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Location: Birmingham, MI, United States

Councilman John Akouri, former Washington, DC Press Secretary & Capitol Hill Advisor, is President & CEO of the Lebanese American Chamber of Commerce.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Akouri Welcomes Diplomatic Delegation from Ukraine

-International Guests Receive Official Michigan Greetings-
(FARMINGTON HILLS, MI)...Farmington Hills City Councilman John Akouri officially welcomed a Ukrainian Diplomatic Delegation to Farmington Hills, Michigan last week. The visit, sponsored by the International Visitors Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IVC), began with a morning tour of the newly built 47th District Court House by Judges Marla Parker and James Brady. Accompanied by three interpreters, the delegates, including a Supreme Court Judge from Kiev, government officials and distinguished foreign journalists, fielded an array of interesting questions to the two judges, who were more than happy to answer and inform them. Led by Akouri, the guests were then escorted to the Council chambers at City Hall.

"Welcome to America, welcome to Michigan, but more importantly - welcome to Farmington Hills", Akouri said, as he began his opening remarks to the delegation. "Your presence here today offers us both an opportunity to share in the exchange of thoughts and ideas while learning of each other's cultures - to better prepare our two countries for continued friendship in a new millennium." Akouri then proceeded to deliver an exceptional presentation on Election Reform and the 2004 U.S. Elections.

Following the morning activities in Farmington Hills, which included the presentation of a proclamation, the delegation was then whisked off to the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren Michigan for a luncheon with the Ukrainian-American community. Hon. Bohdan Fedorak, the charming and charismatic Honorary Consul General of Ukraine, hosted the delightful event, which drew over 100 people who feasted on traditional Ukrainian cuisine.

In addition to the two judges, guests in attendance included Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land liaison Ryan Ambrozaitis, William Tyndale College President Dr. Robert Hagerty & Aide Karen Mulligan, 47th District Court Administrator David Walsh, Farmington Hills Multi-Cultural Multi-Racial Community Council Co-Chair Karen Bolsen, Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Haliw, Esq., Observer & Eccentric Newspaper Reporter Paul Pace, Farmington Hills City Manager Steve Brock, & Farmington Hills City Clerk Kathy Dornan.

The mission of the IVC is to promote understanding and mutual respect between metro Detroiters and international visitors. Founded in 1972, IVC Detroit has welcomed more than 12,000 international dignitaries sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, planning professional meetings, cultural opportunities and hosting for them. Members are volunteer "citizen diplomats" who welcome the visitors to their workplaces and homes, introducing them to American culture and customs. IVC Detroit is one of 95 councils nationwide belonging to the National Council of International Visitors.

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