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February 2013

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Cover Story

Caribbean Rum Wars: Brewing Tax
Battle Stirs Frustration With U.S.

a3.gun.control.homeWashington's generous excise-tax rebates that are used to subsidize rum production in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have galvanized the city's Caribbean envoys like never before. Read More

People of World Influence

Former U.S. Envoy for Iran Says Policy
Shouldn't Be Held Hostage by Politics

a1.powi.limbert.homeJohn W. Limbert, a former U.S. hostage in Iran, believes it's high time for Washington to stop demonizing its former Mideast ally and start talking to Tehran. Read More


Diplomacy

Foreign Policy Vet John Kerry
Set to Take Over State Department

a1.john.kerry2.homeAs America's top diplomat, John Kerry has given some clues as to how he'll take on the myriad issues he'll face as secretary of state: talk to everyone, even if they're not your cup of tea. Read More


Politics

Newtown Tragedy Prompts
National Soul-Searching on Guns

a3.gun.control2.homeThe Newtown massacre is prompting unprecedented soul-searching among Americans about the country's deeply ingrained gun culture, one that has few parallels with the rest of the world. Read More


Politics

Georgian Ambassador to Step Down,
Citing Unease with New Leadership

a4.georgia.ambassador.homeTemuri Yakobashvili, Georgia's blunt, cigar-smoking ambassador, pulls no punches when it comes to representing his nation in Washington, but he's stepping aside for someone he says can better represent the new leadership in Tbilisi. Read More


Inside the Chamber

U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council
Touts Billions in Bilateral Trade

a6.uae.chamber.homeThe U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council aims to dispels myths and misunderstanding between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, which is America's biggest export market in the Middle East. Read More


Diplomacy

Consular Corps: Behind the Scenes,
But on Front Line of Diplomacy

a7.consular.corps.home

Ambassadors and their diplomatic teams work hard to represent their countries, but there is another parallel track at each embassy that often works just as hard, sometimes 24/7, in a less obvious way: the consular corps. Read More


   

Former U.S. Envoy for Iran Says Policy Shouldn’t Be Held Hostage by Politics

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By Larry Luxner

John W. Limbert hasn't been back to Iran since the day he was airlifted out of Tehran with his 51 fellow U.S. hostages, ending a 444-day ordeal that forever scarred relations between the United States and its former Middle East ally.

"It was not as long as it was supposed to be," Limbert says jokingly of his assignment in Tehran, "but it was longer than I wanted it to be."

The experience left an indelible mark on the veteran diplomat, who would go on to serve at American embassies in the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Guinea, Mauritania and Sudan. In 2010, Limbert ended his Foreign Service career as the State Department's deputy assistant secretary for Iran — a position that had never existed before — and is now a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he teaches a course on U.S.-Iran relations.

Limbert, 69, talked to The Washington Diplomat from the comfort of his Arlington, Va., home, surrounded by mementoes of a life lived abroad: exotic wood carvings from French-speaking Guinea; intricate Persian carpets from Tabriz and Isfahan; brass coffee pots from Saudi Arabia.

The retired diplomat, who shares the house with his Iranian wife Parvaneh, was born and raised in the District, graduated from Tenleytown's Woodrow Wilson High School, and has a doctorate in history and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard. The two met in the mid-1960s when Limbert, then a Peace Corps volunteer, taught English at a school in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj where Parvaneh was also working.

Although Limbert joined the Foreign Service in 1973, he says it wasn't until five years later — as a junior officer in Saudi Arabia — that his eyes were opened to the reality of politics in the Middle East.

"It's 1978, the Iranian Revolution is brewing, and a congressman comes to visit Saudi Arabia and I'm his escort," he recalled. "A Saudi military official gets up and does a very professional briefing about his country's strategic location. On his map, Saudi Arabia is surrounded by red Marxist states — Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Iran. The Saudis believed the Iranian Revolution was communist-inspired, so their conclusion was, 'We are surrounded.' I ask him, 'That's a very interesting map. How did you put all that together?' He says, 'Our American advisors did it for us.' That's when I lost my political virginity. The Americans were whispering in the Saudis' ear something both sides wanted to hear."

a1.powi.limbert.story
Photo: Larry Luxner
John W. Limbert

More than 33 years after the hostage crisis, U.S.-Iranian relations have not budged. Iran is still on the State Department's list of terrorist-supporting countries, along with Cuba, Sudan and Syria — even as other nations like Libya and North Korea have been taken off that blacklist.

The United States still has no embassy in Tehran, not even a U.S. Interests Section like it has in Havana, and there's no indication that the two countries even talk to each other.

"We do have so-called official ways of passing messages. We can go to their U.N. representative in New York, or we can go through the Swiss Embassy, which represents us in Tehran. But in terms of officials talking directly to officials, the last time that happened was 2009, when then-Undersecretary Bill Burns spoke with the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, in Geneva."

Since then, said Limbert, "there's almost no talking" between the two sides — a black hole of knowledge that he says has led to mutual demonization, which, as he put it in a 2012 op-ed, "has imputed the worst possible motives to the other, creating an adversary both superhuman (devious, powerful, and implacably hostile) and subhuman (violent, irrational, and unthinking)."

"I expected better relations by now," said the diplomat, who first fell in love with Iran during a 1962 visit there to see his parents, who were working in Iran on contract for the U.S. Agency for International Development. "I can't say I was optimistic, but I guess it's part of your training as a Foreign Service officer. Your profession is based on communications, not necessarily friendship — if only to make your own position clear and to listen to what the other side is saying. The U.S. and Iran do have things to talk about, regardless whether Iran is a monarchy or an Islamic republic."

One of those things, of course, is Iran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons — a subject Limbert says has been greatly exaggerated, largely to create a convenient bogeyman where none exists.

"In teaching my course about Iran, I have to explain that the phrase 'Iranian threat' is actually two words," he joked. "To put it very simply, politicians have found it useful to blow up, exploit and play on the threat from Iran. The question I always put to my students is, what is this threat? Where does it come from? What lies behind all this talk? There's a great deal of debate over this in Israel, a debate which is not reflected here. For Israel, [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad is the gift that keeps on giving. If you need an enemy to get votes, what better one than him?"

As for the rabid anti-American populist's repeated threats to wipe Israel off the map, Limbert said this kind of rhetoric has even generated criticism within Iran. "It was interesting that when he came to New York last September for the U.N. General Assembly, he toned down some of this stuff. Maybe it was finally getting through that this was counterproductive," said Limbert, who recently traveled to Israel with his wife to discuss Iran at several venues including Tel Aviv's Museum of the Diaspora.

Regardless of Ahmadinejad's blustery rhetoric, Limbert points out that the nuclear program is not his domain. "The president of Iran was never that powerful. His job is to cut ribbons and officiate at ceremonies. The sooner Ahmadinejad learns that, the easier a time he's going to have," Limbert said, observing that the president "couldn't even visit one of his colleagues in prison."

The real power lies in the hands of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who's frequently clashed with Ahmadinejad. But analysts are torn as to whether Khamenei sees nuclear weapons as Iran's salvation in its struggle for regional influence over Sunni heavyweights like Saudi Arabia and U.S. allies like Israel — or whether he has no intentions of building a bomb and really believes what he says, that "holding these arms is a sin as well as useless, harmful and dangerous."

Limbert said he's not seen anything that convinces him Iran — which argues it has a legal right to nuclear enrichment as a member of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — is pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

"What's clear is that the Iranians have not been particularly forthcoming about their nuclear program. But the reasoning I often hear is that one, the Iranians are doing something with nuclear power and enrichment. Two, the Iranians are bad people. Therefore, they must be building a nuclear weapon."

However, such a policy "doesn't do anything for them in terms of what they say is the threat to their survival," according to Limbert.

"I believe them when they say the threat is internal — the same thing that brought down [Egypt's Hosni] Mubarak and [Tunisia's Zine el-Abidine] Ben Ali, and what's bringing down [Syria's Bashar al-] Assad. They call it sedition, fomented by outside powers. If that's true, then a nuclear weapon serves no purpose. You can't use a nuclear weapon against street demonstrators."

Complicating things is Iran's lack of allies in the region.

"Historically linguistically, religiously, Iran is an island surrounded by Turks, Arabs, Pakistanis and Sunnis. It's not any of those things. They're really by themselves," Limbert said. "Add to that some monumentally bad diplomacy where they managed to make enemies left and right, and you have a country which essentially has only two friends: Syria and Armenia. And if Assad fails, Iran could be facing a new Sunni regime in Syria. That's probably the worst nightmare. Iran then loses its access to Hezbollah, one of its few friends in the neighborhood and probably its only friend in the Arab world."

For years, Limbert noted, Iran used the Palestinian cause "as its passport into the Arab world" — providing missiles for Hamas jihadists in the Gaza Strip and offering, among other things, bounties for the families of suicide bombers who killed Israeli civilians. "That worked for a time, but when they end up supporting Assad, who is murdering Arabs and Sunnis, that passport doesn't have much validity anymore."

a1.powi.limbert.hostages.story
Photo: DoD via Pingnews
Recently freed Americans held hostage in Iran disembark the Air Force's Freedom One plane at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Jan. 27, 1981. The 444-day ordeal for 52 Americans forever scarred relations between the United States and its former Mideast ally.

With fewer friends on the outside and more disgruntled citizens on the inside, pressure is coming at the regime from all sides. Protests erupted in 2009 after Ahmadinejad handily won the election, though the government was able to clamp down on dissenters and the controversial president retains the support of many rural, older voters. Since then, however, unprecedented U.S. and European sanctions have choked off energy profits and pounded Iran's economy, causing the value of its currency to tank. And with Iran heading into another presidential election this June, there's no doubt U.S. officials hope the country's dire economic straits spark a renewed challenge to the regime.

But Limbert says that while the U.S. government can wish for regime change, it shouldn't intervene to make that wish come true. He's not at all optimistic when it comes to Washington's promises of bringing democracy to the Middle East. And he certainly doesn't think the United States can or should foment a counter-revolution to topple the Islamic Republic (the last time Washington interfered, to prop up the embattled Reza Shah Pahlavi, an Islamic revolution ensued, resulting in the current republic).

"Look at our record. It usually has terrible consequences. I personally would love to see a more humane government in Iran. But is that the U.S. government's task? I don't think we're capable of it. Our record in other places suggests that when we make such attempts, the results are usually not very good."

He added that in Iran, "you have an entrenched power structure that over the years has become more and more detached from the concerns of the people. They're concerned with enriching themselves. Either it collapses of its own weight or it does not."

On that note, the current joke in Tehran is that "Tunis could, Iran could not." The double entendre is funny because the word "Tunis" in Farsi means "could."

A candid, colorful academic at heart who aspired to become a teacher rather than a diplomat, Limbert has written four books — all on the subject of Iran. He's a past president of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) and is also the proud recipient of the State Department's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, as well an Award for Valor, presented to all the hostages after their 14-month ordeal.

"I've often said that I don't so much blame the 20-year-olds who did this, because they were acting on emotion," Limbert told The Diplomat. "If there's blame, it's the people who should have known better, who instead of stepping in, in fact ended up supporting it. In fact, they still debate it. Officially, they claim the embassy takeover was a good thing. They celebrate it every year on the fourth of November. This is chutzpah."

Memories of that traumatic ordeal came flooding back with the recent release of Ben Affleck's award-winning political thriller, "Argo." Affleck not only directs the movie but also plays its protagonist, Tony Mendez — a CIA "exfiltration" specialist who travels to Iran to fly out six trapped Americans disguised as Canadian movie scouts filming a fake Hollywood sci-fi production.

Limbert and Mendez spoke at a recent Washington screening of "Argo" for 300 diplomats, dignitaries and others that was organized by AFSA (also see "Tony Mendez: The CIA Spy Behind 'Argo' in the January 2013 edition of the Diplomatic Pouch online). "Argo" was based on a true story, though the ruling mullahs in Iran likely aren't fans of Affleck's latest movie.

"A number of Iranians have said this is a terrible film. They say it shows them as violent, irrational and fanatic at the time," Limbert said. "All I can do is say that at the time, they were violent, irrational and fanatic. The good thing is that it's forced people to confront a very ugly part of their own past."

Limbert jokes that the Iranians follow the "Cleopatra policy" — and that Cleopatra was the queen of denial.

"Now they claim they never held guns to anybody's head, that there were no mock executions, that nobody was ever beaten up. The longer time goes on, the more this narrative has taken root. Even President Ahmadinejad has bought into this version of events," he said.

Limbert said he sees two currents within the Iranian-American community: one that supports dialogue with Tehran, and the other that rejects any interaction with the Islamic Republic and still blames Jimmy Carter for all the loss of U.S. influence in Iran.

As for Carter, now 88, Limbert says, "I'm very careful about criticizing what he did or didn't do. After all, he did get us out of there alive. It was his presidency — basically [then Deputy Secretary of State] Warren Christopher — that negotiated our release."

However, Limbert did say that Washington's decision to grant asylum to the Shah for cancer treatment was like throwing him and his former hostages under the bus. At the time, Reza Shah Pahlavi was facing mounting opposition in Iran for stifling dissent and being a puppet of the United States. Carter was reluctant to grant the unpopular, cancer-stricken ally entry to the United States, for fear of reprisal against Americans in Iran, but he eventually relented, reportedly on humanitarian grounds.

"The U.S. government had been told, 'If you admit the Shah, you can kiss your mission in Tehran goodbye one way or another. This was not rocket science," Limbert said.

Both Carter and then Secretary of State Cyrus Vance (who later resigned to protest the failed secret mission to rescue the hostages) opposed giving the Shah safe haven, but Limbert claims Henry Kissinger and former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller were pushing for it.

"Kissinger denies it but I think he's lying. His friends were pushing too. Vance didn't agree, and Carter didn't agree. The embassy told Vance it was a bad idea. On Oct. 25, 1979, the U.S. government learns after five and a half years that the Shah has cancer, and needs urgently to come to the U.S. for treatment. Vance changes his mind and says we have to let him in. Carter is now by himself," he said.

"Here's where the Benghazi parallel comes in. Having made that decision, knowing that would put us in danger, why did he leave us there? The answer is the Cold War, and Iran was the prize. We had competed with the Soviets there since 1945. We were not about to pack up and leave, and turn the whole place over to our Cold War enemies. From what I read, [former national security chief Zbigniew] Brzezinski still believed that opposing the Soviets could be the basis of some understanding with the government in Iran."

The recent independent review of last year's violent attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya — which killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others — doesn't specifically mention the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. But Limbert says "there are definitely echoes of Tehran" in the report.

"The issue is, what's the balance between mission and safety? Does it require you to be present, to have people on the ground in places that are very dangerous? And if it does, then what measures do you need to take? You'll never make people perfectly safe, but if you can't take those measures, you should not be there."

We asked Limbert if the United States should renew its diplomatic presence in Iran, one of the most virulently anti-American climates in the world. Could the State Department, for example, open a U.S. Interests Section in Tehran, sort of like the interests section Washington maintains in Havana, under the protection of the Swiss Embassy?

"This was talked about at the end of the Bush administration," he said. "I would say yes, if we could have some reasonable assurance that the first time there was a disagreement, we don't have 1979 all over again. That possibility is still there. It happened to our British friends [in 2011 when Iranian protesters stormed their embassy]. It might have been people who were nostalgic for the good old revolutionary days. I would put this condition: The least we should ask is that the Iranians no longer mark Nov. 4 as something to celebrate."

He added: "The experience of what I went through was truly awful, and it's still going on. But the question is, what's in the interests of our country? For 33 years, we've been trading insults, threatening each other, calling each other names, and it hasn't changed anything. Do we like each other? No, probably not. But you don't have to. You talk to your neighbor because you're better off talking than not talking."

There is a good chance that with Iran increasingly squeezed by sanctions and Obama embarking on his second term with a renewed mandate, the talks over Iran's nuclear program will restart very soon.

Iran has indicated a willingness to return to the table, though Washington and Tehran remain far apart in their bargaining positions. Iran insists that negotiations encompass a broader agenda, which Limbert supports. He points out that for many Iranians, resentful of what they see as U.S. bullying, the nuclear issue is a source of national pride. A wide-ranging discussion could give Iran's leaders a way to save face if they have to make concessions. Plus, he says, there are important areas — Afghanistan, drug trafficking, etc. — where the two enemies could find common ground. But Western powers want to deal strictly with the nuclear question, wary that an expanded focus would be just another stalling tactic to let Iran quietly fortify its nuclear program.

Nevertheless, Limbert says President Obama's re-election and his nomination of Sen. John Kerry as secretary of state gives him some hope when it comes to U.S.-Iran relations.

"Hillary [Clinton] is a very skilled secretary of state and I have great respect for her, but her instincts are very political. Kerry is the son of a Foreign Service officer. If you listen to him, he talks like a Foreign Service officer. And Vietnam gives him credibility."

Pundits are debating how much that war might shape Kerry's tenure as secretary of state (and Chuck Hagel's as defense secretary, if he's confirmed). Likewise, being held captive in Iran for more than a year has had a profound impact on Limbert's career, although the pragmatic diplomat has never turned his back on the country he fell in love with 40 years ago. He still ardently believes in engagement over confrontation.

For the time being, though, neither Limbert nor his wife are allowed to set foot on Iranian soil.

"None of the former hostages have gone back to Iran," he said, adding that his two grown children have not been back to the country of their birth since they were 9 and 7. "That's a red line for the Iranian government. I don't know why. I think we remind them of something they'd rather forget."


About the Author

Larry Luxner is news editor of The Washington Diplomat.

   

Foreign Policy Vet John Kerry Set to Take Over State Department

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By Karin Zeitvogel

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Newtown Tragedy Prompts National Soul-Searching on Guns

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By Sean Lyngaas

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Georgian Ambassador to Step Down, Citing Unease with New Leadership

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By Larry Luxner

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Caribbean Rum Wars: Brewing Tax Battle Stirs Frustration With U.S.

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By Larry Luxner

Read more: Caribbean Rum Wars: Brewing Tax Battle Stirs Frustration With U.S.
   

Puerto Rico Rep. Calls Rum Rivalry With USVI ‘Race to the Bottom’

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By Larry Luxner

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U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Touts Billions in Bilateral Trade

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By Larry Luxner

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Consular Corps: Behind the Scenes, But on Front Line of Diplomacy

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By Gail Scott

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Letter to the Editor

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By Cari

Thank you for your well-done and supportive article, "From Star Trek to Springsteen, Colleges Go Where No School's Gone Before" (January 2012 issue). Your point must be more wildly distributed: These pop culture-involved courses are neither inherently better nor inferior to all traditional courses. They must be judged via an evaluation of each course on its own and not automatically dismissed as frivolous. I doubt your piece will convince all on this matter but it does move the flag along. On behalf of my pop culture colleagues as well as myself, thank you for making the case so well.

— John Massaro
State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam

   

Comprehensive Cancer Care Coming to Northern Virginia

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By Gina Shaw

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Clarification

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By Cari

The January 2012 People of World Influence profile "Brzezinski: Obama Must 'Regain' Lost Ground in Foreign Policy" stated that former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski "famously urged Obama to shoot down Israeli fighter jets should they attack Iran."

In a 2009 interview with the Daily Beast, Brzezinski advocated denying Israel the right to use Iraqi airspace for a possible attack on Iran and said that if Israel deliberately violated American airspace in the course of such an attack, an incident could arise in which Israeli and American jets might engage in a clash. He added that such an incident "is nothing to be wished for."

   

African Bioethicist Urges More Oversight for Clinical Trials

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By Carolyn Cosmos

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Kennedy Center Expects Warm Reception for Nordic Cool

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By Stephanie Kanowitz

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‘End’ of Calendar Just Start of New Era for Ancient Civilization

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By Gary Tischler

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American Music Abroad Cultivates Next Generation of Voices

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By Paul S. Rockower

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Voltaggio Migrates to Chevy Chase With Emporium of Specialties

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By Rachel G. Hunt

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Civil-ized Partnership: Civil Cigar Lounge is Rare Treat

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By Anna Gawel

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Haneke’s Meditation on Love Continues Roll to Oscars

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Bin Laden Hunt and French Love Story Top 2012 WAFCA Awards

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By Ky N. Nguyen

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Films - February 2013

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By Cari

Languages

English

Greek

Swedish


Farsi

Hebrew

 


French

Italian

German

Spanish

 

English

 56 Up
Directed by Michael Apted and Paul Almond
(U.K., 2012, 144 min.)
"Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man." Starting in 1964 with "Seven UP," the UP documentary series has explored this Jesuit maxim by examining the lives of 14 English school children every seven years.
Landmark's E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Feb. 15

American Casino
Directed by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn
(U.S., 2009, 89 min.)
This film explains how the meltdown of Wall Street has affected not just the heedless spendthrifts of Wall Street legend, but millions of members of the American middle class, such as a high school teacher, a therapist and a church minister (screens with "Marx Reloaded" (Germany, 2011, 52 min.), a cultural documentary that examines the relevance of German socialist and philosopher Karl Marx's ideas for understanding the global economic and financial crisis of 2008-09).
Goethe-Institut
Thu., Feb. 21, 6 p.m.

Argo
Directed by Ben Affleck
(U.S., 2012, 120 min.)
Ben Affleck's award-winning political thriller chronicles the covert CIA operation to smuggle six Americans out of the Canadian ambassador's residence during the Iranian hostage crisis.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

A Better Life
Directed by Chris Weitz
(U.S., 2011, 98 min.)
A gardener in East L.A. struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while trying to give his son the opportunities he never had (English and Spanish).
Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema
Sun., Feb. 3, 10 a.m.

Garbo the Spy
(Garbo: El espía)
Directed by Isaki Lacuesta
(Spain, 2008, 88 min.)
Juan Pujol García (code name Garbo, after the actress) was a famous Spanish double agent whose well-timed trickery made possible the success of the Normandy invasions. (English, Spanish, German and Catalan).
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Feb. 3, 4:30 p.m.

The Great Silence
(Il grande silenzio)
Directed by Sergio Corbucci
(Italy, 1968, 105 min.)
Chaos reigns during the Great Blizzard of 1899, driving the villagers of Snowhill, Utah, to steal in order to survive. Enter ruthless, psychotic bounty hunter Klaus Kinski and his band of killers, who slaughter the naïve outlaws for profit.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Feb. 9, 9:30 p.m.,
Sun., Feb. 10, 9:20 p.m.

The Hellbenders aka The Cruel Ones
(I crudeli)
Directed by Sergio Corbucci
(Italy/Spain, 1967, 90 min.)
Refusing to admit defeat, ex-Confederate Colonel Jonas (Joseph Cotten) and his sons raid a Union Army transport laden with cash, massacring the soldiers, but their evil ways will prove their undoing.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Feb. 8, 9:15 p.m.,
Tue., Feb. 12, 9:20 p.m.

The Iran Job
Directed by Till Schauder and Sara Nodjoumi
(U.S./Iran, 2012, 93 min.)
In this highly entertaining documentary, American basketball player Kevin Sheppard accepts a job to play in Iran, bonding with local shop owners, teaching his teammates American slang, and forming genuine friendships with three outspoken Iranian women. (English and Farsi)
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Feb. 22, 7 p.m.,
Sun., Feb. 24, 2 p.m.

The Legend of Cool 'Disco' Dan
Directed by Joseph Pattisall
(U.S., 2012, 90 min.)
Discover the "other" Washington of the 1980s through the story of legendary graffiti artist Cool "Disco" Dan, a mysterious, ubiquitous presence during the height of go-go music, record crime rates and citywide dysfunction.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Feb. 23, 8 p.m.

Life of Pi
Directed by Ang Lee
(U.S., 2012, 127 min.)
Pi Patel, the precocious son of a zookeeper, and his family decide to move to Canada, hitching a ride on a huge freighter. After a shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, all fighting for survival.
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Ninotchka
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch
(U.S., 1939, 110 min.)
In this mirthful romance, stern Soviet special envoy Nina Ivanovna Yakushova travels to Paris to sort out wayward emissaries who've bungled the sale of some confiscated White Russian jewelry and become corrupted by the decadent West.
AFI Silver Theatre
Feb. 1 to 7

Quartet
Directed by Dustin Hoffman
(U.K., 2012, 99 min.)
Reggie, Wilfred and Cecily, retired musicians living in Beecham House, are in for a shock when their new housemate turns out to be none other than their former singing partner (Maggie Smith), whose career as a star soloist, and the ego that accompanied it, split up their long friendship and ended her marriage to Reggie.
AFI Silver Theatre
Feb. 1 to 14
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's E Street Cinema

Rich and Strange
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
(U.K., 1931, 92 min.)
When office drone Henry Kendall declares to wife Joan Barry that he's had enough, the couple leave on a world cruise with exotic ports of call — Paris, Marseille, Port Said, Ceylon and Singapore — each finding themselves courted by, and falling for, more worldly fellow passengers.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Feb. 9, 1 p.m.,
Sun., Feb. 10, 4:45 p.m.

Sabotage
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
(U.K., 1936, 76 min.)
Suspecting London cinema operator Oscar Homolka of terrorist activity, Scotland Yard detective John Loder goes undercover, ingratiating himself with Homolka's Amer-ican wife and her young brother — but not in time to uncover Homolka's latest plot.
AFI Silver Theatre
Feb. 22 to 26

Secret Agent
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
(U.K., 1936, 86 min.)
His death at the front faked for the papers, a novelist-turned-soldier accepts a new identity and a spy mission to Switzerland, where he's teamed with a high-living assassin and his fake wife to disrupt a German Ottoman military deal.
AFI Silver Theatre
Feb. 16 to 20

When China Met Africa
Directed by Marc and Nick Francis
(U.K., 2010, 90 min.)
This documentary delves behind the headlines to tell the stories of three people involved in China's expanding presence in Africa: a Chinese agricultural entrepreneur, the manager of a Chinese company in Zambia, and Zambia's trade minister.
Freer Gallery of Art
Wed., Feb. 13, 7 p.m.

Young and Innocent
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
(U.K., 1937, 82 min.)
An aspiring screenwriter is wrongly accused of murdering an actress he was involved with, and goes on the lam in the English countryside until he can clear his name, with the sheriff's enamored daughter in tow.
AFI Silver Theatre
Feb. 23 to 28

Farsi

The Last Step
(Pele akher)
Directed by Ali Mosaffa
(Iran, 2012, 88 min.)
Leili's (successful acting career puts a strain on her marriage to Koshrow. When Koshrow dies unexpectedly, the film untangles the potential reasons behind their troubled marriage and his mysterious death.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Feb. 8, 7 p.m.,
Sun., Feb. 10, 2 p.m.

No Men Allowed a.k.a. No Entry for Men
(Vorood-e-Aghayan Mamnoo)
Directed by Rambod Javan
(Iran, 2011, 100 min.)
Pariya and her friends believe if their strict headmistress Ms. Darabi finds love, she'll loosen the school's rules, so when the first male teacher arrives at their school, the girls decide to play matchmaker.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Feb. 15, 7 p.m.,
Sun., Feb. 17, 2 p.m.

Rhino Season
(Fasle kargadan)
Directed by Bahman Ghobadi
(Iraq/Turkey, 2012, 104 min.)
In a haunting love story spanning three decades, Sahel falls victim to a personal vendetta and is thrown into prison along with his devoted wife Mina, who is released 10 years later and told her husband is dead. Heartbroken, she and her two children leave Iran for Istanbul, unknowingly leaving behind her very-much-alive husband.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Feb. 1, 7 p.m.,
Sun., Feb. 3, 2 p.m.

French

Amour
Directed by Michael Haneke
(France/Germany/Austria, 2012, 127 min.)
Georges and Anne, retired music teachers in their 80s, find their bond of love severely tested when she suffers a debilitating stroke.
AMC Loews Cineplex Shirlington
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema
Landmark's E Street Cinema

El Cuaderno de Barro
(The Clay Diaries)
|Directed by Isaki Lacuesta
(Mali/Spain, 2011, 60 min.)
As a truck filled with four tons of wet clay arrives from Spain in the Dogon region of Mali, the local people are mystified. What ensues then is an astonishing performance by Spanish artist Miquel Barceló and French choreographer Josef Nadj on top of the Bandiagara cliffs (French and Bambara; followed by "Los Pasos Dobles").
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Feb. 24, 4:30 p.m.

Los Pasos Dobles
(The Double Steps)
Directed by Isaki Lacuesta
(Mali/Spain, 2011, 87 min.)
In the mid-20th century, French writer and artist François Augiéras painted a series of massive frescoes (known as the "Sistine Chapel of the desert") that were swallowed up by advancing sand (French and Bambara; preceded by "El Cuaderno de Barro").
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Feb. 24, 4:30 p.m.

A Man and a Woman
(Un homme et une femme)
Directed by Claude Lelouch
(U.S., 1966, 102 min.)
An international art-house sensation and one of the most achingly romantic films of all time. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimée meet by chance at their children's school. She a widow and he a widower, they get to know one another, their friendship growing tentatively into something more.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sun., Feb. 17, 1 p.m.,
Tue., Feb. 19, 7:15 p.m.

German

Democracy under Attack – An Intervention
(Angriff auf die Demokratie -eine Intervention)
Directed by Romuald Karmakar
(Germany, 2012, 102 min.)
In this documentary, journalists, artists and intellectuals voice their opinions in no uncertain terms on the current state of our democracy and make an appeal for intervention.
Goethe-Institut
Mon., Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m.

The Photographers Bernd
und Hilla Becher
Directed by Marianne Kapfer
(Germany, 2011, 94 min.)
In 1959, Bernd and Hilla Becher began photographing abandoned and forgotten industrial structures that dotted the German landscape, finding minimalist and modernist beauty in these disappearing remnants of a declining way of life.
Goethe-Institut
Mon., Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m.

Greek

Raw Material
(Proti yli)
Directed by Christos Karakepelis
(Greece, 2011, 78 min.)
Christos Karakepelis spent six years documenting a diverse community of people who subsist on collecting discarded metal, from old fridges to mattresses, in an impoverished shanty-town in Athens.
The Avalon Theatre
Wed., Feb. 6, 8 p.m.

Hebrew

The Flat
Directed by Arnon Goldfinger
(Israel/Germany, 2011, 97 min.)
As a documentarian cleans out the flat that belonged to his grandparents — both immigrants from Nazi Germany — he uncovers clues pointing to a complicated and shocking story.
The Avalon Theatre
Wed., Feb. 27, 8 p.m.

Italian

Death Rides a Horse
(Da uomo a uomo)
Directed by Giulio Petroni
(Italy/Spain, 1967, 120 min.)
Seeking revenge on the gang of outlaws who murdered his parents, John Phillip Law joins forces with an ex-con who's seeking revenge on the same gang for very different purposes.
AFI Silver Theatre
Tue., Feb. 26, 9 p.m.,
Wed., Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m.

Django
Directed by Sergio Corbucci
(U.S., 1966, 87 min.)
Franco Nero stars as the titular badass in the 1966 original story of a man on a mysterious mission who confronts murderous ex-Confederates, Klansmen and banditos in his search for vengeance.
AFI Silver Theatre
Feb. 1 to 7

Navajo Joe
(Un dollar a testa)
Directed by Sergio Corbucci
(Italy, 1966, 93 min.)
An outlaw and his band of scalp-hunters massacre the entire population of an Indian village, save one—Navajo Joe (Burt Reynolds), who returns to extract bloody retribution on the bastards.
AFI Silver Theatre
Fri., Feb. 17, 9:20 p.m.,
Wed., Feb. 20, 9:20 p.m.

Spanish

All Night Long
(La noche que no acaba)
Directed by Isaki Lacuesta
(Spain, 2010, 80 min.)
Isaki Lacuesta explores Hollywood star Ava Gardner's fanatical attachment to Spain.
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Feb. 17, 4:30 p.m.

Cravan vs. Cravan
Directed by Isaki Lacuesta
(Spain, 2002, 100 min.)
Isaki Lacuesta pursues the realities and myths of maverick poet Arthur Cravan's life, his comings and goings in Europe and North America, and his uncanny disappearance in the Gulf of Mexico in 1918 (Spanish, Catalan and French).
National Gallery of Art
Sun., Feb. 10, 4:30 p.m.

Los Condenados
(The Condemned)
Directed by Isaki Lacuesta
(Spain, 2009, 94 min.)
In Argentina, one-time 1970s revolutionaries (their lives interrupted by the Dirty War) gather in a mysterious jungle setting to find the remains of murdered friends believed buried there, their quest to dig up the missing bodies at odds with the lush green surroundings (screens with "La Leyenda del tiempo").
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Feb. 23, 2 p.m.

La Leyenda del Tiempo
(The Legend of Time)
Directed by Isaki Lacuesta
(Spain, 2006, 109 min.)
Camarón de la Isla, a celebrated gypsy flamenco singer and hero-celebrity, continues to inspire even after his untimely death at age 42 (screens with "Los Condenados").
National Gallery of Art
Sat., Feb. 23, 4 p.m.

Swedish

 Summer with Monika
(Sommaren med Monika)
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
(Sweden, 1953, 96 min.)
Two young lovers spend a summer idyll together, only to see it wither in the light of real-world responsibilities.
AFI Silver Theatre
Sat., Feb. 9, 7:15 p.m.,
Wed., Feb. 13, 7:15 p.m.

   

Events - Febuary 2013

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EVENT CATEGORIES

Art

Discussions

Festivals

Galas

Music

Theater


ART

Feb. 1 to 24
Unfiltered: Paintings
by Leslie M. Nolan
Featuring strong, bold brushwork and compositions, Leslie Nolan's figurative artworks show people as raw and vulnerable in these private glimpses into real life.
Touchstone Gallery

Feb. 2 to March 2
International Connections
This group show showcases artists from different cultures, styles, subjects and media — united in their devotion to art and their commitment to sharing their visions with the world.
International Visions Gallery

Feb. 2 to Aug. 4
Arts of Japan: Edo Aviary and Poetic License
Complementary but distinct installations examine two themes of Edo period art: "Edo Aviary," which traces how depictions of birds were influenced by natural history painting, and "Poetic License: Making Old Words New," which shows how classical Japanese and Chinese literary traditions were absorbed into the merchant and artisan classes.
Freer Gallery of Art

Through Feb. 8
Auschwitz: The Final Solution
Ecuadoran artist and OAS General Secretariat official Gabriel Gross created a compelling series of eight large panels of oil on canvas reflecting on the World War II genocide of Jews to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27.
Organization of American States
Marcus Garvey Hall

Feb. 9 to May 12
Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio, Dubuffet
This exhibition reveals a rare cross-cultural artistic dialogue between American painter Jackson Pollock (1912-56), American artist and patron of European and American postwar art Alfonso Ossorio (1916-90), and French painter Jean Dubuffet (1901-85). Approximately 53 paintings and works on paper from 1945 to 1958 highlight visual affinities and inspired friendships among the artists at pivotal moments in their careers.
The Phillips Collection

Through Feb. 10
NOW at the Corcoran – Enoc Perez: Utopia
Enoc Perez's lushly figured paintings of modernist buildings at once exploit and question the seductions of architecture as well as painting itself.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through Feb. 10
Shadow Sites: Recent Work
by Jananne Al-Ani
Inspired by archival archaeological and aerial photographs, as well as contemporary news, Jananne Al-Ani's video works examine enduring representations of the Middle Eastern landscape.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Feb. 13 to May 26
On Common Ground: Dominican Republic + Haiti
In conjunction with the Embassies of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, this exhibition of works by emerging artists of Hispaniola, the island that these two countries share, offers fresh perspectives on Hispaniola's cultural scene and addresses misconceptions surrounding the two nations' complex relationship with one another, imagining a brighter future.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas

Through Feb. 15
Heavenly Jade of the Maya
Rare jade jewelry and objects from recent archaeological discoveries commemorate the ending of the Maya calendar cycle (Dec. 21, 2012) and the beginning of a new era. This exhibit displays the creative wealth worn by powerful nobles to keep their rituals and beliefs alive, since the Maya considered jade more precious than gold.
Inter-American Development Bank Cultural Center

Feb. 15 to May 12
A World Apart: Anna Ancher and the Skagen Art Colony
The first exhibition in the United States to focus on Danish modern painter Anna Ancher (1859-1935) and the artist colony at Skagen, Denmark, features 41 paintings and oil sketches by Ancher and more than 20 by her fellow Skagen artists.
National Museum of Women in the Arts

Feb. 16 to June 8
Pageant of the Tsars: The Romanov Coronation Albums
Marking the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, the history and spectacle of Russian tsars' coronations are revealed through lavish, rarely seen albums and objects from Hillwood's Russian collection.
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens

Feb. 17 to May 5
Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop
In the first major exhibition devoted to the history of manipulated photographs before the digital age, some 200 works will demonstrate that today's digitally altered photographs are part of a tradition that extends back to the beginning of photography.
National Gallery of Art

Through Feb. 22
The Points That Bring Us from Here to There
The mapping-focused work of Michael Dax Iacovone and Kathryn Zazenski map spaces and experiences, with Iacovone chronicling his journey driving across the 123 bridges that span the Mississippi River, while Zazenski presents maps from time spent in Haukijärvi, Finland, Washington, D.C., and Beijing, China.
Honfleur Gallery

Feb. 23 to April 7
Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s
"Pump Me Up" is the first exhibition to explore the thriving underground of Washington, D.C., during the 1980s, giving visual form to the raucous energy of graffiti, Go-Go music, and a world-renowned punk and hardcore scene — demonstrating D.C.'s place in the history of street art as well as that of America's capital city
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through Feb. 24
Ai Weiwei: According to What?
This major survey of Ai Weiwei, one of China's most prolific and provocative artists, aims to reveal the rich and varied contexts that he has interwoven within the broad spectrum of his work, from sculpture, photography and video to site-specific architectural installations.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Through Feb. 24
Facing Democracy
Combining art, photojournalism and film, this exhibition features works by three American artists who documented the Occupy Movement and the civil unrest that exists in the United States, exploring the causes, activities and representations of the movement.
Goethe-Institut

Through Feb. 24
Lalla Essaydi: Revisions
Lalla Essaydi, a Moroccan-born, New York-based artist, pushes the boundaries of Arab, Muslim and African perceptions of women's identities with her art, which includes themes of feminism, gender, identity and the private inner lives of women while drawing on Arabic calligraphy for its decorative and communicative potential.
National Museum of African Art

Through Feb. 24
Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
An eye-opening look at the largely unknown ancient past of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this exhibition draws on recently excavated archaeological material from sites throughout the Arabian Peninsula, tracing the impact of ancient trade routes and pilgrimage roads stretching from Yemen in the south to Iraq, Syria and Mediterranean cultures in the north.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Through Feb. 24
Taryn Simon: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII
Taryn Simon produced this 18-chapter series over a four-year period (2008-11), during which she traveled around the world researching and recording bloodlines and their related stories.
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Through March 2
Luces y Sombras: Fourteen Travelers in Mexico
The 20th century saw many internationally acclaimed photographers travel through Mexico to document the country from their unique perspectives. This exhibition focuses on 20 hand-pulled photogravures comprising Paul Strand's seminal 1933 "Mexican Portfolio," along with renowned photographers Edward Weston, Wayne Miller, Aaron Siskind and others who captured the sociopolitical realities, local architecture, and startling landscapes of 20th-century Mexico through a patently American lens. And accompanying exhibit, "Visions of Mexico: The Photography of Hugo Brehme," presents 40 works from Hugo Brehme on loan from the Throckmorton Gallery in New York City.
Mexican Cultural Institute

Through March 3
Michelangelo's David-Apollo
The presentation of the "David-Apollo," a marble statue by Michelangelo lent to the National Gallery of Art by the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence, opens the nationwide celebration "2013-The Year of Italian Culture."
National Gallery of Art

Through March 10
The Sultan's Garden: The Blossoming of Ottoman Art
More than 50 sumptuous textiles and other works of art illustrate the stylized floral designs that became synonymous with the wealth, abundance and influence of one of the world's greatest empires.
The Textile Museum

Through March 16
Words Like Sapphires: 100 Years of Hebraica at the Library of Congress
A century ago, New York philanthropist Jacob H. Schiff purchased an initial collection of nearly 10,000 Hebrew books and pamphlets for the Library of Congress. This gift formed the nucleus of what is today one of the world's greatest collections of Hebraic materials, comprising some 200,000 items.
Library of Congress

Through March 17
Andrei Molodkin: Crude
Andrei Molodkin is a globally recognized contemporary Russian artist who deconstructs the economic realities of geopolitical praxis with monumental ballpoint-pen drawings and three-dimensional constructs filled with crude oil.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Through March 17
Grisha Bruskin: H-Hour
Internationally acclaimed contemporary Russian artist Grisha Bruskin's new Kafkaesque sculpture project "H-Hour" is a disturbing, toy-like anatomy of hate in the form of: the hostile state, class enemy, enemy of the subconscious, time and so on.
American University Katzen Arts Center

Through March 29
Rabín Ajaw: Indigenous Ceremonial Dress of Guatemala
Photographs by Juan Carlos Lemus Dahinten of Guatemala examine the aesthetics of indigenous, Guatemalan dress as a manifestation of cultural identity, and how modern styles influenced by global fashion and culture coexist with indigenous traditions.
OAS Art Museum of the Americas
F Street Gallery

Through March 31
Pissarro on Paper
French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro first tried printmaking in his early thirties, and though he never stopped painting, printing became vital to his artistic enterprise.
National Gallery of Art

Through April 21
Orchids of Latin America
"Orchids of Latin America" highlights the importance of Latin American orchids in local culture and folklore through live flower displays and examines ways in which biological reserves are working to preserve orchid species and habitats today.
National Museum of Natural History

Through May 26
Color, Line, Light: French Drawings, Watercolors, and Pastels from Delacroix to Signac
Some 100 drawings and watercolors from the collection of James T. Dyke showcase the broad development of modern draftsmanship in France, from romanticism and realism through the impressionists, Nabis and neo-impressionists.
National Gallery of Art

Through July 7
One Man's Search for Ancient China: The Paul Singer Collection
New Jersey psychiatrist-turned-collector Paul Singer's bequest to the Sackler Gallery created one of the largest Chinese archaeological collections in the United States. This exhibition looks at the collector's contributions to Chinese art history — made largely at a time when contact between China and the West was heavily restricted — and examines how landmark archaeological discoveries have shed new light on his acquisitions and on ancient China.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

DISCUSSIONS

Mon., Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m.
Sweet & Salt: Water and the Dutch
Tracy Metz's book "Sweet & Salt: Water and the Dutch" addresses the complex and inescapable relationship between water and the Netherlands as sea levels rise, rivers swell, and storms and droughts multiply, offering a new perspective on living with water in the futute. Tickets are $20.
National Building Museum

Feb. 6 to 8
Protocol and Executive Etiquette Seminar
The Protocol Partners Washington Center for Protocol presents a multiday comprehensive seminar on diplomatic, military and international protocol, as well as business and dining etiquette that will teach you the skills and industry standards to navigate various professional environments. Seminar content will offer lessons on greeting and hosting guests with confidence, accommodating international customs, planning VIP visits and other events, and building stronger business relationships.
Tuition is $2,150; to register, visit www.theprotocolpartners.com.
Willard InterContinental Washington Hotel

Feb. 6 to 27
High-Stakes Intelligence Operations: From Catching Bin Laden to a Picture-Perfect Rescue in Iran
This four-session daytime course throughout February examines the kind of intelligence operations that hold human life in the balance and are some of the most difficult that any intelligence service can undertake. Tickets are $140; for information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.
International Spy Museum

Thu., Feb. 7, 6:30 p.m.
'Dreamscapes' by Edward Sullivan
During such cataclysmic events in Europe as the Spanish Civil War and World War II, many émigré artists found a welcoming home in Mexico City. Edward J. Sullivan of New York University explores the fascinating reasons why surrealism enjoyed such popularity in Mexico around 1940 and how Mexico City rivaled Paris as a center of surrealist invention. Admission is free but RSVP is recommended and can be made by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Mexican Cultural Institute

Fri., Feb. 8, 8:30 a.m.
2013 Congressional Trade Agenda
Prominent congressional trade leaders share their perspectives at the Washington International Trade Association's annual off-the-record overview of the Hill' trade agenda. To register, visit www.wita.org/en/cev/1494.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

Sat., Feb. 9, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Apulia to Sicily: Exploring Southern Italy
Travel writer Reid Bramblett takes you to southern Italy, a sun-kissed land of legends and saints, where medieval churches are grafted onto ancient temples, and where timeless traditions survive amid the olive groves and fishing villages. Tickets are $130; for information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Wed., Feb. 13, 7 p.m.
Roads of Arabia: From Trade Routes to Pilgrimage Trails
Massumeh Farhad, chief curator of Islamic art at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, will discuss the ground-breaking "Roads of Arabia" exhibition and highlight the meaning and function of some of the objects, ranging from mysterious steles and statues to gold funerary masks. Tickets are $25; for information, visit smithsonianassociates.org.
S. Dillon Ripley Center

Tue., Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Contemporary Voices: Tim Krohn and Leif Randt
This evening dedicated to emerging authors in contemporary German literature, moderated by Swiss Embassy Cultural Attaché Norbert Bärlocher, features Leif Randt, author of "Shimmering Mist over Coby County," and Tim Krohn, author of "Quatemberkinder" and "Vrenelis Gaertli."
Embassy of Austria

FESTIVALS

Feb. 5 to 9
14th Annual Washington D.C. International Wine and Food Festival
After 12 years of success with an average of 6,000 attendees each year, recent guest feedback encouraged the Washington D.C. International Wine and Food Festival to extend the festivities over several days and include seminars, tastings, food pairings, dinners, and a signature event each evening. For information, visit www.wineandfooddc.com.
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

Feb. 19 to March 17
Nordic Cool 2013
A month-long international festival of theater, dance, music, visual arts, literature, design, cuisine, and film to highlight the diverse cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden as well as the territories of Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Áland Islands.
Kennedy Center

Feb. 21 to May 19
The Washington DC International Design Festival
Artisphere and Apartment Zero present this free three-month-long multidisciplinary celebration of design, anchored by "The Next Wave: Industrial Design in the 21st Century," a 4,000-square-foot exhibition exploring innovation in product design over the last 13 years. The exhibit of more than 100 objects from around the world will be complemented by a series of public programs. For information, visit www.artisphere.com or www.apartmentzero.com.
Artisphere

Feb. 22 to April 19
Dvorak and America
Through a series of five concerts, PostClassical Ensemble's "Dvorak and America" festival argues that Czech composer Antonín Dvorak acquired a distinctive and influential "American style" during his time in the United States that was fundamentally different in style from that of the music he had previously composed. The centerpiece is a March 1 concert at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center featuring the "Hiawatha Melodrama" alongside Dvorak's "String Serenade" and his little-known "American Suite." For information, visit http://postclassical.com.
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center Duke Ellington School of the Arts


GALAS

Sat., Feb. 9, 9 p.m.
Noche de Pasión 2013 Destination Carnaval!
The Washington Ballet celebrates Latin American music, dance and culture with its annual philanthropic event, held this year at Brazilian Ambassador Mauro Mieira's residence in the style of Carnival, to support Latino ballet dancers and scholarship students at the Washington Ballet, including the company's newly established Latino Scholarship Fund. Tickets start at $275; for information, contact Elizabeth Bunting at (202) 362-3606 ext. 122 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Brazilian Residence

Sat., Feb. 9, 7 p.m.
La Saint-Valentin at the Embassy of France
This year, enjoy Valentine's Day with a dramatic twist, as the French Embassy rendez-vous with the seduction and charm of "Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons)" in an evening inspired by Francois Choderlos de Laclos's novel and the 1988 film starring Glenn Close and John Malkovitch. Whether you're single, a couple, or with a group of friends, this popular annual soirée hosted by the French-American Cultural Foundation offers an evening of romance, entertainment, and games worthy of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont. VIP tickets start at $90, and after-hours admission (8:30 p.m.) starts at $55.
La Maison Française

Sat., Feb. 9, 7 p.m.
A Viennese Faschingsball
Enjoy fine dining, exceptional Austrian wines, dancing with DJ Aaron and raffle at the annual ball for the Consular Corps of Washington, D.C. Tickets range from $90 to $250; for information, visit http://acfdc.org.
Embassy of Austria

Sat., Feb. 16, 7 p.m.
Inspired to Love: Gala to Benefit the Children of Belize
The Embassy of Belize in Washington and Kim Simplis-Barrow, special envoy for women and children and spouse of the Prime Minister of Belize, host a gala to benefit the children of Belize, featuring wine tasting, dinner and live auction. The event is presented in collaboration with the Organization of Women of the Americas under the patronage of Tim Shriver, chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics. Tickets are $250; for information, call (202) 332-9636 ext. 221 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Ritz-Carlton Washington Hotel

MUSIC

Fri., Feb. 1, 8 p.m., Sat., Feb. 9, 8 p.m.
Paco Peña: Flamenco Viva
Named the "Best Flamenco Guitarist" by America's Guitar for five consecutive years, Paco Peña brings his troupe of brilliant flamenco musicians and dancers to George Mason for a tour through the history of flamenco. Tickets are $23 to $46.
George Mason University Center for the Arts (Feb. 1)
George Mason University Hylton Performing Arts Center (Feb. 9)

Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m.
China National Symphony Orchestra
This grand orchestra, credited with creating an orchestral tradition unique to China, showcases its impressive artistry and award-winning instrumentalists with music from East to West under the baton of En Shao. Tickets are $30 to $60.
George Mason University Center for the Arts

Tue., Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Classical Pianist Christoph Traxler: Ludwig van Beethoven
Christoph Traxler, one of Austria's most promising young pianists, has performed with orchestras such as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and top conductors such as Manfred Honeck and Ralf Weikert. Admission is free but RSVP is required and can be made at http://beethoven.eventbrite.com.
Embassy of Austria

Tue., Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Percussions Clavier de Lyon
With a dizzyingly varied repertoire that spans Bach to Ravel to Zappa and back again, Percussions Clavier de Lyon are five passionate and demanding musicians who have succeeded in maintaining an ensemble dedicated solely to percussion keyboard instruments — marimbas, vibraphones, and xylophones. Tickets are $25.
La Maison Française

Thu., Feb. 28, 7 p.m.
Evening of Romantic Piano Music
The European Academy of Music and Art (EAMA) was founded by Bella Eugenia Oster in Maryland in 1991, performs a concert of Brahms, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky and more. For ticket information, visit www.thingstododc.com.
Embassy of Austria

THEATER

Through Feb. 3
Boged (Traitor): An Enemy of the People
Emerging from Israel's social justice movement of the past year, "Boged (Traitor)" is an up-to-the-minute adap-tation of Henrik Ibsen's classic play of environmental whistle blowing; part of the Voices from a Changing Middle East Festival. Tickets start at $35.
Washington DCJCC

Mon., Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m.
Obama in Naples
Neapolitan craziness and fun break out when an Italian journalist returns to Naples to investigate whether conditions will ever improve there, but is mistaken for a member of President Obama's advance party and ends up getting more involved in saving the city than he bargained for. To register, visit www.iicwashington.esteri.it/IIC_Washington/.
Embassy of Italy

Feb. 5 to March 3
Shakespeare's R&J
A repressive all-male Catholic boarding school bans "Romeo and Juliet," but four students unearth a secret copy and steal into the night to recite the prohibited tale of adolescent passion. While it begins as a lark, the story gradually draws the boys into a discovery of universal truth that parallels their own coming-of-age. Please call for ticket information.
Signature Theatre

Feb. 7 to March 10
La Casa de los Espíritus /The House of the Spirits
This haunting and poetic adaptation of Chilean-American author Isabel Allende's acclaimed novel "The House of the Spirits" spans four generations of political, social and familial upheaval through the power of remembrance, love, magic and fate. Tickets are $36 or $40.
GALA Hispanic Theatre

Through Feb. 10
FELA!
The hit Broadway musical — presented by Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — returns to the Shakespeare Theatre, bringing to life the true story of legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful Afro-beat rhythms ignited a generation. Tickets are $30 to $100.
Sidney Harman Hall

Feb. 13 to March 10
The Convert
Set in 1895 amid the colonial scramble for Southern Africa, the play follows Jekesai, a young girl who escapes village life and a forced marriage arrangement, ultimately discovering Christianity under the guidance of an African teacher. However, as anti-colonial sentiments rise, Jekesai must choose between her new European God and the spirits of her ancestors. Tickets start at $35.
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Feb. 14 to March 9
Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas
(Sex, Shame and Tears)
Teatro de la Luna presents an irreverent romantic comedy that illustrates the beliefs held by each gender, the role each is expected to play within a relationship, and the emotional problems both men and women face in their day-to-day lives. Tickets are $30 or $35.
Gunston Arts Center – Theater Two

Through March 17
Hughie
Emmy Award-winning actor Richard Schiff ("The West Wing") plays the title role in Eugene O'Neill's powerfully focused play about a man whose illusions of a grand lifestyle waver after the death of the stranger who quietly validated his larger-than-life confidence. Please call for ticket information.
Shakespeare Theatre Company

   

Classifieds - February 2013

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Real Estate Classifieds - February 2013

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