Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Women History Month with Public Affairs officer Angela Aggeler

Angela Aggeler, Public Affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy
March 28.2011

The traditional roles of women as caregivers and men as breadwinners were debated on on Monday evening during the Coffee with a Diplomat series at the American Corner Skopje. Angela Aggeler, Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy opened and led the talk and helped us celebrate Women’s History Month by summarizing the most notable American women and their accomplishments throughout different times of US history. Some of the inspiring women mentioned were Pocahontas, Anne Marbury Hutchinson, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Nellie Bly, Maya Ying Lin etc. Who are the Macedonian women whose successes we celebrate today? Mother Teresa, Vera Ciriviri Trena, Ibe Palikukja, Atina Bojadzi were just a few of those mentioned.

In the lively talk that followed the importance of role models and education was emphasized as the starting point in giving women the rights they deserve. Mrs. Aggeler expressed her hopes that some day soon the first Macedonian woman mayor is going to be elected. That people will not discriminate against by saying that a person thinks like a man or a woman, but thinks as a diplomat, doctor, professor, nurse. Women should also support each other as Mrs. Aggeler pointed out “We have a moral importance as women to try and help those who need our assistance and help” and to remember that it can’t only be women fighting for women. We all need to take an active role in the fight for women’s rights regardless of our gender.

As the 5 interns who had assisted the American Corner staff these past months were presented with their certificates by Mrs. Aggeler we were also reminded that there is no such thing as being too smart for a girl. Find your role model and try to become such a person yourself. Angela’s role model is the woman who started the first domestic violence hotline in Vietnam for abused women. This woman had given Angela a lot to think about. Who is your role model and how inspired are you to face women’s issues yourself?

see the full album from this event on our facebook page.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Photos from the Speaking Contest FINALS

All images are courtesy of Mike Bromwell.

See the full album on our Picasa :

English Speaking Contest Finals!

March 19, 2011

All of the American Corners in Macedonia in Skopje, Tetovo, Bitola, Stip and Struga brought their finalists who took part in the 5 preliminaries of the English Speaking Contest at the Cinemateque of Macedonia to perform their speeches on st...age. A total of 195 students ages 12-18 took part in the preliminaries and 35 of them were selected to proceed in the finals. The English Language Fellow- Mary Bromwell was the mastermind behind the whole contest, holding public speaking workshops in all of the 5 Corners to help the students prepare for their speeches better.

A special addition to this year’s contest was the new “Cultural” category. This category was created by the AC Skopje staff, as part of the Performance Funds project. The students were invited to create speeches that promote multiculturalism and diversity, based on one of the 7 offered quotations on the subject of multiculturalism and tolerance, carefully chosen to represent diverse authors in regards to race, ethnicity, gender, disabilities, social status and background.

This year’s judges along with Mary who were invited to decide who the winners were going to be were either Fulbright students, university professors or Peace Corps representatives. The winners they selected had the honor to meet H.E. Ambassador Philip Reeker who presented the students with their certificates and congratulated them after having heard the winners perform their winning speeches especially for him. The media were invited to interview some of the winners and have them share their excitement not just with their parents, English language teachers of peers who were at Cinemateque, but also with a larger audience who will have the chance to hear about the contest and hopefully decide to participate next year.

We would like to thank Mary Bromwell for her efforts in making this contest a wonderful opportunity for all of the students in Macedonia to practice their public speaking skills, and we hope to have even more students taking part in the contest next year. Thank you to all of the participants who took part in the contest and let us once again congratulate the 4 winners from Skopje and Bitola!

For more pictures, please visit the facebook album. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

♣ Everyone is Irish on Saint Patrick's Day - March 17 ♣

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by the Irish and Irish at Heart in big cities and small towns alike with parades, "wearing of the green," music and songs, Irish food and drink, and activities for kids such as crafts, coloring and games. Its a time for fun. Some communities even go so far as to dye rivers or streams green!

The Chicago River is dyed green each year for the St. Patrick's Day celebration

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig is the Gaelic way of expressing a wish that you have all the blessings of St Patrick's Day and the "luck of the Irish" to go with it. There are many humorous explanations for this expression. One comes from the legend of the 'Little People' of the land, know as leprechauns. Finding or catching a leprechaun (who would then give you gold) was a lucky event that could only take place in Ireland!

So, why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.

♣We wish everyone GOOD CHEER and GOOD LUCK!♣

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March Monthly Calendar for and American Corner near you!

American Corner Skopje
American Corner Bitola
American Corner Tetovo
American Corner Struga
American Corner Stip