Two weeks ago, I met the Tunisian Ambassador Fayçal Gouia at his welcome luncheon hosted by the National United States Arab Chamber of Commerce here in Washington.
I learned that Ambassador Gouia grew up singing. He told me that culture plays a significant role in diplomacy. Although Ambassador Gouia and I had just met, we clicked instantly through our love for the arts.
On May 18, 2015, President Barack Obama accepted the credentials of Ambassador Gouia, a longtime member of his country’s foreign service, to be Tunisia’s Ambassador to the United States.
This is the second time Ambassador Gouia has been posted to his country’s Embassy in Washington. His first assignment to the Tunisian Embassy came in 1995 as Cultural and Press Counselor, followed in 1997 as Economic and Commercial Counselor and in 1999 as Deputy Chief of Mission.
Ambassador Gouia told me about his friend and famous Tunisian singer Anis Letaief who will be visiting the U.S. soon. The Ambassador invited me to meet them for coffee.
Anis has performed throughout the Middle East, has recorded several albums, and was a semi-finalist in the Arabic TV show “Super Star.” He is also planning a concert at the Kennedy Center where I play violin for the Washington National Opera.
Yesterday, I met with both of them at the Ambassador’s Residence to talk about our future cultural projects. Ambassador Gouia and Anis filmed a video for the Culture Saves website and are now both officially supporting our cause!
They will represent Tunisia and coordinate the activities and outreach of Culture Saves in their country and help us bring Tunisian culture to other parts of the world…