Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 18

Abbreviated edition

“it’s what Carl Bildt does.“

--A definition of public diplomacy or people’s diplomacy at a seminar chaired by Jon Worth, communication consultant in Brussels; image from; on  Bildt, see


Foreign Press Center Briefing on "Digital Diplomacy: Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign" (February 19, 2014) - youtube.com: "Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs Douglas Frantz, and Coordinator for International Information Programs Macon Phillips discuss 'Digital Diplomacy: Making Foreign Policy Less Foreign' at the Foreign Press Center in New York, NY on February 18, 2014, moderated by Emily Parker, author and senior fellow at the New America Foundation."


Guantanamo’s War - William K. Lietzau, lawfareblog.com: "In the past decade, the word 'Guantanamo' has come to represent far more than the Cuban bay that lent its name to one of America’s oldest military bases more than a century ago; it has joined our 21st century lexicon as a term emblematic of abuse, overreach, and disregard for the rule of law. ... Abraham Lincoln once said, 'Character is like a tree and reputation, like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ... Before deciding how much our attention should be focused on Guantanamo, it would behoove us to determine whether we are dealing with a tree or its shadow. In rare agreement, two U.S. Presidents from opposite ends of the political spectrum have declared the benefit of ceasing operations at its detention facility, but both have earnestly tried and failed to close Guantanamo.

If law of war detention is legally justified, and detaining enemy combatants is both a wartime objective and a moral imperative to limit loss of life, then do we really need to end it? The unequivocal answer is 'yes,' but not because wartime detention is a departure from our core values. The tree of our character is intact, but its shadow, Guantanamo, is presenting an ugly image. We are left then with the question of whether a modicum of improved reputation warrants so significant a decision as to start or end a war. It cannot. Compliance with the law—our character—is indeed sufficient reason to accept risk to our security; we do it every day in the criminal justice context. But public diplomacy—our reputation—is not. ... William K. Lietzau served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Rule of Law and Detainee Policy until 2013." Image from

Democracy, Human Rights, Refugees: Remarks at The Human Rights Campaign Equality Convention And Board Meeting [includes video] - Uzra Zeya, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, state.gov: "Governments that deny rights to sections of their population, be it women, LGBT persons, persons with disabilities, or others, are not only failing to use the full potential of their citizens, but will also hamper their own prosperity and stability. ... In the Western Hemisphere, through their public diplomacy and outreach efforts, embassies have taken the initiative to produce videos for the 'It Gets Better' campaign, host leaders from the Human Rights Campaign to share best practices, and convene multinational corporations and civil society activists to discuss corporate policies that promote workplace diversity including respect for LGBT employees."

the Stars in Denmark - Hasse Ferrold, biennews.com: "A local Danish youth ice hockey club, the U11 Gentofte Stars is participating in an international sports diplomacy initiative primarily between Denmark and the United States. This unique youth cultural exchange program is taking place March 20-31, 2014. These young boys will be playing games, attending sports clinics and socializing with their international peers in the Philadelphia and New York areas and in Lake Placid, NY – where the boys will play in an international ice hockey tournament – a place that is legendary in ice hockey circles. A fundraising gala event has been organized by the team parents and is fully supported by the former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, Ambassador James P. Cain and his wife, Helen. BIENs Local Editor Hasse Ferrold was there.

The present US Ambassador in Denmark and the former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark James P. Cain and Mrs. Helen Cain were special guests of Reach for the Stars Fundraising Gala March 5, 2014 and Cain was returning to Denmark to support this endeavor. Ambassador Cain’s passion is public diplomacy – showcasing the power of sports to bridge cultural differences and resolve conflict. Prior to his diplomatic service, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League. While Ambassador in Denmark drawing on his sports background, Ambassador Cain launched an initiative designed to reinvigorate the use of sports as a diplomatic tool. Ambassador Cain’s unique approach to public diplomacy was highlighted by a 37 day, 2500 km 'Rediscovery Tour' of Denmark by bicycle and the publication in December 2008 of his best-selling book: The American: On Diplomacy, Democracy and Denmark." Uncaptioned image from entry

The Language of (Public) Diplomacy - Molly Bettie, Public Diplomacy and Student Exchanges: Possibly the first study of the Fulbright Program to be conducted by someone who isn't affiliated with it in any way..."The U.S. ambassador to Nigeria is trying to pick up Pidgin English, and although the NPR article doesn't mention the term 'public diplomacy', that's exactly what he's doing--reaching out to the public of Nigeria with accessible language."

US Consulate Offers Small Grants - Press Release, bhindibazaar.asia: "We would like to inform you of an exciting opportunity. The U.S. Consulate General Mumbai is holding a small grants competition to fund programs that promote U.S.-India relations. This is your chance to make a difference. ... What are the selection criteria for the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program? ·The project supports one or more of the grant priorities outlined above.

The proposals should be submitted via email or mail and should include a written narrative in English. ·This competition is open only to individuals, non-governmental organizations, public education institutions, and other legally-recognized non-profit institutions that meet Indian and/or U.S. technical and legal requirements to develop and implement public diplomacy programs. · Indian organizations must have registered and received a Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) number from the Government of India. How can I apply for the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program? An application form and full description of the program are attached. Applicants may submit their proposals to the U.S. Consulate General Mumbai by emailing a completed application form to MumbaiPublicAffairs@state.gov. You can also find more information and fill out the application form by visiting http://www.grants.gov/search/basic.do and searching for Funding Opportunity Number MRFP14-01." Image from entry

A Week as an Arctic Council Delegate: Part 2, Reflections - Alexandra Giese, dartmouthigert.wordpress.com: "The Arctic is unique in being a region where climate changes are affecting resource availability, human health, cultural heritage, and governance across many national boundaries—and to the great interest of the rest of the globe. As US Public Affairs Officer Steven Labensky [where he is posted in not mentioned in the blog -- JB]stated ... 'the ramifications and solutions to challenges [faced by Arctic nations] fall also below the 66th parallel.' ... American universities are producing an astounding amount of research on the Arctic Ocean, ecosystems, ice, climate, and other aspects of the Northern region, which is particularly appropriate given the United States’ status as an Arctic Nation. I’ve had the privilege of traveling twice to Greenland and twice to Alaska for coursework and research . ... On the first day of the workshop [blog does not make it clear where it took place, but appears to have taken place in Arkhangelsk, Russia - JB], we participated in a roundtable discussion with policy representatives about the role of public diplomacy in Arctic issues.

I posed the question of whether it’s problematic for the general American public not to understand the enormous opportunities and responsibilities associated with owning land and marine shelf in the Arctic. In terms of regional governance and international relations, perhaps the fact that many Americans view Alaska as a gas tank is not a problem. But choosing not to extend public diplomacy efforts to the younger generation seems, to me, a lost opportunity to engage the public in questions concerning the effects of, collective adaptation to, and equitable capitalization on changes in climate. Furthermore, by not actively engaging in Arctic issues, we miss exploring part of our identity as Americans." Image from entry, with caption: Circumpolar map showing 8 Arctic nations.

Building diplomacy: One handshake at a time through Gulf Coast Diplomacy Council - pnj.com: "The Gulf Coast Diplomacy Council was founded in 2008 by Jena Melancon, who had been involved in a similar organization in New Orleans. Melancon, still the executive director, considers the council’s events a perfect platform for citizens to forge bridges with members of other cultures. The organization will soon host its 1,000th world leader to visit Pensacola. Among them are women in leadership as well as novelists, journalists, musicians and human rights activists to name a few. Not only do they socialize with private citizens, they also meet with Pensacola leaders. 'What other organization gives its members the opportunity to go canoeing with Germans one month and the next is inviting them to tea with a group of female leaders from Afghanistan?' Melancon asks. The local council is part of a larger network called the International Visitor Leadership Program or IVLP.

Since 1940, nearly 200,000 international visitors have engaged with Americans through IVLP. 'There are just over 90 cities in the country trusted with this work,' Melancon says. 'The IVLP is a major component of this country’s public diplomacy efforts as it supports U.S. foreign policy goals by enhancing mutual understanding between the United States and other nations.' Rather than diplomats talking to diplomats, groups such as the Gulf Coast Diplomacy Council engage private citizens in communities throughout the country with leaders from around the world. The idea is that the connections can forge global understanding. ... Find more information at www.gulfcoastdiplomacy.org [.]" Image from entry, with caption: A member of the Iraqi delegation and guest speaker, Zahra Al-Salman speaks with Pensacola City Council Member P.C. Wu at an event celebrating International Women’s Day.

Effective Persistent Engagement Must Be Whole-Of-Government - Vera Zakem, warontherocks.com: "Through civilian power, U.S. diplomats and development experts work with host nation partners, multilateral, non-governmental institutions, and the private sector to address basic human security concerns such as food, water, health, education, and employment; root causes of regional instability and humanitarian concerns, and other transnational issues. Furthermore, through the Department of State’s Bureau for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, the USAID Office of Transition Initiatives, and other partner offices, the United States has the capability to rapidly deploy civilian responders alongside DoD counterparts to prevent and disrupt conflict in some of the most volatile places in the world that are critical to U.S. security.

These capabilities are complemented by our public diplomacy efforts that are designed to 'inform, inspire, and persuade,' shaping the strategic narrative to counter violent extremism, address local grievances, and engage with the local population by building trust and relationships." Uncaptioned image from entry

On Europe’s odd performance over Ukraine - Aljazeera.com, fastnewsupdate.com: "In the EU, during the past two weeks those dragging their feet on sanctions were unwilling to pay the costs on energy imports, business contractsand the financial sector. Tough talk may be 'right' but could backfire on the EU’s credibility. Using diplomacy to talk through the key points with Moscow could have been the other option. This would have required swallowing some bitter pills, as Russia will not back away from its strategic control of Eastern Europe. Some form of compromise between EU and Russian-led initiatives towards the region would have had to be sought for the longer term. Many in the EU, including public opinion, would have disagreed with this approach. Public diplomacy, therefore, should have been carefully crafted to make it clear that the EU’s goal was to restore international law and protect people’s rights and lives in that region, not to sweet talk Russia."

Ukraine update. Beware the Ides of March [March 15] - "13:39 MSK Crimea is ready

for a referendum. This opinion was expressed by ITAR-TASS members of the Inter-Commission Working Group of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy."  Image from

The Iran Expert May Not Exist, But the Persian Blogosphere Does - Mahsa Alimardani, Global Voices Online: "Already the nature of Facebook and Twitter as a platform of communication between members of Rouhani’s administration and Iranian and non-Iranian Internet users has begun to change the nature of Iranian public diplomacy, despite the prevailing filters on these websites. Needless to say, socio-political dynamics in Persian cyberspace is a vast topic that deserves further research, especially as it constitutes one of the biggest variables in shaping both the content and tools of Iranian politics, society, and culture."

The Finance Ministry is undermining national security - Paul Hirschson, Jerusalem Post: "[T]o avoid the need to activate our defense establishment Israel needs to invest heavily in diplomacy, and the resilience of Israel’s foreign relations is what will determine Israel’s ability to defend itself. Impairing Israel’s diplomacy weakens Israel’s national security. It would be prudent of those who care so deeply about Israel to aim their frustration in the appropriate direction – underinvestment in diplomacy by those in the finance ministry who, by their own lack of understanding of the critical importance of diplomacy, undermine Israel’s national security. In the meantime, friendly foreign diplomats still turn to Israel’s foreign ministry to learn from Israel’s successes in public diplomacy.

Foreign delegations of decision makers and opinion formers continue to flock to Israel’s foreign ministry for briefings and dialogue for the simple reason that they know Israel’s diplomats are first class." Image from entry, with caption: Jordanians protest outside the Israeli embassy in the capital of Amman.

Iranian exile to ‘Post’: Israel, Iran should become allies after regime falls - Ariel Ben Solomon, Jerusalem Post: "Ramin Parham, an Iranian exile, dissident and intellectual, says that if the current regime in Tehran falls it would open the way for strong Israeli-Iranian relations – perhaps even 'a very important strategic axis.' ... He said that in Iran, the religious element would always remain although the regime had ruined the Shi’ite religion and mosques have been empty.

He added that the clerical establishment had lost its legitimacy and was extremely corrupt. He believes, however, that toppling the regime is the responsibility of the Iranian people and that an attack against the regime or its nuclear sites would cause people to rally behind it. He thinks the best policy is one of public diplomacy that appeals directly to the Iranian people. 'Change can only come from within Iran, but yes, they need help from the outside, from Iranian exiles to show new horizons,' he said." Parham image from entry

Israel unveils new incentives to lure French Jews: Plan includes removal of obstacles restricting professionals from working in Israel, and helping youngsters adjust to new learning challenges - Judy Maltz, haaretz.com: "A team headed by Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver will unveil details of a new multimillion shekel government incentive package on Tuesday, designed to entice Jews planning to leave France to make Israel their new home. ... The new program, Landver said, was expected to take effect within the

next few days, as soon as the Knesset Finance Committee approved a Finance Ministry request to transfer some of last year’s budget surplus to the Immigrant Absorption Ministry. ... The committee, headed by Landver, was comprised of representatives of the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, the Jewish Agency, Keren Hayesod and the World Zionist Organization. Image from entry, with caption: New immigrants from France arrive in Israel at Ben-Gurion International Airport, July 25 2007.

Scrapping Australia Network would do 'lasting harm' to Australia's reputation, says ABC boss Mark Scott - "A sudden blackout of Australia's news broadcasting service into Asia and the Pacific would be a 'tragedy' and do lasting harm to the country's reputation, ABC chief Mark Scott has warned. Mr Scott also hit back at critics of the ABC's beleaguered Australia Network television service – which includes senior Abbott government ministers – arguing axing the $20-million-a-year network would be a backwards step. ... Mr Scott

said the ABC had successfully built a considerable online following for its international service since 2012 when it signed a 10-year contract with the Foreign Affairs department to run the service. This included a popular learning English language website, but 'it would be a tragedy if this strategy were abandoned before it began'. He said it would be premature to make the service only available online, with TV a 'dramatically more powerful' method to engage a mass audience. 'We think it's in the best interests of Australia's public diplomacy that we be allowed to get on with the job we are contracted to do — deliver a digital media strategy in the region, putting the best of modern Australia on display,' he said. We think the trust and confidence — so hard to win, so easy to lose — that's been established by the ABC in the region over the years should not be jeopardised.'" Image from entry, with caption: Managing director of the ABC Mark Scott has defended the Australia Network
Insurgency: NSA Designs Economic Plan for Affected States - Ugochukwu Onyeocha, dailytimes.com.ng: "As part of measures to contain insurgency in the country, the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) has designed an economic revitalisation programme targeted at the states currently affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. The NSA, Mohammed Dasuki made this known yesterday, during the public presentation of the 'Roll Out of Nigeria’s Soft Approach to Countering Terrorism,' where he disclosed that the economic empowerment programme was the Fourth Stream of the approach. ... The NSA stated that the new approach would also involve government partnering with faith based organisations, Non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders to deliver counter-radicalisation programmes at the community levels. ... [T]he new security approach would involve building capacity to communicate the country’s national values and institutionalising these capabilities through strategic communication for the military and law enforcement, and public diplomacy for the civilian institutions."

The return to the Nordic embassies - foreignerinberlin.blogspot.com: "Berlin is offering unique opportunities for branding, including for countries. A free city with a lot of creative minds, it creates the adequate context for a large array of particular projects in architecture and public diplomacy. Or two of them brought together.

An example: the Nordic Embassies. I visited the embassies first at the beginning of my stay, part of a cultural diplomacy conference and still find it fascinating. Following models of political cooperation already in place for decades, such as the Nordic Council (1952) and the Nordic Council of Ministers (1971), the so-called Pan Nordic Building reunites in a huge space the diplomatic representations of: Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Uncaptioned image from entry

Be a Leader -– A Chevening Experience, blogs.fco.gov.uk: "Today Alisson Braga, one of our Brazilian Chevening Scholars currently in the UK, will take over the blog. He attended an event organized by the FCO and HSBC bank in London last week. His words show not only how special foreign students are, but how the Chevening Scholars’ experience in the UK goes beyond the British universities. ... [Braga:] We ... headed to the beautiful historical FCO building in Westminster, for a lecture on Public Diplomacy. We were greeted by Director of Engagement and Communication Hugh Elliot, who spoke about FCO actions that go beyond traditional diplomacy.

According to the representative, the creation and the execution of efficient foreign policy is done through the establishment of broad networking between the government, companies and civil society, as well as through the promotion of transparency. He pointed out the importance of social networking in that process. After the lecture, a debate was held on the role of diplomacy in society." Image from entry, with caption: Alisson Braga visits the FCO as part of the Chevening HSBC Day.

Adjournment Speech of the Hon Mrs Jan Cheek, MLA - falklandnews.com: "[W]e really missed the opportunity at our last meeting to say our farewells to Governor Nigel Haywood. I am sure most of us somehow assumed that he would still here at the time of this meeting. We weren t really focused on which flight he was getting. He has been a rightly popular Governor. He was tremendously helpful to Members over the several years that we built up the public diplomacy campaign. His advice in that was invaluable. He will be remembered, I think, as one of the most hospitable Governors."

Turkish Foreign Policy explained in 'Insight Turkey' - Turkish Press: " 'Insight Turkey', a Turkey-based international quarterly journal has dedicated the first of its 16 magazine issues to decode Turkey's foreign policy on worldwide developments since 2002. ... Cemalettin Hasimi, Coordinator of Turkish Prime Ministry's Public Diplomacy Coordinatorship, discusses Turkey's international assistance policy with a focus on the last decade. He gives statistics on Turkey's Humanitarian Diplomacy and Development Cooperation in one of the articles of the magazine, citing that Turkey has become the 4th largest donor in development assistance and 3rd in the provision of humanitarian aid in 2012, with development assistance given to 131 countries listed as aid recipients in 2011. Hasimi declares that a concrete sign of Turkey's transformation to 'return to global politics as a pro-active agent' has materialized through Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency's (TIKA) work. He cites Davutoglu's statement on Turkey's role after 2000 as 'a central country with multiple regional identities that cannot be reduced to one, unified character.' "

Why Digital Diplomacy Is Not A Thing(Yet) - marcorecorder.com: "[W]e end up defining digital diplomacy merely as the adaptation of diplomacy to new communication technologies which have not really affected diplomacy per se but have simply modified the way people are reached by diplomatic bodies, institutions and representatives. What most people call 'digital diplomacy' for the large part I would call 'public affairs' or even simply broadcasting.

This is why digital diplomacy is just not a thing yet. ... I started asking experts to share their definitions and put them up together in a Twitter custom timeline which I will keep updating as new definitions are shared. You can share your definition using the hashtag #digidipis. Image from entry

Propaganda and “Information War”: Theirs and Ours - The Chrysalis, longsworde.wordpress.com: "I don’t think 'propaganda' is such a useful term. In all my years of studying propaganda I’ve never found a useful or precise definition of it. There are so many attempted definitions of the term that, for all practical purposes, one can say that there is no conclusive definition. Or, equally, one can say that every definition contains a partial truth about propaganda. A far more useful term is 'perception management' (or what is referred to euphemistically as 'managing the optics') for everything that is called 'propaganda', 'spin', 'public relations', 'public diplomacy', 'positioning', 'presentation', or 'informational war' (or 'disinformation'), and so on. All these we can appreciate as various attempts at perception management. ... In contrast to overt and clumsy style Soviet and post-Soviet propaganda, the 'invisible hand' of democratic propaganda has to remain 'under the radar' — undisclosed, covert, and hidden. ... Propaganda that is entirely evident, noticeable and recognisable as propaganda is failed propaganda."

Soft Power- Influence and Persuasion - theast.org: “ 'Soft Power' is a concept developed by Joseph Nye of Harvard University in 1990. 'Soft Power' is a country’s ability to get what it wants by attracting rather than coercing others. In this seminar, Lord Howell will focus on the grey area of national power in the age of digital networks, on the role of civic engagement and soft power as opposed to hard power. He argues that if a nation’s soft power is to be successfully built up and deployed to its advantage, credibility is crucial. The messages of soft power are useless if they are seen as propaganda. Is it ever possible for a state to use soft power and not make it look like propaganda?

Joseph Nye recently introduced the concept of ‘smart power’. If soft power is to work alongside military action, what is the right balance between soft and hard? And what is the modern soft power agenda in the age of digital networking? Professor Yasushi Watanabe will examine the potentials and limitations of 'soft power,' with a particular focus on Japan’s public diplomacy. At the time when 'power transition' and 'power diffusion' has become conspicuous both on national and global levels, where should it or can it go? At the time when global competitions for soft power get intensive, how can it avoid falling into a downward spiral of zero-sum game? There are crucial questions at the time when Japan aspires to be a 'proactive contributor to peace.' The seminar will be chaired by Professor Mike Hardy, Executive Director of the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations. Date: 25 March 2014, 6.00pm Venue: Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13 – 14 Cornwall Terrace, London NW1 4QP" Image from entry

USSR-PRC Cultural Relations and the Soviet Tyler Brule Part 2 - Public Diplomacy, Networks and Influence: "At the Cold War History Project there’s an interesting collection of documents on cultural relations activities between the USSR and the People’s Republic of China during the 1950s.  Several of the documents express the fears that rather than cementing relations between the two countries they are actually undermining them."

Tribute to a Wonderful Public Diplomat: Ambassador Sam Lewis - Tara Sonenshine, takefiveblog.org: "'Hello Schmuel,' I used to say to Sam Lewis, which made him laugh. The former U.S. Ambassador to Israel (1977)

was not Jewish, but he remained a lifelong friend of Israel and of Jews and a friend of Palestinians—the ultimate public diplomat. ... Tara Sonenshine ... served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs."  Image from entry, with caption: Moshe Dayan (right), former Foreign Minister of Israel, greets U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis (left) at the New Year (Rosh Hashana) reception of the President of Israel for the Diplomatic Corps, September 9, 1977

His Excellency Ambassador Ljuben Tevdovski, B.A., M.A. - newwestminstercollege.ca: "Ambassador Tevdovski has a distinguished record of ethical leadership and has served since 2009 as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Macedonia to Canada. Prior to his posting to Canada, Ambassador Tevdovski was the Advisor for Public Diplomacy to the President of the Republic of Macedonia and Member of the Council for Foreign Policy of the President of the Republic of Macedonia. ... Ambassador Tevdovski has published analyses, toolkits and articles in various Macedonian and international publications, and is the author of a book titled Cultural Diplomacy – An Essential and Creative Component in the Toolkit of Contemporary Diplomacy."

TV wars: Ramadan dramas vs. the World Cup - Joe F. Khalil, english.alarabiya.net: "Joe F. Khalil, Ph.D., is an associate professor in residence at Northwestern University and visiting research fellow at the London School of Economics. He has more than fifteen years of professional television experience as director, executive producer and consultant with major Arab satellite channels.

He is the author of Arab Satellite Entertainment Television: Opportunities for Public Diplomacy (2009) and co-author of Arab Television Industries (2010). Khalil  image from entry

Workshop on communication skills - PPI News: "Khairpur: "A one-day Workshop on the 'Role Of Ethics-Value And Effective Communication Skills in Personal and Professional Development' was held at Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur on Thursday. Syed Mohammad Javed Sadiq, Former Advisor, Public Diplomacy, U.S Consulate General, Karachi conducted the workshop for the students of the Department of Media Studies."

Same-same but different - Mikaela Griffith, blogs.usyd.edu.au: "Though I was only at the Australian Embassy for a short time, my week there was definitely a fantastic learning opportunity that really shaped my experience as an Australian student working in Bangkok.

I was able to see the many different ways Australia is working to improve bilateral relations with Thailand through the debriefings with different internal groups, while working on assignments for the Public Diplomacy Unit (PDU), and while attending Embassy-run events such as the Australia Day party. I found that there is currently a strong focus on the role education plays in the Australian-Thai relationship." Image from entry, with caption: I will definitely miss Bangkok's rooftop bars. Photo: Mikaela Griffith

USC Student Syuzanna Petrosyan Shares Top Prize in Shoah Foundation Film Competition - massispost.com: "A student from the University of Southern California who describes herself as a descendant of survivor’s of the Armenian Genocide shared the top prize at this year’s Student Voices Short Film Contest sponsored by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual Learning and Education. Syuzanna Petrosyan and fellow student Greg Irwin won the award March 6 for their short film 'Play for your Life,' which looks at the orchestras organized by the Nazis in German concentration camps during World War II. ... Petrosyan

said her interest in entering Student Voices comes from her own Armenian background and interest in exploring the various dimensions of genocides. As a public diplomacy master’s candidate, she said, 'it is important to understand not only the big picture and history of genocides, but also to observe the smaller and personal stories of survivor’s of the biggest crimes in history.'” Image from entry, with caption: Top prize winners Syuzanna Petrosyan and Greg Irwin with USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen D. Smith

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