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Archive for September, 2011

Christine Lagarde, the new Managing Director of the IMF, came to our nation’s capital last week for the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF. Ms. Lagarde, France’s former Finance Minister who famously replaced the philandering Dominique Strauss-Khan, has taken on a leading role to address the global economic crisis. At 55, Ms. Lagarde is a commanding presence who exudes unshakeable confidence.

Ms. Lagarde’s experience and rise to the top inspire me. But the reason I am writing about her today, is her hair. (more…)

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Jacqueline Kennedy

When Jacqueline Kennedy made her recently publicized tapes in 1964, four months after Jack’s assassination, I was 11 years old. Jackie typified wives of her time by remaining loyal in glorifying Jack’s achievements while sublimating the pain inflicted by the flagrant affairs Jack publicly enjoyed. I was growing up in a Boston bedroom community where these marriages were the norm. Moms raised kids at home while dads worked (and had affairs). In my world, mothers simply did not have careers, as it reflected poorly on the husband’s ability to support his family.

Those single women who didn’t marry right after college worked to support themselves until they found a husband. I remember these working women as my teachers, nurses and airline stewardesses. This fall’s TV lineup with a return of “Mad Men” and the new “Playboy Club” and “Pan Am” amplifies for today’s youth how it was back then for these women. (more…)

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In 2003, I came home one evening and announced to my family over dinner that I had been offered an opportunity to move to Qatar. Turning to their Dad for some explanation, all 3 of my kids basically asked “What the hell is she talking about?” Caroline, who had just been elected president of her senior high school class, didn’t miss a beat in saying “I’m going with you.” Her twin brother, Andrew, reluctantly agreed with conditions, which, as I recall, included something about buying him an ATV.

Qatar is the small peninsular country jutting into the Arabian Gulf, wedged between Saudi Arabia to the south, and Iran to the north. Its rapid growth has been fueled by its large reserve of natural gas and its dedication to becoming an internationally renowned knowledge-based economy. By now, we all know Qatar as the home of the popular satellite TV station Al Jazeera, and host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer games. Although a conservative Islamic culture, Qatar is transforming the region by hosting US university branch campuses with co-ed classes and aligning with NATO against Gaddafi in support of the Libyan rebels. (more…)

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Syrian Attorney General, Mohammad Adnan Al Bakkour, announces his resignation

I sat spellbound last week listening to a Syrian Attorney General inform the world that he had witnessed mass killings of jailed protesters by Syrian police who he had the courage to name. So far, Mohammad Adnan Al Bakkour is the highest ranking Syrian government official to step down. Despite the incredible risk to himself and his family in going public with this incriminating information, Mr. Al Bakkour justifies his action by quoting the Qur’an, saying: “Don’t think that God is unaware of what the unjust are doing.”

The moral courage it takes to be the first to stand up and risk absolutely everything, for freedoms and other ideals in the face of tyranny, is what America was founded on. David McCullough, in his book “1776,” transports us back to the days of the Revolutionary War when bloody battles were being waged and victory remained uncertain. Despite this uncertainty, our founding fathers stood fast knowing full well that they would be hung for treason should they lose. As a result of this rebellious act of independence from British rule, America was able to reconstitute itself and become the standard-bearer for democracy and freedom which the world takes for granted today. (more…)

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