Cablegate: Asmara Public Diplomacy Events for August 2009

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R 180833Z SEP 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. A summary of Public Diplomacy sponsored special events for the
month of August is as follows:

a) Embassy Asmara's summer hire employees, in partnership with
Public Diplomacy, taught a successful six week Summer English and
art enrichment program that ended on August 13. The program
featured over 230 Eritrean children ranging from Grades 3-6. In
addition to learning new vocabulary, listening skills, speaking, and
pronunciation techniques, the students received lectures on American
history and culture. The children also explored and experimented
with various art techniques and styles. The eight English and art
courses taught by four summer hire employees featured students from
twelve different schools in Asmara, including children from Arabic
schools. Embassy Asmara received strong positive feedback from
leaders in the community about the strength of the outreach program,
the quality of the teaching, and the enthusiasm of the instructors.

b) On August 28, the American Center (IRC) concluded a ten week
personal writing statement course for thirteen prospective graduate
students seeking to continue their education in the United States.
The course was made possible by utilizing educational advising

2. A summary of Public Diplomacy sponsored regular programs for the
month of August:

a) Women's Round Table: IRC hosted the monthly Women's Round Table
meeting on August 27.

b) Reader's Club: IRC staff hosted the monthly Reader's Club on
August 27. The group discussed the book The Last Lecture by Randy

c) Connect with English: The Public Diplomacy section and a summer
hire employee hosted the monthly English teaching film show on
August 6.

d) Film Programs: Each Wednesday the IRC offers two showings of
films for children and one for adults. Total attendance at all
Asmara films for the month was 1017. Breakdown: children 796 adults

e) Computer Orientation Training: IRC staff offers computer
training sessions for children 4 hours each week. The month of
August had 273 participants between the ages of 10 and 15. IRC
staff also offered computer training session for 25 adults 2 hours
each week.

f) Educational Advising: Group and educational advising sessions
were held twice each week at the American Center with 105
high-school and university-aged students participating in

g) The America Center's monthly on-line quiz had 52 participants
from Asmara. This month's quiz covered questions about Islam in

h) The American Center had 2,786 patrons for the month of August.

Note: This number counts only individuals using the Center's
information and internet resources, and does not include those
attending special events, lectures, films, or educational advising.

3. A calendar of upcoming U.S. Embassy events and programs for
September is provided on the Embassy's website under "Upcoming
Events" at Summaries and photographs of
special events are routinely posted on the website.


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