The CPD Blog is intended to stimulate dialog among scholars and practitioners from around the world in the public diplomacy sphere. The opinions represented here are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect CPD's views. For blogger guidelines, click here.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari throws down the gauntlet to the Taliban at the recent cultural festival in Sindh.

The revival of Cambodia’s rich and unique cultural heritage has fueled the country’s impressive recovery from the Khmer Rouge’s genocide of 1975-79. This message rang unmistakably true as the Season of Cambodia (SOC) has dazzled New York audiences in museums, universities, galleries, and performing arts centers over the past month. Both the US and the Cambodian governments stand to learn from this game-changing lesson for post-conflict development strategy, but neither government seems to have noticed.

The last place that the Polish Ambassador to the United States Ryszard Schnepf might have been expected to appear in his first two weeks in Washington was the opening performance of Our Class, the searing play about a dark episode in Poland’s history: the 1941 massacre of Jewish citizens by their Catholic neighbors in Jedwabne.

Co-author: Hailey Woldt

Let’s begin with the positive: the United States is present at the World Expo in Shanghai. The Secretary of State deserves praise for making this possible, by launching an eleventh hour fundraising drive, after the previous administration had done virtually nothing (besides rejecting a proposal that included Frank Gehry as architect). The Chinese cared enough about the U.S. presence to have contributed both public and private funds to guarantee that the U.S. showed up for Expo Shanghai 2010.

September 17, 2009

Salman Ahmad, Pakistani rock musician and founder of the popular band Junoon (as well as doctor, author, and film maker) explained last Saturday night to the standing room only crowd in the General Assembly of the United Nations that it was the video which pushed him into action. The video, of two men holding down a teenage girl while another beat her, sent by a friend from Pakistan, prompted Ahmad to fly to Pakistan from New York, his adopted home, to find the answer to the question that was tormenting him: "Which was the real Pakistan?"

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s speech at the opening of the U.S-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar (February, 2009) was interrupted with applause as the audience heard something unusual – at least in the last eight years: a firm criticism of U.S. government policy by a respected opinion leader from America.