Picture this

February 21, 2014

Issaquah sets its sights on adding the French town of Savigny-le-Temple to its family of sister cities.

The city of Issaquah is expecting.

Like most new parents, city officials have a special glow in anticipation of the new arrival. Members of the City Council and Sister Cities Commission are anxiously waiting for a written proposal from the town of Savigny-le-Temple in France to establish a Sister City relationship.

Contributed Minister Mohamed Saad El Alami, mayor of Chefchaouen (center), and former Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger (right) walk through the Moroccan city’s streets with other delegation members and a security detail in 2007.

Contributed
Minister Mohamed Saad El Alami, mayor of Chefchaouen (center), and former Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger (right) walk through the Moroccan city’s streets with other delegation members and a security detail in 2007.

The transatlantic courtship began last fall, when a delegation of students from the French town came to Issaquah during Salmon Days and were so impressed they requested their city reach out to establish an official relationship. Leaders from the community 20 miles southeast of Paris have made plans to send another contingent of young people to the Northwest this summer.

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Concert benefits Issaquah’s sister city ties

June 5, 2012

Join the municipal Sister Cities Commission and the nonprofit American Moroccan International Exchange to celebrate strong international ties among Issaquah and sister cities in Morocco and Norway.

Issaquah and Sunndal, Norway, established a sister-city pact in 1991. Chefchaouen, Morocco, and Issaquah formalized a similar relationship in 2007.

The organizations plan a June 9 concert to benefit the commission’s international partnerships. The event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Issaquah Community Center, 301 Rainier Blvd. S. The lineup includes the bands Astro Cats, O’Dark:30 and Kalimba. The event is open to guests of all ages.

Tickets cost $10. Purchase tickets in advance at online at www.amieonline.org/concert2012; at Issaquah City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way; or by calling 837-3000.

The fundraiser supports cultural exchange programs. Past Sister Cities Commissions efforts included student and artist exchanges.

Issaquah sends condolences to Norway after Oslo tragedy

August 2, 2011

The recent terrorist attacks in Norway prompted a global outpouring of goodwill to the Scandinavian nation, including a message from Issaquah.

Sister Cities Commission Chairman Mike Pautz sent a note to officials in Issaquah’s sister city, Sunndal, after the July 22 attacks on government buildings in the capital, Oslo, and a nearby youth camp. Authorities put the death toll at 77 people.

“I wanted to take a moment to say hello and send our positive thoughts to you and your families throughout Norway. Given the recent events in Oslo, and elsewhere in the world, it is important that we all do our best to help spread goodwill and support,” Pautz wrote. “Many of us in Issaquah are thinking of you and hoping that you are all doing well.”

Sunndal is more than 200 miles from Oslo, the largest city in Norway.

Issaquah and Sunndal leaders established a sister-city relationship 20 years ago. The pact included some early exchanges, but diminished as the years passed. Representatives from both cities intend to reignite the relationship soon.

Issaquah also claims Chefchaouen, Morocco, as a sister city.

Issaquah sends condolences to Norway after Oslo tragedy

July 31, 2011

NEW — 11 a.m. July 31, 2011

The recent terrorist attacks in Norway prompted a global outpouring of goodwill to the Scandinavian nation, including a message from Issaquah.

Sister Cities Commission Chairman Mike Pautz sent a note to officials in Issaquah’s sister city, Sunndal, after the July 22 attacks on government buildings in the capital, Oslo, and a nearby youth camp. Authorities put the death toll at 77 people.

“I wanted to take a moment to say hello and send our positive thoughts to you and your families throughout Norway. Given the recent events in Oslo, and elsewhere in the world, it is important that we all do our best to help spread goodwill and support,” Pautz wrote. “Many of us in Issaquah are thinking of you and hoping that you are all doing well.”

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Sister Cities Commission seeks members

June 7, 2011

The municipal Sister Cities Commission is seeking members to help foster relationships among Issaquah and sister cities Sunndal, Norway, and Chefchaouen, Morocco.

The commission’s objective is to increase knowledge, goodwill and understanding through people-to-people diplomacy, education, cultural exchanges, economic exchanges and humanitarian assistance.

The commission has three openings. People can pick up application packets at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way, during regular business hours. Submit a completed packet and volunteer service agreement by noon June 24.

After commission members and city staffers interview candidates, Mayor Ava Frisinger recommends appointees and the City Council confirms the appointments.

Issaquah students can join sister-city writing contest

April 12, 2011

Students interested in sustainability and sustaining international relations can participate in a writing contest organized by Sister Cities International, the citizen diplomacy network set up to create and strengthen partnerships between U.S. and international communities.

Students ages 13 to 18 can enter a personal essay or poetry into the contest. Using the theme “Shaping Your Community for a Greener Future” as a guideline, participants should illustrate how they, their community or their sister city is working to protect the local environment.

Issaquah has sister-city relationships with Chefchaouen, Morocco, and Sunndal, Norway.

Learn more about the contest at Sister Cities International website, www.sister-cities.org/programs/yas.cfm. The deadline for submissions is April 29.

All in the family: Discover Issaquah’s sister cities

February 15, 2011

Issaquah sister-city bond fosters cross-cultural understanding in Morocco — and at home

The dominant color in Chefchaouen, Morocco — Issaquah’s sister city since April 2007 — is a dreamy shade of blue. Contributed

The grand and imposing door, set amid brick buildings and evergreens in downtown Issaquah, offers clues from a far-off place.

The door is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar and built to endure for ages. The place is ancient.

The door is painted in the same soothing blue as a summer sky over the Mediterranean. The place is exotic.

The door is a gateway. The place is Chefchaouen, Morocco.

The door on the Issaquah City Hall grounds is a gift from Chefchaouen, a sister city almost 6,000 miles from the Cascade foothills.

The relationship is a study in contrasts.

Suburban Issaquah is perched on the outer rim of Greater Seattle. Chefchaouen is isolated in mountainous terrain, 100 miles from the nearest major city, Tangier. Chefchaouen is in Muslim-majority Morocco. Issaquah is in the secular United States.

Issaquah and Chefchaouen inked a sister-city agreement in 2007.

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Renewing ties with our Nordic neighbors

January 26, 2010

Issaquah visitor Joan Probala returns from  Norway with hopes to revive sister-city bond

Longtime Issaquah resident Joan Probala (right) addresses dignitaries during a November trip to Sunndal, Norway, a sister city to Issaquah. Contributed by Joan ProbAla

Longtime Issaquah resident Joan Probala traveled to Sunndal, Norway, in November to discuss the dormant sister-city relationship between Issaquah and the Norwegian town.

Dignitaries from both cities established the relationship in 1991, although the connection has waned in recent years. In the meantime, Issaquah and Chefchaouen, Morocco, started a sister-city relationship in 2007.

Issaquah City Council members hope to revive and strengthen the relationship between the city and Sunndal. Probala, a member of the city Sister Cities Commission, met with Sunndal leaders, sampled reindeer and talked about how to strengthen the bond between Issaquah and the small, quaint city on a fjord.

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