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The Jamaican Embassy in Washington, D.C. was abuzz with activities over the 48th independence anniversary week-end.
Jamaican Festival Songs filled the air, against a backdrop of videos featuring grand gala events of previous years, providing a real treat in which everyone was able to savour the country’s culture.

Jamaica’s Alternate Representative to the OAS, Ann Scott (second from left), explains details of an exhibition featuring former Jamaica Permanent Representatives to the Organization of American States (OAS). Looking on are Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the OAS, Her Excellency Audrey Marks (second from right); USAID official, Andy Michels (right); and diplomatic photographer Albert Davis , The exhibition was part of the highlights of a three-day Open House at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, August 5.

The Open House drew Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica from Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, among other states, to see how the Embassy operates, and to view a variety of displays as well as sample sumptuous Jamaican dishes.
Highlights included a poetry session; an exhibition, featuring Jamaica’s participation in the Organization of American States (OAS) over the decades; spotlight on previous Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the OAS; Jamaican-made products; and a 30-piece art exhibition mounted by renowned Jamaica-based artist Alphanso Blake.
Unable to mask his excitement, Delroy Pinnock, who hails from the parish of Clarendon, praised the Embassy, calling the Open Day “a real eye-opener” for him.

Renowned Jamaican artist, Alphanso Blake (right), explains one of his works to (l-r) Sharon Robinson and Juliet Daley, who were among the many art lovers attending the exhibition at the Embassy of Jamaica, downtown Washington DC, August 3 – 5. The exhibition was part of an Open House staged by the Embassy to celebrate Jamaica’s 48th year of independence.

“I would never believe that, in all my life, I would have an opportunity to meet with my Ambassador in her office, where she took the time out to have a discussion with me and my family about the latest developments in Jamaica,” he said.
An official from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Andy Michels, commended the Ambassador, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, and her staff, describing the Open Day as “an awesome event.”
“The idea to stage this Open Day is a great one. It gives us an opportunity to see your operations and give Jamaicans an opportunity to see how their Embassy is being run,” he said.
The public was able to get answers to questions on a wide range of matters, including investment, tourism, passports, birth certificates and returning residents.
Bringing the curtain down, Dr. Carolyn Cooper, University of the West Indies (UWI) professor of literary and cultural studies, delivered a spirited Miss Lou lecture, in which she not only had the audience in stitches, but interpreted the arrival of independence in Jamaica and the former British West Indies, using poetry, including dramatic renditions, of the late Jamaican cultural icon and Ambassador, Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverly.

Seven-year-old Jeremy Pinnock receives a Jamaican flag and booklet from Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, when his family met her at the Embassy during the Open House, August 3-5. Sharing in the moment are members of Jeremy’s family, including his father Delroy Pinnock (second right). Also in the photo are Mr. and Mrs. Rohan Pinnock (left). The family was among the visitors to the Open House who had an opportunity to meet Ambassador Marks.

Dr. Cooper was supported in her dramatizations by Washington-based Jamaica cultural figure, Faith Nelson.
Ambassador Marks said the objectives of the Open House were met. She spoke about the rave reviews and feedback from those who attended.
“I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with so many Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica. They seriously love Jamaica,” she declared.