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D.C's Alliance Française hosts educational initiative benefit

French Ambassador to the U.S François Delattre giving a speech at the benefit
French Ambassador to the U.S François Delattre giving a speech at the benefit
John Curtis Smith

The Alliance Française of Washington D.C recently held their AFEI benefit at Anderson House benefiting the Educational Initiatives of the Alliance in the local community.

The benefit was attended by many dignitaries including the French Ambassador to the U.S Francois Delattre, Maguy Maccario Doyle who is Monaco’s Ambassador to the U.S and several members of congress among others.

For over sixty years, the Allliance Française de Washington D.C has been dedicated to serving the local community by offering French language instruction and showcasing francophone culture. The AFDC mission has remained constant to promote dialogue and understanding in a multicultural society through language and understanding.
French Ambassador Delatrre gave a brief speech at the benefit talking about the progress that has recently been made between French and American relations. Happening just months after President Hollande’s state visit to the U.S which concluded with a State Dinner at the White House.

The ties between the two nations have been so high in a long time. The benefit served as just one of countless examples of recent events to promote stronger ties. Before President Hollande’s visit to Washington, there was a ceremony honoring World War II veterans who fought in France in Raleigh, North Carolina that was presided over by Denis Barbet who serves as the French Consulate General in Atlanta, and Marie Claire-Ribbel who is the honorary consul for North Carolina. There are also plans for the French to celebrate the 70th anniversary of D-day in June.

At the dinner the Ambassador told a story about France’s favorite first lady, when Jacqueline Kennedy visited Paris in 1961.

Jackie dazzled all of Paris when the Kennedys visited May 31-June 3, 1961. So much greater was the attention paid to her than to him that President Kennedy remarked to the press, with some pride and humor, “I do not think it altogether inappropriate for me to introduce myself. I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris.” President de Gaulle was dazzled, too, as she spoke French to and charmed him through lunch.

The benefit featured authentic French food as well as seafood from the Chesapeake Bay area.

Other events that the Alliance Française will host include the urban corps Transatlantic Dance festival on April 26th.

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