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Cablegate: Asmara Public Diplomacy Events for December 2009

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R 260618Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ASMARA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0679

UNCLAS ASMARA 000017


DEPT FOR ECA/PE/V, AF/PD, AF/EX, AF/EPS, AND AF/E

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO SCUL OEXC AMGT ER
SUBJECT: ASMARA PUBLIC DIPLOMACY EVENTS FOR DECEMBER 2009

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

a) On December 1, the American Center (IRC) marked World Aids Day by
distributing red ribbons, providing HIV/AIDS reading materials to
patrons, and hosting the movie titled "A Closer Walk".

b)On December 17, American Center patrons participated in the web
chat, "Leadership and Innovation by States and Tribes." The web
chat described leadership and innovation by the U.S. in reducing GHG
emissions. The event provided a platform of discussion regarding
the Climate Change Conference underway in Copenhagen.

c) On December 22-23, embassy staff visited the port city of
Massawa. Public Diplomacy staff distributed the scholastic book
series "My Arabic Library", updated periodicals, IIP materials, and
books in Arabic and English to schools, the youth association,
Massawa public library, and the Massawa American Corner.

d) On December 29, embassy staff traveled to the city of Keren.
Embassy staff presented the Keren Deaf School a much needed printer
as part of the Ambassador's Special Self Help Fund, and "My Arabic
Library" books from the Public Diplomacy section. Public Diplomacy
staff also provided the Keren American Corner updated periodicals,
educational advising materials, and current IIP products.

e) On December 31, embassy staff traveled to the city of Dekemhare.
The Public Diplomacy section provided updated periodicals, books,
and IIP materials to the Dekemhare American Corner, Don Boscoe
Technical School, and the Faith Mission School.

f) On December 31, in honor of World AIDS Day, IVLP alumni Dr.
Tesfamariam Yosief delivered an engaging lecture to over 70 guests.
The lecture titled "Social and Medical Dimensions of HIV" explained
the chemistry of HIV/AIDS and the social and cultural aspects of the
disease. Dr. Tesfamariam Josief further explained data regarding
the impact of HIV in Eritrea, Africa, and worldwide. The attendees
included students, government officials, IVLP and Fulbright alumni,
and interested guests in the science and medical community.

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

a) Women's Round Table: The American Center hosted the monthly
meeting on December 17, with 10 participants. The group continued
their discussion regarding working women.

b) Reader's Club: American Center staff hosted 22 participants on
December 17. The group discussed Part II of the book "7 Habits of
Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey.

c) Connect with English: The Public Diplomacy section hosted the
IIP English teaching film on December 4, with 18 participants.

d) Film Programs: Each Wednesday the American Center offers two
showings of films for children and one for adults. Total attendance
for the month of December was 370. Breakdown: 293 children and 77
adults.

e) Computer Orientation Training: American Center staff offers
computer training sessions for children 4 hours per week. The month
of December had 400 participants between the ages of 10 and 15.
American Center staff also offers computer training session for
adults 2 hours per week. There were 31 adult attendees for
December.

f) Educational Advising: Group and educational advising sessions
were held twice each week at the American Center with 86 high school
and university-aged students participating in discussions.

g) The America Center's monthly on-line quiz had 51 participants
from Asmara. This month's quiz included questions regarding
HIV/AIDS.

h) The American Center (IRC) had 2,814 visitors for internet and
information resources in December.

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
January is provided on the Embassy's website under "Upcoming Events"
at www.eritrea.usembassy.gov. Summaries and photographs of special
events are routinely posted on the website.

MCMULLEN

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