Hollywood on the Potomac
Written by guest contributor Joe David
The grand entrance hall of the United States Institute of Peace overflowed last week with hundreds of prominent men and women from government, academia, and business. They came to hear and honor the Arab woman. The day-long event, which began with panel discussions and ended with a gala dinner, marked the League of Arab States’ Fifth Annual Arab-American Day Celebration, held this year in collaboration with the USIP.
The day-long events focused on the important role played by Arab women in stabilizing their communities. “Arab women have shown a steadfast commitment, especially during times of war and change, of never wavering in their struggle to bringing peace and stability to their communities,” Ambassador Salah Sarhan, the Chief of Washington Mission of the League of Arab States, said. “The Arab League considers the issue of violence against women and girls in the Arab world to be one of its most important challenges it faces.” In this context, Ambassador Sarhan emphasized that the League is addressing this challenge by using its position of strength to reach out to women and to help them achieve societal justice, gender equality, and prosperity through education. To show its commitment to ending violence against Arab women and girls, it held “16 Days of Activism,” a special dedication to them, which began on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ended on December 10, 2016, the designated Human Rights Day.
“I was six years old. I’m sitting at the breakfast table one morning, and I, out of the blue, blurted out, ‘Momma and Daddy, when I grow up,’ – because Momma and Daddy is what we called our parents – ‘Momma and Daddy, when I grow up I’m going to marry Elvis Presley,'” Linda Thompson told Hollywood on the Potomac at a book party in her honor at Cafe Milano in Georgetown hosted by Franco Nuschese with co-hosts Susan Hurley and Kelly Wade.. “My Momma and Daddy started laughing and they said, ‘Well, honey, by the time you’re old enough to get married he’ll be an old man.’ I said, ‘Well I don’t care. He’ll still be singing Hound Dog’ and he was. He wasn’t an old man. I mean, he was just 16 years older than I.”
Award-winning songwriter Linda Thompson breaks her silence in A Little Thing Called Life, sharing the extraordinary story of her life, career, and epic romances with two of the most celebrated, yet enigmatic, modern American superstars—Elvis Presley and Bruce Jenner.
We’re not sure why a flock of Penguins ended up on the staircase at the residence of Gérard Araud, The Ambassador of France, since Penguins – unlike most humans – enjoy sub-zero temperatures and today’s Polar Vortex with air and wind chills that dipped to Siberian levels is paradise for these fabulous creatures. “I did this decor because I wanted to tell a short story about climate change,” artist-photographer Pascal Blondeau told Hollywood on the Potomac. “The first victims of our beautiful planet are Bears & Penguins. I wanted to tell how Ambassador Araud and myself take climate change seriously. I did this kind of work many times when I was a [sceneographer] at the Museum of Decorative art in Paris.”