“The Sultan and the Saint”: Building Bridges Through Film

panel on stage
Stories move us.  Films are one of the most effective forms of storytelling and one that can be used to great advantage by Sister Cities, as the Baltimore Luxor Alexandria (Egypt) Sister City Committee did in recent months. A nonprofit film production company, Unity Productions Foundation uncovered an incredible, virtually unknown aspect of a meeting between two men – St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan al Malik of Egypt -  in 1219, during the height of the Crusades on the battlefield in Damietta, Egypt. Their meeting inspired the Sultan to make an incredible humanitar...

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Three Generations of Citizen Diplomacy

The Bruckbauers
In 1972, Kettering, Ohio established their first sister city relationship with Steyr, Austria. Since then, they have created lasting traditions and legacies together. The two cities have overseen five adult homestays and have conducted an alternating youth exchange for the past 40 years. Kettering and Steyr also participate in cultural exchange: they have been sending music and performance groups to each other’s cities since 1980. Their most outstanding cultural exchanges include when Kettering sent their civic band to Steyr to help celebrate the city’s 1,000th ...

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Kettering Sister Cities 50th Anniversary Celebration

"The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Kettering Sister Cities Committee was kicked off at a recent Kettering City Council meeting. Mayor Don Patterson issued a Proclamation congratulating Kettering Sister Cities for 50 years of  promoting cultural understanding with our Sister Cities abroad. It was accepted by Dr.Darrell Apt, a member of the first Sister City Committee in 1967 and by Emily Zimmer, Chair of the 2017 Sister Cities Committee. It was an honor to have a member of the original committee with us on this special occasion. .   Also at the meeting, ...

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Sister Cities International Appoints Roger-Mark De Souza as New President and CEO

Sister Cities International today announced the appointment of Mr. Roger-Mark De Souza as its new President and CEO, effective January 2nd, 2018.“We are thrilled and honored to have Roger-Mark joining our team,” said Sister Cities International Board Chair and acting CEO Tim Quigley. “His experience conceptualizing tangible solutions to global issues, galvanizing public and private resources, and his passion for productive relationships that strengthen bonds worldwide make him the right fit to lead the Sister Cities International network movement at this crucial ...

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Ukrainian Firefighters head to Arlington Virginia for Professional Exchange

Arlington, Virginia and Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine have not been sister cities for very long. Ivano-Frankivsk has a long history of being an important and diverse trade center and is the capital of the Ivano-Frankivsk region. The two cities signed their agreement in 2011, and since then have been conducting exchanges mutually beneficial to their communities both professionally and economically. The most recent exchange between the two cities was a professional firefighter exchange. Three Ukrainian firefighters, Chief Volodymyr Chernetskyi, Taras Kochkodan, and Mykola ...

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Silver and Gold: Seattle Celebrates 25 Years of Bergen’s Oleana and 50 Years of Sister City Friendship

Contributed by Lori Ann Reinhall of Seattle Bergen Sister CitiesThe Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association has long had a reputation for its parties and galas, and when the opportunity came up to celebrate the silver jubilee of Bergen and Norway’s premier textile company Oleana together with our own golden jubilee in 2017, it was an opportunity too good to pass up. As president of the association, I reached out to Oleana’s representative in the Pacific Northwest, Laura Almaas of Chalet in the Woods in Gig Harbor, 50-some miles south of Seattle. Not before long, we put ...

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Stevens Initiative press release

11/06/2017 WASHINGTON, DC, (November 6, 2017) - The Stevens Initiative today announced the award of a 1.5-year grant to Sister Cities International, one of 13 new grants funded through an international competition to use online, collaborative learning to increase cross-cultural understanding and equip young people with the skills needed to thrive in a 21st century economy. Sister Cities International is among the second cohort of virtual exchange programs to be funded by the Stevens Initiative, an international effort to build career and global competence skills for ...

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Sister Cities International Receives Grant from the Stevens Initiative to Expand Virtual Exchange for Special Education Students

WASHINGTON, DC, (November 6, 2017) - The Stevens Initiative today announced the award of a 1.5-year grant to Sister Cities International, one of 13 new grants funded through an international competition to use online, collaborative learning to increase cross-cultural understanding and equip young people with the skills needed to thrive in a 21st century economy. Sister Cities International is among the second cohort of virtual exchange programs to be funded by the Stevens Initiative, an international effort to build career and global competence skills for young people ...

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Portsmouth welcomes Japanese students

"PORTSMOUTH -- Twenty Japanese students sang a traditional 1904 Japanese song “The Hills of Home” to the assembled student body of Portsmouth High School on Thursday, Oct. 5. The Portsmouth High chorus answered them with the same song, in English, which they’d prepared as part of the Japanese welcome assembly. The visiting students, three teachers and the school principal Shougo Fujiwara formed this year’s delegation from Nichinan Gakuen Junior-Senior High School, Portsmouth High’s “Sister School” since 1997. Their song would have been familiar to Baron ...

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Baltimore and Rotterdam Are Working Towards “Sustainable Cities” Together

Operation Trash
In 1985, Baltimore, Maryland, and Rotterdam, Netherlands established a sister city relationship on some common ground: Baltimore lost a great deal of their infrastructure in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, and Rotterdam’s city center was destroyed during World War II. These disasters forced them to rebuild their communities from the ground up in the 20th century. Additionally, both cities are geographically and demographically similar, have a deeply rooted maritime history, and are home to a lot of innovators and cultural strongholds. Baltimore and Rotterdam also face ...

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