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Newsletter: Public Diplomacy in Europe, October 2007

U.S. State Department
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Washington, DC


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Newsletter: Public Diplomacy in Europe, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Summer 2007
In This Issue:


Slovakia: Grant By Under Secretary Karen Hughes Supports Democracy

Under Secretary Karen Hughes greets students at a friendly soccer match in Bratislava, October 2, 2007.  [Igor Schneeweiss, U.S. Embassy Bratislava]
Under Secretary Karen Hughes greets students at a friendly soccer match in Bratislava, October 2, 2007.  [Igor Schneeweiss, U.S. Embassy Bratislava]
When Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes visited Slovakia on October 2, she discussed with Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs State Secretary Algayerová partnership possibilities between Slovakia and the United States in helping to grow democracies in the region and the Balkans. Under Secretary Hughes announced a $20,000 grant to Pontis, a local non-governmental organization that will put Slovak expertise to work in Serbia, building grassroots democracy. Under Secretary Hughes also met with students at Slovak Technical University, which is pioneering public-private partnerships to better prepare students to work in today's competitive market place. Afterwards, the students played a soccer match in which the Roma and non-Roma children played in mixed squads, demonstrating that integration of diverse peoples brings unique gifts to society.


Russia: Boston Salutes 200 Years of U.S.-Russia Diplomacy

Ambassador Burns addresses the audience at Tufts University, September 26, 2007.  [Debbie Guido, U.S. Department of State]
Ambassador Burns addresses the audience at Tufts University, September 26, 2007.  [Debbie Guido, U.S. Department of State]
Massachusetts commemorated the 200th anniversary of U.S.-Russia relations with events attended by some 650 people in Boston. Governor Deval Patrick proclaimed "United States and Russia Diplomatic Relations Day," at the Massachusetts State House, saluting the role of Massachusetts citizens in U.S.-Russia affairs -- from John Quincy Adams to Henry Cabot Lodge to John F. Kennedy and beyond. U.S. Ambassador to Russia William Burns headlined the day-long commemoration, which included the opening of the "Moments of Destiny: Two Centuries of Russian-American Diplomatic Relations" exhibition at the Massachusetts Historical Society, a business lunch with the U.S. Russian Chamber of New England, and a spirited exchange at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University. Ambassador Burns emphasized the need to engage Russia and noted the contributions made by the exchange of ordinary people, scholars, and business professionals in shaping relations through the centuries.


Germany: Students Return from Exciting Trip to U.S.

Bavaria’s Windows on America give the thumbs up sign, September 26, 2007. [Thomas Schaller, U.S. Consulate Munich]
Bavaria’s Windows on America give the thumbs up sign, September 26, 2007. [Thomas Schaller, U.S. Consulate Munich]
Ten teenagers who spent ten unforgettable days in the United States returned to Germany and met with U.S. Ambassador to Germany William R. Timken Jr. and his wife to relate their experiences, which included tours to New York City and Washington, DC. The German students, many from migrant backgrounds, were part of the Bavarian Windows on America program. The Windows on America program is a public-private partnership supported by German and American firms. In an entertaining media presentation, two of the teenagers summarized their recent USA adventure noting especially American friendliness and integration of immigrants.


Czech Republic: U.S. Ambassador Recognizes Czech Forces

Ambassador Graber awards medals to five soldiers of the Special Forces unit at Czech military base, October 2, 2007.  [With permission from the Czech Armed Forces]
Ambassador Graber awards medals to five soldiers of the Special Forces unit at Czech military base, October 2, 2007.  [With permission from the Czech Armed Forces]

Ambassador Graber parachuting above the Czech military base, October 2, 2007.  [With permission from the Czech Armed Forces]
Ambassador Graber parachuting above the Czech military base, October 2, 2007. [With permission from the Czech Armed Forces]

U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Richard Graber decorated five members of the Czech special forces unit contributing to allied efforts in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. During the October 2 visit, Graber made a tandem parachute jump from 4,000 meters above the Czech military base in central Moravia. Czech attention to the Ambassador’s visit reached over 2 million and underscored U.S. confidence in a valued NATO partner.


Greece: Launch of U.S. Embassy’s Youth Website

Users enjoy surfing Mosaiko.gr at the website’s launch party, September 24, 2007. [With permission from Ilias Anagnostopoulos]
Users enjoy surfing Mosaiko.gr at the website’s launch party, September 24, 2007. [With permission from Ilias Anagnostopoulos]
Fulbright scholars, media professors, artists, authors, and cultural website publishers joined U.S. Embassy Athens editors of Mosaiko.gr for a "working happy hour" at the Hard Rock Café on September 24. Mosaiko.gr is U.S. Embassy Athens' newest website designed for a youth audience and featuring cultural topics. About 40 people gathered to discuss ways to promote Greek and American culture on the web and to expand our cooperation through focus groups, mini-conferences, and other joint initiatives. Mosaiko.gr boasts an average of 250,000 hits per month.


Moldova: U.S. Embassy-Sponsored American Film Festival Draws Thousands

Moldovans gather to view an American Western film, September 2007.  [Courtesy of Flacara Theater]
Moldovans gather to view an American Western film, September 2007.  [Courtesy of Flacara Theater]

Thousands of people swarmed into cinemas in Chisinau and three other cities to view American Western films during the second American Film Festival organized and sponsored by U.S. Embassy Chisinau. Ten films, ranging from Stagecoach (1930) to Maverick (1994), were shown during 28 showings over a one-week period. The viewing public, composed primarily of youth, was estimated at over 7,500.


Albania: School Dedicated in Northern Commune

Children in Folk Costumes perform during Nenshat School dedication ceremony, October 2007.  [Eduart Zela, U.S. Embassy Tirana]
Children in Folk Costumes perform during Nenshat School dedication ceremony, October 2007.  [Eduart Zela, U.S. Embassy Tirana]
The Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) of U.S. Embassy Tirana dedicated $235,000 to a school in the Commune of Nenshat in Albania’s poor northern region. With this funding the school now has new furniture and equipment and thanks to the project, children from several villages will not have to walk lengthy distances to attend classes.


Moldova: Army Peacekeeping Training Center Opens

U.S. Ambassador Michael Kirby and Moldovan Defense Minister Vitalie Vrabie at the opening of the Peacekeeping Training Center, October 5, 2007. [John Balian, U.S. Embassy Chisinau]
U.S. Ambassador Michael Kirby and Moldovan Defense Minister Vitalie Vrabie at the opening of the Peacekeeping Training Center, October 5, 2007. [John Balian, U.S. Embassy Chisinau]
Thanks to the establishment of the Moldovan National Army Peacekeeping Training Center – a project supported by the U.S. Government – the Moldovan military will be better trained and prepared to participate in peacekeeping operations. The Peacekeeping Training Center, which is located on the compound of Moldovan Ministry of Defense in Chisinau, was officially opened Friday, October 5, 2007 by U.S. Ambassador to Moldova, Michael D. Kirby and Moldovan Defense Minister Vitalie Vrabie. The project was funded by the U.S. Government and administered by the U.S. Embassy's Office of Defense Cooperation. The United States spent almost $775,000 on this project for training the instructors and staff and for automated data processing equipment such as computer and office equipment and air-conditioning equipment.


Italy: Dance Group Delivers Electrifying Dance and Positive Message

HaviKoro member Joel Martinez demonstrates a freeze, October 3, 2007.  [Monique Quesada, U.S. Embassy Rome]
HaviKoro member Joel Martinez demonstrates a freeze, October 3, 2007.  [Monique Quesada, U.S. Embassy Rome]
HaviKoro, a Houston-based hip-hop dance group, visited Rome and shared personal stories and dance tips with 250 enthusiastic students at Tor Bella Monaca High School. The high school is situated in a Roman suburb with the city’s highest concentration of immigrant youth in which problems include drug abuse and delinquency. HaviKoro also conducted master classes in hip-hop and break-dancing with 100 dance students and faculty at Rome’s most famous school for the performing arts. During their October 3-6 performances, HaviKoro went beyond pure entertainment and conveyed substance to their young audiences, communicating not only appreciation for an American art form that unites young people across the globe, but also the power of believing in yourself and your own talents.


Spain: NBA Wows Spanish Youth

DCM Hugo Llorens receiving team jerseys from Toronto Raptors Jose Calderon and Jorge Garbajosa, October 9, 2007. [Christian Grisales, U.S. Embassy Madrid]
DCM Hugo Llorens receiving team jerseys from Toronto Raptors Jose Calderon and Jorge Garbajosa, October 9, 2007. [Christian Grisales, U.S. Embassy Madrid]
Toronto Raptors José Calderón and Jorge Garbajosa greeted guests and posed for photos with local students who attended a reception held by U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Hugo Llorens and his wife. During the reception, which was in honor of the visiting National Basketball Association teams and the NBA Cares community outreach program, Jose Calderón thanked U.S. Embassy Madrid for its support. Also present were government officials, journalists, and the directors of several sports associations. The following day, the NBA Cares program inaugurated a newly-refurbished basketball court and held a basketball clinic at Ciudad de Jaén, a bilingual school with a large immigrant population in the outskirts of Madrid.


Slovenia: U.S. Embassy Grant Supports Judicial Reform

Lyn Cole, a dispute resolution professional, Dr. Rajko Pirnat, Dean of Law Faculty at University of Ljubljana, and Ms. Gordana Ristin, President of the Slovenian Association of Mediators, October 2007.  [Tanja Sustarsic, U.S. Embassy Ljubljana]
Lyn Cole, a dispute resolution professional, Dr. Rajko Pirnat, Dean of Law Faculty at University of Ljubljana, and Ms. Gordana Ristin, President of the Slovenian Association of Mediators, October 2007. [Tanja Sustarsic, U.S. Embassy Ljubljana]
U.S. Embassy Slovenia promoted and supported judicial reform in Slovenia by co-funding a visit by a dispute resolution professional. Lyn Cole, a dispute resolution professional with more than 26 years of experience, led a 3-day training in October organized by the Slovenian Association of Mediators. Participants, including representatives from law offices, companies, government ministries, courts, and law schools, received training in the practice of business mediation and reaching agreement with the assistance of a third party. Mediation is a relatively new, and heretofore underutilized, form of dispute resolution in Slovenia that is becoming more popular as a means of circumventing the current large backlog of cases in the courts.


Kosovo: U.S. Office in Pristina Supports Telemedicine Initiative

Inauguration day of the TPK-Phase 2, October 2007.  [Ardian  Kastrati, USOP]
Inauguration day of the TPK-Phase 2, October 2007.  [Ardian  Kastrati, USOP]
Dedicated to improving healthcare in the Balkans, and supported by the U.S. Office in Pristina, American-Kosovar, Dr. Rifat Latifi, has brought the technology of Telemedicine from Arizona to the University of Pristina. The International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation, financed by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchanges, is using advanced technologies and cultural exchange programs as a platform for bringing American medical expertise – virtually -- to a region in desperate need. On October 18, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu celebrated the Foundation’s one-year anniversary by delivering the keynote speech.


Kosovo: U.S. Officials Strengthen Bonds Between Serb and Albanian Students

Serb and Albanian students discuss economic reconstruction with U.S. Office of Pristina officials, October 11, 2007.  [Lumi Shala, USOP]
Serb and Albanian students discuss economic reconstruction with U.S. Office of Pristina officials, October 11, 2007.  [Lumi Shala, USOP]
The second delegation of Serb students from Belgrade and Pancevo and Albanian students from Pristina visited the United States Office in Pristina (USOP). Their trip to Kosovo is part of a USOP-financed project, whose ultimate goal is organizing a series of exchange visits of young artists and students from Kosovo to Serbia and vice-versa, aiming to strengthen bonds through mutual interests and discussions. U.S. Embassy officials and students discussed projects on economic reconstruction, including those of religious sites, and many other objects of historical value.


Germany: U.S. Consulate Munich Highlights Worldwide Daniel Pearl Music Days

,Left-Right, Guitarist Shani Inbar, Pianist Aylin Aykan, and Actress Ilse Neubauer, October 12, 2007. [Thomas Schaller, U.S. Consulate Munich]
(Left-right) Guitarist Shani Inbar, Pianist Aylin Aykan, and Actress Ilse Neubauer, October 12, 2007. [Thomas Schaller, U.S. Consulate Munich] 
The U.S. Consulate General and Munich's "Amerika Haus" co-sponsored a multimedia concert on October 12 as part of worldwide Daniel Pearl Music Days events. Daniel Pearl, who loved music, was a Wall Street Journal reporter killed by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002. Turkish-German pianist Aylin Aykan teamed up with Israeli guitarist Shani Inbar to enchant the audience. The program also featured actor Ilse Neubauer reading from Mariane Pearl's book A Mighty Heart and film clips from the recently-released movie of the same name. "Journalists Helping Journalists" also supported the event, which was one of hundreds taking place worldwide this month to spread a message of hope and unity across cultural divides.


Cyprus: Cyprus Fulbright Commission Organizes Successful University Fair

Ambassador Schlicher mingles with the crowd, October 9, 2007. [John Rhatigan, U.S. Embassy Nicosia]
Ambassador Schlicher mingles with the crowd, October 9, 2007. [John Rhatigan, U.S. Embassy Nicosia]
The Cyprus Fulbright Commission sponsored a U.S. University Fair at the J.W. Fulbright Center in Nicosia. Held within the UN Buffer Zone, over 400 students from both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities attended. The crowd met with representatives from 25 universities and received information on topics such as navigating the admissions process and obtaining scholarships and financial aid. Students and parents said that they had thought a university education in the United States was out of their reach, but that this fair had changed their minds. The turnout this year was the highest in the fair's 10-year history.


Turkey: U.S. Embassy Community Reaches Out to Underprivileged

Turkish schoolchildren show off their new gifts with DCM McEldowney and MSG Corporal Nouhan, October 2007. [Atilla Tunali, U.S. Embassy Ankara]
Turkish schoolchildren show off their new gifts with DCM McEldowney and MSG Corporal Nouhan, October 2007. [Atilla Tunali, U.S. Embassy Ankara]
Toys donated by U.S. Embassy Ankara community were distributed this month to the Yesilkent Primary Education School, a small village school of about 120 students living in difficult circumstances in a valley on the edges of Ankara. The U.S. Embassy community again showed respect for the Ramadan tradition of helping the poor and gave Turks another opportunity to see American service members in a philanthropic role that differs from the negative stereotypes seen on Turkish television and film.


Russia: Russian Far East Hosts English Language Conferences

U.S. Consul General Tom Armbruster and his wife Kathy test English language teachers, October, 2007. [Evghenia Diamantidi, U.S. Consulate Vladivostok]
U.S. Consul General Tom Armbruster and his wife Kathy test English language teachers, October, 2007. [Evghenia Diamantidi, U.S. Consulate Vladivostok]
U.S. Embassy Moscow sponsored a series of conferences and roundtables devoted to English language teaching practices. The goal of the program is to share best practices and new methods of teaching through new technologies and online resources. Two prominent specialists in teaching English as a foreign language, JD Brown of the University of Hawaii and Michael Krauss of the University of Lewis and Clark, were keynote speakers at the conference. Two new American studies publications for students, American Potpourri and America Lifestyle Mosaic, were presented. Both books were developed through the cooperation of Russian and American specialists within the English Language Office at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.


Estonia: U.S. Ambassador Greets Returning Special Olympians

 Estonian Special Olympians, October 13, 2007. [With permission from Teet Malsroos]
Estonian Special Olympians, October 13, 2007. [With permission from Teet Malsroos] 
U.S. Ambassador to Estonia Stanley Davis Phillips and his wife welcomed home the Estonian Special Olympics team on October 13. Ambassador Phillips was selected as an honorary patron of the team and traveled to China to see them compete. In September, the athletes competed in the games and returned home with 12 individual medals.


Russia: New American Art at Venerable Hermitage Museum

U.S. Consul General Mary Kruger and Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovskiy open the America Sevodnya exhibit, in front of Aleksandra Mirs Cold War Hot Stuff, October 2007. [Mary Countryman, U.S. Consulate St. Petersburg]
U.S. Consul General Mary Kruger and Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovskiy open the America Sevodnya exhibit, in front of Aleksandra Mirs Cold War Hot Stuff, October 2007. [Mary Countryman, U.S. Consulate St. Petersburg]
At the forefront of their ambitious plan to extend displays of 20th and 21st century art, the State Hermitage Museum opened America Segodnya (USA Today), an exciting collection of contemporary American works. The collection brings to St. Petersburg the talent, vision, and humor of American artists maturing under the shadow of 9/11. The museum, striving to become a leader in integrating Russia into the international contemporary art scene, naturally chose the excellence of the lively American art scene as their starting point.


Italy: U.S. Consulate Launches New Fulbright Program

Ambassador Spogli is interviewed about Fulbright program, October 20, 2007. [John Rogers, U.S. Consulate Milan]
Ambassador Spogli is interviewed about Fulbright program, October 20, 2007. [John Rogers, U.S. Consulate Milan] 
U.S. Ambassador to Italy Ronald Spogli and Milan Mayor Moratti hosted the inauguration of the Ambassador’s Fulbright-BEST Scholarship Program. The Fulbright-BEST program, now in its second year, offers young Italians hands-on/academic exposure to entrepreneurship via coursework and internships in the Silicon Valley. The launch was held before a standing-room only audience of key economic and business contacts and sponsors.


Azerbaijan: U.S. Ambassador Derse Opens New School

Ambassador Derse hands out school materials, October 2007. [Mehdi Huseynguliyev, U.S. Embassy Baku]
Ambassador Derse hands out school materials, October 2007. [Mehdi Huseynguliyev, U.S. Embassy Baku]
U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Anne Derse, along with the Azerbaijani Minister of Education and local officials, cut the ribbon in the opening ceremony for a new school that was built with the support of funds from the U.S. European Command and U.S. Embassy Baku’s Office of Defense Cooperation. The school in the Gala settlement near Baku will serve 240 students. This is the 12th such school project that has been completed with U.S. support in Azerbaijan over the last few years. These projects and the national publicity received for each of the school openings underscore U.S. support for disadvantaged communities in Azerbaijan.


Macedonia: Cultural Envoy Trumpets Message of Tolerance

Macedonian music students listen as Jazz Envoy Greg Hopkins explains the components of Jazz, October 2007.  [Borka Taneska, U.S. Embassy Skopje]
Macedonian music students listen as Jazz Envoy Greg Hopkins explains the components of Jazz, October 2007.  [Borka Taneska, U.S. Embassy Skopje]
In a visit that kicked off with a workshop for multi-ethnic youth and ended with a midnight concert at the Skopje Jazz Festival, Cultural Envoy Greg Hopkins held workshops and gave concerts in Ohrid, Stip, Bitola, and Skopje. In most of the events, Hopkins paired with Macedonian Toni Kitanovski who studied at the Berklee College of Music where the two met as professor and student. The Skopje Jazz Festival, partially funded by U.S. Embassy Skopje, also featured American groups The Leaders, Butch Morris’s Nublu Orchestra, and the Derek Truck Bands. Audience attendance reached into the tens of thousands.


Germany: America @ The Frankfurt International Book Fair

Visitors at the Frankfurt International Book Fair look over materials and chat with IRC staff, October 25, 2007. [Joshua Kennedy, U.S. Consulate Frankfurt]
Visitors at the Frankfurt International Book Fair look over materials and chat with IRC staff, October 25, 2007. [Joshua Kennedy, U.S. Consulate Frankfurt]
U.S. Consulate Frankfurt promoted America in print, person, and cyberspace at the world's largest and most renowned literary exhibit: the Frankfurt International Book Fair, attended by almost 300,000 visitors. The U.S. Consulate organized a web chat with University of California Professor Gonzalo Navajas about “Cultura Catalana in the United States” to go with the Fair’s theme of “Catalan Culture.” U.S. Consul General Jo Ellen Powell awarded prizes to the three winners of a writing contest “America and I” co-sponsored by the Hessen Young Journalists Association.


Albania: Raising Funds for Mine Survivors

Donors give generously at the Night of a Thousand Dinners fundraiser, October 2007. [Eduart Zela, U.S. Embassy Tirana]
Donors give generously at the Night of a Thousand Dinners fundraiser, October 2007. [Eduart Zela, U.S. Embassy Tirana]
U.S. Charge d’Affaires Steve Cristina hosted the fourth "Night of a Thousand Dinners" reception, a fundraiser that supports efforts to assist landmine survivors with rehabilitation assistance and special education needs. Local business people and foreign diplomats generously responded to U.S. Embassy Tirana and the United Nations Development Program’s appeal to improve the everyday lives of landmine survivors and their families. Donations amounted to $17,400, an increase of $600 over the 2006 amount.


Cyprus: USAID-funded Program Helps Support Environment

Visitors celebrate Eco Day. October 21, 2007. [USAID]
Visitors celebrate Eco Day. October 21, 2007. [USAID]
In an effort to promote sustainable tourism as a viable alternative to the mass tourism that threatens the natural beauty of Cyprus, as well as its meager resources, the USAID-funded Economic Development and Growth for Enterprises (EDGE) program gave support to residents of the village and the surrounding area as they organized an "Eco Day" on October 21. Hundreds of visitors turned out to participate in a number of activities such as folk dancing, donkey rides and races, bicycle tours and races, demonstrations of traditional spinning, weaving, milling, and broom-making, and lots of good local food! At the same time, visitors also learned about local enterprise, the preservation of local customs, and the protection of the environment.

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Published by the Bureau of Public Affairs
U.S. Department of State

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