Issaquah to host state Sister Cities Conference

October 28, 2008

By Staff

Issaquah will host the state Sister Cities Conference on Nov. 1, bringing together participants from across the state who are active in Sister City programs.

The conference is from 8:45 a.m. – 3 p.m. Nov. 1 at Tibbetts Creek Manor, 750 17th Ave. N.W. Advance registration of $30 is required. Register online at http://wasistercities08.eventbrite.com.

Issaquah has two sister cities: Chefchaouen, Morocco, and Sunndal, Norway.

“It’s been such a wonderful experience for our city to look beyond our borders, and better understand other cultures,” Mayor Ava Frisinger said. “I’m thrilled that Issaquah is hosting this state’s Sister Cities Conference, as we know firsthand how valuable these programs can be to our communities.”

The mission of Sister Cities International is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time.” The organization represents more than 2,400 partnerships in 134 countries.

This year’s conference will focus on two key areas: building bridges with the Islamic world through citizen diplomacy and raising funds for small and medium-sized cities.

Unfortunately, Mohamed Saad El Alami, the mayor of Chefchaouen, will not attend.

In a letter to the state coordinator of Sister Cities International, Burton Badr Jr., El Alami cited “pressing governmental engagements” as the cause of his delegation’s withdrawal from the conference.

“I’m sure this conference will be a success because of the presence of notorious personalities such as Mr. James Douglas, Mr. William Stafford, Mr. Bill Evens, yourself and others,” he wrote. “It will, no doubt, be an important opportunity to further pave the way for more understanding and cooperation we all hope to get to.”

Conference participants will have an opportunity to participate in the development of a state annual Peace Award that will be given at future conferences.

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