Thursday, September 17, 2009
Grand Opening of the Kurdistan Regional Government Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, Sept 17, 2009 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/
----The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will inaugurate its new headquarters in Washington, D.C., at 1532 16th Street, NW on Thursday, September 17, 2009, further underscoring its commitment to maintain and deepen its relationship with the United States and to help its friends 'Know Kurdistan.'
Led by the KRG Representative to the United States, Qubad J. Talabani, the KRG Headquarters will be the hub to provide testimony, education and guidance on a wide range of issues and opportunities, while working to meet the KRG's goals and priorities as part of Iraq.
One of the office's key missions is to promote ongoing, multi-level consultations on all aspects of relations between the KRG and U.S. government entities.
The office also focuses on encouraging foreign investment, promoting knowledge and understanding of the people living in the Kurdistan Region; facilitating political, cultural and educational visits; and cultivating educational links.
The new headquarters also will be the center for future intellectual, cultural and social activities highlighting the area.
"The opening of this permanent headquarters for the Kurdistan Regional Government on historic 16th Street is a proud day for our citizens and a milestone in our continuing friendship with the United States," Qubad Talabani, the KRG representative to the United States, said.
"Our new headquarters is the symbolic foundation of our respect and determination to be a fully engaged, reliable partner of the United States in making our region of the world safe, prosperous and a place where democracy can thrive," Talabani said.
"We look to our mission to be a center of learning for both Americans and those from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq - we are learning more to help us along our path to democracy, while Americans and other visitors get to know Kurdistan as it truly is."
The Kurdistan Regional Government is the constitutionally recognized governing body of the provinces of Erbil, Dohuk and Sulaimania.
The stability of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and its democratic foundation have allowed it to achieve a high level of political and economic development, while providing security for its citizens and those visiting and investing in the region.
Since 2003 not one foreigner has been killed or injured in the Kurdistan Region. The KRG also has made strong strides toward fulfilling the human rights and democratic goals of its leaders, including implementing the most progressive press freedom law in the region.
In its July regional election, more women were elected to serve in the regional parliament than anywhere else in the Middle East as well as in most European and North American nations.
Designed by the Victorian architect Thomas Franklin Schneider (1859-1938) and originally built in 1910, the new KRG Headquarters is a step into history along one of Washington, D.C.'s most storied streets, just blocks north of the White House. Sixteenth Street's early history stems from its close proximity to the White House.
It is one of the most important numbered streets in the city, and a major element of the L'Enfant Plan. The Sixteenth Street corridor contains an impressive mix of residential and commercial buildings, representing a myriad of styles centered on the Victorian era and turn of the century building stock.
By the 1890's, the street became a fashionable residential district. Churches and other community and national institutions established their headquarters along the street at the same time. Generally, from the 1870's to the 1920's, the building styles include Queen Anne, Richardson Romanesque, Beaux Arts Cl***icism, Victorian, and Italianate .These large buildings, along with the residential structures, give Sixteenth Street it varied and distinct look today.
The Sixteenth Street historic district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The area around 1532 Sixteenth Street remains a beautiful and vibrant location, with unparalleled architectural treasures
The KRG has restored the multi-leveled early twentieth century townhouse to modern standards, retaining the original masonry and reconstructed mosaic work. The interior houses a lounge and stateroom on the main floor with offices and accommodations above, and library and kitchen facilities on the lower level. Three fireplaces on the main floor boast mantles of carved marble, brick and wood.
The lounge and stateroom feature design elements original to the building set off by Venetian plaster walls, Italian leather and damask furniture and custom sideboards. A hand crafted plum mahogany table, floor to ceiling bay windows and Schonbek crystal chandelier are features of the stateroom.
Elaborately crowned columns and elegant plaster relief design by the grand stairway evoke the structure's old world sophistication and detail.
Artwork will be a variety of original oil on canvas paintings from some of the region's most important and accomplished fine artists.
SOURCE Kurdistan Regional Government