Our values are our strongest survival weapon

President Andrej Kiska speaking at the Global Security Forum 2017

On Friday, President Andrej Kiska held a speech at the annual GLOBSEC Bratislava Global Security Forum:

“It’s been only few hours since I came back from NATO summit in Brussels. This one was highly anticipated. Not surprisingly — it was the first summit of head of states and governments with the participation of the new US president. And let’s be honest, in months since the US elections many of us in this room were worried about what to expect. Fortunately, our transatlantic bond is as strong as ever. We stick together, we guard each other’s back. The Alliance remains the backbone of our security. And moreover, we have a new ally on board — Montenegro.

All 28 member states are determined to fulfill their share of responsibility. This is also important for me personally as the president of the Slovak Republic. Some of you may know that I’ve been very vocal about the half-hearted attitude of our authorities towards our NATO commitments. So I was pleased to announce yesterday in Brussels that the government approved Slovak contribution to securing our allies in the Baltics through so-called enhanced forward presence. Moreover, we will join up fighting terrorism efforts of the Alliance by deploying Slovak troops to Iraq.”

President Kiska spoke on three points:
“First: we struggle lately to maintain institutions of the West — be it NATO or the EU — as fellowship of truly democratic countries based on common values.

Second, we allowed the enemies of the free world to get into our heads, to meddle too much in our own affairs.

Third, we let our elections to be deformed into a survival game of our democratic destiny.”

Read the entire speech on Global Security Forum website:

http://www.globsec.org/globsec2017/news/kiska-at-globsec-our-values-are-our-strongest-survival-weapon

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Check out the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library

NCSML logo

Did you know there is a National Czech & Slovak Museum and Library? 

Founded in 1974 and located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, their mission “is to inspire people from every background to connect to Czech and Slovak history and culture.”*

According to their website, “We are a museum that celebrates life. Czech life. Slovak life. American life. We are a museum that encourages self-discovery, a museum that asks what it means to be free. Through extraordinary exhibitions and experiences, we tell stories of freedom and identity, family and community, human rights and dignity. Our stories connect yesterday with today and tomorrow.”

Learn more about them at http://www.ncsml.org

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Welcoming US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling

On Amb. Adam Sterling with FOS Chairman Joe Senko and wife AlbinaMay 10th, US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling met with Slovak-Americans in Pittsburgh at a reception organized by FOS Chairman Joe Senko and his wife Albina. Ambassador Sterling gave an informative presentation on Slovakia and personally greeted the guests and took individual photos with them. The next evening, the FOS Board of Directors hosted a dinner for Ambassador Sterling in Washington, DC. The Ambassador briefed the FOS Board on his work in Slovakia and discussed cooperation on FOS projects including our FOS Slovak Scholars program. Thanks to contributions from our supporters, this FOS initiative has awarded grants to 44 outstanding Slovak students for a two-month study and internship program in Washington, DC.  Our five 2017 grantees will arrive in June.

Amb. Adam Sterling with the FOS Board of Directors

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Get involved with FOS in supporting ‘A Higher Authority’, the documentary of a Slovak Holocaust survivor.

Become involved at the ground level of an important new film project. This endeavor will  not only document the life of a Slovak Holocaust survivor in her own words, but also bring honor and recognition to the Catholic priest and ordinary Slovak citizens who risked their lives, in allegiance to an authority higher than that of the Nazi regime, to rescue one Jewish family. Friends of Slovakia has partnered with Next Film Productions in documenting this moving story of Klara Sever’s childhood and of the bravery of Slovak villagers who enabled her family to survive the Holocaust and prevail through WWII.

Preliminary filming for the epilogue of this docudrama has already begun in Slovakia. If you would like to contribute to the production of this important film, please send a check to Friends of Slovakia, P.O. Box 8033, Falls Church, VA 22041-9998 marked “film project” or contact Patricia Wood at: higherauthorityfilm@gmail.com

Click here for the film flyer: A Higher Authority Film Flyer

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Pavol Demeš interviews US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling

Pavol Demeš, host of the World Here & Now talk show and senior non-resident fellow with the German Marshal Fund of the US, interviewed the US Ambassador to Slovakia Adam Sterling.

Interview main topics include:
► U.S. – Slovak Relations and NATO
► U.S. Steel Kosice
► New U.S. Administration
► Tweeting & Social Media by the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava
► U.S. – Russia Relations
► Trump – Putin Meeting
► U.S. President Trump – NATO Summit in Brussels
► Amb. Sterling’s pastimes

Watch the full 25 minute interview (full screen option):

Click below to read more about Ambassador Sterling, the interview, and World Here & Now:

WORLD HERE & NOW: Pavol Demes with Adam Sterling, U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia

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The Teacher (Ucitelka)

If you are in the Washington DC area, come see The Teacher (Ucitelka), a dramatic comedy about a middle school teacher that manipulates her student’s parents into doing favors for her in exchange for previews of test questions and good grades for their children.
 
The Teacher (Ucitelka)
Directed by Jan Hrebejk
(Slovak Republic, 2016, 102 min.)
Read more about it on IMDB.
 
One-time show
Thursday April 13 at 5:15pm
 
The Avalon Theater
5612 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington DC 20015
http://www.theavalon.org/films/the-teacher/
 

 
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Lillian McEnany elected to the FOS Board of Directors

Lillian McEnanyFriends of Slovakia is pleased to announce that Lillian McEnany has been elected to the FOS Board of Directors as Secretary.

Ms. McEnany is a resident of Vienna, VA and has been a member of Friends of Slovakia (FOS) and Slovak-American Society of Washington (SASW) for a number of years.  She is eager to bring her international experience and love of Slovakia to the FOS Board.

She was an independent human resources and administrative contractor for many years.  LMM Associates, her company, marketed benefits, compensation and training.  As a Human Resources Consultant, she has worked with Boeing Information Services, Cable & Wireless Inc., General Dynamics and was Manager of Human Resources with IBTCI.  IBTCI is an international company who had contracts in Slovakia.

Her work at IBTCI prompted her to re-establish family ties with relatives in Slovakia.  Ms. McEnany’s Grandparents, Anna Petrash from Hrnciarovce and Ambroz Krizan from Pavlice immigrated to the United States circa 1905.  She became reacquainted with her relatives making several trips to Slovakia with her mother and daughter, Kathleen.  Her daughter, Kathleen, is married to Daniel Markus whose parents left Slovakia in 1968.  His mother has recently returned to Bratislava.  

Ms. McEnany has a MA in Human Resources Management from Marymount University and a BBA in Business Administration from Austin Peay University.  She is a member of the Society of HR Management (SHRM), attained a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design, and is a Certified Personal Trainer.  

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David Blazek elected to the FOS Board of Directors

David Blazek Friends of Slovakia is pleased to announce that David Blazek has been elected to the FOS Board of Directors.  Dave brings a wealth of experience from his outstanding work with the National Slovak Society and his volunteer efforts at other Slovak organizations and boards.

Dave was born in 1950, the first son of Dusan and Jean Blazek, and grew up in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. He is married to the former Frances Riepole, and they have five children and eight grandchildren.

After graduation from Baldwin High School, Dave attended the University of Pittsburgh where his major was education. He then served four years in the U.S. Navy as a Chinese Linguist and upon discharge, Dave joined his father and brother in the printing business where Dave worked for 20 years before accepting the position of President/CEO of the National Slovak Society in 1993. Serving as CEO of Slavia Printing Company gave him the personnel and business experience that is necessary to manage the operations of the NSS on a day to day basis, with a vision of the future. Prior to becoming President, Dave had served the NSS as a Board Director from 1986 to 1990, and as Vice President from 1990-1993 at which time he took over as President.

Dave has served his church as both Trustee and Deacon, and has been involved in youth baseball, soccer, basketball and football, both as a coach, and on various boards. He has been involved fraternally on the local level serving the Fraternal Societies of Greater Pittsburgh on various committees and officer positions culminating with the Presidency in 2003. Dave was honored by the FSGP in 2007 by being named Fraternalist of the Year. He has served both the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Fraternal Congresses, working his way through the chairs and serving as President of both organizations. He was honored by the Pennsylvania Congress to be chosen as the recipient of the John Jordan Upchurch Award in 2002. In addition, he has also served as President of the President’s Section, and President of the State Fraternal Congress Section of the American Fraternal Alliance, as well as President of the Western PA Slovak Cultural Society. Dave was honored by receiving the Friends of Slovakia Medal Of Honor at the Consular Testimonial Awards Dinner presented by the Western Pennsylvania Slovak Cultural Association.

Dave’s interests include visiting his grandchildren as much as he can, traveling for vacation, sports with golf being his favorite participation sport and volunteering when the opportunity arises.

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Join us for the Accidental Hero Performance at the Ford Theater

Friends of Slovakia has been offered an opportunity by the American Friends of the Czech Republic to provide you with two free tickets to a performance of The Accidental Hero at the famous Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC on Sunday, April 2nd at 7pm.   This is a moving story focusing on one American’s experience as part of the US Army’s liberation of Czechoslovak territory in 1945. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please reserve your tickets on line. Thank you for being a loyal supporter of Friends of Slovakia.

Reserve your tickets online: https://www.fords.org/productions/accidental-hero/

View the Accidental Hero Performance Flyer.

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Statue Honoring 1956 Hungarian Revolution Unveiled in Washington, DC

Statue of the 'Budapest Lad' at the future Hungarian Embassy

Statue of the ‘Budapest Lad’ at the future Hungarian Embassy

On Sunday, October 16, 2016, the Embassy of Hungary celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight with the unveiling ceremony of the “Pesti srac” (Lad of Budapest) statue at the future Embassy building at 1500 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. As part of the ceremony, Friends of Slovakia Chairman Joe Senko and Vice Chairman Ken Bombara participated in a wreath-laying at the statue, along with numerous other groups and embassies, including the Embassy of Slovakia, and its ambassador H.E. Peter Kmec.
Among the speakers at the ceremony were several Hungarian officials, including Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Dr. Reka Szemerkenyi. The United States Ambassador to Hungary, H.E. Coleen Bell, delivered remarks on behalf of the U.S.

In her invitation to the event, Hungarian Ambassador Szemerkenyi wrote, “The year 2016 marks one of the most important anniversaries in Hungarian and global history of the Cold War. The 1956 Revolution and Freedom Fight against the Soviet oppression, was not only a truly momentous effort expressing a nation’s strongest values and desire for freedom and democracy, but it was the first truly powerful fight against the communist regime at the height of the Cold War. It then strongly inspired the nations of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the Polish people in 1980, to fight against their communist oppressors. Ultimately, the succession of these events, coupled with the United States’ commitment to support freedom and democracy, brought an end to the Soviet oppression. This is why we believe the revolution, although crushed by Soviet tanks, meant a real turn in the history of the Cold War.”

The ‘Lad of Budapest’ statue represents the many young people, some teenagers, who participated in and gave their lives in the 1956 Revolution. The ‘Budapest Lad’ is holding the Hungarian flag with the communist-era symbol cut out of the center.

FOS Chairman Joe Senko lays flowers at the 'Budapest Lad' statue

FOS Chairman Joe Senko lays flowers at the ‘Budapest Lad’ statue

FOS Chairman Joe Senko lays flowers at the 'Budapest Lad' statue

FOS Chairman Joe Senko and Vice Chairman Ken Bombara at the ‘Budapest Lad’ statute

Slovak Ambasasdor Peter Kmec and his wife, Monica, with FOS Chairman Joe Senko at future Hungarian Embassy

Slovak Ambasasdor Peter Kmec and his wife, Monica, with FOS Chairman Joe Senko at future Hungarian Embassy

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