Ambassador's Statements and Interviews
Creative Engagement with Partners in American Spaces in Central Asia
July 26, 2012
Good morning, Доброе утро, Саламатсыздарбы!
I am so pleased to be here with you today for the first day of the 2012 Regional American Corners Workshop.
I want to thank Roza Sultangaziyeva for hosting us at the beautiful Bayalinov Library and for this gathering of American Corners coordinators and embassy staff who work tirelessly to run the programs and manage everyday American Corner activities. Also, thank you to our special guests from the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs and Gale for supporting this conference.
It is a great pleasure to see many familiar faces here today. I had the opportunity to meet many of you during one of your regional workshops in Almaty. I understand you have two days of exciting activities planned with motivating guest speakers!
This workshop is a great opportunity to meet together and to share your professional experiences, but most important, it’s a chance to generate new ideas on how to enhance and further develop the American Corners program.
I always enjoy visiting American Corners and meeting the people who utilize the resources. I have visited the American Corners in Almaty and Astana, Bishkek, Kant, Karakol, Talas and Osh and hope I will have the chance to see others.
As you know so well, there is a great hunger in this region to know more about America. Students of all ages want information about our history and literature, our leaders, our government, even our geography and demography. Some want to practice their English with native speakers from the Peace Corps or other organizations. Others want to know everything from the role of a citizen in a democracy to how to study abroad in the United States. But, some visitors just come to have fun, to watch movies or to sway to American Jazz as we did with the recent concert right here of singer Eve Cornelius and her group.
Whatever the desire is, you are the key to helping students and citizens in your communities accomplish their mutual understanding goals. That’s why we so highly value all that you do to develop our partnerships. Please make a conscious effort to count the new ideas you are taking home. Your reports of success provide the State Department the justification it needs to keep resources coming to this program.
American Corners, all over Central Asia, have a similar mission, which is to serve communities and offer the best in available resources about America. Corners are about making connections to the global marketplace of ideas. It’s hard, but fun and rewarding work. I know that it truly is the coordinators and students who make each American Corner unique and successful.
The Central Asian states have much in common, but each country is on its own path to democracy, prosperity, greater security and national unity. Each country is playing an increasing role in regional and global affairs. Information is a key to learning about these transitions and information is the business of American Corners. This year, the United States is joining partners in each Central Asian state to mark 20 years of your independence and our friendly bilateral relations.
Your attendance here today is a testament to our long-term partnership and our shared belief in strengthening the friendship of our countries’ relations through the American Corners program. I wish each American Corner, its Director and team continued success and I again thank you for your attention today and your work every day.
Thank you, Spasibo and Chon Rahmat!