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Meeting with His Excellency, Algeria’s Ambassador to the United States.

On Monday November 12, 2012 the board members of the Algerian American Association of the Greater Washington met with Ambassador Abdullah Baali at the latter’s request to discuss possibilities to cooperate and coordinate events for the benefit of the Algerian community in the Washington Metropolitan area and beyond.

The meeting was proactive and cordial. The discussion covered a series of issues compiled by the board members and brought to the attention of the Ambassador. However, the main theme of the meeting remained focused on the possibilities and opportunities to organize events jointly and to coordinate the efforts of the two entities.

The AAAGW board members, Smail Farid, Dr. Himed Kherbache and Fadhma Izri, on one hand and His Excellency, Ambassador Abdullah Baali on the other, reiterated their commitment to make every effort possible to promote Algerian culture and heritage, for the benefit of the Algerian community but also in an effort bring our rich, diversified and millennial culture and history to the larger U.S. audience.

From left to right: Smail Farid, AAAGW President; Fadhma Izri, board member,
Algerian Ambassador to the United States, Abdullah Baali
and Dr. Himed Kherbache, AAAGW board member.

While long-term projects such as the creation of an Algerian Cultural Center in Washington D.C., remains open for discussion and planning, the two parties agreed upon working together to organize a cultural week (Algerian Cultural Week) around Women’s International Day with movie screening, a possible Fashion Show, a Culinary Event, Art Exhibits and a conference on the life and work of Emir Abdelkader.

In an effort to bring the community’s concerns to the attention of the Ambassador, the AAAGW Board members brought up the question of whether it is possible to open air space for Air Algerie to the United States. Ambassador Baali clarified that this is the embassy’s wish as much as it is the community’s but that such action is subject to the stipulations of Open Skies Agreement required by the United States and which contains some provisions that cannot be met by the Algerian government as they may constitute an infringement on the Algerian laws.

Moreover, both parties agreed in principle on the project of collecting science books and donating them to the National Library in Algeria. The AAAGW members expressed their commitment to tackle the logistical aspect of the project and Ambassador Abdullah Baali expressed his willingness to assist in the administrative process.

In sum, the gist of the meeting was an opportunity for both parties to renew their engagement at the service of the Algerian community in the Washington DC area and across the United States. A channel of communication has been established and goals have been set for a long-term and successful relationship between the Algerian American Association of the Greater Washington and the Embassy of Algeria in the United States.




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