living anywhere in the world, or he could be dead in a ditch somewhere. We just don’t know,” says Donna Ross of her son Jesse, seen below in surveillance footage as he walked out of the ballroom in the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers — the last time the 19-year-old teen has been seen.

there were clothes and other items piled on the bed. When he woke up, several hours later, he contacted the AMUN organizers who may have initially believed that Jesse had simply stayed in another student’s room.When it was time for the group to return to Missouri and Jesse still hadn’t been found, the police were called, according to Jesse’s parents, around 4 p.m. on Tue., Nov. 21. Chicago police detectives found no unusual clues in his hotel room or in a search of Jesse’s personal computer. No one attempted to use any of his credit cards and his cell phone went dead shortly after he disappeared with no unusual calls made before or after. Jesse’s parents say that the other students who were there that night were reluctant to talk to them or to police after their son disappeared. Initially, they chalked this

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up to them being traumatized, but as the years have gone by, they wonder if perhaps someone knows something that they haven’t divulged about Jesse’s disappearance. “No one wanted to tell us anything,” said Don Ross.“We did start to wonder if someone was trying to cover something up.” Don said that a few of the students told them that the university asked them not to talk to them or to police. He said he felt that the school was afraid of a lawsuit (the family has not filed any lawsuits in connection with their son’s disappearance) and mentioned that they wouldn’t even accept a donation for a memorial scholarship fund they wanted to set up in Jesse’s name. “It seemed like they didn’t want any direct connection with us,” he said. John Martellaro, the director of media relations for the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), denied that any representative from the university discouraged students from speaking to either police or the Ross family. In a statement, he wrote, “We provided Chicago police with a full list of all students who were on the trip, and … we have done everything we can to assist the family and the police in investigating and publicizing the case.” Martellaro said that the UMKC Model U.N. team was accompanied on the trip by an adjunct faculty member who served as the advisor to the team. “The role of a faculty advisor for an organization like Model U.N. is a teaching role, not a rulesenforcement role,” he said.“Students at UMKC are advised of the University of Missouri System Standard of Conduct and are required to follow those standards or face penalties. Ultimately, students are responsible for their own behavior.” Ralph Parker died in 2010 in an alcohol-related accident in which he lost control of his car in a late-night crash. The Rosses say that some of the other students who were there that night have refused to speak with them or their private investigator. Jesse’s friend, Megan, who was there that night, did not respond to an interview request. Bryce Veazey and some of Jesse’s other friends find it odd that some of the students who were there have been reluctant to come forward and make themselves available to the Ross family. “To me, it’s always been a little suspicious that

On a muggy, overcast Tuesday morning in August, the Chicago Police Department’s 19th District office at the intersection of Belmont and Western Avenues is a hive of activity. The phones are buzzing, a middle-age African American man wearing a primitive-looking eye patch with a nasty-looking wound on his arm is here to report a crime, and a boy who must be 11 or 12 is curled up asleep on the floor in the corner of the lobby, with his sweatshirt serving as a blanket. Detective Mike Roth has been a Chicago cop for 19 years, and he became a detective in 2006, the year Jesse went missing. Stocky, with receding red hair and an Irish complexion, he’s wearing a crisp white button-down shirt and a narrow tie. We walk past his open workstation, by a slew of other detectives, and into a nondescript office with bare white cinder block walls, discarded office equipment, cleaning supplies and some ugly green office chairs from the 1970s. Next to the desk, there are filing cabinets with stacks of papers and a few children’s books on top of them. Roth takes a seat next to a filing cabinet with the handwritten words, “Jesse Ross File HM 733282,” written on a white scrap of paper. “There isn’t the smallest shred of evidence to indicate that he was the victim of a crime,” Roth said when I asked if there are any suspects in the case. Roth, who was asked to take on the cold case about a year ago, says that after Jesse disappeared, the police department’s marine unit did an extensive underwater search in the river but found nothing. He refused to speculate on whether Jesse fell or was pushed into the river, but maintains that nothing can be ruled out. “The river is a nasty environment,” he said, propping his feet up on the side of his desk.“There are cars in there, debris, branches, you name it. It used to be a dumping ground. It’s dark and murky and there are all kinds of chemicals. Some bodies come up to the surface within a day, but others come up months later — there is no rule.” The marine unit recently acquired some new underwater sonar equipment that is more sensitive than what was used in the investigation back in 2006, so Roth ordered them to comb through the river again a few weeks ago, but nothing turned up. He concedes that some of the students, perhaps including Jesse, were drinking on the night that he disappeared but maintains that the Chicago Police Department has received good cooperation from UMKC and the students who were at the AMUN event.

iF you havE inFoRMation If you have any information about Jesse Ross, please contact Detective Mike Roth at: Chicago Police Department 2452 W. Belmont Avenue Chicago, IL 60618 (312) 744-8266 michael.roth@chicagopolice.org Or contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678). “No one has refused to talk to us,” he said. I asked if he thinks that underage students would be willing to tell a cop about possible drug or alcohol use, and he insisted that he and his colleagues know how to set people at ease. He said that the kind of kids who go to Model U.N. events are “straight arrows” and doesn’t believe that Jesse decided to disappear.

See RoSS, page 30 September 2013


Diplomacy

Washington, D.C.

Protocol Chief Marshall Bids Farewell to Diplomatic Corps by Gail Sullivan

M

artha Stewart may be the American icon of hospitality, but Capricia Penavic Marshall gives her a run for her money. As U.S. chief of protocol at the State Department since August 2009, a position that carries the rank of ambassador, she has been on the front lines and behind the scenes of America’s diplomatic engagement at home and abroad.

When presidents, prime ministers, ruling monarchs and other foreign dignitaries arrive in the United States, hers is often the first hand they shake.When ambassadors present their credentials to the White House, she leads the way. When the president travels abroad, her office manages the protocol arrangements. And when there’s an event, whether it’s a state dinner or intimate meeting between two heads of state, Marshall is called upon to make sure there’s no diplomatic incident. As America’s internationally savvy über-hostess, Marshall has overseen six state and official visits and hundreds of meetings with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. She has coordinated six international summits, including last year’s NATO summit in Chicago and G8 summit at Camp David, navigating traffic, crowds of protesters and a web of cultural do’s and don’ts to ensure every detail is perfectly executed. How does she do it? “I’m a hands-on person,” she told The Diplomat. “If we need to put up pipe and drape, I’m there.” And if something does go wrong? “I’m the first person to pick up the phone and apologize.” Fortunately, though, she has plenty of help to make sure that doesn’t happen. “Everybody has everybody’s back,” she said of the “amazing team” in the Protocol Office. When it comes to meeting the cultural expectations of a global guest list, Marshall consults her counterparts in protocol offices around the world and seeks input from embassies here in Washington, D.C. (also see “Meridian Spotlights Work of Embassy Social Secretaries” in the February 2013 edition of the Diplomatic Pouch online). Last year, Marshall convened the first-ever Global Chiefs of Protocol Conference (also see “The Power of Protocol” in the August 2012 edition of Pouch).Almost 100 representatives of nations and organizations from five continents gathered at the State Department to discuss best practices and share ideas for strengthening the role of protocol in diplomacy. “I make absolutely no assumptions that I know everything about a particular country or culture,” said Marshall, noting that for example, “We’re now in the season of Ramadan.” So one question she would ask is whether a dignitary visiting from a Muslim country is fasting. But Marshall picked up many of the skills she uses on the job long before she entered the world of Foggy Bottom. “Appreciating others’ culture was a part of my upbringing,” said the Ohio native, a first-generation American whose mother is from Guadalajara, Mexico, and whose father is from the former Yugoslav republic of Croatia. “We had a mixture of Croatian, Mexican, Italian and Lebanese in our house. It was almost like the [United Nations] during Christmas at Grandma’s house.” September 2013

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

I’ve been just so honored to walk in the footsteps of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Secretary Kerry. We are lucky as a nation … to have people as caring and as brilliant and as dedicated as they are. — Capricia Penavic Marshall U.S. chief of protocol

Her background helped her learn the language of diplomacy, but her family also inspired her foray into politics — only more as an act of rebellion. Her decision to work for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992 was “definitely due to my father,” a small business owner whom she describes as a “ReaganRepublican.”A 1986 graduate of Indiana’s Purdue University, Marshall studied at the University of Madrid for a year before attending law school at Case Western Reserve, where she was president of the student bar association. But unlike most law school grads, Marshall wasn’t interested in working for a law firm. One of her professors encouraged her to consider politics and gave her a video about then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, the underdog candidate in the 1992 race. “This is the one we need to worry about,” she recalled her father saying after she showed him the video.And so she decided to join the campaign in her home state of Ohio. She started out doing delegate selection during the primary, then managed issues for Hillary Clinton during the campaign. From 1993 to 1997, Marshall served as special assistant to the first lady in the Clinton White House. “[Hillary] has been an amazing mentor to me for over 20 years,” she said of the former New York senator and secre-

From left, President Barack Obama accepts the credentials of Ambassador Jacinth Lorna Henry-Martin of St. Kitts and Nevis as U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall and Henry-Martin’s family watch on at a credentialing ceremony in the Oval Office on Feb. 23, 2011.

tary of state.“I am in awe of her talent and ability.” In 1997, at the age of 32, she became the youngest person in modern times to be appointed White House social secretary and deputy assistant to the president. “During that time, I was always a bit envious of my friends here at the Office of Protocol. I had a wonderful job and managed the issues of the day with the president and the first lady, but my friends were talking to the world,” Marshall told The Diplomat for her cover profile in our January 2013 issue. She continued working with the Clintons to help their political and humanitarian agenda after his second presidential term ended in January 2001 and Hillary Clinton took up a New York Senate seat. And when Hillary eventually decided to run for president, Marshall joined that campaign, eventually teaming with her at the State Department after Barack Obama’s win. As chief of protocol, Marshall has been an innovator. She founded the Diplomatic Partnerships Division to implement four programs aimed at encouraging cultural exchange and giving the local diplomatic corps more insight into American people, culture and institutions. The State of the Administration Speaker Series provides an opportunity for off-the-record discussion between foreign ambassadors posted in D.C. and high-level U.S. officials, including cabinet secretaries and White House chief of staffs. The monthly gatherings have greatly expanded ambassadors’ access to top U.S. officials, as well as other high-profile figures from Washington. “[Ambassador Marshall’s] role over the last four years has been a crucial one, especially at a time when the United

Continued on next page The Washington Diplomat Page 9


Continued from previous page States is relying less on the use of force and more on the force of argument,” said Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States. “She grasped immediately and instinctively that, in order for diplomacy to work, ambassadors need access — and that they are more likely to counsel their governments in favor of America’s agenda if they understand what is going on, and feel welcome here in the U.S.” Another initiative Marshall is especially proud of is the Experience America program, begun under her predecessor, Nancy Brinker. Since 2009, ambassadors from more than 100 countries have participated in trips to Alaska, Arkansas, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Wyoming to meet with local government officials, business executives and normal American families. (The Diplomat chronicled one such trip in its January 2013 issue in“Arkansas Odyssey:Envoys Experience BBQ, Business and the Natural State.”) “Through [Ambassador Marshall], we came to understand the inner workings of the U.S. administration and we met an incredible mix of people — from talk show hosts in Los Angeles to civil rights activists who had marched at the side of Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Peter Ammon, ambassador of Germany. “Together, we listened to a jazz band on New Orleans’s Bourbon Street and respectfully stroked a longhorn in Texas.” The trips are organized by the State Department in conjunction with local officials, but diplomats pay their own way. They provide the diplomatic corps with a chance to get outside the Beltway, experience the diversity of America, and forge business ties. For example, in Chicago, ambassadors had breakfast with industry leaders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which runs the world’s largest futures exchange. A State Department blog

U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall, right, greets the new Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero before he presents his credentials to President Obama at the White House in January 2012. Photo: Lucian Perkins/Washingtonian

entry about the visit says that, “During the question-and-answer session, Ambassador Avni Spahiu of Kosovo stood up and said his country does not have a McDonald’s. However, after an energetic back and forth … a McDonald’s may be arriving in Kosovo very soon.” “They are going out with the mission of making a new connection,” Marshall told us. “The ambassador of Gabon [Michael Moussa-Adamo] went to Los Angeles with us.We had a wonderful afternoon at Warner Bros. Studios.The ambassador said,‘How can I get you to come film in my country?’ and they said,‘We’ll tell you exactly how to do that’ and gave him a sort-of to-do list.” While nothing has been confirmed just yet, Paul McGuire of Warner Bros. says,“Gabon is still in our future plans.”

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But the trips aren’t all networking and beautiful vistas. Diplomatic ties have been deepened while exploring some of the more troubling chapters of American history. On a trip to Arkansas, ambassadors met members of the Little Rock Nine, the first group of African American students to enroll in an all-white public school in Little Rock,Ark., after the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown vs.Board of Education decision ending segregation in public schools. In Atlanta, ambassadors also met Georgia Democratic Congressman John Lewis during a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. Born in Alabama to sharecroppers, Rep. Lewis became a leader in the civil rights movement. He led the famed Alabama march from Selma to Montgomery that resulted in the Bloody Sunday riots and was a keynote speaker at the 1963 March on Washington at age 23. Along the way, he endured brutal attacks and was arrested more than 40 times. His story resonated with Ebrahim Rasool, the South African ambassador who had been imprisoned himself during South Africa’s long struggle against apartheid. Last year, Marshall brought diplomacy to the dinner table, establishing the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership program, which enlists America’s best chefs to prepare meals for foreign leaders and participate in public diplomacy programs designed to engage foreign audiences. Members of the American Chef Corps include prominent Washington-area restaurateurs such as José Andrés and Bryan Voltaggio (also see “State Department Mixes It Up With Culinary Outreach” in the April 2013 edition of the Diplomatic Pouch). But one of the crowning achievements of Mar­ shall’s tenure as protocol chief is the establishment of an endowment for the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, which she describes as “one of the prizes of our government that many people don’t know about.” Inspired by 18th-century American architecture, the rooms were built in 1961 atop the State Department to create a space for U.S. diplomacy. “Besides being a place for people to gather and meet, it tells our American story,” Marshall said. Visitors see three centuries of American history as they walk through rooms that hold treasures like silver made by Paul Revere — the silversmith who alerted colonists that “the British are coming!” — and the desk where the Treaty of Paris was signed, granting America freedom from colonial rule (also see “Patriotic Spaces: Reception Rooms at State Department House History” in the June

2011 issue of The Washington Diplomat). All told, the rooms hold the third-largest collection of 18th- and 19th-century American art in the world. The collection, worth more than $100 million, was built entirely on funds and donations from private American citizens. Curators had been raising money sporadically to restore and acquire the precious artifacts one by one, until Secretary Clinton recognized the need to restore the rooms, which had grown stale and rundown. Marshall stepped in, helping to raise $20 million in one year to revitalize this 28,000-square-foot haven of American art and to fund education efforts to teach students about diplomacy and U.S. history. Her job has also taken her far away from the confines of the nation’s capital. Marshall said she’s enjoyed the ride, praising President Obama for being “so understanding and appreciative and curious and respectful of others’ culture and background.” “When he can, the president likes to get off the beaten path, visiting cultural sites and restaurants that aren’t on the formal agenda. Everywhere we go he wants to experience a bit of the outside culture,” she said of their travels abroad. But after visiting 42 countries in four years, and trekking more than a quarter million miles to oversee protocol arrangements abroad, Marshall said she is ready to spend some time at home. She announced a few months ago that she would step down at the end of the summer. She looks forward to spending time with her husband and 13-year-old son, but the farewell is bittersweet. “I love my job,” she told us. “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude to the president and to Secretary Clinton for offering this wonderful opportunity to me, and for Secretary Kerry for allowing me to stay on.” She added:“I’ve been just so honored to walk in the footsteps of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Secretary Kerry.We are lucky as a nation … to have people as caring and as brilliant and as dedicated as they are…. They are just extraordinary, and they serve our country with their entire heart.” Marshall admits to being a bit of a workaholic herself, so don’t expect to see her lounging by the pool.Though her main focus will be on her family, she also plans to do some writing and public speaking. In her free time, she also hopes to brush up on her foreign language skills.We suspect she’ll have no trouble finding a tutor if she needs one. As for whether she would be by Hillary Clinton’s side if she makes a bid for the presidency in 2016, Marshall was diplomatically mum on the subject.“I just hope that she makes the right choice for her.” In the meantime, Marshall will be sorely missed by the diplomatic community.“My colleagues and I all agree that Ambassador Marshall is truly one of the best protocol chiefs we’ve ever known,” said Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the United States. “Her professionalism and elegance have impressed all who have worked with her. Her absence will be felt not only by the U.S. government, but also by many of her friends in China.”

Gail Sullivan is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Your Source for Diplomatic News. www.washdiplomat.com

Correction Last month’s People of World Influence column incorrectly stated that Reza Pahlavi completed his U.S. Air Force training after graduating from the University of Southern California. Pahlavi did his Air Force training before attending USC.

Page 10

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


The Rotunda

Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill

Will Congress Put Obama’s Push To Shutter Gitmo on Lockdown? by Luke Jerod Kummer

“Y

ou are our commander in chief,” a heckler yelled at President Obama during a speech earlier this year at the National Defense University. “You can close Guantanamo Bay.”

Obama used to think so, too. In the run-up to the 2008 election, the presidential nominees from both parties called for the controversial American prison on Cuban soil to be shuttered. But when Obama took office and signed an executive order in January 2009 to close Gitmo within a year, he conversely renewed the issue as a political fight between the White House and Congress and among legislators. More than four years later, 166 detainees remain at Guantanamo — taken into custody during the Bush administration in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks 12 years ago this month. More than half of them are in the midst of a months-long hunger strike, which guards have dealt with by strapping them into chairs so nutrients can be pumped into their nostrils. The protest has refocused attention on the prison, which stands as a bitter reminder of how many of the policies that sprang up after 9/11 — the very ones that Obama railed against during his historic charge to the White House — persist today with no clear end in sight. Obama’s address at the National Defense University in May was meant to signal that he remains committed to reining in what he called a “boundless global war on terror.” At the end of the wide-ranging counterterrorism speech that covered military tactics abroad and civil liberties at home, Obama listed the steps he’d take to end the Gitmo era once and for all, while continuing to blame the prison’s stubborn endurance on intransigence in Washington. “[The detention center] has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law. Our allies won’t cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at Gitmo,” he said.“During a time of budget cuts, we spend $150 million each year to imprison 166 people — almost $1 million per prisoner. And the Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep Gitmo open at a time when we’re cutting investments in education and research here at home, and when the Pentagon is struggling with sequester and budget cuts.” This, he said, was the fault of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. “I transferred 67 detainees to other countries before Congress imposed restrictions to effectively prevent us from either transferring detainees to other countries or imprisoning them here in the United States,” he said. “There is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should have never been opened.”

Bipartisan Blame Game It’s true that Congress has repeatedly stymied Obama’s efforts to close Gitmo. In 2010, there was a Republican uproar after the administration said it wanted to relocate captives to a vacant prison in Illinois and to have 9/11 September 2013

Photo: U.S. Army Sgt. Sara Wood / U.S. Defense Department

People spend a lot of time saying the president says Congress has prevented him from closing it, and Congress says the president hasn’t taken any action…. It’s time for people to just do something. Act. Move forward.

— Andrea Prasow

lawyer at Human Rights Watch

plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed appear before a New York federal court. The outcry ignored the fact that the United States has successfully convicted scores of high-profile terrorists in civilian courts (in contrast, the military tribunals at Gitmo have barely convicted a handful of prisoners). More than 200 international terrorists are also locked up in U.S. jails, including 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, who’ll spend the rest of his life in a super-max prison in Colorado. (Illinois officials were eager to develop a similar facility because of the economic boost it would’ve provided their state.) Testifying before the Senate last month, Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, called it “stupefying … the degree to which people seem unaware of the fact that we already hold hundreds of terrorists in United States supermax prisons.” Smith also called Gitmo a boondoggle that has cost taxpayers $4.7 billion since it opened in 2002.“The Department of Defense is spending $454.1 million on total costs for Guantanamo Bay detention operations in 2013, which is about $2.7 million per detainee, compared to the average

The cellblock of a typical ward is seen in Camp Delta of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, where 166 detainees remain in legal limbo — taken into custody in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks 12 years ago this month.

figure of $34,046 required to hold a prisoner in a maximum security federal prison in the United States,” he said. “The facilities at Guantanamo Bay were designed to be temporary and are rapidly deteriorating, requiring new temporary construction,” Smith added. Nevertheless, since 2010 Congress has used its spending authority to block Guantanamo detainees from being tried or sent to prisons on U.S. soil. But Capitol Hill isn’t the only source of the current impasse. Some critics say the Obama administration has been reluctant to take advantage of special waivers to transfer detainees, fearful of sticking its neck out and suffering the consequences should something go wrong once the prisoners are released. But if Obama isn’t willing to incur liability, they say, then his latest pledge to close Gitmo is just more empty rhetoric, an echo of a similar high-profile speech he made at the National Archives in 2009. Others contend that the president hasn’t offered any concrete plan to back up his lofty talk. “It’s one thing to say you’re going to do it,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center in June.“People on both sides of the aisle are open and willing,” said the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “We’d just like to see the plan, OK?” Obama did offer a detailed outline for how to transfer detainees either to ultra-secure detention facilities in the United States or to foreign countries in 2009, when he appointed Daniel Fried as the State Department’s special envoy tasked with closing Guantanamo. Although the option of sending detainees to the U.S. was slapped down,

Continued on next page The Washington Diplomat Page 11


Continued from previous page Fried was able to arrange for 42 prisoners to be resettled in 18 third-party countries and for another 29 to be repatriated to their homelands. This was not a new approach at the time, as more than 500 detainees were transferred out of Guantanamo under President George W. Bush. But after Congress imposed strict new restrictions on the transfers in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, the effort ground to a halt. Only four detainees have been relocated since the requirements took effect, according to the State Department. Fried left his post at the beginning of this year. In the meantime, prisoners have been left in legal limbo even though many have been cleared for transfer, often since the Bush administration. Dozens, in fact, are still being held even though in some cases they are no longer accused of crimes against the United States and their lawyers say other countries have offered to accept them. This category of detainees is one of several distinct groups among the 166 who remain at the prison. Eighty-six detainees have been cleared for transfer to either their home country or to thirdparty countries. Forty-six are being held because they’re deemed serious threats to U.S. national security, but it’s unclear whether they could be successfully prosecuted, sometimes because evidence was obtained through harsh interrogations that might have been illegal. Another 32 detainees have been referred for prosecution.There are two prisoners who have been convicted and are serving out their sentences at Guantanamo. J. Wells Dixon, whose organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights, offers legal representation to eight current detainees, said there’s plenty of blame to go around for the convoluted detention policy. “Look, Congress has interfered with the president’s desire to close Guantanamo, that’s obvious,” he said in July.“On the other hand, Congress did give the president some limited power to

Photo: U.S. Army Sgt. Sara Wood / U.S. Defense Department

Camp 6, the newest facility at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, is designed after a maximum-security prison in the United States. Congress has barred the administration’s efforts to relocate Gitmo prisoners to U.S. soil.

transfer individuals, and he simply hasn’t used that authority.” Andrea Prasow, a lawyer at Human Rights Watch who focuses on counterterrorism, seemed to sum up the frustration when she spoke to The Diplomat this summer. “People spend a lot of time saying the president says Congress has prevented him from closing it, and Congress says the president hasn’t taken any action,” Prasow told us.“It’s time for people to just do something. Act. Move forward.”

Tepid Momentum After months of being stuck in the mud, the mission to close Guantanamo might just be moving forward, both because Obama has shown he’ll throw some weight behind the issue and because

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prominent members of Congress have signaled a willingness to provide him with room to maneuver. In June, Obama appointed Cliff Sloan, a wellregarded Washington lawyer who served in the administrations of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, to replace Fried as special envoy for transferring approved detainees out of Guantanamo. Sloan will work with an envoy from the Pentagon who, as of press time, had not yet been named. In July, the Pentagon also said it would begin setting up parole-style “periodic review boards” that would hear the cases of 71 eligible detainees. These panels were actually announced years ago, but creating them stalled for so long that the impetus seemed to evaporate. And in his recent counterterrorism speech, Obama said he’d lift a moratorium on transferring detainees to Yemen that was put in place after the upheaval of the Arab Spring and the attempted 2009 bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner by a young Nigerian who was trained in Yemen. More than half of the remaining prisoners at Guantanamo are Yemeni citizens, including the bulk of the 86 detainees who’ve been cleared for release. But the recent security threats emanating from Yemen — which contributed to the decision to shut down U.S. diplomatic missions across the Middle East last month — could jeopardize those plans. “Since it’s now well known that Yemen-based al Qaeda is actively plotting against us, I don’t see how the president can honestly say any detainee should be transferred to Yemen,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement last month. Concerns about repatriating detainees to nations where they could return to the battlefield are nothing new. There would be serious blowback from any terrorist incident involving a former Gitmo prisoner — and in a sense, Congress has helped to ensure that the repercussions would land squarely on the administration.

Signing Off on Disaster? The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act bars almost all Gitmo transfers unless they receive a special waiver from a senior administration official — and that unenviable task falls on Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, potentially placing him in an extremely vulnerable position. If he were to sign off on a detainee who was later linked to a terrorist attack, the defense secretary would be on the hot seat — again — just like he was during his contentious confirmation hearings. “Congress decided to make this a very political issue and required someone to take personal responsibility for each transfer,” said Prasow. “The person that they’re holding responsible is the secretary of defense.” Clearly, the political risks are immense, especially as the administration relies on Hagel to help

it wind down the war in Afghanistan. Dixon seemed to acknowledge as much, but he said that if Obama is committed to closing Guantanamo, he must make use of the options available to him. “He should pick up the phone and call Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and tell him to certify transfers for approved detainees,” said the lawyer, who made a special plea for Djamel Ameziane, his client who has been in the detention facility for 11 years — and cleared for release by the Pentagon since the end of the last presidency. (Ameziane’s case illustrates a common dilemma for detainees and the Obama administration: A resident of Montreal, Ameziane wants to be returned to Canada and not to his native Algeria, where he fears persecution, but Canada has been reluctant take him.) “It’s very likely that, given politics, Congress will beat [Obama] over the head with it, so he just seems unwilling to engage in that dispute,” Dixon said, offering a soupçon of empathy for the president’s predicament while lamenting his reluctance to use the special waivers.“He seems unwilling to do what is necessary politically to actually effect the closure of the prison.” When The Diplomat contacted the White House in July to ask when Gitmo transfers would resume, Laura Lucas, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, responded that “the president has directed the administration to transfer detainees when possible, and we are actively pursuing that.” “However, the extremely restrictive nature of current legislation severely limits the transfer process,” Lucas said. Even Obama’s Republican opponents admit the issue is pocked with pitfalls. When The Diplomat asked a senior GOP congressional staffer involved in the defense bill negotiations why the waivers have collected dust, the staffer said “there are real challenges in keeping very dangerous people from re-engaging” — alluding to the difficulties of monitoring and managing detainees in povertywracked, poorly governed nations such as Yemen. “There are no easy answers, and if you get it wrong it comes at a very high price,” said the staffer.

Senate Support But those waivers granted to the administration weren’t easy to come by, either, and the people who orchestrated them — chiefly, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) — say they don’t want their efforts wasted. “I recognize that Congress has made the process of relocating Gitmo detainees to third countries more difficult by imposing certification requirements on such transfers,” Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, wrote in a letter to the White House this spring.“However, more than a year ago, I successfully fought for a national security waiver that provides a clear route for the transfer of detainees to third countries in appropriate cases, i.e., to make sure the certification requirements do not constitute an effective prohibition.” Shortly after the letter, Obama got a congressional boost when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) traveled to Guantanamo with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough in June. “We continue to believe that it is in our national interest to end detention at Guantanamo,” they said in a joint statement.“We intend to work, with a plan by Congress and the administration together, to take the steps necessary to make that happen.” While the House recently passed a 2014 defense bill that keeps the strict provisions on transferring detainees in place, the bill coming out of the Senate Armed Service Committee contains new language that would ease the restrictions, reflecting Levin’s sway. Feinstein told The Diplomat that she is “highly supportive” of revamping the policy to make it easier to transfer detainees. “I think the time has come,” said Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I

The Washington Diplomat

See Gitmo, page 53 September 2013


COVER PROFILE

Najib Ghadbian

Syrian Envoy Najib Ghadbian Fights Assad from Washington by Larry Luxner

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ajib Ghadbian’s sixth-floor office on Pennsylvania Avenue — facing the Old Post Office Pavilion and within view of the Capitol — is a long way from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where for years Ghadbian taught political science to aspiring young Razorbacks eager to explore the complexities of the Middle East. Now, the professor has a new job title: unofficial Washington envoy for a coalition of rebels battling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “This is a political recognition, not a legal recognition, which means I can’t be called an ambassador,” said Ghadbian, who’s officially a “representative.” At least that’s what it says on his business card, which bears the five-pointed logo of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces. Ghadbian (pronounced gad-BAHN) spent an hour last month outlining for The Washington Diplomat his vision for a prosperous, democratic Syria free of tyranny, and how his group — known in Arabic as Etilaf — plans to make that happen. First, though, comes legitimacy. “After the formation of the Syrian Opposition Coalition on Nov. 11, 2012, the Friends of Syria held a summit in Morocco that was attended by 114 countries. They collectively recognized the SOC as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people. While that isn’t full legal diplomatic recognition, it did lead us to ask for representation in Washington,” Ghadbian explained. “Now we’re asking the State Department to hand the Syrian Embassy over to us.” But a State Department spokeswoman clarified that while the decision “was a political step to underscore that we fully support the Syrian Opposition Coalition,” it is “not tantamount to recognition of the SOC as the new government of Syria, and not a change in the current government’s international obligations.” Nevertheless, Ghadbian and his staff of eight full-time employees and three interns are clearly energized by President Obama’s announcement last year that the SOC “is now inclusive, reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime.” But Ghadbian, 50, isn’t the only one who dreams of getting rid of Assad. An alphabet soup of rebel groups, coalitions and terrorist organizations is vying for power in a struggle against the Assad regime that has killed more than 100,000 people and forced nearly 2 million Syrians to seek refuge in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt and other countries since the uprising began in March 2011. Another 4

September 2013

million have been internally displaced, and at least 6.8 million Syrians require urgent humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations. The world body also estimates that by the end of 2013, there will be 3.5 million Syrian refugees and that a further 1.9 million throughout the region will need emergency help as a result of Syria’s chaos. In fact, when protests against the Assad regime broke out in Daraa — sparking the current civil war — Ghadbian’s hometown of Al-Tall had about 110,000 inhabitants. Today it’s home to nearly 800,000 people, most of them internal refugees displaced by the fierce battles raging in and around nearby Damascus. Graphic images of atrocities committed

Photo: Larry Luxner

The scale of this humanitarian tragedy has surpassed any recent conflict we can think of…. We are not asking for U.S. boots on the ground. But short of that, so many things can be done. Believe me, if the U.S. and its allies decide to carry out air strikes [against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces], that would lead to the collapse of the regime. — Najib Ghadbian

representative for the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces

both by government troops as well as rebels — from children suffocating, presumably from a chemical agent, to soldiers being beheaded and their organs eaten — have horrified the world and fueled demands that the United States do more to stop the carnage. Those demands grew louder in late August when rebels said the regime mounted a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds in a Damascus suburb, just as U.N. inspectors were entering the country to look into previous allegations of chemical weapons use. Assad in turn pointed the finger at the rebels, and the fog of Syria’s war only grew murkier. “The scale of this humanitarian tragedy has surpassed any recent conflict we can think of,” Ghadbian told us.“We are not asking for U.S. boots on the ground. But short of that, so many things can be done. Believe me, if the U.S. and its allies decide

to carry out air strikes [against Assad’s forces], that would lead to the collapse of the regime.” S A Z X C C V

The administration is now grappling with a response to the alleged chemical weapons attack, including the possibility of a cruise missile strike, but the calculation is not that simple. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress in July that any U.S. involvement in Syria’s sectarian bloodbath, whether it’s air strikes or safe zones, would be a mammoth undertaking that could mire America in a full-fledged war, all at a time of economic constraint. Among the potential costs: $1 billion a month and hundreds of aircraft to estab-

lish a no-fly zone in Syria; $500 million a year and hundreds or thousands of U.S. troops to train, advise and assist opposition forces; limited airstrikes would run in the billions of dollars and could spark retaliatory attacks; long-range strikes would necessitate “hundreds of aircraft, ships, submarines and other enablers”; and securing Syria’s chemical weapons could require $1 billion a month, thousands of troops, setting up a no-fly zone and launching missile strikes. Most ominously, Dempsey, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, warned that, “Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid…. Should the regime’s institutions collapse in the absence of a viable opposition, we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.” Given those unsavory prospects, the Obama administration has focused its Syria effort largely on aid and diplomacy. The United States has so far contributed more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance since the conflict erupted — making it the single-largest aid donor to Syria. It’s also pegged its hopes on a political resolution, trying to convince Russia to curb its support of Assad. But Moscow has its own calculations. Assad is a lucrative arms buyer who gives Russia a strategic foothold in the Mediterranean with the naval base at Tartus, and if he’s toppled, the political

Continued on next page The Washington Diplomat Page 13


everyone agreed to,” he told us. “This is tied very much to their ability to get funds.”

Continued from previous page vacuum could leave Islamic extremists setting up shop in Russia’s backyard. So for now, the United States has been working with Russia on a “Geneva II” international peace conference to bring the Assad government and opposition groups together, perhaps sometime this fall. But squabbling over who should participate and what should be discussed has repeatedly delayed the meeting. And with charges that chemical weapons poisoned hundreds of civilians and Assad’s army making tactical gains on the battlefield, there’s a strong chance the conference won’t happen at all.

S A Z X C C V

S A Z X C C V

Ghadbian bemoans that “the failure of the international community has emboldened Assad to carry out his atrocities. When he sees the Obama administration not taking leadership, he believes he can really win. Secondly, his friends have been extremely supportive. Russia has used its veto three times [at the U.N. Security Council]. Iran provides $450 million a month to this regime; otherwise it would have collapsed long ago.” As Tehran and Moscow continue to prop Assad up, Ghadbian is becoming impatient with the White House, just five blocks down from his own office. “The weakness is the lack of political leadership, which should be provided by the Obama administration,” he argues.“What we need is a leader for this alliance. We appreciate U.S. support, and politically they’re saying the right things. But I see a lack of political leadership, and that’s empowering Russia. One of the reasons Russia is aggressive is they don’t see the United States doing much. Even if the U.S. doesn’t want to do it, let the allies do it.” This summer, President Obama did authorize sending small arms to vetted Syrian rebels, despite worries (shared by some members of Congress, who initially blocked his plan) that those weapons might empower extremists and enflame a region

Page 14

Photo: U.S. State Department

An aerial view shows the sprawling Za’atri camp in Jordan, now home to 120,000 Syrian refugees, making it the fourth-largest city in Jordan.

already awash in guns. But Ghadbian insists that the Free Syrian Army, led by Gen. Salim Idriss, has “worked hard to assure these countries the weapons would not fall into the wrong hands.” Yet some say there are no “right” hands in Syria. Last month, the Associated Press obtained a letter Dempsey wrote to Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) flat out stating that the administration believes the rebels fighting Assad wouldn’t support U.S. interests even if they were to seize power now. “The use of U.S. military force can change the military balance,” Dempsey wrote. “But it cannot resolve the underlying and historic ethnic, religious and tribal issues that are fueling this conflict.” And the Syria tinderbox is only becoming more explosive with the influx of Islamists flocking to the country to wage jihad. The bloodshed stems not only from fighting between Assad’s troops and rebels but also between moderate anti-Assad factions and more extremist groups like al-Qaeda and

Jabhat al-Nusra (the Nusra Front), whose objective is to turn largely secular Syria into an Islamic state. (At one point, Ghadbian’s coalition tacitly supported the Nusra Front and asked the U.S. to reconsider designating it a terrorist group.) Ghadbian, however, contends that the emergence of those lethal groups is partly the result of U.S. inaction. “A year and a half ago, there was no extremism in Syria.There was the Free Syrian Army, and it was the lack of support for those moderate forces that in fact attracted the extremists,” Ghadbian told The Diplomat. Even so, the SOC envoy insists the number and influence of those Islamists have been greatly exaggerated. “I’m always checking the percentage of extremists on the ground. It’s a very small percentage — maybe 7 or 8 percent of all fighters — but they are definitely louder and more visible, and they have a lot of finances. That makes their presence much larger than the reality. Having said that, we are extremely concerned about their growing presence.” But Middle East security expert Anthony H. Cordesman says this isn’t a matter of percentages. “It’s a matter of who controls the weapons and who’s perceived as the strongest fighters,” said Cordesman of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Syria is not composed of extremists who think of themselves in polarized terms. The vast majority of people are not fighters at all. But that doesn’t mean the extremists can’t take over or are not [already] taking over.” And American reticence has inadvertently bolstered these extremists, he argues. “The U.S. has now effectively dithered for a year and a half. The momentum of rebel success has been reversed, and a lack of outside support has weakened Syrian moderates and strengthened Sunni
Islamist extremists,” Cordesman wrote in a recent commentary. That’s why Cordesman says the United States must show leadership now. “The fact is, the situation in Syria is simply too unstable for any current power structure to be able to say it can emerge as the key faction in the future,” he told us. “This is particularly true of moderate factions. We have enough historical experience in Egypt and Tunisia to realize that, if Assad falls and the Baath government collapses, whatever faction initially emerges may not last for a year. “Having said that, the problem is if you don’t provide the moderates with outside aid, you effectively create a Syria where there really are only two choices: the Assad regime or Sunni Islamic extremists.The more these countries lack support for their moderates, the more they are forced to choose between one extreme or the other.” Cordesman, whose resume includes U.S. assignments in Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, added that people like Ghadbian don’t necessarily represent the emerging power structure among Syrian rebels on the front lines. “These people are often selected for their visibility in the West, or they are the compromise that

Ghadbian is indeed a familiar face in the West, although he’s also been exposed to governmentsponsored atrocities. In 1980, during a particularly brutal crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood by the current Syrian president’s father, Hafez al-Assad, one of Ghadbian’s closest friends was arrested and tortured for a week. His crime: being in a house where someone was reading the Muslim Brotherhood’s banned newsletter and not having reported what he had seen. For that, Ghadbian said his friend spent 13 years in prison. “This is why I fled my country,” he recalled. Ghadbian went to the United Arab Emirates, where he studied political science, later doing graduate work at Rutgers University and the graduate school at the City University of New York. In 1999, he followed his wife, Syrian-born writer Mohja Kahf, to the University of Arkansas, where she was teaching literature. He landed an assignment as a visiting professor at the university and remained in Fayetteville until taking up his current position last January. Ghadbian’s official status is somewhat akin to that of Maen Rashid Areikat, chief of the Palestinian Authority delegation in Washington, but less than that of Ali Aujali, who was Libya’s ambassador under Muammar Qaddafi and continued as ambassador after he turned against the dictatorship and began representing the rebels. “The Libyans received full [State Department] recognition right away because most of their diplomatic representatives defected. This hasn’t really happened for us,” Ghadbian said. “For the U.S. to recognize any group, you have to have a government that must be on the ground and able to pass legislation.We are not at that phase yet.” Syria’s last ambassador here was the outspoken Imad Moustapha, who held the post from 2004 until December 2011. Now Assad’s envoy to China, Moustapha was accused by the State Department of ordering espionage activities against Syrian dissidents in Washington, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities. “I ran into Imad Moustapha once or twice and we didn’t like each other, to put it mildly,” said Ghadbian. “I told him at a public forum in 2006, why don’t you defect and join the democratic opposition?” But Moustapha, who’s been quiet over the last year, unabashedly threw his lot in with Assad, while Ghadbian hopes to take up the mantle of the opposition in Washington, D.C. — perhaps one day as an official ambassador. Joel Gordon, director of the University of Arkansas’s King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies where Ghadbian taught, says the former associate professor is a natural-born diplomat. “Najib has been in this country a long time, he’s raised three kids here, and in terms of articulating the opposition’s position to an American audience, he’s really good,” Gordon told us in a phone call from Fayetteville. “Najib has been very heartfelt in trying to make this coalition as broad-based and as democratic as possible. Given where this is going, they’re in a very tenuous position right now.” Andrew Tabler, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, agrees with that assessment. “Najib’s been with the revolution since the beginning,”Tabler said.“He’s somebody I’ve known since even before the revolution, but because the opposition is divided, you have other voices besides Etilaf, and that poses a challenge for the SOC, whether they’re here or anywhere.” S A Z X C C V

In fact, the SOC is variously referred to as the Syrian National Coalition, or SNC — not to be confused with the Syrian National Council, also called the SNC. This convoluted jumble of acronyms mirrors the fractured nature of the rebels, who are further splintered between political exiles abroad

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


and fighters on the ground. Indeed, the rebels are an inchoate bunch, and that has prevented other nations from coalescing around a unified leadership — unlike in Libya, where a clear transitional authority quickly emerged during that country’s revolution. In contrast, Ghadbian’s coalition has seen a parade of presidents and prime ministers come and go over the last year, as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other powers jockey for influence. It has also struggled to deliver aid to beleaguered Syrians or control the militias operating in the country. Ostensibly, the SOC does have the support of the Supreme Military Council and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council — a six-member bloc that includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Council, another prominent opposition group formed in November 2011, before the creation of the SOC, holds 22 out of 60 seats in the coalition but also strives to be its own independent voice. The Syrian National Coalition, in fact, was formed to supersede the council, which had been plagued by infighting. But the council still holds significant sway as one of Syria’s main opposition blocs. Also part of this alphabet soup is the National Coordination Committee (NCC), which was formed in September 2011 and is comprised of 13 left-leaning political parties, three Kurdish parties, and independent political and youth activists, according to a recent BBC report, which also noted that the group is wary of the Islamists within the SNC. The NCC supports dialogue with the Assad regime and opposes any form of foreign military intervention; it instead urges economic sanctions and other diplomatic measures to increase pressure on Assad. The FSA, formed in August 2011 by army deserters based in Turkey, is now led by Gen. Salim Idriss and claims to have as many as 40,000 men under its command. But analysts believe it’s more like 10,000; either way, the FSA is greatly outnumbered by the Syrian Army. It is also increasingly clashing with Islamic extremist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, which is believed to have 6,000 fighters and has claimed responsibility for major attacks in Syria’s main cities. The rival Syrian Islamic Front, an umbrella group for 12 Salafist factions, is thought to have 10,000 to 25,000 men. And of course there’s the Iraqi affiliate of alQaeda, which renamed itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and which has been expanding into territory seized by other rebel groups, mostly in Syria’s northern and eastern provinces. The group’s brutal tactics — which include kidnapping, torturing and beheading anyone who disagrees with its fanatic ideology — spare no one, analysts say.That includes several top FSA commanders and even the rival Nusra Front, which considers itself the less extremist of the two extremist groups. “Some of Nusra’s leaders were actually trained by the Syrian intelligence service to kill Americans in Iraq,” Ghadbian claims. “Some of them died in Iraq, while some survived and stayed there, and others came back to Syria and were imprisoned. The extremists in Syria are not really one particular organization.They are several groups.They are very effective fighters and their presence seems to be concentrated in the north.” Ghadbian also accuses Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of allowing his country to be used as a conduit for transferring Iranian weapons into Syria. “We wish we could do more, but we have limited capabilities,” Iraq’s new ambassador to the United States, Lukman Faily, protested in a recent Diplomat interview. “We’ve been asked to stop Iranian planes and inspect them, but we have no control over that corridor. We do not want to fuel weapons into that dangerous region of Syria. In this war of attrition, everybody’s losing out.” S A Z X C C V

But that hasn’t stopped the region’s major players from funneling weapons — some of which reportedly originated in such far-flung places as

September 2013

lot of Christians believe that, but the fear now is emanating from the fact that if this conflict continues, it’s going to affect everybody.” It already pretty much does. Syria’s civil war has metastasized into a regional conflagration fueled by Islam’s longstanding fault lines, pitting Sunni heavyweights such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar against Assad’s Alawite sect and his Shiite backers, namely Iran. S A Z X C C V

Syria at a glance independence: April 17, 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration) location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey Capital: Damascus Size: Slightly larger than North Dakota

Turkey and Jordan are now reeling under the weight of Syrian refugees flooding into both nations, with periodic clashes flaring up along their borders. life expectancy: 75.1 years The war in Syria has also destabilized Lebanon, where the powerful Hezbollah has been losing Religions: Sunni Muslim (Islam - official) 74 percent, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) ground due to its support of Assad (a car bomb in a 16 percent, Christian (various denominations) 10 percent Hezbollah stronghold of Lebanon on Aug. 15 killed GdP (purchasing power parity): $107.6 billion (2011 estimate) more than 20 people.) GdP per-capita: $5,100 (2011 estimate) Hezbollah has helped the embattled president claw back territory from the rebels. But Ghadbian GdP growth: -2.3 percent (2011 estimate) said Hezbollah’s victories underscore Assad’s weakPopulation below poverty line: 11.9 percent (2006 estimate) nesses. He pointed out that some 3,000 Hezbollah fighters joined the May 19 battle at Qusair, in which Exports: Crude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton 165 your of its troops more than in halfspelling the 320 and NOTE: Although every effort is made to assure ad is died. freeThat’s of mistakes fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat troops killed in Hezbollah’s 2006 war with Israel. content it is ultimately up to the customer to make the final proof. “This speaks to the vulnerability of Assad’s forces. imports: Machinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, They are tired and scattered,” he said.“In 2006, when metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, paper The first two faxed changes will be made at no costattacked to the advertiser, subsequent changes Israel Lebanon, [Hezbollah SecretaryCIA World will be billed at a rateSource: of $75 perFactbook faxed alteration. Signed ads are considered approved. General Hassan] Nasrallah was the darling of the Arab world. Now his credibility is zero.” That gets to changes another source of concern Please check this ad carefully. Mark any to your ad. for Croatia and Sudan — in their bid to shape the out- growing number of Christian leaders taking part in Ghadbian: the possibility that neighboring Israel come in Syria. the coalition.” will get sucked into the war tearing Syria apart. is real correct andisfax to: (301) 949-0065 needs changes Ghadbian said that since the SOC’s formation, If it’sthe ad The divide,sign he said, between the Sunnis “The Israelis have identified certain conditions received more than $27 million from Qatar, 91 per- and the Alawites, who like the Christians make up under which they would intervene.They fear crosscent of which has been spent on humanitarian aid. about 10 percent of Syria’s population but933-3552 have border attacks and the rise of extremism,” he said. The Washington Diplomat (301) Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are long controlled the country. He said that Assad and “But we believe that the Israelis staying on the sidealso providing military support,“but still it’s not suf- his Alawite sect — an offshoot of Shiite Islam — lines is good. We don’t want the conflict to spread. __________________________________________________________ ficient,” he complained.“The FSA has been forcedApproved to have carried out “sectarian massacres” in cities like We don’t want this to become an Israeli-Syrian conleave areas because they ran out of ammunition.”Changes Homs___________________________________________________________ and Latakia as part of an ethnic cleansing flict by any means.” Even worse, only 9 percent to 11 percent of the rampage. ___________________________________________________________________ Tabler, author of the book “In the Lion’s Den: An 7 million Syrians affected by the fighting are receiv“One of the regime’s propaganda messages is ing help from the international community, accord- that it has protected Christians,” he said.“I’m sure a See SyRia, page 17 ing to the envoy. In the Qatari capital of Doha, the SOC maintains a full-fledged embassy with an ambassador and a staff of 23. It also has offices in Paris and Egypt and has been recognized by most Arab League member states. But Ghadbian says what would really turn the tide in favor of the rebels would be significant U.S. military and financial support — which is precisely why the SOC sent a representative to Washington (it also set up an office in New York earlier this year). “I think we’ve been relatively effective,” said Ghadbian.“One of the sources of our strength is the fact that Syrian-American organizations are lobbying Congress. Our office has also been arranging meetings with the staffs of key members of Congress.” Among the most supportive lawmakers, he says: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.). “That’s why we’re here, to explain to Congress that the hard-core extremists don’t recognize the coalition. We are not going to give weapons to groups that don’t recognize us. The presence of these extremists happened precisely because of that vacuum.” Ghadbian discounted concerns that Assad’s eventual overthrow will result in a bloodbath for Christians, who account for roughly 10 percent of Syria’s 22.5 million inhabitants. Those fears were aggravated by the June murder of a Catholic priest named François Murad in the town of Gassanieh. Reports suggest the 49-year-old monk was killed by the Nusra Front. That followed the April kidnapping in Aleppo of two prominent Orthodox bishops whose whereabouts are still unknown. Ghadbian says all of Syria’s minorities will be protected by his coalition, whose members, according to a fact sheet, include Shiite and Sunni Muslims, Alawites, Christians, Kurds, Druze, Armenians, Assyrians and Circassians. ROCKVILLE, MD 20852 “Nothing will happen to the Christian commuONLINE AT: www.youreyesopticians.com nity,” Ghadbian vowed. “I totally understand their fears, but they emanate from Iraq and Egypt. There’s no evidence that the FSA has carried out sectarian attacks against any community.We have a Population: 22.5 million (July 2013 estimate)

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Business

Central America

Productivity, Social Responsibility Drive Guatemalan Export Profits by Larry Luxner

E

SCUINTLA, Guatemala — It’s a 30minute helicopter ride from the shiny glass skyscrapers of Guatemala City to the sprawling La Unión sugar mill in Guatemala’s department of Escuintla, not far from the country’s Pacific coast. Recently, I got the chance to take such a trip, as a guest of two powerful organizations: the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association (Asociación de Azucareros de Guatemala, or ASAZGUA) and its social welfare arm, Fundazucar. Upon arrival at La Unión, I fully expected to find dozens of cane-cutters working the fields, filling containers with caña and maybe later eating lunch in a communal cafeteria. I did not expect to see colorful Spanish-language cartoons on the walls of their army-like barracks, telling these campesinos how to go to the bathroom and use toilet paper. Or food trucks in the sugar cane fields for lunch breaks. Or a social worker in the nearby town of Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa using handmade puppets to teach expectant single mothers how to care for their new babies. But I did see all that, and more, in the company of Fundazucar’s assistant director, Griseldo Say López, and ASAZGUA spokesman Otto René Estrada. What became clear to me after a morning tour of Guatemala’s third-largest sugar operation is that when it comes to efficiency and productivity in the sugar industry, the rest of Central America has a lot to learn. “Our industry’s competitiveness is based on three elements: productivity, R&D and technology.We offer the best working conditions possible, because this translates into better productivity,” said Estrada, whose organization was founded in 1957 to represent Guatemala’s sugar interests. “All this is based on social responsibility. In an industry as competitive as sugar, we have to respect our workers.This is fundamental.” Fernando Letona should know.As human resources manager at La Unión, he’s in charge of the well being of 2,800 sugar workers. “They’re very graphic,” Letona said as we gazed at the huge banners tacked on the walls of the Tehuantepec barracks, which are home to some 400 cane-cutters, known in Spanish as cortadores de caña. La Unión has four more barracks just like Tehuantepec, each with its own dormitories, clinics, dining rooms and exercise areas. “All these workers have come from the altiplano,” he said, referring to the high plains.“Work hours are 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m., with a 15-minute rest in the morning and half an hour for lunch. Breakfast and dinner are served in the comedor [dining room], while lunch is served in the field, from food trucks.” Letona said that feeding workers well results in higher yields. “Before we invested in all this, each cortador was cutting 2.5 tons per day. Now they cut six to seven tons, and some up to 12 tons,” he explained. “It’s evident that this investment has had positive effects on productivity.” Workers normally earn 3,800 Guatemalan quetzales ($485) per month, which translates into around $2.75 per

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Photo: Larry Luxner

In an industry as competitive as sugar, we have to respect our workers. This is fundamental. — Otto René Estrada spokesman for the Guatemalan Sugar Producers Association

hour, he said. That doesn’t include fringe benefits, which come to 42 percent of wages. After taxes and social security, workers keep an average of $450 a month. “Something elemental we’ve done is to give workers dignified, decent jobs so that they’ll feel content with what they’re doing,” Letona said. “You’ll see the same at any ingenio [sugar mill]. Here, workers have the possibility of improving their standard of living.” Guatemala has seen similar success with its coffee, banana and winter vegetable exports. It is also now becoming a major exporter of African palm oil, an edible oil that is also used to manufacture biofuels. Francis W. Bruderer is president of the Asociación de Productores Independientes de Banano (APIB), which represents 82 packing houses employing 25,000 banana workers along Guatemala’s fertile south coast. “You might have the best rainfall, soil, sunlight and fertilizer, but it’s the people who make the bananas grow,” he said. “It’s the men and women who work in the banana industry and have made Guatemala the most productive banana exporter in the world.” Bruderer insists “there is no intimidation in the banana business,” despite widespread documentation of worker abuses that go back more than a century — and a recent spate of killings of labor leaders who were trying to organize their fellow campesinos. “Many of the labor leaders here participate in political movements and are exposed to daily and regular violent circumstances as we all are,” he told us.“Our judicial system

A sugar-cane cutter works the fields in Guatemala, which has become the largest sugar exporter in Central America and the third-most productive sugar producer in the world after Colombia and Swaziland.

is not capable of following up on these investigations to determine if the killings were related to labor issues, as they claim to be, or just regular violence.” Violence is rampant in Guatemala, which saw 5,681 homicides in 2011, according to the United Nations — just over 15 killings a day.With the highest proportion of indigenous people of any country in the Western Hemisphere, Guatemala also ranks as one of Latin America’s poorest nations. Its 15 million inhabitants have been ravaged by a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996, and much of Guatemala’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of relatively few families. Under Guatemalan law, all workers have the right to form unions — as long as a minimum of 28 workers petition for one — but so far, only one of ASAZGUA’s member companies, Palo Gordo, is unionized. This is one factor, but only one, that explains how Guatemala has become the largest sugar exporter in Central America and the third-most productive sugar producer in the world after Colombia and Swaziland. In the 2011-12 sugar harvest, Guatemala exported 1.65 million metric tons of sugar — more than the sugar exports of El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama combined. Guatemala now ranks as the fourth-largest sugar exporter in the world (after Brazil,Thailand and Australia), according to the International Sugar Organization. In 2012, sugar exports to the United States, Canada, South Korea, Mexico, Chile, China, Taiwan, Bangladesh and other customers generated $843.7 million in foreign exchange for Guatemala and employed 350,000 people, 73,000 of them directly. That ranks just behind coffee ($955.9 million) in terms of importance for the country, but well ahead of Guatemala’s two other key agricultural exports: bananas ($469.9 million) and cardamom ($250.3 million).

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September 2013


Sugar today represents 14.4 percent of Guatemala’s total exports, 27.1 percent of its agricultural exports and 3 percent of its GDP. Armando Boesche is general manager of ASAZGUA. In the last 27 years he’s headed the organization, Guatemala’s area under cultivation has tripled, while yield has jumped from 66.3 tons per hectare in the mid-1980s to 95.4 tons per hectare today. “Guatemala is a small country, not like Brazil or Colombia, so productivity for us is very important,” said Boesche, 73, interviewed at his woodpaneled office on the 19th floor of the swanky Europlaza skyscraper. “With what we export, we could supply all of Central America including Panama.” Mario Melgar is director-general of the Centro Guatemalteco de Investigación y Capacitación de la Caña (Cengicaña), one of only six sugar research centers financed by the private sector (the others are in Australia, Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador). He partly credits Guatemala’s success with the 1992 establishment of Cengicaña, which has 75 employees and operates on a $2 million annual budget. “Before that, each mill did its own R&D,” he noted. In the 21 years since Cengicaña’s creation, it’s introduced 1,875 sugar varieties to Guatemala, which now cultivates 235,000 hectares of sugar cane. Like sugar, palm oil is a commodity that’s very much affected by world prices. Felipe Molina, owner of Grupo Olmeca, is among the country’s largest exporters of palm oil. His company controls 46,000 hectares cultivated with African palms and employs 22,000 people. While Molina declined to say how much his conglomerate has invested in palm oil or how much it earns, he did estimate that Guatemala’s production costs come to between $550 and $600 per metric ton — less than Colombia’s $700 per ton but more than Asian producers such as Malaysia ($520), Indonesia ($480) and Thailand ($510). “In my 23 years in this industry, I’ve sold the same ton of crude palm oil for $250 and $1,200,

from page 15

Syria

Photo: Larry Luxner

La Unión sugar mill in Guatemala’s department of Escuintla is the country’s third-largest sugar operation.

so how profitable it is depends on commodity prices.You cannot do much about the price.” But one thing Guatemala does have is land — and vast tracts of scrubland and otherwise unproductive empty space in the departments of Alta Verapaz and Petén are now planted with African palms. “In Guatemala, there’s a lot of land that is not being used. Planting palms generates income and jobs,” said Alfonso Portugues, agricultural manager at Palmas del Ixcan, which employs 1,500 people in the peak season between June and September, and around 600 during the rest of the year. He says it costs twice as much to produce palm oil in his native Costa Rica as it does in Guatemala. Portugues, who has a degree in agronomy from the University of Costa Rica and who worked in the banana industry for 20 years, said Guatemala has a potential 650,000 hectares to use for palm oil. Workers earn an average of 85 to 95 quetzales

per day (equivalent to about $1.25 an hour) for backbreaking work that requires standing long hours in the sun — often without protection — lifting heavy bunches of palm-oil berries known as racimos, and being exposed to thorny leaves and undergrowth. Even so, Molina criticizes those at home and abroad who say his industry exploits workers. “If you go talk to the people who live in these communities, ask them if they’re better off than they were 10 or 15 years ago.They will all tell you they appreciate their jobs compared to when there was nothing,” said Molina. “We in the agricultural industry are focused on what we can do well,” he added.“But you have to be mature and understand that things are not going to change from one day to the next.”

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

Eyewitness Account of Washington’s Battle With Syria,” has concerns of his own. He warns that if the White House doesn’t act quickly, Syria may replace Pakistan as a hotbed of al-Qaeda activism — mainly because so many jihadists are converging on Syria, ready to die for the cause. “The war in Syria will go on whether we do something or not,” he said,“but we obviously want to shape things in a direction that’s more consistent with our interests.” To that end, Tabler has highlighted four specific actions the United States should take in the coming months: lay down the “red line” concerning chemical weapons; establish safe zones; work with the opposition; and keep the door open for diplomacy with the Assad regime or whoever replaces Assad in the event something happens to him. And if something does happen to him, Ghadbian vows that Syria will never become an Islamic state. “We are not like Egypt or Libya,” he insisted. “We have renounced all this extremist ideology, especially if they impose their beliefs on others. We are confident that the majority of Syrians will not subscribe to that vision.” The would-be ambassador added: “Part of our mission is to isolate and delegitimize the regime, and present ourselves as the alternative. We will continue to the end. There is no going back.”

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

EMBASSY NIGHT 25 Years of Connecting Business to the Diplomatic Community

A VIP dinner bringing together key decision makers, high level executives and Senior Embassy representatives. The event will honor 25+ countries for their contribution to and support of international relations and global business efforts.

October 2, 2013 5:30 – 8:30pm Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center RSVP Today @ www.wtci.org/embassynight2013/

September 2013

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Defense

U.S. National Guard

National Guard Partnerships Fortify Ties With 65 Countries by Sarah Alaoui

T

he Red Scare is no longer the main fear that drives U.S. foreign policy, but one important legacy of the Cold War lives on at the Defense Department’s National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP). It all started when Latvia, shortly after gaining its independence from the Soviet Union, approached the United States for guidance on creating a professional military. Now, 20 years later, it is one of 65 countries worldwide benefitting from the grassroots exchanges that are a hallmark of the SPP. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the United States wanted to reach out to the nascent democracies in Central and Eastern Europe to expand military-tomilitary contacts that promoted civilian leadership, democracy, market economies and human rights. It seemed like a natural fit given that these nations were embracing democratic governance, but the United States had to tread carefully around Russia, which had just watched its empire collapse and wanted to maintain influence over its former satellites. How could these newly freed countries — most of which still had militaries resembling the Soviet model and traces of anti-NATO suspicions — make the transition to becoming U.S. allies in Moscow’s backyard? “There were real risks that such a partnership could easily experience,” said Zekerijah Osmic, the minister of defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at a May 13 luncheon in Annapolis celebrating the 10th anniversary of his country’s partnership with the state of Maryland — a partnership that would have been inconceivable after the fall of the Soviet Union.“I could say that these two militaries at the time were more of a threat to each other,” Osmic said of his nation and the United States. “The U.S. was trying to engage with the former communist nations that were in the Warsaw Pact, and using active duty troops might have been a little too offensive to the Russians or the folks that were in there, so the idea was to use the small footprint of National Guard troops,” said the chief of international affairs for the National Guard Bureau, Air Force Brig. Gen.Aaron “Joey” Booher, in an interview with American Forces Press Service.

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Photo: Maryland National Guard

The military relationships prime the pump for other ties. They’re a catalyst to fostering other exchanges.

— Maj. Gen. James Adkins, adjutant general of Maryland The National Guard is composed of citizen-soldiers — military reservists who who mostly have full-time civilian jobs but can be deployed both at home and abroad.The use of National Guard troops to train Central and Eastern European forces also reinforced the model of civilian control over the military. Managed by the National Guard Bureau and executed by individual U.S. states, the SPP is dedicated to promoting peace, stability, prosperity and democratic principles — and not necessarily in that order. It does not limit itself to military-to-military events. Though these are the bulk of the program’s activities, they serve as a catalyst for developing military-to-civilian exchanges and even civilian-to-civilian ties. Sister city programs have emerged as a result, and so have partnerships between universities. “The program definitely helped Estonia to prepare for NATO membership. In the beginning, the focus to look mostly at the basic military trainings as assistance was just a one-way street for Maryland to Estonia,” explained Estonian Permanent Secretary of Defense Mikk Marran, who also attended the Annapolis luncheon, where he was joined by

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. That event honored the Maryland National Guard’s 10-year partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina and its 20-year partnership with the Baltic nation of Estonia during that country’s transition to independence — its oldest collaboration yet. “Today, the benefits are mutual. Looking at these developments, I can’t even imagine what the cooperation will be in 10 years’ time,” Marran said. In 2011, the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to take the Balkan nation’s participation in the SPP to the next level and designated a full-time liaison to cement the relationship with the Maryland Guard.The man chosen for the job, Lt. Col. Dzevad Buric, is now Bosnia and Herzegovina’s liaison to Maryland as well as the assistant defense, military, naval and air attaché to the United States. Serving a three-year term, Buric is the only one to hold the liaison position out of all the partnerships. In this role, he divides his time between the Bosnian Embassy in D.C. and the Maryland National Guard, where he is an advisor to Maj. Gen. James Adkins, the state’s adjutant general. Buric’s duties include establishing stron-

The Maryland National Guard’s 175th Infantry Regiment conducts its annual training with soldiers from Bosnia and Herzegovina at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., on June 11 as part of the National Guard State Partner­ship Program, which brings together U.S. states with partner nations to enhance international security and understanding. This year, Maryland is celebrating its 10th year being partnered with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

ger ties in sectors such as education, health care and the economy. The partnership played a significant role in helping Buric’s ethnically torn homeland stabilize after the breakup of Yugoslavia and the ensuing wars in the Balkans. “Out of the 35 bilateral programs that Bosnia and Herzegovina has, the State Partnership Program is by far the strongest one,” said Buric. “Everyone’s so proud to be part of the program through any capacity — from the personal level of friendship to the institutional level,” he reflected on the merits of the SPP. But the Department of Defense has not been spared from the sequester budget cuts that have slashed across-theboard government spending.The sequester would lop off about $50 billion from defense spending in fiscal 2014. Over 10 years, sequestration would require the Pentagon to trim $500 billion in spending — on top of previously agreed military budget reductions of $487 billion

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See guard, page 20 September 2013


MEDICAL

Nutrition

Is There a Doctor In the Kitchen? by Gina Shaw

H

ow much do you think your doctor knows about nutrition? Probably a lot less than you might imagine. A 2010 study found that fewer medical schools than ever — just 25 percent — require that their students take a nutrition course.

On average, medical students get less than 20 hours of nutrition instruction. Many doctors figure that this is the purview of dietitians and nutritionists. But since so many diseases can be traced, at least in part, to obesity and unhealthy eating habits, fledgling doctors need more practical knowledge about food and health, not less (also see “In Cancer’s Complex Journey, It’s Important to Start With Basics” in the August 2013 issue of The Washington Diplomat). And one chef-turned-physician thinks he has just the prescription for a nutritional revolution in America’s medical schools. When Dr.Timothy Harlan was practicing general medicine in rural Virginia, he counseled one patient after another about how to eat more healthily — and still enjoy delicious food. He knew what he was talking about: Before going to medical school, Harlan had owned and served as a chef in his own French bistro. So he launched a website, DrGourmet.com, which has since become one of the web’s most successful healthy-eating sites. Today, more than 250,000 unique visitors a month come to the site for daily newsletters, recipes and Harlan’s blog. One day, he started talking with a young patient in her 20s who had a body mass index of about 37. “She was otherwise pretty healthy, but she’s young. I told her, ‘This weight isn’t causing you any issues right now, but it’s going to, and you need to think about how you’re going to deal with it,” Harlan recalled. He gave the patient simple handouts about diet and exercise, and she handed them right back.“She said, ‘No, you’re the guy, you know about this stuff. Tell me what to eat.’ It was the closest to an epiphany I’ve ever had in my life.” Harlan developed what he called his eatTHISdiet, which later became a successful book with a title inspired by his patient’s words:“Just Tell Me What to Eat!” But Harlan figured one doctor, no matter how prolific, couldn’t change the way medicine deals with nutrition and food, or the way America eats. After relocating to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he joined the faculty at Tulane University School of Medicine, where he hoped to evangelize his message of healthy, delicious eating to a new generation of medical students. (Yes, even shrimp etouffee and crawfish pie can be good for you with a dose of Dr. Gourmet’s magic.) Last September,Tulane launched its new Goldring September 2013

Photo: Sandor Kacso / fotolia

Our goal is to have people change the landscape and undo the myth that eating healthfully doesn’t taste great.

— Dr. Timothy Harlan, a.k.a. Dr. Gourmet associate chief of general internal medicine of outpatient programs at Tulane University School of Medicine

Center for Culinary Medicine, in partnership with Johnson & Wales University, which features the first teaching kitchen ever in a U.S. medical school. The program also offers free community cooking classes. Ultimately, it will include a grocery store, open to the public, with a glass wall so that the shoppers can watch medical students and teachers at work. “This is an entirely new approach in the training of both physicians and chefs,” Dr. Benjamin Sachs, senior vice president and dean of Tulane University School of Medicine, said last year when the center was announced. “Our goal is to change the way health practitioners think about food and the practice of medicine. With statistics showing that 65 percent of Americans are overweight and a third are obese, it’s not enough for doctors to know just the basics of nutrition.They must also learn to translate the science into practical lessons that empower their patients to lead healthier lives.”

All medical students are required to do a stint at the center, where they will learn cooking techniques, as well as the medical aspects of nutrition, from Johnson & Wales students. “We don’t want to just create a nutrition course,” Harlan told Tulane magazine. “Instead, we want to integrate nutrition into all of the curriculum: biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, etc.” The center’s advisory board includes local New Orleans chefs and restaurateurs like John Besh, who owns several restaurants in the Crescent City and won the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southeast in 2006. “The long-term goal will be to have medical students side by side with J&W students and local chefs, standing shoulder to shoulder teaching folks how easy it is to eat good food and be healthy,” Harlan told the Times-Picayune last year.“Our goal is to have people change the landscape and undo the myth that eating healthfully doesn’t taste great.”

Gina Shaw is the medical writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Follow The Diplomat Connect at www.washdiplomat.com.

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from page 18 from page 5

Hayden “In this digital universe, we’ve got a lot of ways to steal other countries’ information — human intelligence, imagery intelligence,” he added.“Hell, if you’re going to put it all out there in digits, then we’ll go get it. What’s happened at NSA is just a natural and predictable consequence of so much human information being put into digital form.” Hayden says technology’s power to change society can no longer be contained, whether in Syria or the United States. “The web is so complicated that it’s kind of selfhealing. If you knock down your big [communications] nodes then anyone with a satellite phone can plug into the web and once plugged in you work outwards from there. I think they can slow the flow of information, but we’re beyond the era where it can be stopped.” That’s because technology will outrace the ability of governments to suppress digital information. “It already has,” he said. “The Chinese would love to have that great firewall but they don’t. Now, on a military basis, can I deny the enemy digital access to specific locations at a specific time? Sure. But that’s tactical and transient, not permanent.” And in a world where cyber-warfare can emanate from governments, terrorists or lone hackers, Hayden said an international treaty would be a “hopeless effort” but that “developing international norms is a good idea and we need to do that.” “There is a biological weapons treaty, but it’s unenforceable because you can do this in your garage,” he said. “Nations don’t have biological weapons not because we have a treaty and we can catch them. Nations don’t have biological weapons because there is a general norm our there that if you’ve got bugs, you’re just bad. “I think we can develop something like that in the

cyber domain where if this is happening in your cyber domain, we don’t care why you’re doing it or if you’re doing it — if it’s coming from your domain you’re bad,” Hayden said. As the interview drew to a close, Hayden addressed persistent complaints from civil libertarians that people like him and Chertoff, as government officials, ushered in a climate of fear that led to dramatically greater police and surveillance powers, and that now they’re simply cashing in on the fear-mongering as members of the private sector. Many of the Chertoff Group’s clients undoubtedly benefit from the enormous security apparatus that sprang up in the wake of 9/11. Hayden dismisses the criticism, saying it overlooks the digital reality all around us.“To simply say it’s just these guys who want to keep all the money flowing by drumming up this terrorist threat — nah.” He pointed out that surveillance is not just the realm of the government — and that most of us are willing players in an interconnected world where some privacy is sacrificed for both security and convenience. He recalled finishing a meeting near Tysons Corner in Virginia recently at about 6 p.m. He checked his phone and Groupon, the website that offers discounts at restaurants and retailers, sent him a coupon to a bistro across the street. “Groupon knew where I was, what time of day it was,” Hayden recalled with some amusement in his eyes.“It isn’t just post-9/11 — it’s what’s happened in the last 15 to 20 years. It’s not just the response to terrorism, although that’s important and I don’t want to minimize it. It’s the whole question of what constitutes privacy in an age in which all of us are nodes. “It’s an era in which everything is connected and big data is the only kind of data that seems to be out there,” he said.“It exists in all of its dimensions and all numbers of categories and we’re dealing with it.”

Michael Coleman is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

Guard — cuts that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called “draconian.” “Resources are limited.A challenge will be maintaining the same level of budget for both sides,” said Buric. “We’d like to keep this level of program success despite any difficulties in budget.” Slashing the program would also undercut the decades of trust that have gone into building the SPP, its supporters say. Adkins, who has been with the Maryland Guard’s SPP since the beginning of its ties to Estonia in 1993, stressed the importance of forging good relationships:“We had to show we were there for the long term. There’s no top to the program — we can continue as long as there is a need. That’s the beauty of these partnerships,” said the major general, who in September will fly to Sarajevo to welcome home the 26 Bosnian officers that were deployed to Afghanistan last fall with the Maryland National Guard’s 115th Military Police Battalion. The focus with the Bosnia and Herzegovina partnership is to clear the last few hurdles before the country can achieve NATO membership — the latest is its participation in the Membership Action Plan (MAP) whereby its application is reviewed by sitting members. The country has not yet met the requirements on defense property but, according to the Maryland National Guard, is well on its way to doing so. NATO integration is a foreign policy priority for Bosnia and Herzegovina — which remains sharply divided by ethnic tensions between Bosniak Muslims, Serbs and Croats — and its partnership with the Maryland

Photo: Maryland National Guard

Pilots with the Estonian Air Force, who have been assigned to the Maryland National Guard for the past year, will be deployed with Maryland troops in Afghanistan.

National Guard could help it break into the NATO club. SPP activities are designed with the guidance of U.S. embassies in the respective partner countries to keep them in line with broader objectives and needs. “It wasn’t about teaching them how to do things or how they could teach us to do things. It was about sharing experience and expertise,” Adkins explained, emphasizing the value of solidifying relationships at each step. For example, a new student exchange program has been created between Salisbury University in Maryland and Tartu University in Estonia. “It’s not only about the military-military ties,” Adkins said. “The military relationships prime the pump for other ties. They’re a catalyst to fostering other exchanges.”

Sarah Alaoui is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

CAN YOU DO IT YOURSELF? 20 Year Annualized Investment Returns

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September 2013


EDUCATION Russian ■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

■ September 2013

ResuRgence PhoTo: CREDIT

U.S. Study of Ex-Cold War Adversary Heats Up as Geopolitical Relevance Rises

“R

ussian studies are enjoying a slow but steady resurrection on college campuses across the U.S.,” said Anton Fedyashin, executive director of American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture (IRC).

There is no single reason for the renewed interest in Russian studies,

but certainly here in Washington, proximity to the seat of power in the nation’s capital attracts students with a passion for global affairs.

by Audrey Hoffer Anton Fedyashin, executive director of American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture (IRC), far right, poses with students this summer on the annual IRC-funded class trip “Romanov Russia,” created to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Romanov dynasty assuming the Russian throne in 1613.

“Diving in and studying another culture and language is common here,” said Eric Lohr, director of the IRC. Many students in the area aspire to jobs with federal agencies, embassies, think tanks, government contractors or trade associations, which comprise the backbone of the city.

Continued on next page PhoTo: AnTon FEDyAShIn

■ INSIDE: The transition to a new school can be bumpy, especially when coming from overseas. PAGE 26 ■

September 2013

EDUCATION

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Continued from previous page

SIDEBAR

Speaking Same Language Relations between Washington and Moscow may be frosty at the moment — and Barack obama and Vladimir Putin may not be on speaking terms right now — but the conversation is still going strong at the local level. Karyn Dubravetz, 33, organizes the weekly DC Russian Language Meetup Group that always attracts at least 20 people among over 500 active members. The group coalesces around dinner, drinks and casual get-togethers to keep up their Russian language skills. “We talk about everyday matters, current events in D.C. or Russia,” said Dubravetz, who studied Russian in high school in ohio and continued in college. “Everyone else was taking Spanish and French and I decided to try something different. I always loved it,” she said. “I think it’s important for people to study foreign languages. I’m embarrassed that our country doesn’t place more emphasis on it. So many foreigners come here speaking English plus more than one other language. We could be more worldly citizens and show other countries we understand their cultures if we spoke their languages,” Dubravetz said. Anton Fedyashin, executive director of American University’s Initiative for Russian Culture, said he thinks U.S. students are becoming more worldly and open to better understanding a country that no longer fits the traditional adversarial mold. “It is a great statement on the common sense and wisdom of the American people that

PhoTo: KARyn DUBRAVETz

Members of the DC Russian Language Meetup Group practice speaking Russian at their weekly gathering at Zorba’s Cafe. the young generation is so drawn to Russian culture as a way to understand the country’s mentality beyond the usual stereotypes,” he said. “Diplomacy is a question of what you choose to stress in your relationship with people — emphasizing and arguing about differences with the hope of forcing the other person to adopt your point of view or identifying similarities and building a relationship on them,” Fedyashin said. “It all comes down to learning to disagree and behaving like civilized people. you can’t turn an American into a Russian and vice versa, but you can sure enrich each other by exploring your differences.” — Audrey Hoffer

Beyond the city’s institutional character, the popularity of Russia-centric coursework tends to rise and fall depending on what’s happening in the nation of 140 million. A big spike in interest came in the late 1980s with Perestroika, but it dropped in the 1990s after the Soviet Union broke up and Russia was no longer a dominant world power, said Michael David-Fox, a professor and historian of modern Russian and Soviet history at Georgetown University. “Interest in a country’s language, history, culture is to a certain extent always correlated to its place in the world.” But Russia still wields considerable influence on the world stage. Under Vladimir Putin, who has ruled the country in one form or another since 2000, Russia’s economy has steadily expanded thanks largely to oil and natural gas revenues (though the space for democratic dissent has notably shrunk). In addition to its energy wealth, Fedyashin says that Russia’s strategic location in Eurasia also makes it a pivotal player in two of the most important geopolitical trends in the 21st century: the rise of China and changes sweeping the Islamic world. “Because both regions border Russia, they affect what is going on inside the country, while Russia also affects those regions,” Fedyashin said, noting that the biggest reason behind the surge in Russian studies is “the increase in Russia’s relative geopolitical importance in the wake of its impotence during the 1990s.” “In 2008, Putin did us the favor of sending troops into the Caucasus,” said Richard M. Robin, director of the Russian Language Program at George Washington University,

referring to Russia’s brief war with Georgia. “Our enrollments, and those across the country, shot up by 50 percent. On the other hand, without major international incidents — and Pussy Riot and gay-bashing are internal issues that don’t rouse interest — enrollment falls.” At the moment though, there’s no shortage of international incidents to study, especially when it comes to Russia’s former Cold War nemesis, the United States. Last month, President Obama announced he was canceling a one-on-one meeting with Putin ahead of the G-20 economic summit in September.The snub came after Russia granted temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the American fugitive security contractor who leaked NSA spy secrets. The administration admitted that despite a highly touted “reset” in relations early in Obama’s first term, the two sides remain far apart on issues ranging from missile defense and arms control to human rights and trade. Of course, the tortured relationship between Russia and the United States has been studied extensively in both countries. While Moscow is no longer the Cold War-era archrival it once was, it still seems to relish its role as the anti-America counterweight, frustrating Washington’s foreign policy agenda on Syria, democracy promotion and other areas. “Putin’s consolidation still has to be reckoned with and some students are interested in making political careers connected to U.S.Russian relations,” said David-Fox. These students know that U.S. policymakers will have to navigate this prickly relationship for years to come, with the goal of building a stronger foundation based on mutual understanding, not recrimination. “Learning a country’s culture has everything to do with beginning to understand a

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EDUCATION

September 2013


“Learning a country’s culture has everything to do with beginning to understand a nation’s mentality — this is what draws students to study Russia through various lenses.” — Anton Fedyashin executive director of the Initiative for Russian Culture at American University

nation’s mentality — this is what draws students to study Russia through various lenses, including the cultural one,” Fedyashin said. Sergey Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to the U.S., said that learning about Russian culture can help bridge the lingering Cold War-era divide. “More and more students in the Washington area are learning the Russian language and studying Russian culture,” he told The Diplomat.“These educational experiences are prime to understanding the Russian national spirit and help facilitate a reciprocal conversation across borders and dismantle old mentality stereotypes.” Here’s a look at how America’s erstwhile enemy still inspires curiosity among students in the Washington area.

of espionage fiction. Last year, Fedyashin also offered a summer trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg, where he explored Russia as depicted by Dostoyevsky. The legendary author of “Crime and Punishment” and “The Brothers Karamazov,” with his powerful messages about human morality, seems like a natural topic for a classroom discussion, but where do Ian Fleming’s “James Bond” novels fit in? Fedyashin says the Bond novels are part of his spy novel course because they illustrate the misunderstandings that were rampant during the Cold War. “In ‘From Russia With Love,’ published in 1957, Bond complains about the Soviets being better armed, better supplied and better funded than he and his service are,” Fedyashin said. “When Fleming began to write in the early 1950s, it seemed to him and his contemporaries that the Soviet Union was actually winning the Cold War and communism was on the rise around the globe.” That’s because while the allure of Western democracy — embodied by Bond’s lavish, heroic lifestyle — may seem self-evident now, many people were genuinely drawn to Sovietstyle communism. “My students often ask, ‘Why would anyone ever believe in communism?’” Fedyashin said.

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Georgetown University has a long history of Russian studies. “Elements of that tradition have always been a magnet for students,” said David-Fox. “Many students who want to be in Washington are interested in foreign relations, foreign policy and America’s place in the world.” The number of students studying Russia has dipped somewhat in part because of events in Asia and the Middle East, although interest in Russia is greater now than it was a few years ago, said George Mihaychuk, an associate professor who teaches Russian and Ukrainian language and literature. “And some students don’t want to go with the flow of interest in Arabic and Chinese, which are increasingly popular.” He added that,“Student interest today is often linked to energy and security issues and less so to literature and culture … compared to the past when students often came to Russia through [novelist Fyodor] Dostoyevsky.”

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7 to 2012

American University Yet one of the most popular classes in American University’s History Department is Fedyashin’s “The Cold War and the Spy Novel,” which examines the Cold War through the lens

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The first two faxed changes will be made at no cost to the advertiser, subsequent changes will be billed at a rate of $75 per faxed alteration. Signed ads are considered approved. Please check this ad carefully. Mark any changes to your ad. If the ad is correct sign andfrom fax previous to: (301) Continued page 949-0065

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The Washington Diplomat 933-3552 “The overt racism(301) of ‘Live and Let Die’ reflects the general treatment of African Americans and other non-Caucasian ethnic groups in the United States at that time. When one remembers the difference between that and communist propaganda’s racial and ethnic Approved __________________________________________________________ inclusion, one understands why communism so often appealed to Third World societies Changes ___________________________________________________________ going through decolonization. ___________________________________________________________________ “The course helps students explore the most important elements of the Cold War — stereotypes and misrepresentations,” Fedyashin added. “But it also prepares them to question the rhetoric contemporary governments and the media provide to them on a daily basis.” John Little, 36, said his family inspired him to question his preconceived notions about Russia and learn more about the country. The Georgia native is a Ph.D. candidate at American University and a teaching assistant to undergraduate students.

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“My grandfather was really interested in Russia culturally and wanted me to explore it and see that people [there] aren’t all that different, so I signed up for Russian in my first semester at the University of Richmond and liked it,” he recalled. After graduation, Little spent several years enhancing his language skills. For his thesis, he is researching people with disabilities in the early Soviet Union. “I was struck by stories of wounded soldiers returning home after World War I.They were considered living, moving reminders of the war and became a mark of celebration,” he said. After graduation, Little said he wants to teach college-level Russian and continue his research. “Russia doesn’t come up as often in the news as when I was growing up,” he said, but American University students care about the country and are politically active. He credits them with a strong sense of equality and social justice, and he believes that speaking the language and knowing the culture will help affect change. That’s exactly the kind of thinking that the university’s Initiative for Russian Culture hopes to foster. IRC was established two years ago with funding from philanthropist Susan Lehrman, who chaired the Washington National Opera’s 2010 Opera Ball at the Russian Embassy and continues to work closely with the embassy. “Those Russian connections led from one thing to another and she came up with the idea for the Initiative for Russian Culture,” said Eric Lohr, who is the Susan Carmel Lehrman chair of Russian history and culture at American University. The program hosts screenings of classic and contemporary Russian films followed by discussions. Maestro Valery Gergiev of the Mariinsky Theatre spoke to an IRC audience at the Library of Congress, and later this year a well-known American jazz musician will perform with Russian jazz great Igor Butman. “These get-togethers are huge and have helped create a community of local students who are studying and learning Russian,” said Lohr. “Some have turned into date nights and spurred an interest in Russian studies.” The result is that the number of students taking Russian history, culture and language classes are up. “I think the best and most important example of IRC’s success has been our growing audiences and in particular young audiences,” said Lehrman, chair of IRC’s advisory committee. “Over the past two years, we have reached more than 9,000 students and guests.”

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EDUCATION

September 2013


George Mason University George Mason’s Russian studies program is more than 30 years old, and while interest in the country declined for a period after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, enrollment in Russian language courses has been fairly stable and strong over the past six years, said James S. Levine, associate professor and director of Russian and Eurasian studies. “Of course during the late 1980s when [Mikhail] Gorbachev was in power, there was enormous interest in Russia and the Russian language, but that period represented a historical high with respect to student enrollments, and it is not fair to compare the numbers then with those today. Still, our Russian program is healthy and on an upward trajectory,” he told The Diplomat. “When I came here in 1988, we only taught five languages and Russian was the most exotic,” said Julie A. Christensen, an associate professor and chair of modern and classical languages at George Mason. “Today we offer 16, including Arabic, Persian and Turkish, so some students are drawn to those.” But Russian, which is widely spoken throughout Eurasia, still draws students who are up for the challenge of learning the Cyrillic-based alphabet — even younger students. The university hosts an annual Russian Olympiad, a high school initiative that typically brings some 200 students to campus to demonstrate their abilities in spoken Russian competitions. The Russian language fascinates Alec Constantine, who was born in Russia and adopted by an American family when he was 3 years old. He studied Russian at Langley High School in Virginia for four years. Now a senior at George Mason, Constantine, 22, is on his way to Moscow State University for a yearlong study program.When he returns in June, he plans to take the State Department’s Foreign Service exam and will request a posting in a Russian-speaking country. “Russia is the most popular destination country for American Russian speakers and is very competitive so I’ll also ask for Central Asia, specifically Kazakhstan, because this will give me a better opportunity,” he said. He views the government as his primary professional route but minored in business and one day may pursue a private sector job, perhaps with a Russian gas company.

HOPKINS IS Photo: The George Washington University

A sculpture honoring Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, the only one of its kind in the U.S., stands on the George Washington University campus.

George Washington University

university’s European and Eurasian graduate program and director of its Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. “Our campus hosts the only monument honoring Russian poet Alexander Pushkin in the U.S., dedicated in 2000 in the presence of the Russian minister of foreign affairs. Both the most fundamental encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet cinema and the best-selling college textbook ‘Golosa’ were created at GW,” said Rollberg. Julian Waller, 22, from Rockport, Mass., is a Ph.D. student at George Washington University who said Russia is as relevant as ever, despite developments in the Arab world and elsewhere. “For someone growing up in the 2000s, everything is happening in Iraq, the Middle East and Asia,” he said, “so everyone who’s interested in international affairs studies Arabic or Chinese, and Russia is sort of the neglected part of the world.” In college,Waller was increasingly drawn to Russian politics and history. He took language courses for four years and studied at Bashkir State Pedagogical University in Ufa, Russia, and at Herzen State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg. “I arrived at GW thinking I wanted to be a diplomat, but I came to a whole new focus,” he said. “Now I’m researching electoral systems, elections, political parties, democratization and authoritarian states in the post-Soviet Union. History is vital to understanding everything. I want to know how politics works.”

“George Washington’s Russian program enjoys a strong national and international reputation,” said Peter Rollberg, director of the

Audrey Hoffer is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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[ back to school ]

New Beginnings Starting School in Foreign Country Is Learning Experience for Kids, and Parents

Photo: iStock

by Audrey Hoffer

“I

don’t want to go to school!” Practically every parent on the planet has heard that phrase at one time or another. But hearing, “Why did we have to move here?” adds another layer to a parent’s angst. That’s because going back to school can be a chore for any child, but starting a new school in a new country is a whole different mess altogether. Foreign families confront a host of issues when learning about U.S. schools, and though the cultural barrier may seem insurmountable, practical solutions abound, often in plain sight. In particular, many schools here in the nation’s capital have a long tradition of welcoming new students from abroad — including the children of diplomats — and introducing them to the seemingly foreign American education system. Still, change is always difficult for children, especially teens, and moving to another country with a new language and culture is particularly unnerving at the start of the academic year. It can be just as daunting for the parents.

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“The organization of the schools here is different,” said Catherine Mathieu, the World Bank family network coordinator. “For many cultures, it’s strange that we, the parents, are supposed to be very active in the school. We’re supposed to be inside the school talking to teachers and involved with the PTA. For most of us this is new. “We don’t know what a counselor is,” she added, noting that many parents don’t know how to take advantage of what this school professional can offer their children. “I didn’t know that when teachers send home a list of the next year’s classes in advance, this is partially negotiable. I wish we did because maybe my son could have had a different class with a different teacher,” Mathieu told us.“I didn’t know it was OK for me to go to the school and ask.” Fundraising is another wholly American aspect of schooling, as parents are routinely asked to contribute for a range of items, from cookies to out-of-town class trips and even the school endowment. It is always voluntary, but parents from abroad often don’t realize that private contributions enable many school programs to function. Cultural norms in the United States can also trip students up, especially for young children in pre-school and early elementary school. For instance, American-style handshakes and arm and shoulder gestures may not be familiar to students so we try to make them comfortable,

EDUCATION

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Photo: iStock

said Dale Mann, principal of John Eaton Elementary School in the District. On the flip side, European and Latin greetings are often more physical than in America. “We’re used to kissing and touching, but in some cultures that can be disrespectful,” said Mathieu. She also pointed out that in some cultures, children aren’t supposed to talk in the classroom and it may even be rude to look teachers directly in the eye. “If parents don’t understand, it’s hard to make the children understand.” The transition can be especially rocky for teenagers in their final years of high school because at that age, both boys and girls just want to blend in with their peers — not stand out because of a glar-

Be

ing accent. “My 15-year-old son, in 10th grade, came home one day and said,‘I think I’m transparent,’” Mathieu recalled.“First thing I did was run into my bathroom and cry. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do.We told him,‘Yes you’re different but it’s not because you’re bad. We’ll go through this together.’” Schools often try to step in and help the whole family integrate into the American education system. “It’s most important to select a school that matches the child’s needs,” said Anne-Marie Pierce, former head of the Washington International School and president of AMP & Associates, a consulting firm for independent and international schools. Most schools in the D.C. area are well equipped to accommodate newcomers because there’s a steady flow of foreign professionals migrating to the city. “Explore what programs schools have to welcome, integrate and

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make the transition as painless as possible,” said Pierce, a native of France.“You want your children to be embraced with enthusiasm.” A small school may be a better fit for some children, said Tyrone Byrd, principal of George Mason High School in Falls Church, Va. He said his school “has 750 students from grades 9 to 12 so when a new kid comes into the building, it ripples and that kid gets a lot of attention.” Some schools assign teachers and advisors specifically to welcome students,said Harold Eugene Batiste III,executive director of Independent Education, a local association of private schools. Others schedule events and celebrations geared toward international families. Admittedly, it’s always easier for the younger kids to assimilate.“They just come in and go. They pick up the language immediately because there’s full immersion. The parents are much more nervous,” said Mann of John Eaton Elementary. His school hosts open houses throughout the year to walk new students and their parents around the building and “acclimate them with our hallways and classrooms,” he said. “We try to place new children in a class with others who speak the same language,” Mann added,“and we invite new families from the same

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September 2013


“It’s most important to select a school that matches the child’s needs…. Explore what programs schools have to welcome, integrate and make the transition as painless as possible.” — Anne-Marie Pierce former head of the Washington International School and president of AMP & Associates

country for breakfasts to introduce them to each other. We also help parents match children for play-dates.” Many schools also pair new and old students to help with the orientation process. George Mason High School runs the Mustang Ambassador program “in which we match a new student with an existing student in the same grade and that student will help steward the new one around and will be a familiar face in the crowd,” said Byrd. Mann’s school has a similar program. “The Buddy System, in which we match two children, helps bind them in friendship,” he said. The World Bank runs a special teen program for its staff’s children who are between 16 and 18 years old to help them understand American culture and introduce them to others with similar backgrounds. “We tell them they’re special, that they have to develop skills to survive, and we teach them how to use those skills,” said Mathieu.“We as parents know that in the end, our children’s experience here in the U.S. and in Washington will be a plus.” Batiste suggests families consider joining religious or social groups affiliated with their own country because those could help serve as a bridge for their children to become accustomed to American schools. And certainly joining school-wide functions during the year will expose both students and parents to the American way of life. U.S. schools regularly organize picnics, barbecues, bazaars and other events to which all families are encouraged to come. “School-wide functions bring together families and children and give them a sense of community,” said Mann.

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from page 8

Ross “His kite was going up,” he said, reclining in his green office chair. “He was a bright young man who had a great future ahead of him. Nineteen years old and he already had a paid job lined up at a radio station? A lot of kids would love to have an opportunity like that.” I asked about the possibility that Jesse was abducted and he said it can’t be ruled out but reminds me that the overwhelming majority of abduction cases involve women. Roth said it’s an active investigation, one of just two cold cases he is responsible for, and he wants the public and Jesse’s parents to know that he hasn’t given up on the case. “I have two kids myself,” he said. “I would want answers too if one of my children disappeared. We want to solve these cases, but people lose sight of the fact that we are human just like everyone else.”

A poster from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shows an age progression of Jesse Ross, who was 19 at the time of his disappearance, and what he might look like today.

Meanwhile, the AMUN event, which has been held in Chicago each year since 1990, goes on. Brian Endless, AMUN’s executive director, said that Jesse’s disappearance caused the organization to beef up their safety advice for delegates.AMUN still hosts the overnight “emergency” council meetings — Endless says there is no reason to believe that the event’s late hour contributed to Jesse’s disappearance — but they now “strongly encourage” colleges whose students will be taking part to book at least one room in the hotel where the event takes place to avoid the late-night commute. Endless also stated that AMUN cannot police the student’s behavior because they are adults, and he noted that there have been no other serious security issues since the event started in 1990. “Chicago is as safe as any major city in the country, and we believe it is still an appropriate venue for this event,” he said. Jesse’s family members have found different ways to cope with the devastating loss. The Ross’s older son, Andy, 28, doesn’t like to talk about it. And even Don and Donna catch themselves occasionally referring to Jesse in the past tense. Donna said that the couple has found strength in

Dashed Hopes, Unanswered Questions The Ross family continues to hold out hope that Jesse is alive but good news has been hard to come by.After a brief, 15-second appeal about Jesse’s disappearance aired on the television program “America’s Most Wanted” a couple years ago, a few leads trickled in. A trucker in Texas thought that he’d seen Jesse entering a vehicle; a couple in Florida who run a rehab center thought that Jesse had stayed with them; and another person thought they For more information, visit had purchased an item from him on http://findjesseross.com. Craigslist. Each lead gave the family a glimmer of hope but none led them any closer to finding Jesse. But Don and Donna Ross haven’t give up looking. Each November, around the date Jesse disappeared, they host an event called Opie Fest to raise awareness of missing persons, commemorate their son’s life, and to try to keep his case in the media spotlight.

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their faith, but she still can’t understand how this could have happened to her son, whom she said was never in any kind of trouble. “We thought we’d done everything right to keep our children safe,” she said.“The people who harm the missing, they have no clue what they put the families through. It’s a wound that never goes away.” Don says that he wants to see the Chicago police devote more resources to solving his son’s disappearance. “We don’t want cover-ups,” he said. “We want to know the truth about what happened to our son up in Chicago. We need the truth, even if it reflects poorly on Jesse.We just have to know.” The Rosses have spent too many sleepless nights speculating on what could have happened to Jesse.The only possibility they’ve ruled out is the notion that he simply decided to run away. “He had too much going on,” Don said. “Someone has intentionally interfered with his ability to come home. If he had decided to run off and live in Tahiti, someone would know about it. A cab driver. A person at the airport. Someone.” Donna has also pondered all of the bleak possibilities and has no clue what to hope for. “Jesse may have made a bad choice, or maybe not,” she said. “He might have simply crossed paths with evil. Was there an accident? Did he drink too much and hit his head somewhere? Maybe one of the kids put his body in a bag and they snuck him out? He could be alive and living anywhere in the world, or he could be dead in a ditch somewhere. We just don’t know.” Don Ross said that the couple has decided to grasp onto the assumption that their son, who would now be 26, is still alive. “We still hope that he’ll come home some day,” he said. “But if the reality is something different, if Jesse is beyond this world, then he’s also beyond all the hurt, the danger and the pain that exist in this world. So we can hold onto that.”

Dave Seminara is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

,

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September 2013


LIVING L U X U R Y

■ A Special Section of The Washington Diplomat

■ September 2013

Row houses line Massachusetts Avenue and 22nd Street, NW, including the Sudanese Embassy, pictured far left.

Diplomatic

House W Hunt

PhoTo: LARRy LUxnER

embassies need extra Direction To navigate D.c. Real estate Market

by Stephanie Kanowitz

hen the Embassy of Kazakhstan wanted to buy a new residence for the ambassador, the buyers decided on a three-story $5.5 million neoclassical home in northwest, near

Embassy Row and the vice president’s mansion. The large entertaining space fit their wish

list, but the process of finding it took close to five years and lots of close work with a local realtor. Working with a real estate agent is crucial for diplomatic property deals, said Connie Carter, a top

realtor at Washington Fine Properties and the one who worked with former Ambassador Erlan Idrissov to find the new residence at 2910 Edgevale Terrace, nW. (Idrissov is now Kazakhstan’s foreign minister, and Kairat Umarov has been the country’s ambassador to the United States since January of this year.) Carter said there are three main issues for any country shopping for property.

LUXURY LIVING September 2013

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The Embassy of Kazakhstan bought the three-story neoclassical property at 2910 Edgevale Terrace, NW, for $5.5 million to use as a new ambassador’s residence.

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Account Manager

The first is the timing of the ambassador versus the state of the property, including how long it will take for the deal to go through and whether the home will need remodeling or renovations, she said. “There’s the country that’s purchasing it and then there’s the personal needs of the ambassador overseeing the purchase and those sometimes are in conflict,” Carter told The Diplomat.“A current ambassador is usually not willing to be the one who has to oversee the work, and so that gets in the way.” Second is the nature of the marketplace compared with what a country can handle

financially, and third are the details, such as cultural or local and contractual issues, that an agent must explain. For example, realtors can help embassies check that zoning laws allow for another diplomatic property in a given area, they can explain to buyers that owners of diplomatic residences don’t have to pay D.C. property taxes, and they can point them toward coordinating with the U.S. State Department on things such as parking needs, Carter said. “That is basically coaching your country to work with the State Department,” she said.“It means that the real estate agent has to make sure that you the buyer is on top of that aspect of your purchase.”

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September 2013


It’s a business decision with many qualitative decision-makers who have different interests.It has to feel like the house matches the needs of the country and also the taste of the ambassador.” coNNIE cArtEr, realtor at Washington Fine Properties Diplomatic property purchases also differ from other home buys in terms of time. One reason is the number of people involved in the purchase. “It’s a business decision with many qualitative decision-makers who have different interests,” Carter said. “It has to feel like the house matches the needs of the country and also the taste of the ambassador.” Once they come to an agreement, there’s the potential for another delay. “Oftentimes with a diplomatic purchase there’s the ‘third-party approval process’ and that would mean probably people from the treasury department or the foreign service office of that particular country having to come over and approve that this is a purchase that can be made,” said Carter, who has been privy to deals involving Austria, Belgium, France, Iraq and Spain. She began working with Kazakhstan in 2008 and showed more than 25 properties ranging in price from $4 million to $12 million before they closed on their current location in January. That sometimes frustrates sellers because they have to wait until a representative can get here, she added. “In a buyer’s market, that was easier to manage, but now that we’re in little bit more of a more competitive market, it gets more challenging.” Carter, who has 13 years of experience in the D.C. market and lived in Tokyo and Melbourne, got the job helping Idrissov through a friend. Having hosted events at the Kazakh Embassy on 16th Street, NW, the diplomats decided to add another option for entertaining.They gave Carter some guidelines — such as sizes for living and dining rooms — and she showed them everything that might fit the bill. “They chose that house [on Edgevale] because it was the right amount of entertaining space and personal living space that they imagined any ambassador would

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need coming from their country,” she said.“The house represented them well both in tone and substance. It wasn’t over the top, but it was certainly gracious enough to welcome their guests. Typically that is what a country is after: What is the right ❏ 1 Year 12 issues - $29 balance of what they need in terms of the work they’re doing in this country?” On that note, when looking for a new residence, most diplomats have the same ❏ 2 Years 24 issues - $49 requirements, Carter said. As the flagship newspaper of the diplomatic community, each issue regularly features in-depth, “They are looking for gracious room sizes in the living room and the dining room, exclusive interviews with foreign ambassadors as well as U.S. and foreign heads of state. The and typically a library or den,” she said. “Many countries care about outdoor space, but they may or may not want a lot of garWashington Diplomat also has incisive news stories on the latest developments in international dening work. They’re looking for privacy, affairs, business, diplomacy and other timely topics. Our monthly culture section offers reviews they’re looking for proximity to their office, ranging from art and photography exhibits to film, theater and dining and our Diplomatic Spotlight and some are more concerned about secusection offers a glimpse into the busy Washington social scene. Don't miss out... subscribe today. rity than others.” Larger countries might want to be able to Name ________________________________________________________________ also house staff, and parking is a common Company Name_________________________________________________________ problem in D.C.’s congested streets. The Kazakh Embassy, for example, had to make Street _______________________________________________________________ sure the State Department put up diplomatic City ____________________________________________________________________ parking signs on Edgevale Terrace. “I think this is a particularly attractive State _______________________________ Zip Code __________________________ time for countries to consider their resiTelephone: Day ____________________ Evening ____________________________ PhoTo: ConnIE CARTER dences and take advantage of the fact that Method of payment: Money Order Check Credit Card on a world scale, Washington is, while they From left, former Ambassador of Kazakhstan Erlan might think it’s expensive, it’s far cheaper Idrissov, now the country’s foreign minister, Connie Visa MasterCard Amex Exp. Date: / than London or Paris,” Carter said.“If it’s one Carter, a realtor at Washington Fine Properties, and Billing Address _________________________________________________________ of the most important postings in the world violinist Marat Bisengaliev pose for a photo after for that country, there’s and a tremendous Bisengaliev’s December 2011 performance Name on Card ________________________ Signature__________________________ NOTE: Although every effort is made to assure your ad is free of mistakes in spelling contentopporit is ultimately up to the customer right now to buy some really choice with the Kazakh national Philharmonic orchestra. to make the tunity final proof. property.” Because ofchanges the importance duration theofdeal, it helps, she added, if the The first two faxed changes will be made at no cost to the advertiser, subsequent will beand billed at a of rate $75 per faxed alteration. realtor and ambassador get along. Signed ads are considered approved. “It’s really important to have an agent who works really well culturally and has a A World of News and Perspective level of trust and respect with their country,” Carter said.“I feel so honored to have Please check this ad carefully. worked Mark with anyAmbassador changesIdrissov to your ad. and have had the kind of working relationship I Send check or money order to: THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT had with him. I really do think we got a great result. I felt so proud for them. They • MD • 20915 If the adP.O. is correct sign•and faxSpring to: (301) 949-0065 needs changes bought a very pretty The Washington Diplomat (301) 933-3552 Box 1345 Silver house.”

call (301) 933-3552. Stephanie Kanowitz is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. Approved _____________________________________________ Changes _____________________________________________________________________

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September 2013


culture & arts

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DIPLOMATIC SPOuSES

Homespun Touch From embroidery to cooking to hosting embassy performances, Nataliia Terletska seamlessly weaves her love of Ukrainian heritage with her diplomatic life in D.C. PAGE 38

entertainment

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■ SEPTEMBER 2013

WAR

The breathtakingly vast landscape of “War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath” is a sad commentary on mankind’s timeless penchant to pick a fight — documented by 185 photographers representing more than 25 nationalities, covering 165 years’ worth of battles. PA P GE 36

House(s) Of Style The Latvian Embassy showcases two buildings in D.C. and Riga that stand as a testament to artistic inspiration. PAGE 39

ART

Guerrero Galore Mark a. GriMshaw’s “First Cut, iraq” Photo: Mark a. GriMshaw

The art coming out of the Mexican state of Guerrero, home to seven distinct regions and four ethnic groups, is many things — just don’t call it folk art. PAGE 40

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[ art ]

Totality of War Corcoran Surveys Mankind’s inexhaustible Penchant for destruction by Gary Tischler

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[ Page 36

s I’m writing this, I can hear John Wayne bellowing orders to his troops in the 1962 film “The Longest Day,” which depicts the D-Day invasion of Normandy that would turn the tide of World War II. You won’t find John Wayne in “War/ Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath,” the vast, ambitious exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art that seeks to generate a new and larger understanding of war in all its guises, whether it’s the clash of empires in the 19th-century Crimean War, or America’s modern-day war on terrorism — a high-tech campaign that in many ways resembles the old-fashioned guerilla wars of yesteryear. The scope of the exhibit speaks to mankind’s timeless appetite to pick a fight — documented by 185 photographers representing more than 25 nationalities, covering 165 years’ worth of battles. It took organizers of the exhibition, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, 10 years to cull through a staggering 1 million photographs and collections in 17 countries. They whittled the images down to the 275 on display here, though almost no nation is left untouched in this far-reaching survey.The list of conflicts spans every corner of the planet: the Mexican-American War, French Revolution, Second Opium War, Indian Mutiny, Philippine Moro Rebellion, World War I and II, Arab Revolt and Arab Spring, Cold War, Cuban Revolution, Vietnam, the “Troubles” in Ireland, Bangladesh’s liberation, the Khmer Rouge’s killing fields, the First and Second Intifada, Nagorno-Karabakh, Hungary’s revolution, Congo’s crisis, Venezuela’s communist insurgency, Rwanda’s genocide, and civil war in the United States, Spain, Nigeria, Argentina, Iran, El Salvador, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Liberia — among many others. Roaming through this jarring, expansive visual archive of conflict, what emerges — besides man’s unrelenting penchant for destruction — is a sense of déjà vu.The people and places are worlds apart, and yet the horrific toll of war can look remarkably the same, whether in Chechnya, Mali, Colombia, Korea, Syria or Serbia. Perhaps that’s why curators eschewed organizing the exhibition according to chronology, a prosaic way to frame the universal brutality of war. Instead, they’ve broken it down by no less than 30 themes that echo war’s ability to cut across boundaries, time and moral restraint. The first category seems almost tame: media coverage and dissemination, which showcases the technical advances in how photographs (and information) were produced, shot and disseminated. But this somewhat mundane intro paves the way for the revolutionary work of photographers (some of whom died in the process) War/Photography: Images of Armed who captured indelible images of conflicts before they were relegated Conflict and Its Aftermath to the annals of history. through sept. 29 Room after room, a visceral jourCorcoran Gallery of Art ney unfolds, lumped around catego500 17th st., Nw ries such as “Patrol and Troop For more information, please call (202) 639-1700 Movement,” “Daily Life,” “The Wait,” or visit www.corcoran.org. “The Fight,” “Aftermath: Exhaustion and Shell Shock,”“Refugees,”“Children,” “Dead and Wounded,” and “Aftermath: Grief and Burials.” The dispassionate groupings and matter-of-fact text belie the onslaught of images that besiege the viewer: aerial shots from a Japanese bomber cruising into Pearl Harbor, Nicaraguan street fighters armed with Molotov cocktails waiting to pounce on National Guard troops, ragged and dazed prisoners of war, and the still-unnerving shots of the second airliner approaching the burning World Trade Center towers.

The Washington Diplomat

]

Photo: susaN Meiselas / MaGNuM Photos

Among the 275 images in a major survey of war photography at the Corcoran Gallery of art are: susan Meiselas’s “Muchachos await Counter attack by the National Guard, Matagalpa, Nicaragua,” above; thomas hoepker’s “a us Marine drill sergeant delivers a severe reprimand to a recruit, Parris island, south Carolina,” left; and Peter van agtmael’s “Darien, wisconsin.”

Photo: thoMas hoePker / MaGNuM Photos

It’s an exhausting journey full of the noise of battle: gunfire, explosions, screams and the voices of men (and women) in distress. It is, like war itself, almost too overwhelming to take in — requiring a Photo: Peter vaN aGtMael / MaGNuM Photos certain numbness to absorb. Even reading the titles of the various categories is somehow numbing — a mix of knowing dread and morbid curiosity. Most of us already know the basic history behind these scenes, and some are iconic images that we’ve been exposed to many times before. But that in no way diminishes their magnetic hold. Robert Capa is here with his controversial shot of a dying combatant, flung backward after being shot during the Spanish Civil War. Eddie Adams’s image capturing the precise moment when a Vietcong prisoner is executed is one of the world’s most famous war photographs. There are grainy photos of soldiers slugging through the beaches of Normandy and Marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima. The exhibit features a number of prominent photographers such as Richard Avedon, Margaret Bourke-White and Tim Hetherington, who was killed while covering Libya’s recent civil war. Shockingly, there is even a photograph of veteran combat photographer Dickey Chapelle lying dead, killed in Vietnam, surrounded by soldiers. Idiosyncratically, there’s a small work by Sean Flynn, son of cinematic swashbuckler Errol Flynn who, after an abortive attempt at a film career, became a photographer and went missing in Cambodia along with another photographer. This is not, however, an exhibition about art or famous photographers — many of the images come under the authorship of anonymous.

see WAr, page 43 September 2013


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[ diplomatic spouses ]

Close-Knit Ties Hands-On Wife Proudly Showcases Ukrainian Traditions by Gail Scott

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efore you even arrive at the Ukrainian Residence in the Northwest community of Foxhall Crescent, Nataliia Terletska has the food already on the table and a gift bag waiting with a colorful coffee table book on Ukraine, an elaborate shawl and an embroidered T-shirt. “At home, we are always ready to entertain because family and friends call when they are close to the house, people stop by without much notice,” she said when I commended her on her warm hospitality.“It’s more casual, simple there.” Terletska and her husband, Ukrainian Ambassador Olexander Motsyk, have been in Washington for three years and can often be seen at various functions around town. But it’s clear this diplomatic wife has a soft spot for hosting events herself as a way to showcase not only Ukraine’s hospitality, but its beloved traditions as well. “In Ukraine, the highest standard of entertaining is to cook yourself for your guests and family,” said Terletska. “That’s as good as it gets.” She adds that “everyone cans and puts up fruit and vegetables. After all, we have been the breadbasket of Europe…. Our soil is very fertile.” Nataliia Terletska and her husband, Ukrainian Ambassador Olexander Motsyk, Here in D.C., Terletska said she’s always on the lookout for naturally grown fruits are flanked by their two daughters, 31-year-old Tatiana and 29-year-old Olga. and vegetables, regularly shopping at Whole Foods Market in between her weekend trips to the Amish store or other organic farm markets. Though her expertise lies more with the technical aspects of radio and communi“When you make something with your hands, you put part of your soul into what cations, Terletska has a flair for the dramatic — on stage that is. you make,” said Terletska, who not only loves to cook, but also embroiders, knits and “My father was a very good singer. He had an amazing voice and I learned many is an avid arts and crafts enthusiast, making clothes and other gifts for her family and songs from him,” said Terletska.“As a schoolgirl, with the neighborhood kids we’d do friends. “As a young girl, I learned to embroider,” she recalled.“And then when our own two programs in our backyard. We made the costumes and everyone would bring chairs from each apartment. We all knew each other…. Later in school, I was in amateur girls were small, I used to knit for them — sweaters, jackets, even coats, mittens and assembly where we helped organize concerts.” hats.” Today, Terletska uses her love of the theater and showmanship to jazz up the Now her younger daughter knits for her, and Terletska said she feels a special conUkrainian Embassy’s large holiday parties with plays and performances. “We make nection to the clothes because they were made by her daughter’s hands. She also realizes why her own mother always wore, with pleasure, the clothes that Terletska homemade costumes and even wigs,” she said.“My husband always encourages such events and watches them with pleasure; however, his schedule is too hectic to allow had knitted for her. him to be in the show.” “She had one jacket in particular that I made that Tetiana Shalkivska, press secretary at the Ukrainian she wore every time when she was taken to the hosWhen you make something Embassy, said she is impressed with all the work and pital to be comforted with something her daughter creativity Natalia puts into embassy parties and holiday had made for her,” she remembered. with your hands, you put part of festivities.“She always performs too,” Shalkivska noted. Terletska’s latest handicraft passion is ribbon “It is really wonderful. She organizes everything for embroidery. She proudly displayed three framed your soul into what you make. Christmas and other holidays, even celebrating examples containing yellow sunflowers and red popInternational Women’s Day in March and International pies, both native to Ukraine, and her most recent — Nataliia Terletska Men’s Day every February,” Shalkivska said. work, a delicate bouquet of lilacs in various shades of wife of Ukrainian Ambassador Olexander Motsyk Terletska is also active in organizing events that highpurple. light Ukraine’s culture, history and modern life, both at “It’s so easy to get supplies here,” she said.“I go to the embassy and ambassador’s residence — a role she Michaels [crafts store] and lots of other party places for beautiful ribbons and anyfilled during her husband’s various other postings abroad. thing I need…. I learned about the ribbon knitting on the internet.” Motsyk previously served as Ukraine’s ambassador to Poland from 2006 to 2010 Currently, she is making a gift for the newborn baby of her friends, who are and to Turkey from 1997 to 2001, as well as various positions with Ukraine’s permaAmericans of Ukrainian descent. Along with crafts, she collects miniature shoes — made of glass, porcelain and metal — that line the mantel and other prominent nent mission to the United Nations in New York in the early 1990s. The couple met in college. Terletska’s cousin came to her home with a group of places in her home.“I have more than 60,” she said,“from various countries and conlaw students who were in their third year at the Taras Shevchenko National University tinents.” Terletska grew up in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, the daughter of an engineer and of Kiev. Among them was Motsyk. “I liked him right away, at first sight,”Terletska recalled.“He asked, ‘May I come by an economist. She got her master’s degree from the Odessa National Academy of Telecommunications and became an engineer like her father, following in his foot- to see you?’” During his first visit, he borrowed a book. For his second visit, he came by and steps as a specialist in “electrical technical communications” in telephone, radio and returned the book. Finally, during the third visit, he invited Terletska to see a movie. TV. She worked for Ukraine’s national telecom company and its national radio comToday, the couple has two daughters, 31-year-old Tatiana and 29-year-old Olga.As an pany. undergraduate, Olga studied the physics of space at the National University of Kiev.A One nice perk for Ukrainian military and diplomatic personnel is that both they and their spouses can keep their positions if they leave the country for work. Hence, See spouses, page 43 Terletska always returns to her job when her husband is transferred back home.

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The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


[ architecture ]

Artistic Havens Latvian Embassy Showcases Architectural Gems in Riga, d.C. by Sarah Alaoui

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t wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Washington’s art culture would not be what it is today without the efforts of Alice Pike Barney and her studio, now home to the Embassy of Latvia. The efforts of the 20thcentury artist and socialite will be remembered by the embassy in the exhibition “Comparisons in Jugendstil and Spanish Mission Private Residences,” opening Sept. 17. A collective effort by the Latvian Embassy, Riga Photo: sMithsoNiaN iNstitutioN Art Nouveau Museum and Smithsonian Institution, the Jugendstil apartment house, which the exhibit will compare the Alice Pike Barney is now home to the Riga Art Nouveau Studio House, designed in a Spanish colonial revival Museum. The residence was originally style on D.C.’s Sheridan Circle, to a house built in owned and designed by Konstantīns the Jugendstil, or art nouveau, style that is so prevaPēkšēns and Eižens Laube, and not unlike lent in the Latvian capital of Riga. the Alice Pike Barney Studio House, it The two buildings have a lot in common: Both also served as a haven for artists. were built in 1903 as private residences, both conThe house is itself a work of art, tained art studios, and each influenced the style of boasting elaborate features such as high architecture in their respective cities, where they bay windows, a dramatic spiral staircase, remain artistic gems. stained glass windows, a corner turret Barney, born in Ohio in 1957, was an avid supand giant entry portals. It also includes porter of the arts, and she wanted to bring the touches of renaissance, medieval and Parisian art salons she’d seen during her extensive romanticism design elements.Typical of travels in Europe to D.C. In 1902, she began conthe art nouveau style that swept through struction on the house that would serve as an outRiga and other European cities, Pēkšēns’s let for her artistic passion, hosting events such as building on Albert Street was inspired lectures, theatrical productions, teas and dinners. by aspects of nature and depicts animal “She wanted to design her dream house and Photos: riGa art Nouveau MuseuM and floral motifs such as ants, entertain Washington society,” said Amy Ballard, pinecones and squirrels. senior historic preservation specialist at the Smithsonian A new exhibit at the Pēkšēns himself is considInstitution. “She was one of the unsung heroes of the latvian embassy compares ered to be one of the most early Washington art scene.” the alice Pike Barney influential architects in the The idea for the exhibition began when Ballard studio house, pictured top country’s history and found some duplicate photos of the Barney Studio right, the historic property designed more than 250 House while browsing through some old Smithsonian that now houses the brick buildings in Riga. The archives. embassy, with the famous architect had his “I thought, maybe the Embassy of Latvia would like Jugendstil apartment apartment and studio on the to have these — interior shots of the house they now house in riga, a stunning ground floor of the Jugendstil occupy,” said Ballard. example of art nouveau house until 1907. Art nouShe received a phone call a few weeks later asking if architecture and design, as veau’s most well-known she’d like to come by and meet with Ambassador Andris seen in its spiral stairway. Latvian artist, Jānis Rozentāls, Razans to discuss the house. He and his wife, Gunta also lived and worked in the Razane, wanted to organize something to showcase building from 1904 to 1915. the residence that had housed their country’s embasComparisons in Jugendstil and Spanish Alice Pike Barney would’ve appreciated the connecsy in the U.S. since 2001 and its little-known history as tion. She, too, believed art needed a home from which to a fixture of the Washington art scene. Mission Private residences spread its influence. After her death in 1931, Barney bequeathed the sept. 20 to oct. 19 on Fridays (12 to 7 p.m.) Born into a wealthy Cincinnati family, Alice Pike dabhouse to her daughters, who in turn eventually and saturdays (12 to 5 p.m.) bled in the arts herself, honing her skill through her trips donated it to the Smithsonian for use as an arts center. Art Space of the embassy of latvia to Europe before and after marrying Albert Barney in In 1999, the Smithsonian sold the house, which was 2304 Massachusetts ave., Nw 1876. She moved to D.C. in 1889 and shortly before Albert in need of structural repairs, to a private buyer, and in For more information, please call (202) 328-2840 died, Alice decided to start designing her studio house 2001, the Latvian government bought the property. or visit www.mfa.gov.lv/lv/usa/. with the help of architect Waddy Butler Wood. The embassy subsequently renovated the building, The carefully designed home featured intricate wood which is listed on the National Register of Historic balconies, performance stages and glass windows. Alice furnished the residence with Places, while retaining many of its original features. “The embassy paid so much attention to the history and architecture of the house pieces that reflected her own varied interests, including Venetian glass, oriental rugs, when they were renovating it,” said Ballard. “It reflects the strong preservation ethic in pillows and artworks she’d collected during her travels. At the studio house, her guests ranged from President Theodore Roosevelt to famous actress Sarah Bernhardt. One of Latvia.” Latvia, in fact, is renowned for the striking art nouveau architecture that graces its these get-togethers led to the preliminary planning for the National Sylvan Theater on capital city, where some 40 percent of the buildings bear the hallmarks of the art nou- the grounds of the Washington Monument — ensuring that Barney would leave her veau movement: natural forms and structures, curved lines and asymmetrical composi- stamp on the city whose arts scene she helped to nurture. tions. The exhibit will feature photographs of a prime example of this architectural heritage: Sarah Alaoui is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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September 2013

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The Washington Diplomat Page 39


[ art ]

Jam-Packed Guerrero one State, Seven Regions, Many Traditions (Just don’t Call it ‘Folk Art’) by Molly McCluskey

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[

ehind a glass case at the Mexican Cultural Institute is an airplane begging to be touched. Made of wood and brightly painted, it’s one of several toys in the institute’s new “Guerrero: Seven Regions of Art and Tradition” exhibit. A motorized rooster, carousel and Ferris wheel, all with moving parts and all meant to be played with, entice not just children, but adults, in the exhibit highlighting the diverse culture, geography and ethnic groups of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. The toys, featured in the annual Temalacatzingo Toy Competition, join masks, woven goods, clay statues, jewelry and, yes, sombreros in the four rooms that make up the exhibit, co-sponsored by the Guerrero government and its Ministry of Culture. Guerrero is home to seven distinct regions and four major ethnic groups: Mixtec, Nahua, Tlapanec and Amuzgo. Nathan Keegan, a press officer for the institute, said that attempting to convey the vast differences in cultural identities throughout Guerrero was challenging. “The differences are so great from one region to another,” Keegan said animatedly. “You can have one town of 3,000 people, and it has its own language and culture and traditions. And three miles up the road, there’s another town of 3,000 people, with a completely different language and culture and set of traditions.” Keegan said that when most people think of Mexican traditional art, they think of neighboring Oaxaca. If they know Guerrero at all, it’s because of Acapulco, the world-famous resort destination. In the Acapulco region, crafts cater largely to the tourist trade, with quintessential sombreros, hammocks, calico blouses and other woven goods. But in the traditional markets of Acapulco, off the tourist track, more authentic goods are still made, bought and sold. It’s those items that are on display in the exhibit, alongside a near dizzying array of traditional handiwork. In Guerrero’s mountain region, crafts created from the fibers of leaves include baskets and bags.This is the site of Temalacatzingo and its tantalizing lacquer toys. The central region is prized for its masks, a tradition dating back 2,000 years. Here mask-makers are revered members of the community, and the craftsmanship of the occasionally gruesome masks meant to ward off evil spirits has a nearly chilling effect hanging on the otherwise nonthreatening walls of the institute. The beaded clothing on display are the product of Costa Chica, and painstaking attention to detail. The artistic heritage of Costa Grande includes coffee-bean jewelry, while the hot and dry Tierra Caliente region produces sandals and sombreros. Keegan said that many people are familiar with the work of regional artisans, even if they don’t realize it.This is especially true of crafts from the northern region, where the municipality of Taxco de Alarcón has been one of the foremost generators of silver in the world. Guerrero: Seven regions “I didn’t even realize it until this exhibit,” Keegan of Art and Tradition said, “but some of the pieces of silver I own have through oct. 15 the markings of the region. Because of the sheer Mexican Cultural Institute amount of exported silver, I think many people 2829 16th st., Nw own jewelry from the region and don’t know it,” he For more information, please call (202) 728-1629 said, nothing that due to over-mining, many of the area’s famed mines are now closed. or visit www.instituteofmexicodc.org. It would have been tempting to crowd the modest exhibit space with an overwhelming array of items, but the neatly organized display instead merely whets the appetite by highlighting examples of crafts and award-winning artists while grouping similar items, like festival masks, that showcase nuances across Guerrero’s richly eclectic terrain. The exhibit strives to be many things, but one thing it’s not? Folk art. Keegan says the word will never appear in brochures or wall text.“Folk art, to some, can have a negative connotation. We wanted to highlight the tradition of cultures and crafts in this incredibly diverse region.”

Photos: MexiCaN Cultural iNstitute

“Guerrero: Seven regions of Art and Tradition” at the Mexican Cultural institute features woven clothing, clay statues, masks, toys, jewelry and other crafts that illustrate the diverse artistry found throughout the Mexican state of Guerrero.

]

Molly McCluskey is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.

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September 2013


[ art ]

‘Marvelous’ Ride Magic and Reality Collide in Spellbinding Colombia Journey by Gary Tischler

“T

he Marvelous Real: Colombia Through the Vision of its Artists” is a pretty marvelous title for an exhibition. “Marvelous Real” suggests magic, transformation and eye-opening commentary on societal changes that are grounded in history yet inspired by ethereal forces. It evokes fluid works of art that are at once universal and specific, accessible yet elusive, mystical as ancient gold, confident as modern-day progress, and moody as only abstract art can be. The latest exhibition at the Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center contains 36 pieces — including paintings, drawings, sculptures and even a woven tapestry — by 24 artists, all from the IDB’s permanent collection. The three dozen works traverse an impressive span of time: starting with preColumbian replicas; the reinvention of the territory from the 15th to the 19th centuries; the beginnings of contemporary art in the 20th century; the social transformations of the 1960s; the decentralization of art in the 1970s; and concluding with works done at the end of the century. According to the cultural center, the display speaks to “the complexities, challenges and singularities of Colombia through the eyes of several of its most important artists.” It certainly does have a lot to say about the country’s people, history and culture. But anyone looking for the final word on Colombia’s evolution, or an affirmative statement that defines this art as recognizably Colombian, is likely to hear silence. “You cannot pin this exhibition down like this. Colombia is and has been and still is a work in motion,” said Félix Ángel, the former longtime head of the IDB Cultural Center who curated this exhibit. “There are influences here, influences that have been felt by many Latin American and Central American artists over similar periods of time, but express themselves differently.” Photos: iNter-aMeriCaN DeveloPMeNt BaNk Cultural CeNter For example, Gonzalo Ariza’s spectacular Asian-influenced painting shines a light A centerpiece of “Marvelous Real” is enrique Sánchez Mora’s “the Colombia series, on Colombia’s vast landscape — from its misty mountaintops to its dense jungles. Ariza’s mesmerizing blues are an example of cross-cultural influences, Ángel said, the woven tapestry “Limestone Cliffs” No. 2,” top, and armando londoño Gómez’s “sin “although not the usual one.”Ariza spent time in Japan and found inspiration in tradi- by Olga de Amaral, a pioneer of textile título (untitled)” are among 36 wide-ranging art who layers fiber, paint, gesso and pre- works in “the Marvelous real: Colombia tional Japanese landscape styles. There is tremendous diversity in this exhibition, assembled in a way that’s eye- cious metals into shimmering unity. through the vision of its artists.” catching, powerful and even seductive. It’s a kind of roller coaster ride through “Limestone Cliffs” — intricate, complex, dense — is a kind of lifetime achievement work that was commissioned by the IDB Colombia with periodic stops to let you catch your breath and appreciate. “Colombia has always had advantages — its geography is rich and fertile,” Ángel for the East Hall of its headquarters here in Washington, D.C. Most of the artists on display at one time or another spent considerable time said,“and has a tremendous diversity of resources, and some of this accounts for the abroad — in America or Europe, oftentimes Paris. diversity in its art.” Enrique Grau, for instance, studied in New York and Italy and became an important History is another source of artistic richness — from the region’s ancient civilizations, to the arrival of the Spaniards and the cultural immersion and destruction that figurative artist with arresting works like “The Kiss” and “Rita,” both late 20th-century gems. His depictions of Amerindian and Afro Colombian figures earned him critical they brought with them, to revolution and democracy and the perils of both. acclaim, but as the IDB catalogue explains, there is no underlying narrative connectBut the visual translation of these epochal changes can be subtle. “Colombian art, while it can be startlingly real, is rarely overtly political — it’s not ing his work. “In his compositions one finds a seemingly arbitrary association of figures and known for that — or directly deals directly with social issues or single trends, or any one thing,” Ángel explained.“It’s always many things. So you will find many artists who objects,” it says.“Yet behind the apparent superficiality, casualness and studied disarray, lie the most complex of desires and reasonings, whose embrace along the way modernism, or abstract outward manifestations take curious forms that defy human expressionism … or expressionism, or certain subThe Marvelous real: Colombia conventions.” jects.” Through the Vision of its Artists Along figurative lines, there’s also Oscar Jaramillo’s threatenHe added: “It is difficult to talk about a single ing, dark, untitled canvases filled with figures who look like Colombia. It never has existed as one, not even in through sept. 27 they’re about to curse the viewer, or rob them of something. pre-Columbian times.” Inter-American Development Bank Then there’s the modernist flair of Édgar Negret, whose For Ángel, assembling the exhibition was both a Cultural Center resplendent sculpture “Sun” flashes with energy, or Maria de la matter of affinity and experience. A native of 1300 New York ave., Nw Paz Jaramillo’s aquatint “I Would Like to Kill the Pain,” whose Medellín, he’s a noted artist himself who has preFor more information, please call (202) 623-3558 smudged style depicts a tentative, compliant dance that seems sented more 100 exhibitions inArgentina,Colombia, or visit www.iadb.org/cultural. oddly off and wounding. Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El The exhibition sails across decades, movements, history and Salvador, Panamá, Peru, Puerto Rico and the United States. His return to the IDB is a homecoming of sorts, having worked there since otherworldly phenomena. It’s a surreal voyage that is, yes, quite marvelous. So where did the inspiration for the exhibition title come from? 1992 before stepping down as director last year. Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier once wrote that “the history and the geography of “I suppose you could say it’s personal,” he said.“I know and have known some of Latin America are both so extreme as to appear fictional or even magical to outsidthe artists.” Among the artists here — Edgar Negret, Fanny Sanín, Enrique Grau, David Manzur ers.” Fortunately, Ángel and his cohorts at the IDB make the vision a reality for and Eduardo Ramírez Villamizar, to name a few — there’s no overt thread of commonality linking them. So it’s best just to immerse oneself and let the diversity of their Washington audiences. art roll over you. Some strands will make themselves felt, lightly here, with a jawGary Tischler is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. dropping shock there, and a few emotional nudges in between.

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September 2013

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The Washington Diplomat Page 41


[ dining ]

Mideast Hospitality Darna Brings Home MediterraneanInspired Comfort in Unlikely Locale by Rachel G. Hunt

A

rlington does not divulge its culinary secrets easily. Who would have thought there would be an elegant Lebanese-inspired restaurant between a Jiffy Lube and an urgent care clinic with a nice view of the gas station across the street? But there it is, tucked away on a small street between Wilson Boulevard and North Fairfax Drive — a Mideast oasis in Northern Virginia. Darna Restaurant and Lounge is the brainchild of three partners, Mohammed Abu-el-Hawa, Johnny Kattan and Ahmad Ayyad. The intrepid trio saw potential in the spot — a boxy brick building originally built as a metal fabrication shop that had recently been vacated by Costa Verde Restaurant — and decided to take a chance on the rather odd location to open Darna Lounge in early 2012, followed by Darna Restaurant this spring. Darna is the team’s first venture, but not their first experience in the industry. Kattan, no stranger to the lounge scene in the D.C. area, helped to establish Darna as one of the top hookah lounges in the area. Abu-el-Hawa grew up working in the kitchen at his family’s business, the venerable Adams Morgan institution Mama Ayesha’s, and his experience shows in his passion for Darna. The partners chose celebrity designer Yvette Irene to interpret their vision for the venture and together they have created two visually striking and sharply contrasting spaces inside the building’s stark wood-and-orange brick façade. Darna takes its name from the Arabic phrase for “our home,” and the concept is expressed very differently on the two floors.To get to the lounge, you climb a set of dark, uninspiring stairs that open out to a large, airy space broken into distinct areas set apart by design elements and seating that suggest a library, living room, bedroom and kitchen. But that is where the homey analogy ends.The place is sleek, with striking touches such as canopy-type drapery around the “beds” and a crackle glass bar lit from underneath with blue light for an almost aquatic effect. Even the bathrooms have been punched up a notch with red glass tile Photos: Jessica Latos walls. Early in the evening, the feeling in the lounge is Darna Restaurant and Lounge in Northern Virginia ranges relaxed as patrons sip drinks and quietly puff on their throughout the Middle East for its culinary inspiration. Darna Restaurant hookahs, filling the air with sweet, fruity tobacco smoke. and Lounge But as the evening passes, the vibe changes. Whether a 946 N. Jackson St., Jordanian, Egyptian, Saudi Arabian and other influences in creatDJ or live band, the music gets louder and the crowd Arlington, Va. ing dishes that emphasize freshness and simplicity. more frenetic as the dancing starts and the crush at the (703) 988-2373 He has developed two different menus for the lounge and door builds. Weekends are usually packed upstairs, and restaurant, which offer complete meals or snacks with some reservations are essential to get a table. http://darnava.com overlap. Both menus offer a substantial list of familiar hot, cold, Meanwhile, just a few steps away downstairs, the Lunch: Daily, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. rolled and fried mezze, all of which have been consistently restaurant is worlds apart from the lounge. Here, the good in several visits and some exceptional. The sujok — gardomestic moniker seems more fitting.As eye-catching as Dinner: Daily, 5 - 10 p.m. licky beef sausages served in a light tomato sauce — are the lounge is, the restaurant is solid and sedate in sooth (lounge is open until 2 a.m.) slightly spicy and very flavorful. For the cheese roll, slim and ing earth tones. Stacked stone walls reminiscent of Mezze: $5 - $14 crispy phyllo rolls of feta and mozzarella are offset with a selecEastern Mediterranean architecture surround dark tion of colorful fresh vegetables. And the zahir — fried cauliwooden tables, leather chairs and booths that are both Entrées: $17 - $28 Desserts: $5 - $9 flower with cumin and tahini sauce — is appealing in its lack functional and comfortable. The decorative walls are Reservations: Accepted of complexity. also graced with glass bottles of brightly colored pickDress: Smart casual Dawaliby included some less familiar mezze as well, includled vegetables that divide the space, and everything is ing the Jarjeer salad — a combination of fresh mushrooms, softly lit with simple wrought-iron chandeliers. baby arugula, walnuts, parmesan cheese, olives and lemon — Chef Michel Dawaliby’s carefully constructed dishes stand out against this subtle backdrop. Ranging throughout the Middle East for his inspira- and the foul modammas, a blend of fava beans, garlic and cumin. Overall, however, guests will find few surprises among the mezze. But the main dishes, tion, Dawaliby draws not only on his native Lebanese cuisine, but also on Palestinian,

[ ] want to

go?

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The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


while traditional to the region, are much less common in this area and are nothing short of an adventure.The Molokhia, a classic dish in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East and North Africa, is made of chunks of boneless chicken breast served in a thin stew of mallow leaves and garlic. Mallow, a spinach-like member of the jute family (and a distant cousin of the hibiscus that is blooming so beautifully right now) can often be slimy like okra — but the texture is just right under Dawaliby’s ministrations. Again, the dish is simple in its preparation, but not in taste. Mansaf, the national dish of Jordan, consists of lamb shank cooked in fermented yogurt and herbs until the meat has fallen off the bone, then served in a thin stew of yogurt and almonds with bread. Another lamb dish, the Kharoof Mahsi, is a combination of baked lamb, ground beef, chickpeas and pine nuts. More familiar dishes from the charcoal grill include a variety of kabobs featuring meats, fish and seafood. Virtually every dish is served with a steaming pile of aromatic, perfectly prepared basmati rice garnished with tiny bits of vermicelli and nuts. Freshness is a huge component to all of the dishes — down to the mint, which Abu-el-Hawa grows on Darna’s roof in big planter boxes, adding a nice dimension to the green roof concept. As you eat your way through the menu, from the well-known small plates to the more unusual main courses, you almost cannot help feeling virtuous. It a healthy reminder of why the Mediterranean diet is renowned the world over. But if all that goodness is too much for you, try one of the rich desserts. Kanafa is a traditional, hearty baklava-type pastry of shredded wheat, sweet cheese, baked sugar glaze and pistachios. On the unconventional side, the chocolate fondant, one of Dawaliby’s specialties, is a dense chocolate cake served with decadent vanilla ice cream that will undo all the good intentions of a healthy meal in just a few bites, but it is worth it. On the liquid indulgence side, the restaurant benefits from being the little sister of a lounge, offering many inventive cocktails that complement the cuisine beautifully. Eric Tollar developed Darna’s beverage program and while he has since moved on, he left behind a collection of cocktails that rely as heavily on freshly prepared ingredients as chef Dawaliby’s menu does.Tollar’s version of a dark and stormy is based on a house-made ginger beer that is more peppery than most — it’s a delicious brew, but not for delicate palates.Tollar also developed a series of cocktails named after cities

from page 36

War Rather, it is about the omnipresence of war and how its tentacles — and tools of destruction — can reach into almost any aspect of human life, and death. The images expose moments that are both monumental yet intimate. They recount the sweeping history of war and its evolution, yet they also revive highly personal snippets frozen in time. They are graphic, mundane, precise and blurred, the latter an apt metaphor for the tragedy and fog of war. To some extent, age and experience will affect reactions to each picture. My own first childhood memory is of a half-destroyed Munich in Germany, watching American tanks roll in among the ruins, GIs throwing out candy bars that kids fought over. And in such an international city as Washington, D.C., there are certain to be a lot of minefields that will set visitors off. For Americans, it might be the photograph “A Marine Wedding,” showing a radiant bride and a soldier in full uniform, his face radically altered by his wounds. But for others, it might be Ron Haviv’s portrait of a man returning from the front in 1995 Bosnia only to find his home, and everyone in it, gone. Or Vietnamese women and children trying to escape U.S. napalm strikes, or the Iraqi girl splattered in blood, or the empty stare of a prisoner of war about to be executed by the Khmer Rouge.

September 2013

from page 38

Spouses

Photo: JessiCa latos

Chef Michel Dawaliby draws not only on his native lebanese cuisine, but also on Palestinian, Jordanian, egyptian, saudi arabian and other influences in creating dishes that emphasize freshness and simplicity.

from the region such as the Tangier — Ciroc peach vodka, triple sec, Chambord, fresh lemon juice and Sprite — and the Beirut — vodka, Frangelico, fresh lime and simple syrup. There are many Lebanese restaurants in the area, and plenty of them are good. Darna is certainly among the best in its food preparation, but it is also something more. Though it began as a lounge that served food, and not just as a club, as the owners are quick to point out, it has broadened its appeal significantly by opening a restaurant that caters exclusively to people wanting eat a good meal in a comfortable, homelike atmosphere — albeit one that also captures the exotic allure of the Eastern Mediterranean. As with any home, though, you sometimes have to be patient. Service, while usually agreeable, can sometimes be a bit slow. The kitchen is serving both the restaurant and the lounge, which may account for the occasional glitch. But the ambiance is so welcoming that you hardly notice it.And the food is so wonderful that you hardly care. Rachel G. Hunt is the restaurant reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.

“While the exhibition is of great interest for viewers everywhere, presenting it in the nation’s capital gives it particular resonance,” said Paul Roth, senior curator and director of photography and media arts at the Corcoran. “The camera has allowed people to communicate with each other, across great distances and significant barriers, about the nature of war, and about the experience of soldiers, civilians and leaders. Each photograph tells stories that would otherwise be overlooked or forgotten — about both the courage and resilience of combatants and victims, and about the terrible violence and suffering that inevitably follows from conflict.” This is a city of monuments to such courage — the Corcoran is a stone’s throw from memorials to the Vietnam War, Korean War, World War I and World War II. This exhibition goes beyond that. It brings us the faces of the legless, armless and disfigured soldiers of every war, the heroes (depending on whose side you’re on), and the victims of bombs and bullets, stray and intentional. It brings us war, in its unchanging totality, which defies time and place. It brings us the routine of war and its exceptional carnage, and inflicts its wounds with the uncomfortable knowledge that future generations will invariably repeat it.

rocket engineer, she is now the third generation in the family to study engineering, after her maternal grandfather and her mother who majored in math and physics. Currently, Olga is studying for her master’s in space technology at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Their older daughter Tatiana received her first master’s degree in international relations in Brussels and her second master’s in international journalism from the National University of Kiev. Currently, she serves at the Embassy of Ukraine in Indonesia as a press and cultural attaché. Prior to her diplomatic assignment, she worked in television with the Englishspeaking channel in Ukraine — on the opposite side of the camera from her mother. Olga and Tatiana both have a long line of Ukrainians and Ukrainian-Americans that they can look up to — a few of which Terletska proudly rattled off during our interview. Among them, she praised American-Ukrainian astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, who grew up in Minnesota; Ukrainian astronaut Leonid Kadenyuk, who was part of NASA’s Columbia space mission in 1997; and Igor Sikorsky, an aviation pioneer in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft who was born in Kiev. Several entertainers are also on her list, starting with award-winning singer, songwriter, conductor and pianist Ruslana, who won the World Music Award and the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004. She also serves as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador for her home country and as a deputy in the Ukrainian Parliament. “Andy Warhol had Ukrainian blood,” Terletska added. “And Nikolai Gogol was a Ukrainian-born writer.”

Nataliia Terletska, pictured center in a black wig, helps to organize holiday festivities and other performances at the ukrainian embassy.

She ended with professional boxer Vitali Klitschko, the reigning World Boxing Council champion. She also doesn’t forget to mention that the Ukrainian Embassy’s soccer team in Washington, D.C., has beat out nine other embassy teams in local tournaments. Here in Washington, she is also proud of the historic building in which the embassy is housed. Located on the northern tip of Georgetown, just before the Key Bridge, the brick building known as the Forrest-Marbury House was built in 1788 and was the site of a dinner that George Washington held to establish the boundaries of the new capital. Beyond the historic embassy building that’s an important site of American history,Terletska and her husband enjoy traveling throughout the United States and the Washington region, where one of their favorite spots is Mike’s crab house in Annapolis, Md.“I love hard-shell crabs,” she said with a great big smile. She also appreciates the abundant greenery throughout D.C., saying that of all the places she has lived abroad, Washington is “the best place” for her. Gail Scott is a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat.

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[ film reviews ]

Weight of Confessions Woman’s Inner Emotions Split Open ‘The Patience Stone’ by Ky N. Nguyen

W

[

ith “The Patience Stone,” Afghan writer-director Atiq Rahimi (“Earth and Ashes”), now based in France, adroitly adapts his own novel — winner of the prestigious Prix Goncourt, France’s leading literature award — to the big screen. His beneficial collaboration with acclaimed 80-something French screenwriter JeanClaude Carrière translates the story beyond the book’s pages into a cinematic experience worthy of the movie theater. It’s set in an unidentified Muslim country torn apart by war,for which Afghanistan clearly matches the description. Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani’s anonymous main character is only described as “the woman” in the credits rolling at the close of the movie. Wedded at the young age of 17, the woman has endured 10 long years of arranged marriage to her much older husband (Hamid Djavadan), the only life she has known as an adult. After getting shot in the neck, her husband is now paralyzed, forcing the woman to be his full-time caretaker. For the first time ever, she’s able to talk to him openly about their relationship, her suffering and her dreams.As he can’t reply, it’s unclear if he can understand his wife’s revealing monologues, which become increasingly astonishing over time. As in the Carrière-penned “Belle de Jour,” the quirky turns in the life of the beautiful young woman lead her to become a prostitute, providing muchneeded income for the poor household.All of this adds to the The Patience Stone accumulating stress her hus(Syngué sabour/ band must endure as “the A Pedra de Paciência) patience stone” — a reference (Farsi with English subtitles; 98 min.; scope) to a fabled stone that carries the Theater TBA burden of a person’s confessions — which bursts when ★★★★✩ eventually overwhelmed. The film could arguably be opened up more because the story relies on a wordy technique that accounts for nearly all of the script. Its literary roots are exposed by the protagonist voicing all of her thoughts. However, Iranian actress Farahani (“Chicken With Plums,” “About Elly”), herself exiled from her home country after starring with Leonardo diCaprio in Ridley Scott’s 2008 “Body of Lies,” compensates for the movie’s wordiness with a mesmerizing tour-de-force performance that dominates “The Patience Stone,” Afghanistan’s official submission to the Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani portrays a woman who is able to reveal her true feelings to her husband after he falls into a coma in “The Patience Stone.”

]

Inside the Fed: ‘Money for Nothing’ American writer-director-producer-editor Jim Bruce’s “Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve” works as a timely, revealing documentary that sheds much-needed insight into the mysterious workings of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which was created as a central bank after the financial crisis of 1907. The powerful unelected body of government wields enormous influence on the U.S. and global financial system and economy. American actor Liev Schreiber serves as an effective narrator, explaining over a century of the history of the Fed that everybody should know.

Page 44

Photo: Benoît Peverelli / Sony Pictures Classics

Photo: Britt Leckman / Liberty Street Films

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is one of the figures dissected in the documentary “Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve.”

Despite Schreiber’s star power, the documentary’s do-it-yourself roots are evidenced by Bruce’s Kickstarter campaign that crowd-funded much of the indie film’s budget, enabling the path to its well-received world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam last November. “Money for Nothing” honors the work of former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, a legendary inflation-fighter. In contrast, it objectively criticizes the actions and policies of ex-Fed Chairmen Alan Greenspan and Arthur Burns,

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


[

Money for Nothing (English subtitles; 104 min.)

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Opens Fri., Sept. 13

★★★★✩

]

[

Thérèse (Thérèse Desqueyroux)

]

(French with English subtitles; as well as current Chairman Ben Bernanke, 111 min.; scope) who’s become quite prominent for his outLandmark’s E Street Cinema size role reacting to contain the global financial crisis of 2008. ★★★★✩ Enlightening interview subjects include a distinguished roster of government finanChanel”) plays a likable protagonist cial officials including Volcker, current Vice with whom viewers can empathize Chair of the Fed Board of Governors Janet greatly.The elegant script is focused on Yellen, former Vice Chair of the Fed Alan a upper-class woman who suffers Blinder, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo and John through the situation life has dealt her, Mauldin of “Thoughts from the Frontline.” like the classic literary characters The release of “Money for Nothing” is Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, especially timely when the selection prountil she experiences a transformative cess for the next powerful chair of the awakening. Federal Reserve has become so unusually Photo: MPI Pictures In 1926, affluent young woman public and politicized. A leading candidate French film star Audrey Tautou, right, plays a woman trapped in a loveless, domineering marriage in Thérèse (Tautou) enters into a strategic to replace current Bernanke, who’s nearing “Thérèse.” marriage with her neighbor Bernard the end of his second five-year term, is cur(Gilles Lellouche), heir to a massive rent Fed Vice Chair Yellen, a Berkeley econwomen in science, promoted the deregulation of the U.S. omist who’s a main character in the film. Yellen is report- financial system that may have precipitated its collapse in family fortune earned from the lush pinewood forest of edly competing for the position with Harvard economist 2008, but he has largely deflected blame over his role in the southwestern France. An artistic free spirit, she suffocates being stuck in the conservative, rigid life that is expected Larry Summers, former treasury secretary under President crash. from her by her family and society. Her chauvinistic husBill Clinton. band constantly dismisses any of her thoughts. But when The contest has stirred up recriminations over past finanBernard’s younger sister Anne (Anaïs Demoustier),Thérèse’s cial crises and how Summers and Yellen would handle Unfulfilled ‘Thérèse’ “Thérèse,” the last film of director Claude Miller (“A closest friend, enters into a forbidden love affair with a future crises. Yellen, now No. 2 at the Fed, has been largely correct in her predictions over the last six years. If she suc- Secret,” “The Best Way to Walk”), serves as a fitting coda to Portuguese hunk of a lower social class, Thérèse realizes ceeded Bernanke, she would become the first woman to the French helmer’s distinguished career, deftly adapted what her life has been lacking. head the central bank. Summers, who was forced out as from François Mauriac’s famous novel. As usual, fetching Harvard president after questioning the capabilities of French movie star Audrey Tautou (“Amélie,” “Coco Before Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.

Repertory Notes

by Washington Diplomat film reviewer Ky N. Nguyen

Please see International Film Clips on next page for detailed listings available at press time.

Goethe-Institut The German film retrospective “Women in History as Played by Barbara Sukowa: Films by Margarethe von Trotta” features “Marianne and Juliane” (Mon., Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m.); “Hannah Arendt” (Mon., Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m.); “Rosa Luxemburg” (Mon., Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m.); and “Vision” (Mon., Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m.). Sukowa speaks in person in the program “Discussion: Interpreting History on the Screen – An Evening with Barbara Sukowa” at the German Historical Institute (Tue., Sept. 17, 6:30 p.m.). Also catch the film and discussion “Willy Brandt: Ostpolitik of Understanding and Rapprochement” (Tue., Sept. 10, 5 p.m.) and “Almanya,” introduced by Asiye Kaya of Georgetown University (Thu., Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m.).

Accompanying the exhibition “In the Tower: Kerry James Marshall,” the National Gallery presents films with themes that artist Marshall felt are related to his show: Michael Roemer and Robert M. Young’s “Nothin But a Man” (Sat., Aug. 31, 2 p.m.), Brazilian director Marcel Camus’s “Black Orpheus” (Sun., Sept. 1, 4:30 p.m.) and Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust” (Mon., Sept. 2, 2 p.m.). “Ciné-Concert: Abstract Animation Since 1970” shows abstract animations curated by artist Sharon Louden, who appears in person with her new work, accompanied by a live performance of original music by composer Andrew Simpson (Sun., Sept. 8, 4:30 p.m.). (202) 842-6799, www.nga.gov/programs/film

American Film Institute (AFI) Silver Theatre

(202) 289-1200, www.goethe.de/ins/us/was/kue/flm/enindex.htm

The perennial favorite “2013 AFI Latin American Film Festival” (Sept. 19-Oct. 9) returns with films curated by the cultural attachés of Latin American embassies in Washington, D.C.

National Gallery of Art

The Silver Theatre’s 75th Anniversary (Sept. 13-18) offers $5 shows to five 1938 films, including master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock’s British mystery “The Lady Vanishes” (Sept. 13-17.)

The “From Vault to Screen” preservation series boasts French New Wave auteur Jean-Luc Godard’s “Le Petit Soldat” (Sat., Sept. 7, 2:30 p.m.) and French filmmakers Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme’s “Le Joli Mai” (Sat., Sept. 24, 4:30 p.m.).

Continuing series include “Ozploitation: Australian Genre Classics” (through Sept. 9); “Scandinavian Crime Cinema” (through Sept. 18); “70mm Spectacular, Part 2” (through Sept. 2); “Ernest Borgnine

September 2013

Remembered” (through Sept. 18); and “Totally Awesome 7: Great Films of the 1980s” (through Sept. 14). (301) 495-6700, www.afi.com/silver

Freer Gallery of Art The new series “Pages of Beauty and Madness: Japanese Writers Onscreen” features director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s and writer Kobo Abe’s “Woman in the Dunes,” adapted from Abe’s own novel (Fri., Sept. 8, 7 p.m.); “Sound of the Mountain,” Mikio Naruse’s adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning author Yasunori Kawabata’s novel (Fri., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.); director Teinosuke Kinugasa and writer Kawabata’s “A Page of Madness” with live accompaniment by Tatsu Aoki’s Miyumi Quartet, introduced by author Aaron Gerow of “A Page of Madness: Cinema and Modernity in 1920s Japan” (Fri., Sept. 20, 7 p.m.); “The Makioka Sisters,” adapted from Junichiro Tanizaki’s novel “Sasameyuki” (Sun., Sept. 22, 2 p.m.); “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea,” Lewis John Carlino’s adaptation of Yukio Mishima’s novel (Fri., Sept. 27, 7 p.m.); and Martin Ritt’s “The Outrage,” a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon,” adapted from Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s short stories — followed by a book club talk with the Smithsonian’s Noriko Sanefuji (Sun., Sept. 29, 2 p.m.). (202) 357-2700, www.asia.si.edu/events/films.asp

The Washington Diplomat Page 45


[ film ]

CINEMA LISTING

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT

September 2013

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

Danish

Sat., Sept. 7, 11:05 a.m. and 9:15 p.m., Sun., Sept. 8, 11:05 a.m.

Arabic

Northwest (Nordvest)

Lilya 4-Ever (Lilja 4-ever)

Closed Circuit

Directed by Lukas Moodysson (Sweden/Denmark, 2002, 109 min.)

Directed by Michael Noer (Denmark, 2013, 91 min.)

Wadjda Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour (Saudi Arabia/Germany, 2012, 98 min.)

An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school’s Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.

A teenager leaves his low-paying local burglary jobs for a more connected gangster to help care for his mom and younger siblings. AFI Silver Theatre Tue., Sept. 10, 7 p.m., Thu., Sept. 12, 9:20 p.m.

Angelika Film Center Mosaic Opens Fri., Sept. 27

R

Cantonese

After being sentenced to two years behind bars, two inmates initiate an in-house drug smuggling operation, earning them a place in the prisoner hierarchy and the enmity of their rivals (Danish and Arabic).

The Grandmaster (Yi dai zong shi) Directed by Wong Kar Wai (Hong Kong/China, 2013, 109 min.)

This epic action feature inspired by the life of legendary kung fu master Ip Man spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China’s last dynasty, a time of chaos and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts. Angelika Film Center Mosaic Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Czech Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledované vlaky) Directed by Jiří Menzel (Czechoslovakia, 1966, 91 min.)

A young man develops a crush on a young conductor while working in a train station in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II in this coming-of-age black comedy (Menzel appears in person as part of “A Day with Jiří Menzel). National Gallery of Art Sat., Sept. 14, 2 p.m.

Cutting It Short (Postřižiny) Directed by Jiří Menzel (Czechoslovakia, 1981, 93 min.)

Share a brew with the director himself, watching his humorous tale based on the writing of Bohumil Hrabal and his childhood in Nymburk’s brewery in the 1920s. Bistro Bohem Tue., Sept. 17, 7 p.m.

Don Juans (Donšajni) Directed by Jiří Menzel (Czech Republic, 2013, 100 min.)

When a small-town opera company mounts a production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” passions run high both on stage and behind the scenes in the latest film from the Czech New Wave director (Menzel in person). AFI Silver Theatre Sun., Sept. 15, 5 p.m.

Larks on a String (Skrivánci na niti) Directed by Jiří Menzel (Czechoslovakia, 1969, 96 min.)

Set on the scrapheap of Czech culture in the early 1950s following the Communist takeover, a group of “bourgeois,” including a saxophonist and professor, are sent to work at an industrial junkyard in order to be “rehabilitated” (Menzel appears in person as part of “A Day with Jiří Menzel). National Gallery of Art Sun., Sept. 14, 4 p.m.

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Directed by Tobias Lindholm (Denmark, 2010, 99 min.)

AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Sept. 9, 9:30 p.m., Wed., Sept. 11, 7 p.m.

English The Act of Killing Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer (Denmark/Norway/U.K., 2012, 116 min.)

In this chilling and inventive documentary, the filmmakers examine a country where death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes, challenging them to reenact their real-life mass-killings in the style of the American movies they love (English and Indonesian).

Directed by John Crowley (U.K./U.S., 2013, 96 min.)

A high-profile terrorism case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers on the defense team — testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in jeopardy. Angelika Film Center Mosaic Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Cutie and the Boxer Directed by Zachary Heinzerling (U.S., 2013, 82 min.)

This candid New York love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko, who is anxious to establish her own identity (English and Japanese). Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Dead End Drive-In Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith (Australia, 1986, 92 min.)

Following the collapse of the world economy, crime waves sweep Australia, reducing the country to a police state. Drive-ins lure unemployed young people with the promise of a world free of adult supervision, with plenty of junk food, drugs and bad movies — becoming gated teenage concentration camps. AFI Silver Theatre Fri., Sept. 6, 9:45 p.m., Sat., Sept. 7, 7:15 p.m., Mon., Sept. 9, 7:10 p.m.

Estonian teen Lilya had to scrape by in the early years of post-Soviet independence, and grew up fast after her mother leaves for the U.S., turning to prostitution. When she’s offered the chance for a new life in Sweden, she happily leaps at the chance. But things quickly go from bad to worse, with Lilya soon denied her very personhood (English, Russian, Swedish and Polish). AFI Silver Theatre Fri., Sept. 13, 7 p.m., Tue., Sept. 17, 9:15 p.m.

Love Me Tonight Directed by Rouben Mamoulian (U.S., 1932, 96 min.)

A Parisian tailor finds himself posing as a baron in order to collect a sizeable bill from an aristocrat, only to fall in love with an aloof young princess.

In the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum in Vienna, a philosophical museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor who has never been to Vienna before gradually become friends as he helps her with translation, muses on the artwork, and introduces her to some of the sights. Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (U.S., 2011, 100 min.)

Directed by Richard Franklin (Australia, 1981, 101 min.)

The story of a mechanic and Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver has a romantic fatalism and workaday criminal portrayal that aligns with other Nordic noir films, even if it has migrated to sunnier climes and taken on a neon glow.

On long hauls through the outback, trucker Pat Quid talks to himself and to his pet dingo and invents “road games” to pass the time. But after he catches a highway serial killer in the act, Quid is framed for the murder.

Austenland Directed by Jerusha Hess (U.K./U.S., 2013, 96 min.)

A single young woman with an unhealthy obsession with all things Jane Austen desperately seeks her own Mr. Darcy, so she sinks her life savings into a trip to England to stay at an Austen theme manor where actors court the lady visitors. Angelika Film Center Mosaic Landmark’s E Street Cinema

The Family Directed by Luc Besson (U.S./France, 2013)

A notorious mafia clan is relocated to France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.

Blood and Sand

Angelika Film Center Mosaic Opens Fri., Sept. 13

Directed by Rouben Mamoulian (U.S., 1941, 123 min.)

I Give It a Year

Illiterate peasant Juan Gallardo rises meteorically to fame and fortune in the bullfight arena only to sow the seeds of his own fall. National Gallery of Art Sun., Sept. 29, 4 p.m.

BMX Bandits Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith (Australia, 1983, 88 min.)

Fun-loving teens stumble upon a cache of police walkie-talkies and make a quick buck selling them to the kids in their neighborhood. But the walkie-talkies were stolen property, and the gang of bank robbers who stashed them fail to appreciate the irony of some snot-nosed kids stealing them. AFI Silver Theatre

Directed by Dan Mazer (U.K., 2013, 97 min.)

Starting where other romantic comedies finish, “I Give It a Year” lifts the veil on the realities of the first year of a marriage between a high-flyer and struggling novelist that no one thinks will last.

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., Sept. 1, 8:15 p.m., Mon., Sept. 2, 9:45 p.m.

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea Directed by Lewis John Carlino (U.S./U.K., 1976, 105 min.)

Kris Kristofferson stars as a sailor who falls in love with a widow, whose troubled 13-year-old son has taken to spying on her through a peephole between their bedrooms, enthralled by a psychopathic classmate’s half-baked Nietzschean philosophy of rebelling against phony adults through acts of cruelty. Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Sept. 27, 7 p.m.

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., Sept. 7, 11 a.m. Mon., Sept. 9, 7 p.m.

French Le Joli Mai

National Gallery of Art Sun., Sept. 22, 4:30 p.m.

Mademoiselle Chambon Directed by Stéphane Brizé (France, 2009)

A man with a loving wife and son volunteers as to work with his son’s homeroom teacher Madamoiselle Chambon and starts to fall for her delicate and elegant charm. Angelika Film Center Mosaic Opens Fri., Sept. 27

Le Petit Soldat Directed by Jean-Luc Godard (France, 1963, 88 min.)

During the Algerian war for independence from France, a French deserter-turnedphotographer living in Geneva falls for a young woman mixed up with the Algerian liberationists, though each may have different political loyalties. National Gallery of Art Sat., Sept. 7, 2:30 p.m.

Populaire Directed by (France, 2012, 111 min.)

In 1958, 21-year-old Rose seems destined for the quiet, drudgery-filled life of a housewife, until she becomes a secretary for a charismatic insurance agency boss who aims to turn her into the fastest typist in the world (French, English and German).

Smilla’s Sense of Snow

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Sept. 13

Directed by Bille August (Denmark/Germany/Sweden, 1997, 121 min.)

Rust and Bone (De rouille et d’os)

Landmark’s E Street Cinema

A lonely Copenhagener suspects foul play after the death of her neighbor, a neglected Inuit boy (English and Inuktitut).

Inequality for All

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 1 to Sept. 5

Directed by Jacob Kornbluth (U.S., 2013)

Kai Lehtinen returns to Finland to discover that his ex-girlfriend has been killed in a suspicious fire, while an inspector investigates the seemingly unrelated murder of a protestor at Helsinki’s World Bank meeting.

As the war with Algeria was coming to an end, the filmmakers took to the streets of Paris, capturing more than 50 hours of interviews with passersby on the “meaning of happiness.”

Directed by Jem Cohen (Austria/U.S., 2012, 106 min.)

Applause

AFI Silver Theatre Sat., Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m., Mon., Sept. 16, 9:15 p.m., Wed., Sept. 18, 9:15 p.m.

Directed by Tapio Piirainen (Finland, 2003, 128 min.)

Museum Hours

Road Games

National Gallery of Art Sat., Sept. 28, 2 p.m.

Raid

Directed by Chris Marker and Pierre L’homme (France, 1963, 163 min.)

Drive

Torch-singer Helen Morgan is cast as a blowsy, washed-up, burlesque queen who forfeits everything for her daughter.

AFI Silver Theatre Sun., Sept. 8, 1 p.m.

National Gallery of Art Sat., Sept. 28, 4 p.m.

The Avalon Theatre Wed., Sept. 4, 8 p.m.

Directed by Rouben Mamoulian (U.S., 1929, 80 min.)

Based on true events, a poor tenant farmer, his way of life rapidly vanishing amid Finland’s postwar industrial modernization, shoots four policemen sent to his house to investigate a drunken domestic disturbance.

This documentary follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country’s widening economic gap.

Finnish

Angelika Film Center Mosaic Opens Fri., Sept. 27

Directed by Mikko Niskanen (Finland, 1972, 336 min.)

Eight Deadly Shots (Kahdeksan surmanluotia)

Directed by Jacques Audiard (France/Belgium, 2012, 115 min.)

A whale trainer who loses her legs in a tragic accident meets an itinerant father with little time for pity who helps her find the courage to go on living. La Maison Française Tue., Sept. 10, 7 p.m.

Thérèse (Thérèse Desqueyroux) Directed by Claude Miller

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


(France, 2012, 110 min.)

The final film of director Claude Miller is set in the beautiful pinewoods of southwest France, where a well-off woman in the 1920s marries her neighbor to join their estates and finds herself suffocating in her provincial marriage. Landmark’s E Street Cinema

German Almanya (Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland)

Oscar-Winning Director Heads to D.C. The Czech Embassy presents a weeklong series of events from Sept. 13 to 17 with Oscar-winning Czech director Jiří Menzel, including an evening with Menzel at the Czech Embassy, screenings and discussions of his film classics at the National Gallery of Art, an informal screening at the Czech restaurant Bistro Bohem, as well as the local premiere of his new film “Don Juans (Donšajni)” at the AFI Silver Theatre. The special series marks the year of Menzel’s 75th birth. See film listings for details.

Goethe-Institut Thu., Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m.

Hannah Arendt Directed by Margarethe von Trotta (Germany, 2012, 113 min.) Barbara Sukowa stars in this new biopic of Hannah Arendt, the influential GermanJewish philosopher and political theorist whose reporting on the 1961 trial of ex-Nazi Adolf Eichmann introduced her now-famous concept of the “Banality of Evil.” Goethe-Institut Mon., Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m.

Marianne and Juliane (Die bleierne Zeit) Directed by Margarethe von Trotta (Germany, 1981, 107 min.)

Born during World War II in Germany, sisters Marianne and Juliane grew up during the “leaden times” of the 1950s, both fighting for social change during the 1960s, but by different means. Goethe-Institut Mon., Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m.

Rosa Luxemburg Directed by Margarethe von Trotta (Germany, 1985, 123 min.)

Barbara Sukowa stars in this poignant dramatization of the personal and political struggles of Spartacist leader Rosa Luxemburg, whose passionate pursuit of justice caused her to be imprisoned in Germany and Poland throughout her life and murdered in 1919. Goethe-Institut Mon., Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m.

Vision (Vision – Aus dem Leben der Hildegard von Bingen) Directed by Margarethe von Trotta (Germany, 2009, 111 min.)

Twelfth-century Benedictine abbess Hildegard von Bingen was a Christian mystic, author, counselor, naturalist, scientist, philosopher, physician, poet, visionary, composer and polymath who has only slowly emerged from the shadows of history as an extraordinary agent of faith and change.

A Gun in Each Hand (Una pistola en cada mano) A series of comedic, interconnected vignettes trace the misadventures of a group of 40-something men.

Spanish

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Landmark’s E Street Cinema Opens Fri., Sept. 6

Directed by Alfredo Soderguit (Uruguay/Colombia, 2013, 80 min.)

Japanese The Makioka Sisters (Sasame-yuki) Directed by Kon Ichikawa (Japan, 1983, 140 min.)

Four adult sisters face their tradition-bound family’s uncertain future in the years leading up to World War II. Freer Gallery of Art Sun., Sept. 22, 2 p.m.

Sound of the Mountain (Yama no oto) Directed by Mikio Naruse (Japan, 1954, 96 min.)

The patriarch of a lower middle-class Tokyo family whose son is openly cheating on his dutiful, long-suffering wife goes to increasingly greater lengths to tear his son away from his longtime mistress.

A young girl with a triple palindrome name must endure a weeklong suspension after a schoolyard fight, and ultimately learn a lesson in friendship and acceptance. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

The Body (El cuerpo) Directed by Oriol Paulo (Spain, 2012, 108 min.)

Detectives search for a body that has gone missing from the morgue.

Hold-Up! (¡Atraco!) Directed by Eduard Cortés (Spain/Argentina, 2012, 111 min.)

This rollicking caper details the strangerthan-fiction staged robbery of Eva Perón’s jewels in 1950s Madrid. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Melaza

No Autumn, No Spring (Sin otoño, sin primavera) Directed by Iván Mora Manzano (Ecuador/Colombia/France, 2013, 115 min.)

A punk ballad, this kaleidoscopic film explores the lives, loves and losses of Guayaquil City youths.

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Woman in the Dunes (Suna no onna)

The Cleaner (El limpiador)

Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara (Japan, 1964, 123 min.)

Directed by Adrian Saba (Peru, 2013, 95 min.)

In this existential allegory, an amateur entomologist exploring a remote village is offered shelter in a woman’s home at the bottom of a vast sandpit. In the morning, he must join the woman in the Sisyphean task of clearing the sand that falls into the pit every day to prevent the village from being buried.

A forensic cleaner reluctantly takes in a young orphan in the midst of a deadly epidemic in this gentle apocalyptic drama.

Freer Gallery of Art Sun., Sept. 8, 2 p.m.

Directed by Javier Rebollo (Spain/France/Argentina, 2013, 92 min.)

Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury (Rio 2096: Uma História de Amor e Fúria)

This screwball road movie follows a cancer-stricken hitman.

Directed by Luiz Bolognesi (Brazil, 2013, 98 min.)

Portuguese They’ll Come Back (Eles Voltam) Directed by Marcelo Lordello (Brazil, 2013, 100 min.)

This modern fable about independence and identity is set in rugged northwestern Brazil. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Italian

Directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa (Japan, 1926, 59 min.)

Ostensibly the story of a man who takes a job as a janitor in a mental hospital to look after his insane wife, this avant-garde silent film marshals all manner of radical techniques to render the world of the mentally ill in clashing, hallucinatory images.

The Dead Man and Being Happy (El muerto y ser feliz)

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Dust (Polvo) Directed by Julio Hernández Cordón (Germany/Guatemala/Spain/Chile, 2012, 80 min.)

A couple makes a documentary in a village of indigenous people in Guatemala’s back country, chronicling the villagers’ recollections of the conflict and subsequent disappearances of their family members in 1982. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Edificio Royale

Directed by Hernán Goldfrid (Argentina/Spain, 2013, 106 min.)

A criminal law specialist believes one of his students committed a brutal murder and begins an investigation. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Viola Directed by Matías Piñeiro (Argentina/U.S., 2013, 65 min.)

This spritely adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” is set among contemporary Buenos Aires hipsters. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Avalon

Chicama

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Thesis on a Homicide (Tesis sobre un homicidio)

A young couple struggles to get by when their village sugar mill is shut down. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

In this charming story, a fresh-faced elementary school teacher is sent to a remote school in the Andes mountains.

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Swedish

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Directed by Omar Forero (Peru, 2013, 75 min.)

In this day in the life of a public swimming pool in Cuba, five disabled teens take swimming lessons.

Directed by Carlos Lechuga (Cuba/France/Panama, 2013, 80 min.)

Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Sept. 13, 7 p.m.

A Page of Madness (Kurutta ippêji)

On a seemingly idyllic Sicilian island, 20-year-old Filippo lives with his mother and grandfather, an old-time fisherman who clings to traditional ways. One day the

Directed by Carlos Quintela (Cuba/Spain/Venezuela, 2013, 65 min.)

Freer Gallery of Art Fri., Sept. 20, 7 p.m.

Silent

Directed by Emanuele Crialese (Italy/France, 2011, 88 min.)

In Rome, two teen siblings, newly orphaned, discover the dangers of sudden adulthood.

two men encounter a raft of desperate illegal immigrants and save a drowning pregnant woman and her son, creating a moral dilemma for the family who must decide whether to hide the survivors or turn them in. (Italian, Sicilian and Amharic).

Anina

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

The Swimming Pool (La piscina)

Photo: Pastorius

Czech director Jiří Menzel

to strike out on her own and have an adventure.

Directed by Alicia Scherson (Italy/Chile/Germany/Spain, 2013, 94 min.)

Directed by Cesc Gay (Spain, 2012, 95 min.)

Goethe-Institut Mon., Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m.

Terraferma

The Future (Il futuro)

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Directed by Yasemin Samdereli (Germany, 2010, 101 min.)

One evening, the grandfather of a Turkish family living in Germany surprises his loved ones with the news that he has bought a house in Turkey and wants to take everyone back “home” with him, sparking a journey full of memories, arguments and reconciliations (German and Turkish).

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Once Upon a Time in Bolivia (Erase una vez en Bolivia) Directed by Patrick Cordova (Bolivia, 2012, 81 min.)

This micro-budget road movie is set against the backdrop of the 2003 Bolivian gas conflict. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

This striking, visionary animated film explores 600 years of Brazilian history through the eyes of a single character reincarnated across the centuries. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

So Much Water (Tanta agua) Directed by Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge (Uruguay/Mexico/Netherlands/Germany, 2013, 102 min.)

A 14-year old is forced to spend time with her family when a rainstorm ruins their vacation. AFI Silver Theatre Sept. 19 to Oct. 9

Directed by Iván Wild (Colombia, 2013, 90 min.)

Sofia and the Stubborn Man (Sofía y el Terco)

This black comedy centers on a decaying building in Colombia and its Tom Cruiseobsessed residents.

Directed by Andrés Burgos (Colombia, 2012, 75 min.)

A long-suffering married woman decides

September 2013

Directed by Axel Petersén (Sweden, 2011, 79 min.)

A 60-year-old party promoter has high hopes pinned to the opening of the new nightclub Avalon, but after an accidental death occurs on the property, he becomes embroiled in the cover-up. AFI Silver Theatre Thu., Sept. 5, 7 p.m.

Kim Novak Never Swam in Genesaret’s Lake (Kim Novak badade aldrig i Genesarets sjö) Directed by Martin Asphaug (Sweden, 2005, 95 min.)

In 1960s small-town Sweden, a pretty substitute teacher comes to school — nicknamed Kim Novak by the boys — and a 14-year-old boy’s world brightens considerably… until a horrible murder occurs. AFI Silver Theatre Sun., Sept. 1, 1:20 p.m., Wed., Sept. 4, 7 p.m.

The Last Contract (Sista kontraktet) Directed by Kjell Sundvall (Sweden/Norway/Finland, 1998, 115 min.)

The still-unsolved case of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme’s murder — gunned down on the streets of Stockholm, as he and his wife walked side by side — is the chilling subject of this speculative crime fiction, a conspiracy theory thriller reminiscent of Oliver Stone’s “JFK” (Swedish and English). AFI Silver Theatre Tue., Sept. 3, 7 p.m.

Slim Susie Directed by Ulf Malmros (Sweden, 2003, 97 min.)

A man returns home after his sister goes missing and finds his hometown not the sleepy country village of his youth. AFI Silver Theatre Mon., Sept. 16, 7 p.m., Wed., Sept. 18, 7 p.m.

The Washington Diplomat Page 47


[ 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.

through the prism of both progress, such as aerospace technology and the futuristic architecture of Niemeyer, and ongoing challenges such as slums and deforestation.

ART

Through Sept. 6

Sept. 1 to 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 Sept. 1 to 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 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 Through Sept. 1

Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928–1945

Featuring 44 sumptuous canvases, the exhibition charts French cubist master Georges Braque’s (1882-1963) work in the still-life genre — from depictions of intimate interiors in the late 1920s, to vibrant, large-scale canvases in the 1930s, to darker and more personal spaces in the 1940s.

Buenos Aires-born painter Dolores GomezBustillo learned from leading artists across the Americas, including Argentina, Peru and the United States, taking as her inspiration the beauty of simple landscapes and the human form.

Nine Deaths, Two Births: Xu Bing’s Phoenix Project

Chinese artist Xu Bing spent more than two years creating his newest work, “Phoenix Project,” a massive installation that comprises two birds fabricated entirely from materials found at construction sites in Beijing. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Sept. 4 to Oct. 18

Brazil, My Brazil: Contrasts of Modernity

Brazilian artist Marília Bulhões offers a contemporary view of her country’s people, natural beauty, modernity and troubles

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Through Oct. 6

Peter Coffin: Here & There

Nature, science, pseudoscience, psychological displacement, urban happenstance and what-if brainstorms are among the myriad departure points for the works of New York-based artist Peter Coffin.

Through Sept. 8

Over, Under, Next: Experiments in Mixed Media, 1913-Present

Butterfly wings, glass shards, doll parts, crumpled automotive metal, jigsaw puzzle pieces, clothing, straight pins, furniture, and colored sand — these are just some of the materials in “Over, Under, Next,” an exhibition of approximately 100 examples of collage and assemblage, primarily drawn from the Hirshhorn’s collection. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Through Sept. 13

Seven Points (Part Two)

“Seven Points” is a series of exhibitions that showcase the work of seven Australian contemporary artists: Daniel Boyd, Marley Dawson, Newell Harry, Anna Kristensen, Angelica Mesiti, Kate Mitchell and Tim Silver. Informed by periods of residency internationally, these artists’ works offer alternative points of entry into the diverse conditions of Australian culture. Embassy of Australia

Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex on the Flight of Birds

Through Sept. 2

Corcoran Gallery of Art

Embassy of Argentina

Through Sept. 2

National Gallery of Art

into the world of the distant future. Human civilization having long since come to an end, the earth is populated now only by ruins, ripe for archeological interpretation by visitors from another planet. Attempting to make sense of what they find, Harvey’s aliens immediately mine the potential of one of the greatest neo-classical cities — Washington, D.C. — as a tourist destination.

Living Water Paintings

Sept. 13 to Oct. 22

More than 130 original costumes, set designs, paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, photographs and posters reveal how the Ballets Russes — the most innovative dance company of the 20th century — propelled the performing arts to new heights through groundbreaking collaborations between artists, composers, choreographers, dancers and fashion designers.

September 2013

Art Museum of the Americas F Street Gallery

The Phillips Collection

Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: When Art Danced with Music

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT

One of Italy’s greatest treasures, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Codex on the Flight of Birds,” created circa 1505, shows da Vinci’s interest in human flight by exploring bird flight and behavior. It includes sketches and descriptions of devices and aerodynamic principles related to mechanical flight that predate the invention of the airplane by 400 years. National Air and Space Museum Sept. 20 to Oct. 19

Comparisons in Jugendstil and Spanish Mission Private Residences

This exhibit compares two influential residences that share a common artistic impact on their respective cities: the Jugendstil house in Riga, a former artistic residence that is now home to the Riga Art Nouveau Museum, and the historic Alice Pike Barney Studio House, the current home of the Embassy of Latvia in D.C. built by Barney, a patron of the Washington arts scene in the early 20th century. Latvian Embassy Art Space Through Sept. 22

Fusion: Tracing Asian Migration to the Americas

Through the permanent collection of the Art

Photo: Michal Hančovský

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Jindřiška Křivánková, left, and Miřenka eČ chová perform in “Antiwords,” which will have its U.S. premiere at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. as part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013-Václav Havel. The performance was inspired by Havel’s play “Audience.”

Through Oct. 13

Museum of the Americas, one of the most vital sources of contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art in the United States, this exhibition explores the migration of artists or their families to the Americas from Asia during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

The last exhibition presented in the Textile Museum’s historic location before the museum’s 2014 reopening promises to be a beautiful pairing of tradition and innovation, demonstrating how four artists are reinventing traditional Southeast Asian textile techniques, designs and ideology in new and meaningful ways.

Art Museum of the Americas Through Sept. 22

Bice Lazzari: Signature Line

In collaboration with the Italian Embassy, this exhibit features 25 paintings and drawings by Lazzari (1900-81), one of Italy’s most revered modern artists. Discouraged from studying the figure in art school in the 1910s because of her gender, she became a prominent decorative arts designer who became for her later poetic abstract paintings. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Sept. 27

The Marvelous Real: Colombia Through the Vision of its Artists

This visual tour of 36 pieces by 24 artists highlights the complexities, challenges and singularities of Colombia through the eyes of several of its most important artists, including Edgar Negret, Fanny Sanín and David Manzur. Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center Through Sept. 29

A Book Behind Bars: The Robben Island Shakespeare

Nelson Mandela signed his name next to a passage from “Julius Caesar” in Shakespeare’s “Complete Works” on Dec. 16, 1977, while serving 18 years as a political prisoner at Robben Island. More than 30 of Mandela’s fellow prisoners also signed their names next to passages, documenting a part of their experience through their shared knowledge of Shakespeare. Accompanying the Robben Island Shakespeare book — on display for the first time in the United States — is a series of sketches Mandela made in the early 2000s, reflecting on his prison life. Folger Shakespeare Library

Through Sept. 29

The Folgers Our Founders

During renovation of the Folger Great Hall, the Folger Shakespeare Library offers a special exhibition in the Founders’ Room celebrating the collecting history of its founders, Henry and Emily Folger. Folger Shakespeare Library Through Sept. 29

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath

This landmark exhibition revolutionizes our understanding of war, immersing viewers in the experience of soldiers and civilians through images by more than 200 photographers from 28 nations that span conflicts from the past 165 years — from the Mexican-American War through presentday conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Corcoran Gallery of Art Sept. 29 to 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 Sept. 30

Cardboard City

Three artists from three countries — Germany, the United States and Russia — present their aesthetic representations of the city as memorial and as a form of life. Their art — made using cardboard, a raw, industrial material that is available everywhere in the world — raises questions about that which surrounds and influences us. Goethe-Institut Through Oct. 6

NOW at the Corcoran – Ellen Harvey: The Alien’s Guide to the Ruins of Washington, D.C.

Ellen Harvey’s new project is a glimpse

Out of Southeast Asia: Art that Sustains

The Textile Museum Through Oct. 15:

Guerrero: 7 Regions of Art and Tradition

The southwest Mexican state of Guerrero is a richly diverse blend of geography and ethnicity that’s home to four major ethnic groups and seven regions, each with their own distinctive artistic culture. These regions celebrate material and immaterial heritage at once both communal and unique, inherent in their archeological sites, churches, parks and plazas. From these shared spaces come the crafts, clothing and artwork that help to underwrite Guerrero’s larger identity. Mexican Cultural Institute Through Nov. 10

American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s

Faith Ringgold is well known for originating the African American story quilt revival in the late 1970s. In the previous decade, she created bold, provocative paintings in direct response to the civil rights and feminist movements. Ringgold’s unprecedented exploration of race and gender in America is examined in this comprehensive survey of 49 rarely exhibited paintings. National Museum of Women in the Arts Through Nov. 10

Awake in a Dream World: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger

The first major museum exhibition of visual artist and author of “The Time Traveler’s Wife” reveals a mysterious, strange and whimsical world, both real and imagined, through 239 paintings, drawings, prints and book art. National Museum of Women in the Arts

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


Through Dec. 31

S.O.S. Spanish Office Showroom

As part of the SPAIN arts & culture program (www.spainculture.us), “S.O.S. Spanish Office Showroom” presents the most avant-garde pieces of Spanish design conceived for modern working environments, highlighting how the creativity of contemporary Spanish designers adapts to any office space and how Spanish design companies are successfully competing in international markets, such as the United States. Former Spanish Residence 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

ground 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

DANCE Sept. 12 to 13

Saburo Teshigawara / KARAS

Japanese choreographer Saburo Teshigawara and KARAS present the work “Mirror and Music,” which explores the simultaneously tangible and intangible nature of music and the reflection we see when we look into the mirror. Tickets are $19 to $45. Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater Sept. 20 to 22

Utsav: A Celebration of India’s Maestros of Music & Dance

Sivam, Inc. — whose mission is to promote the education and advancement of Indian classical dance as a traditional art form — presents “Utsav,” a three-day celebration of traditional Indian music and dance performances by renowned Indian artists. Tickets are $35.

Through Jan. 5

Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa

DISCUSSIONS

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. 12

Living Artfully: At Home with Marjorie Merriweather Post

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.

Wed., Sept. 11, 7 p.m.

Donna DeCesare: The Unsettling Impact of War and Its Aftermath

How does the mayhem of war effect children? What turns suffering from cruelty toward resistance or resilience? Photographer-educator Donna DeCesare explores the ways she has grappled with these questions in her own work. Tickets are $10. Corcoran Gallery of Art Tue., Sept. 17, 7 p.m.

An Evening with Alexandra Avakian Photojournalist Alexandra Avakian will share photographs from her years covering conflict, its aftermath, life and death. Tickets are $10. Corcoran Gallery of Art

Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens Through Jan. 25

A Night at the Opera

The grandeur of opera — its unforgettable music, stellar performers, and lavish scenery 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. Library of Congress James Madison Building 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 June 8, 2014

Perspectives: Rina Banerjee

Born in India and based in New York City, artist Rina Banerjee draws on her back-

Sun., Sept. 29, 1 to 4 p.m.

The Washington Ballet Open House The Washington Ballet opens its studios located at 3515 Wisconsin Ave., NW, to let visitors view performances, rehearsals and classes, participate in a Q&A with Artistic Director Septime Webre, and enjoy free refreshments and family friendly events and activities. The Washington Ballet

FESTIVALS Sept. 5 to Oct. 31

Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013-Václav Havel

The Czech Embassy celebrates the life and legacy of dissident, playwright and former Czech President Václav Havel with more than 30 events throughout Washington as part of its Mutual Inspirations Festival, an annual initiative focusing on the mutual inspirations between Czech and American cultures and featuring an extraordinary Czech personality who has greatly inspired others. This year’s festival also marks the 77th anniversary of Havel’s birth, a number of particular significance because Havel was one of the founders of Charter 77, a human rights manifesto criticizing

the Czechoslovak government. With more than 20,000 visitors in the last two years, the festival incorporates theatrical performances, film screenings, concerts, lectures and exhibitions — reflecting the many hats Havel wore throughout his life as president, political leader, visionary, spiritual seeker, human rights activist, citizen, dissident, prisoner, playwright, writer and poet. For more information, visit www.mutualinspirations.org.

gram featuring superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma in Tchaikovsky’s “Rococo Variations,” as well as Saint-Saëns’s “Organ Symphony” finale with young organist Cameron Carpenter. Tickets are $50 to $250.

$40 to $100.

Kennedy Center Concert Hall

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

Various locations

Bedlam Theatre takes on two literary greats in rotating repertory: Shakespeare’s penultimate tragedy about revenge and madness, as well as George Bernard Shaw’s portrayal of Joan of Arc not as a saint, a witch or a madwoman, but as a French farm girl who is anything but simple. Tickets are $32.50 to $65.

Sun., Sept. 15, 12 to 5 p.m.

28th Annual Kalorama House and Embassy Tour

This annual open house features several of Kalorama’s most beautiful homes, including the elegant residence of the ambassador of Austria, the recently redecorated residence of the ambassador of Portugal, the bright and modern Embassy of Slovenia, and the President Woodrow Wilson House, now celebrating the centennial of Wilson’s presidency. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 at the door; a brunch package at the Mansion on O Street is available for $75. Woodrow Wilson House Fri., Sept. 27, 6:30 p.m.

Euro Night 2013

For the sixth year in a row, the European embassies in Washington present Euro Night. More than 20 European Union embassies converge on the French Embassy to showcase their traditions and culinary specialties against a backdrop of live music and cultural festivities. Tickets are $35 or $55 for benefactor tickets; open bar is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., after which time there will be a cash bar. La Maison Française

GALAS Fri., Sept. 27, 6 p.m.

Nyumbani 20th Annual Benefit

Nyumbani — which is home to Kenya’s first and largest facility for HIV+ orphans and provides community outreach, medical care and other services to help Kenya’s orphans thrive — is celebrating its 20th annual benefit in Washington with the theme “Kwa Uzima: Swahili for Life.” Longtime supporter Kathleen Matthews will be the mistress of ceremonies for the evening, which includes cocktails, silent auction and dinner. Tickets are $350; for information, http://www.nyumbani.org/benefit. Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC

MUSIC Mon., Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m.

THEATER Sept. 4 to Oct. 20

Saint Joan and Hamlet

Olney Theatre Center Through Sept. 8

A Chorus Line

Featuring hit Broadway songs, “A Chorus Line” follows 17 dancers competing for eight coveted spots in the chorus of a Broadway musical. Throughout the audition, they bare their souls while sharing stories of their childhood, ambitions, fears and experiences in show business. T ickets are $32.50 to $65. Olney Theatre Center

Indian Residence Sun., Sept. 29, 7 p.m.

National Symphony Orchestra Season-Opening Ball Concert

Conductor Christoph Eschenbach officially opens the NSO’s new season with a pro-

Through Sept. 15

Maureen, a lonely spinster in her 40s, lives with her diabolically manipulative mother Mag in an isolated cottage in the west of Ireland. When Maureen is offered a last chance at love, she sees a chance to escape, but Mag has other ideas, setting in motion a chain of deceptions, secrets and betrayals that are both heartbreaking and hilarious. Tickets are $10 to $45. Round House Theatre Bethesda Sept. 15 to 27

Washington National Opera: Tristan and Isolde

In Wagner’s retelling of the beloved Celtic myth and its star-crossed lovers, Deborah Voigt — one of the finest Wagnerian sopranos of our time — brings her alluring portrayal of Isolde to a stunning production featuring an impressive international cast. Tickets are $25 to $300. Kennedy Center Opera House Sat., Sept. 21, 8 p.m.

Im Hussein Jubilee Show

Sept. 8 to 22

Abduction from the Seraglio

The In Series kicks off its new season with “Abduction from the Seraglio,” transplanting Mozart’s opera about two men rescuing their sweethearts to the American Wild West. Tickets are $40.

The “Im Hussein Jubilee Show” celebrates 25 years of comedy staged by the Ajyal Theatrical Group, the first Arab-American theatrical group in North America — and the first to take the show around the world — featuring the one and only Im Hussein. Tickets are $45 to $85.

Source Theatre

GW Lisner Auditorium

Sept. 9 to Oct. 6

Through Sept. 22

Detroit

Miss Saigon

Lisa D’Amour’s award-winning comedy “Detroit” is an incendiary take on suburbs, neighbors and the rapidly crumbling economic ladder that inaugurates Woolly’s 34th season, “America’s Tell-Tale Heart,” which exposes the complex soul inside America’s sunny exterior. Tickets start at $35.

Created by the acclaimed writers of “Les Misérables,” this modern, rockinfused adaptation of Puccini’s 1904 opera “Madame Butterfly” explores the ongoing impact of love, loss and the collision of cultures during the Vietnam War. Please call for ticket information. Signature Theatre

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Sept. 26 to Nov. 3 Sept. 12 to Oct. 27

Measure for Measure

Director Jonathan Munby places Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” in a fascist, late-1930s Europe steeped in cabaret culture, reflecting on the dual nature of humanity as both tragic and comic through the story of a novice nun who must decide whether to sacrifice her virginity to save her brother’s life. Tickets are

Rudresh Mahanthappa, Alto Saxophone Matt Mitchell, Pianist

The Embassy Series opens its 20th anniversary season with saxophonist and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, who fuses progressive jazz and south Indian classical music into a harmonious composition that reflects his experience growing up as a second-generation Indian-American. Tickets are $160, including buffet dinner reception and valet parking; for information, visit www.embassyseries.org.

Shakespeare Theatre Company Lansburgh Theatre

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Synetic Theater reinvents Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” in a unique fusion of visual and verbal poetry that explores Wilde’s only novel, which many consider his most personal work — a timelessly supernatural story of man’s endless conflict with the nature of mortality. Tickets start at $35. Synetic Theater

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DIPLOMATIC SPOTLIGHT

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013

Lugar Institute Roundtable

Bastille Day

Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), two-time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, hosts a group of 16 ambassadors from Africa at the Richard G. Lugar Insti­ tute for Diplomacy and Congress, a new initiative of the German Marshall Fund to bring together Congress and Embassy Row. photos: lugar institute for Diplomacy and Congress

photo: Anna Gawel

Ambassador of France François Delattre welcomes guests to the Bastille Day reception held at Anderson House, home of the Society of the Cincinnati, founded in 1783 by American and French officers who fought together in the American Revolution.

photo: gail scott

photo: gail scott

Ambassador of Israel Michael Oren and his wife Sally Oren attend the Bastille Day celebration.

Ambassador of Monaco Gilles Noghès and his wife Ellen Noghès attend the Bastille Day celebration.

African ambassadors discuss ways to improve relations between the United States and Africa at an ambassadorial roundtable hosted by the Richard G. Lugar Institute for Diplomacy and Congress.

Bahamian Independence

photo: gail scott photo: Anna Gawel

Ambassador of Finland Ritva Koukku-Ronde, left, and Ambassador of Luxembourg Jean-Louis Wolzfeld attend France’s Bastille Day celebration.

From left, Ambassador of the Central African Republic Stanislas Moussa-Kembe, Ambassador of Cape Verde Maria de Fatima Lima da Veiga, Ambassador of Mozambique Amélia Matos Sumbana, and Ambassador of Côte d’Ivoire Daouda Diabate attend France’s Bastille Day celebration at Anderson House.

photos: gail scott

Permanent Representative of the Bahamas to the Organization of American States (OAS) Elliston Rahming, right, joins OAS SecretaryGeneral José Miguel Insulza to celebrate the 40th anniversary of independence for the Bahamas at the OAS.

From left, Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines La Celia A. Prince, Ambassador of St. Kitts and Nevis Jacinth Lorna Henry-Martin, and U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) Carmen Lomellin attend the Bahamas Independence Day reception at the OAS.

photo: gail scott

French Residence executive chef Christophe Tanneau and his team prepare the hors d’oeuvres for the Bastille Day celebration, held at Anderson House this year because the residence is undergoing renovations.

photo: embassy of france

photo: Anna Gawel

From left, Ambassador of Croatia Joško Paro, Rhoda M. Septilici, and Ambassador of Moldova Igor Munteanu attend France’s Bastille Day celebration.

Ambassador of France François Delattre, right, welcomes philanthropist Adrienne Arsht to the embassy’s Bastille Day celebration held at Anderson House.

Fit for Royalty

Page 50

Nataliia Terletska Motsyk, wife of the Ukrainian ambassador, left, and Irina Akimushkina, a Russian writer and consultant, attend the Bahamas Indepen­ dence Day reception.

Santangelo Giovanni, chef to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, left, and Mark Flanagan, vice president of Le Club des Chefs de Chefs and chef to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, serve food to New Yorkers as part of the “Fit for Royalty” menu served at various InterContinental properties.

photos: Megan Martin

White House executive chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford serves her dish to a New Yorker at the launch of the “Fit for Royalty” menu. The recipes, which offer a glimpse of homestyle cooking from the first families of the world, were featured at InterContinental properties around the world, including the Willard’s Café du Parc in Washington, D.C.

From left, Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago Neil Parsan, Ambassador of St. Lucia Sonia M. Johnny, and Permanent Representative of Haiti to the Organization of American States (OAS) Bocchit Edmond attend the Bahamas Independence Day reception at the OAS.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Le Club des Chefs de Chefs — the organization of chefs to the world’s heads of state — launched a “Fit for Royalty” menu, featuring dishes prepared for world leaders, in New York. A portion of the proceeds from the initiative, designed to raise awareness of hunger, are donated to local food banks in the participating InterContinental hotels’ cities.

At the Xavier Mission in New York, 20 personal chefs to world leaders collaborated with the InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel’s executive chef Serge Devesa to serve 10 dignitary dishes to more than 200 New Yorkers in need.

The Washington Diplomat

Christian Garcia, president of Le Club des Chefs de Chefs (CCC) and chef to Prince Albert II of Monaco, greets a little boy at the philanthropic launch of an initiative to raise awareness of hunger.

September 2013


Belgian National Day

photo: institute for education

Ambassador of Spain Ramón Gill-Casares, left, and Marie Thérèse Royce of Alcatel-Lucent, wife of Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), attend the Belgian National Day celebration.

Photos: anna gawel

From left, Ambassador of Belgium Jan Matthysen and his daughter Charlotte and wife Agnes welcome guests to their residence for the Belgian National Day reception, the last time the Matthysens, who will be leaving their Washington posting, will host the annual fête.

Photos: anna gawel

From left, Jovana Kirn, Ambassador of Slovenia Roman Kirn, and Ellen Noghès attend the Belgian National Day celebration.

Kelsey Kemper Valentine, left, and Miss DC 2013 Bindhu Pamarthi attend the Belgian National Day celebration.

Ambassador of France François Delattre, left, and Ambassador of Monaco Gilles Noghès attend the Belgian National Day celebration.

Gitte Pederson, left, and Ambassador of Denmark Peter Taksoe-Jensen attend the Belgian National Day celebration at the residence.

From left, Ambassador of Monaco Gilles Noghès, Suzana Jolevski, Filip Jolevski, Ambassador of Macedonia Zoran Jolevski, and former National Security Advisor Gen. James L. Jones attend the Belgian National Day reception.

Ecuadorian Independence From left, Maria Gabriela Jouvin of the InterAmerican Development Bank, Cristina Alvarez, Ambassador of Ecuador Nathalie Cely Suárez, her husband Ivan Hernández, and Maria Mercedes Louques attend Ecuador’s Independence Day celebration. From left, Lala Abdurahimova and her husband Ambassador of Azerbaijan Elin Suleymanov join Ambassador of Ecuador Nathalie Cely Suárez and her husband Ivan Hernández at a reception celebrating the 204th anniversary of Ecuador’s independence.

From left, Ambassador of Turkey Namik Tan, Director of International Public Affairs Coordination for Sanofi pharmaceuticals Frédéric Badey, and Ambassador of France François Delattre attend the Belgian National Day reception, which featured live music and a cooking station of, what else, Belgian waffles.

Liberian Independence

Photos: larry luxner

Photo: anna gawel

From left, James Staton Jr. and his wife, Director of the National African Art Museum Johnnetta Betsch Cole, join Ambassador of South Sudan Akec Khoc Aciew at the Liberian Independence Day celebration.

photos: Gail scott

From left, Minister at the Ecuadorian Embassy Andrés Montalvo, Ambassador of Ecuador to the Organization of American States María Isabel Salvador, Ambassador of Ecuador Nathalie Cely Suárez, and Consul General of Ecuador Janina Smith attend Ecuador’s Independence Day celebration at the embassy.

Ambassador of Cape Verde Maria de Fatima Lima da Veiga, left, and Ambassador of Nicaragua Francisco Obadiah Campbell Hookerm attend Ecuador’s Independence Day celebration.

Ambassador of Barbados John Beale and his wife Leila Beale attend the Liberian Independence Day celebration.

From left, Marica Cox Mitchell of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Leon Mensah, financial consultant at AXA Advisors LLC, and Mouna Farhat attend the Liberian Independence Day celebration.

From left, Sanbo Jones, Nadene Howard and Kenneth Best, publisher of the Daily Observer newspaper in Monrovia, attend the Liberian Independence Day celebration at the ambassador’s residence.

September 2013

From left, Branderlyn Barclay, Marvie Issa, Anthony Barclay, Heidi Harmon, and Joyce Barclay attend the Liberian Independence Day celebration.

The Washington Diplomat Page 51


DIPLOMATIC SPOTLIGHT

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013

Astronauts at Canada

photos: Keegan Bursaw / embassy of Canada

From left, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Ambassador of Canada Gary Doer, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Chris Hadfield, CSA President Gilles Leclerc, CSA incoming President Walter John Natynczyk, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, and Commander of the Canadian Defense Liaison Staff Maj. Gen. Nicolas Matern attend a reception at the Canadian Embassy.

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Chris Hadfield, left, and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, right, present Ambassador of Canada Gary Doer with a mission photo at a reception honoring both astronauts, who returned from a successful space mission in May.

Incoming President of the Canadian Space Agency Walter Natynczyk, left, and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) attend a reception at the Canadian Embassy celebrating the strong partnership between the U.S. and Canadian space agencies.

NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, right, and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield talk about their ISS Expedition 34/35 at a reception celebrating their space flight at the Canadian Embassy.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station — who shared his space mission through tweets, videos and school exchanges — is interviewed by CBS.

Berlin Artwork

Croatian Honor

Photo: Matthew Mark Horn

From left, Ambassador of Croatia Joško Paro, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Matthew Mark Horn, and former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia James B. Foley attend a ceremony at the Croatian Embassy where Matthew Mark Horn, a long-time Washington government relations and foreign and defense policy expert, was decorated with the Order of Stjepan Radic for contributing to the security and stability of Croatia.

photo: thomas coleman

Photo: © German.info Photo: © German.info

Ambassador of Germany Peter Ammon, left, and his wife Marliese Heimann-Ammon, right, welcome Berlin-based artist Renata Tumarova to their residence for an exhibition of her paintings.

Institute for Education Events

Guests including Reginald Van Lee of Booz Allen Hamilton, a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, admire the artwork of German artist Renata Tumarova on display in the “Berlin Bar,” the sleek basement of the German Residence.

From left, White House Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy R. David Edelman, Christopher Caine of Mercator XXI LLC, Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Robert Hormats, Toyota Senior Technical Executive Hiroyuki Watanabe, former IBM Executive Vice President Nicholas Donofrio, and GEICO President and COO William Roberts attend an Institute for Education forum hosted by the Japanese Embassy on the promise and pitfalls of intelligent transportation systems.

Ambassador of Fiji Winston Thompson and his wife Queenie Thompson admire the artwork of Renata Tumarova inspired by Berlin’s big-city vibrancy.

From left, Ambassador of the Czech Republic Petr Gandalovič and his wife Pavlina Gandalovicova join Ambassador of Germany Peter Ammon for an exhibit of Berlin-based artist Renata Tumarova’s paintings.

Swiss National Day

From left, Ambassador of Italy Claudio Bisogniero, Institute for Education (IFE) founder and CEO Kathy Kemper, and Dr. Jacopo Annese, founder and CEO of the Institute for Brain and Society and director of the Brain Observatory at the University of California-San Diego, attend an IFE Emerging Markets Roundtable featuring Annese at the Italian Residence. photos: institute for education

photo: thomas coleman

From left, Ambassador of the Philippines Jose L. Cuisia Jr., Hud Batmanglich, and Ken White attend a panel discussion on global security at the Federal City Council.

Michelle Pezzullo welcomes guests coming to the Swiss National Day reception to park at the Maret School, the Swiss Embassy’s next-door neighbor. An elephant and a donkey represent both the Republican and Democratic parties on the Swiss Embassy grounds. Note that the Republican elephant has a special Swiss alphorn. photos: gail scott

photos: institute for education

From left, President of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Adrian Lund, Executive Director of the Smart Cities Council Jim Whittaker, and Stephen Ezell of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation attend an Institute for Education discussion on intelligent transportation systems.

Page 52

From left, former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams, former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden, Ambassador of Russia Sergey Kislyak, and former National Intelligence Director John Negroponte speak at an Institute for Education public policy roundtable on “Beyond Boston: The Future of Global Security and Intelligence.”

Dr. Akaysha Tang, cognitive neuroscience program director at the University of New Mexico, and White House Senior Advisor for Innovation John Paul Farmer attend an Institute for Education roundtable at the Italian Residence, Villa Firenze.

Stephen Hewitt gets Target, a greater Swiss mountain dog, ready to pull children in his cart, one of the features of the Swiss National Day festivities, held at the Swiss Embassy and organized by the Swiss Club of Washington, D.C.

The Washington Diplomat

September 2013


AROUNDtheWORLD

THE WASHINGTON DIPLOMAT

September 2013

HOLIDAyS AFGhANISTAN Sept. 9: martyrs’ Day ANDoRRA Sept. 8: Patron Saint, national holiday (mare de Deu de meritxell) ANGolA Sept. 17: nation’s Founder and national heroes’ Day ARMeNIA Sept. 21: independence Day

BelIZe Sept. 10: St. George’s caye Day Sept. 21: independence Day BoTSWANA Sept. 30: Botswana Day BRAZIl Sept. 7: independence Day BulGARIA Sept. 6: reunification Day

Sept. 22: independence Day

Send Us Your Holidays and Appointments

cAMBoDIA Sept. 24: constitution and coronation Day

Fax to: the Washington Diplomat at: (301) 949-0065 e-mail to: news@washdiplomat.com Mail to: P.o. Box 1345, Silver Spring, mD 20915-1345

cANADA Sept. 3: Labor Day chIle Sept. 18: independence Day Sept. 19: armed Forces Day

coSTA RIcA Sept. 15: independence Day cZech RePuBlIc Sept. 28: Day of czech

DoMINIcAN RePuBlIc Sept. 24: Day of the virgin of mercedes eAST TIMoR Sept. 20: Liberation Day el SAlvADoR Sept. 15: independence Day

APPOINTMENTS Tanzania

Statehood

and director of multilateral cooperation in the ministry of Foreign affairs, a post Liberata mulamula became ambassashe held until 2006. ambassador dor of tanzania to the united States mulamula was also a part-time lecturer on July 18, having previously served on the “art of negotiations” at the as senior personal assistant to the centre for Foreign relations in Dar es president of tanzania since march Salaam, tanzania, and participated in 2012. Before that, she served as the the rwandese peace talks, Burundi and first executive secretary of the the Democratic republic of congo as international conference of the Great Ambassador part of the Facilitators team. Lakes region (icGLr) with headquarliberata Mulamula ambassador mulamula is a graduate of ters in Bujumbura, Burundi, from St. John’s university in new york, where 2006 to 2011. in addition, she served she obtained her master’s degree in government at the tanzania high commission to canada and and politics, and of the university of Dar-es Salaam. Permanent mission to new york as minister pleniShe is married to George mulamula and has two potentiary and head of chancery, respectively, from kids, tanya and alvin. 1999 to 2003 before being appointed ambassador

eThIoPIA Sept. 11: ethiopian new year Sept. 27: meskel GuATeMAlA Sept. 15: independence Day GuINeA Sept. 28: referendum Day GuINeA-BISSAu Sept. 24: independence Day hoNDuRAS Sept. 15: independence Day ISRAel Sept. 4-6: rosh hashanah

from page 12

Gitmo

wish every member would spend the time to go down [to Guantanamo] and take a look. It does not befit America.” Levin told The Diplomat that he would try to keep the new rules in whatever bill is finally passed by the full chamber, though he said it was “way too far down the line” to forecast what might happen and conceded it would be an uphill battle. “Hopefully, we can persuade some of the folks who are on the fence maybe that we ought to keep these provisions that give greater flexibility to the president,” Levin said. “The people who opposed the provisions indicated that they were going to make their stand on the floor, so we expect that there will be a major effort,” he said, noting the bill could face filibustering.

HOUSE REjECTION The House has already rebuffed the administration’s latest drive to close Guantanamo, passing a $600 billion defense bill that not only maintains the restrictions on transferring detainees, in particular to Yemen, but even allocates nearly $250 million in construction upgrades for prison facilities at Gitmo. Claude Chafin, spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), told The Diplomat that McKeon had sent four letters over the past two years to the White House offering to discuss detainee policy but none received a response. “It’s just a political game,” McKeon told the New York Times this spring. “They like to point to this as our intransigence, but we September 2013

Sept. 13-14: yom kippur Sept. 18-25: Sukkot Sept. 25: hoshanah rabbah Sept. 25-27: Shemini atzeret and Simchat torah JAPAN Sept. 21: respect for the aged Day (keirou no hi) Sept. 23: autumnal equinox (Shuubun no hi) lIByA Sept. 1: national Day lIechTeNSTeIN Sept. 8: nativity of our Lady

of the republic MAlTA Sept. 8: our Lady of victories Sept. 21: independence Day MARShAll ISlANDS Sept. 1: Workers’ Day Sept. 30: customs Day MeXIco Sept. 16: mexican independence Day of 1810 MoZAMBIQue Sept. 7: victory Day Sept. 25: armed Forces Day NIcARAGuA Sept. 14: Battle of San Jacinto Sept. 15: independence Day

luXeMBouRG Sept. 3: Luxembourg city Fete

PAlAu Sept. 5: Labor Day

MAceDoNIA Sept. 8: independence Day

PAPuA NeW GuINeA Sept. 16: independence Day

MAlAySIA Sept. 16: malaysia Day

PARAGuAy Sept. 29: Battle of Boquerón

MAlI Sept. 22: anniversary of the Proclamation

QATAR Sept. 3: independence Day

have worked with them.” Even though McKeon is generally seen as an obstacle to transferring detainees, he has publicly said that he doesn’t rule out the possibility of easing restrictions or even shuttering Guantanamo. “If the president is serious about a renewed effort to close the facility, he should seize the opportunity and send up his plan,” McKeon wrote in a May letter to the Washington Post. On July 24, a plan is what Congress finally got, according to the Daily Beast, which reported that the White House sent a two-page memo to the Senate on how it intended to close Gitmo hours before the chamber’s first hearing on the facility in years. “The difference between 2009 and 2013 is the administration now has a plan,” McCain told Bloomberg. A few days later, the administration announced it would be transferring two Algerian detainees — the first transfers since last year.

RECONCILING DIffERENCES, AND CEMENTING A LEGACy Earlier this summer, before the two new transfers had been announced, Prasow said this is precisely the bold action that would be required for Obama to show he means business. “If the president is really serious about closing Guantanamo,” Prasow said at the time, “send a couple detainees home in the next month or two. Make it clear that he’s moving forward. And then tell Congress exactly what line needs to be changed to make certification easier to grant in the future.” Prasow also predicted that the conference committee process may indeed allow more flexible certification requirements to be

RWANDA Sept. 25: kamarampaka Day ST. KITTS and NevIS Sept. 19: independence Day SlovAKIA Sept. 1: Slovak constitution Day Sept. 15: Lady of Sorrows Day SouTh AFRIcA Sept. 24: heritage Day SWAZIlAND Sept. 6: Somhlolo Day (independence Day) TAJIKISTAN Sept. 9: independence Day TRINIDAD and ToBAGo Sept. 24: republic Day uZBeKISTAN Sept. 1: independence Day vIeTNAM Sept. 2: vietnamese national Day yeMeN Sept. 26: September revolution anniversary (1962)

included in the final defense authorization act. Traditionally, the chairs and ranking members of the respective armed service committees in both chambers are the ones who reconcile the two versions of the defense bill, which means that McKeon and Levin will get to hash out the final legislation, presumably sometime this fall. “This is where McKeon may budge,” Prasow said. “He may be more amenable to certain provisions such as allowing transfers to the U.S. for certain medical purposes, possibly for trials. I think he’s trying to be realistic and I think he recognizes that there has been a shift. “Now that there is some distance from the horror of 9/11, Americans are starting to see that we have an existing legal system that is relatively flexible,” Prasow said.“We don’t have to think that some suspected terrorist is so different and so unique that our existing system can’t handle him.” Prasow also said she has long believed that Obama would make a strong push to close Guantanamo at this point in his second term because he retains significant political capital and yet the 2014 midterm elections are more than a year away. How much force he can muster, and how much risk he can stand, remains to be seen. But advocates like Prasow can take heart in knowing that Obama’s legacy is tightly bound to this issue — something he seemed keenly aware of during his speech at the National Defense University. “I know the politics are hard,” Obama told the audience. “But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to end it.” Luke Jerod Kummer is the congressional correspondent for The Washington Diplomat. The Washington Diplomat Page 53


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September 2013

September 2013  

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