As part of our Area Studies at FSI, today we had to attend a seminar called Appeal of Conscience. We didn’t know exactly what it was going to be but it was a mandatory event, so we had to go. There was a rumor around FSI yesterday that Secretary Clinton may come to the event but we didn’t put much into it because she’s crazy busy.
We got to FSI at our usual language class time, 7:30 a.m., even though the event didn’t start until 9 a.m. because it is very difficult to find parking at FSI after 7:30, so we had a bunch of time to kill. The area around the conference room where the seminar was going to be held was abuzz with people (security and staff) which was a give away but we thought we’d confirm. We got a program of the event and sure enough, Secretary Clinton was the keynote speaker. Since it was quite early, we were able to get choice seats right in front of the podium but behind the dignitaries. I took a few pictures but they didn’t turn out great – all I had on me was my phone :-(
The topic of the event was religious freedom and the resurgence of religion as a factor in international relations. I didn’t expect much but the presentations/speeches were very interesting. There were several ambassadors and religious leaders from different faiths and they each shared their experiences and views, which was fascinating. The best part, naturally, was Secretary Clinton’s speech. I won’t do it justice, so I am not even going to try to summarize it but if you are interested, you can find the whole speech here.
Needless to say, I was very impressed and humbled to be in the presence of all these amazing people. It’s especially meaningful to me now after passing the FSOA. It’s pretty awesome to think that Secretary Clinton would be my boss. If my security clearance goes through in time that is, because the Secretary has been talking about stepping down after the elections in November, even if President Obama gets reelected.
Pretty neat, ha!