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spring as a way to transcend cultural boun-

daries and provide a mediumof commu-

nication among different ethnic groups.

Her first event, A Taste of Iran, was

a smash hit, and she plans to host a

Palestinian-Israeli dinner later this

fall. Half of the proceeds of each event

go to organizations from the featured

country, such as the Omid Foundation,

which helps disadvantaged or abused

Iranian women.

Conflict Kitchen in Pittsburgh, Penn-

sylvania, which also serves food from

countries in conflict with the United States,

was Ms. Heshmati’s inspiration.

—Katherine Perroots, Editorial Intern

Mumbai Charity

Run Honors

Diplomatic Security


n Oct. 1, the U.S. consul general

in Mumbai, Thomas Vajda, led a 5-km. charity run to mark the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Diplomatic Secu- rity Service.

The run is one of 100 races for

charities sponsored by the Bureau of

Diplomatic Security that are being held

worldwide and in the United States

throughout the bureau’s centenary year.

Consul General Vajda was joined by

more than 200 people representing the

diplomatic community, law enforce-

ment and many other groups.

“It is an honor to participate in an

initiative dedicated to honor the men

and women who work hard to keep us

safe at all times,” Vajda said.

“And it’s an extra bonus to help raise

money for a great organization through

donations raised at our event,” he

added. The proceeds from this race went

to the Vatsalya Foundation, a nongov-

ernmental organization that works with

Mumbai’s street children.


—Gemma Dvorak, Associate Editor


oundCloud is a global online

audio distribution platform based

in Berlin that enables its users to

upload, record, promote and share

originally created sounds. The web-

site attracts more than 175 million

unique monthly listeners.

The Department of State has

its own SoundCloud channel at, with 10

playlists (sets of audio recordings on

a theme): Religion and Diplomacy,

Global Views, Human Rights Heroes,

Countering Violent Extremism

(in Spanish and English), State of

Diplomacy, Charting a New Course

on Cuba, Inside Economic Diplomacy,

Fighting Ebola, Conversations on

Leadership and Meet the Ambas-


The Meet the Ambassador con-

versations feature interviews with

U.S. ambassadors, including: Richard

Verma, India; Geoffrey Pyatt, Ukraine;

Dana S. Smith, Qatar; Ted Osius, Viet-

nam; Daniel Yohannes, OECD; Liliana

Ayalde, Brazil; and Cynthia Akuetteh,

Gabon and Sao Tome.

The Conversations on Leader-

ship playlist features discussions

on leadership and what that means

for the State Department and

diplomacy. On Sept. 21, AFSA

President Ambassador Barbara

Stephenson joined Director Gen-

eral of the Foreign Service Arnold

Chacón to discuss her career in

the Foreign Service, her thoughts

on leadership and on challenges

ahead for U.S. diplomacy.

The full conversation between

Amb. Stephenson and DG

Chacón can be found on the

SoundCloud site or app (https:// none

of the other foreign affairs agencies

have SoundCloud stations yet, the

search function and hash tags will

take you to conversations related to

USAID and the other agencies, some

including interviews with officials

from those agencies.

—Gemma Dvorak, Associate Editor



F ood is being used as a unifying force


new pop-up dining experiences and

efforts by foreign governments to expand

knowledge about their cultures in the

United States.

TheThai government, for example, has

promoted an increase in “culinary diplo-

macy” through the establishment of Thai

restaurants in the United States since 2002.

Elsewhere, individuals have launched

restaurants to encourage cultural interac-

tion and education between Americans

and countries with which the United

States is in conflict.

Mana Heshmati, a Swedish-born chef

of Iranian descent, started Peace Meal

Kitchen in Detroit, Michigan, this past