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Lord co-wrote and co-edited Cities, Museums and Soft Power, a book of essays by prominent culture experts on the influence of museums and arts institutions on cities and citizens. While hard power is exerted by countries through weapons, war, sanctions and money, soft power creates influence through persuasion, agenda-setting and culture, Lord says.

A special cultural exchange programme that connected 17 state schools in Rio de Janeiro with schools in other countries around the world concluded with a special ceremony on Tuesday at the award-winning Art Museum of Rio. Launched in February this year by the Rio 2016 organising committee, the Conexão Transforma project has built lasting bridges between Brazil and schools in 17 countries.

In collaboration with leading global organisations, the Abu Dhabi Festival, organised by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, ADMAF, enables the creation of cultural initiatives that bring countries together and enable societies to better understand each other. The latest cultural diplomacy endeavours by the Abu Dhabi Festival also seek to further strengthen Abu Dhabi's position on the global cultural map.

Part of the exchange program Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI) Greenheart, some 25 international students from France and Spain spend the month of July with host families in the City of Oneida. Coordinated through the Oneida City School District, 2016 marks the sixth year OHS has opened its doors to international students seeking to improve their English skills and learn more about American culture.

ONE Country ONE Film Film Festival will be held on July 20-31 in France, and its main goal is cultural exchange between countries. Diversity regarding the origin of films is the number one criteria for selection.

One option is to cut the monster at its roots. This is the strategy adopted by Hollande, calling for stepped up anti-terrorism operations in Syria and Iraq. Eradicating the source of propaganda and erasing the motivations for terrorist acts is one of the few options left when the embedded enemy cannot be identified. However, this strategy is uncertain and will take time to yield results, which means France facing up to the prospect of similar attacks in the near future.

What propels Islamist terrorism and attacks against France is more than an academic debate: The answer shapes policy toward blunting the threat. So it is no inconsequential matter in a culture under attack, and one that so cherishes its intellectual debates, that France’s two leading scholars of radical Islam — former friends — have turned bitter rivals over their differing views.

“During challenging times like these, there’s no replacement for people-to-people diplomacy – it’s something governments just can’t do,” observes Joanne Bouldt Sanders, former mayor of Sonoma and co-Chairman of Sonoma Sister City International. [...] “Organizations like Sister Cities International connect communities around the world, bringing people from different cultures together, allowing them to understand each other better and develop and build positive relationships"

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