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Connections

Morning Coffee and Conversation with a delegation from Ethiopia

On Monday June 26, members and staff were given the opportunity to start the week with the latest installment of Coffee and Conversation. This early morning event featured international visitors from Ethiopia. The delegation was in the Triangle for a four-day visit through the International Visitor Leadership Program, focusing on academic and public library leadership. The program allowed the group to visit NC State and UNC Chapel Hill libraries while in the area. The visitors commented on the strong foundation of community libraries and spoke with about the importance of maintaining archives.

Guatemala Opens Consulate in Raleigh

International Focus congratulates the President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales Cabrera, Consul General Jorge R. Archila, and the people of Guatemala for the opening of their Consulate in Raleigh on June 18, 2017. Our NC Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall, gave a warm welcome and our Mayor, Nancy McFarlane, proclaimed June 18th as Guatemala Day in Raleigh. International Focus was honored to be part of the festivities, and we look forward to celebrating and supporting the cultural and educational initiatives of the Guatemalan Consulate here in Raleigh.

Citizen Diplomacy Series with a delegation from Europe

International Focus presented the monthly Citizen Diplomacy Series featuring an International Visitor Leadership Program delegation from Europe on June 23, 2017. The event hosted over 50 IVLP visitors, members and guests, including N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall. International Focus partnered with the North Carolina Farm Bureau and Go Global NC to make the evening possible. Those in attendance were given the opportunity to network during a reception.

This was followed by a panel featuring the IVLP visitors. Rick Van Sant, the executive director of Go Global NC, moderated the discussion. IVLP visitors were asked to share similarities between Europe and the U.S., and were given the opportunity to reflect on their five-day-long visit to the Triangle. While in the area, the delegates visited the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the National Guard Headquarters. One visitor from Bosnia and Herzegovina noted how the United States and Europe could learn from one another through partnerships and cooperation.

Citizen Diplomacy Series with Georgian Parliamentarians

In March, International Focus had the honor of having parliamentarians from Georgia speak to us at the monthly Citizen Diplomacy Series. We thank the Open World Leadership Centerand our guests for this wonderful opportunity.

Georgian Parliamentarians 1 Georgian Parliamentarians 2

After a quick introduction, the visitors took a moment to speak to IF members about their lovely country. Our visitors didn’t simply speak--we were treated to a number of videos. The first was on how Georgia honored its 6 millionth visitor as a guest of the state! Later, we were treated to the American debut of a documentary one pair of parliamentarians made about the special relationship between the US and Georgia from its independence to its 25th anniversary.

After the documentary, guests took questions from IF guests. These ran the gamut from the status of women’s education, to energy security and projects within Georgia, to free trade, and even to the personal motivations that lead each of them to pursue a role in politics. The general view that emerged was that economically and socially, Georgia was a country that was progressing and developing, leading the world in many areas but with room to grow. However, equally apparent was that the US and Georgia had a relationship based on mutual values of democracy, freedom, and the opportunity that free enterprise provide and that these leaders not only cherished this relationship but these values themselves.

Georgian Parliamentarians 3 Georgian Parliamentarians 4

The evening concluded with yet another video - an advertisement from the majority party of their country filled with scenes of life from their country that possessed a sense of hope and a love of country. Indeed, between these scenes, the genuine friendliness of these guests, and the open invitation to visit their country (one even said they may meet us there), it would be little surprise that many IF members are already planning a visit to the lovely country of Georgia.

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