America Abroad Media presents honors for the 10th year
America Abroad Media welcomed DC diplomats, policy leaders and members of the Hollywood creative community to the Kennedy Center on Nov. 17 to celebrate its 2022 outstanding media honorees. CBS Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Margaret Brennan emceed the event.
Three awards were presented to recognize purpose-driven television and film that deepens understanding of current global affairs. The first award was given to the acclaimed Turkish television series Ethos, which explores societal and religious backgrounds of a group of characters who meet by chance.
Secretary General of the Muslim World League Mohammad Al-Issa received the second award for his advocacy in representation of the Muslim world in Hollywood. The final award, presented by Meridian International CEO Stuart Holliday, went to Bela Bajaria, Head of Global TV at Netflix
Notable ambassador attendees include Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Hasan Murat Mercan of Turkey, Jacques Pitteloud of Switzerland, Hanène Tajouri Bessassi of Tunisia, Khazar Ibrahim of Azerbaijan, and Moosa Hamdan Moosa Al Tai of Oman.
“[The honorees] are helping address the problem of polarization in our societies. They are advancing the values of pluralism and empathy. They are underscoring the importance of cultural authenticity and of local knowledge and creativity,” said AAM founder and president Aaron Lobel. “Above all they understand the potential for storytelling through film and television, at its best, to deepen our understanding of other cultures and religions.”
NPC hosts conversation on Finland-Sweden accession to NATO
On Nov. 18, the National Press Club invited Finnish Ambassador Mikko Hautala and Swedish Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter to discuss their countries’ values and expectations in joining NATO.
The conversation, which was moderated by NPC President Jen Judson, highlighted important topics, including the ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine and the importance of free press in each of their countries today.
Hautala, who previously served as ambassador to both Russia and Ukraine, said Finland is applying to NATO to strengthen its military and have support against Russia: “I think that together we will make sure that the defense in Europe will be much stronger in the future. NATO will also receive a great time player. I think that nobody will be disappointed. We are good team players. I think we can show that for the EU.”
Olofsdotter added, “I hope you realize the historic decision our countries have taken. My country has been basically neutral since 1814. We stayed out of the first world war. We stayed out of the second world war and we had to build up our own defense industry during the Cold War. I never thought this day would come… the brutal attack by Russia on the sovereign country Ukraine made us rethink our own security.”
Local diplomats, military attachés and members of the press attended the discussion and had the opportunity to ask questions following the ambassador speeches.
IFE and Australian Embassy host midterms panel
Australian Ambassador Arthur Sinodinos and his wife, Elizabeth Sinodinos, along with Coach Kathy Kemper and the Institute for Education jointly hosted Making Meaning of the Election – A Panel Discussion at the ambassador’s residence on Nov. 21.
The panelists included CNN Anchor and Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash, Fox News correspondent Lucas Tomlinson, Senior Coordinating Producer for ABC News, Justin Fishel and White House/Capitol Hill Investigative Reporter for ABC News, Katherine Faulders. The conversation was moderated by Fox News Chief National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin.
The discussion debriefed the results of the 2022 midterms, while the panelists shared their own stories about covering this year’s election cycle and what they expect for the future. The audience had the opportunity to ask questions and the event was followed by a cocktail reception.
Photos by Angelique Gingras