"The National Press Club is a place where culture, as well as news, happens." That was the proclamation from Club President Myron Belkind, as he introduced a spirited International Cultural Evening. There were speeches of course -- newspeople, politicians, and diplomats have to talk. But there were also magnificent musical and dance performances from many countries. There were graceful Asian dancers, ferocious Chinese lion dancers, powerful African drums, sensuous Latin dances, a masterful young South African cellist , a lullaby sung in Zulu and a spirited Russian violinist. Young performers from George Washington University took time from their studies to present a traditional Bhangra dance.
There was wonderful food served from several countries and excellent South African wine. South Africa was a major theme of the evening. It's Ambassador, Ebrahim Rasool, was presented a Press Club Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award. In eloquent remarks, he talked about his efforts to keep alive the legacy of Nelson Mandela. He added, he hopes to leave his own legacy in Washington, and " not just a vacancy."
The evening's event was the result of the hard work of many -- primarily Myron Belkind, international publicist Jan Du Plain, production manager Tara Compton, Executive Chef Susan Delbert, and many others. Myron Belkin was presented his own award for achievement by the World Affairs Council of DC.
Myron has had an extraordinary year as president -- bringing news and culture to the National Press Club; one of the biggest press clubs in the world.