U.S. Embassy Cairo’s Chargé d’Affaires
Thank you Dorothy, and welcome everyone,
It is an honor and a pleasure for Eden and me, along with all our embassy colleagues, to have you with us this evening to celebrate 242 years of American freedom and independence. July 4th is a very special day for all Americans. Here in Cairo, we want to show our pride in the United States as we celebrate and share the diversity of our culture and traditions with our good Egyptian friends and partners.
I welcome the many colleagues, senior government officials, and senior officers of the Egyptian Armed Forces who are with us tonight. Thank you for joining us. A warm welcome too to diplomatic colleagues and friends from around the world. Thank you for your friendship and support throughout the year.
Our theme tonight is “Fearless Women in America.”
The American women whose portraits you see around you include civil and human rights trailblazers Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, and Helen Keller. Sports champions and artists and writers are tennis legend Serena Williams, poet Julia Alvarez, painter Georgia O’Keeffe, photographer Margaret Bourke-White, actress Katherine Hepburn, and of course the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald. Aviator Amelia Earhart took us across the oceans, Sally Ride was our first woman in space, and engineer and physician Mae C. Jemison was the first African American woman astronaut. We are also honoring a groundbreaking computer scientist, Grace Hopper, and mathematician Katherine Johnson who calculated our trips to the stars.
Our menu tonight highlights the diverse and exciting culinary heritage of fearless American women. Fannie Farmer created a distinctively American cuisine at the turn of the last century. Julia Child widened our horizons and taught us to enjoy sophisticated dishes. Edna Lewis taught us to appreciate the foodways of the American South; Joyce Chen opened our palates to Northern Chinese flavors; Alice Waters took us back to nature; and Rachel Ray taught millions how to get delicious, healthy meals on the table quickly.
All of these women — and many, many more — are our heroes and the heroes of all Americans. They, along with many other women and men, represent the best of America’s values and all that we offer to the world with an outstretched hand of friendship, mutual respect, and optimism.
You can also see the work of a fearless Egyptian woman with us tonight. Please stop at the mini White House to see an amazing interactive mural composed by Aya Tarek, a painter and illustrator from Alexandria whose work has been exhibited in the United States. Aya’s mural is entitled “Fearless Women, They Took the World by Storm” in celebration of American innovators, athletes, and artists.
My colleagues and I value the Embassy’s partnership with Egypt. We have accomplished a great deal over the past year.
- Our military, security, and law enforcement ties are closer than ever.
- Egypt’s economy is strong and growing, with American businesses and investors in the vanguard.
- USAID is thriving as Egypt’s leading bilateral development partner. Over the past year, USAID launched nine new cooperative programs in partnership with Egyptian agencies and NGOs.
- We have brought the best of American culture to Egypt and sponsored hundreds of two-way educational exchanges, including through the Fulbright Program.
We look forward to another year of meeting milestones. But tonight, I hope we enjoy the moment and the company of friends, along with the good food and the music of “Protocol Combo” the U.S. Naval Forces Europe Ensemble that we are fortunate was able to come to us from their home base in Naples, Italy.
We have a lot to do together. In the meantime, let’s relax and celebrate the Fourth in the best American tradition. With special thanks to all our corporate sponsors, the Hilton Heliopolis, our great choir, and everyone who worked so hard to organize this party, I wish you all a great evening.