Cablegate: Asmara Public Diplomacy Events for November 2009

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R 100400Z DEC 09



E.O. 12958: N/A

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

a) On November 12, Ambassador McMullen delivered a lecture titled
"Eritrea: Africa's Bridge to the World." The lecture illustrated
recent advances in genetic paleoanthropology. Ambassador McMullen
addressed travel patterns of early man using his family as an
example. The lecture emphasized how Ambassador McMullen's family
left Eritrea 55,000 years ago and eventually migrated to the state
of Iowa in the United States.

b) Embassy Asmara's Public Diplomacy Section celebrated
International Education week by emphasizing the importance of
education and the need for students to learn about the world beyond
their own countries. The Public Diplomacy section also assisted
with the self reflective test titled "Self Directed Search", which
assists with identifying students' interests and strengths. Embassy
Asmara's educational advisor assisted students at the American
Center and at secondary schools with the administering of the test.
The Public Diplomacy Section received strong feedback from students
and teachers regarding the usefulness and practicality of the
examination. The educational film show "Akeelah and the Bee" was
shown, and the brochures "Discover Yourself in America" and
e-journal "Campus Connections" were distributed to interested
American Center patrons and test participants.

c) On November 19, the American Center (IRC) celebrated Global
Entrepreneurship Week. In the spirit of innovation, discovery, and
entrepreneurship, children currently enrolled in English and
computer courses at the American Center were tasked with building a
"vehicle of the future" with legos. Participants were extremely
creative in their designs, with many incorporating renewable energy
ideas such as solar energy. Each participant received a small gift
and three top winners received prizes.

d) On November 21, the American Center hosted a graduation ceremony
celebrating the completion of a two month course by 19 students from
the Deaf Association.

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

a) Women's Round Table: IRC hosted the monthly Women's Round Table
meeting on November 19. The group discussed about working women.

b) Reader's Club: IRC staff hosted the monthly Reader's Club on
November 19. The group discussed a book "7 Habits of Highly
Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey.

c) 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 of November was 222. Breakdown: Children
190; adults 32.

d) Computer Orientation Training: IRC staff offers computer training
sessions for children 4 hours every week. The month of November had
336 participants between the ages of 10 and 15. IRC staff also
offers computer training session for adults 2 hours a week. There
were 40 attendees for November.

e) Educational Advising: Group and individual educational advising
sessions were held twice each week at the American Center with 54
high-school and university-aged students participating in

f) The America Center's monthly on-line quiz had 46 participants
from Asmara. This month's quiz covered questions about Native
American Heritage.

g) The American Center (IRC) had 3,926 visitors for internet and
information resources in November.

Note: This number is for 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
December 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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