This past week at USIP...
I orchestrated my first solo Skype interview with Gharghashta the former Afghan MP. We talked about her reactions to the elections in Afghanistan over this past weekend. She shared a lot of interesting comments and stories she learned from friends still back in Afghanistan and the local media. We're still getting the blog reviewed/approved, and I think it should be posted online by the end of the week. Generally though, Gharghashta seemed pleased and optimistic, though there were violent incidents and allegations of fraud/corruption. Results should be released gradually in 3 stages over the course of the next month. Current President Karzai is calling for a peaceful transition of administrations. Positive election results (meaning relatively conflict/violence free) should also help with the American military transition out of Afghanistan. Inshallah the people of Afghanistan will have peace one day soon.
I have continued working on our INPROL Afghanistan country page, making edits and additions. It's a slow and steady process. I cannot wait until I see the finished product!
I attended an interesting event called Global Innovators: Women Leading Change Around the World, at USIP co-sponsored by Vital Voices Global Partnership and the Bernstein Family Foundation. The event featured the 2014 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards Honorees, all women leaders breaking barriers and building innovative solutions to achieve economic, political, and social change in their home countries of Guatemala, India, Iraq, and Tanzania. Their endurance, accomplishments, and spirits are absolutely impressive and admirable. I wish them and their countries the best of luck. For more information and the webcast recording, see:
As for some random notes, I've been enjoying the food trucks that park for lunch time around the State Department, just next door to us. They're around every week day all across DC, but a group of work friends and I venture out to the trucks in our area typically only on Fridays as a fun treat. I'm loving the falafel and am so excited to see a popular Persian food truck as well! It's sweet to see so many professionals taking a little breather in the fresh air and picnicing all around with good food.
USIP is getting rid of its own personal library in house and partnering with George Washington University, which is just down the street. I expect that union will be fruitful for both sides and hope the transition goes smoothly.
I am loving experiencing DC now not only with my Georgetown college friends and former Fragomen coworkers but also WM Law friends. Experiencing a familiar place with new people always gives you a chance for new perspectives and rekindled appreciation. In the year I have been gone from DC there have been new developments! My old neighborhood of Mt. Vernon (near Chinatown) has several impressive new buildings and of course brunch and happy hour spots are always popping up. I'm making a point to make weekday evening plans to stay busy and soak in as much as I can with as many different groups as I can.
I've been watching The West Wing on Netflix and after having completed 1 year of law school and being in DC gives me a whole other appreciation for the show and its plot lines! I'm having fun with it and learning as well I think haha. I've also just finished reading Maya Angelou's semi-autobiographical book "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings," and enjoyed it very much. I highly recommend reading this book, other works by her, and learning about Dr. Angelou's life and contributions. May she rest in peace.
There's a lot of buz around the 4th of July approaching, which is a perfect holiday to spend in our capitol. I'm looking foward to my developing plans!
I also want to give a shout out to the security staff here at USIP and at all government agencies and offices. I truly appreciate their dedication, service, and professionalism.
Happy Summer Solstice and continued good luck the USMNT in the World Cup!
HoyaTribe (Hoya Saxa + Go Tribe)