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Inauguration Fever in Nation's Capitol

By Mahtab Farid, Washington, DC


It is freezing cold. If you are not wearing a warm hat, your ears may be hurting. If you take out your gloves you will notice your fingers become numb. But watch out, the heat for the Inauguration of President-elect Obama is on.

The city is becoming more crowded. The traffic is heavy and if you take the metro you will have to crawl through the crowd to get to your train.

So much is going on in every corner of the city. In this blog I will try to share a photo gallery of what is happening in the city. There are so many shops and stands that are selling Inauguration souvenirs.

Obama chocolate

There are celebrations, Inauguration Galas, and community service events so people can get together and give something back to the community. When I talk about community service I don't mean fancy projects. Some of these activities include getting a group of people together to clean parks, read to children or paint the old walls of public schools.

Obama flip flops

You could also spot the Punahou High School band from Hawaii which Obama attended thirty years ago. The band traveled to DC in order to perform at the Inauguration. In this picture you could see these students are not used to the cold weather in DC.

When you normally walk in DC, you run into congressional members, politicians, and pundits in the coffee shops, restaurants, and public places. But right now, it is a different story. Hollywood from sunny California has moved to the freezing cold whether in Washington, DC. There are stars and super stars every where you go.

There are also fancy events like fashion shows that took place on Sunday at Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington, DC. The California State Society hosted a presidential Inauguration luncheon and fashion show with Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

My favorite part is seeing enthusiastic ordinary citizens from all walks of life interested, excited, and ready to get a glimpse of history as the US 44th President will take the oath of office in January 20, 2009.

Many of the visitors have brought their young children so they can witness the Inauguration of first African American US President who traveled the path of success through hard work and great education.

It is inspiring and historic to watch for the first time in the US history, an African American President walk into the White House with his wife and two young daughters. The White House was largely built by slaves.

Mahtab Farid is an award winning international reporter, founder of US Iran NEWS and an expert in US Iran relations.

Democracy has come a long way in this nation with its relatively short history. There were many set backs along the way, but the process has evolved itself and still improving.

Senator Rodham Clinton cracked the glass ceiling with 18 million votes. US have witnessed Madeline Albright, Condoleezza Rice became the Secretary of State and now if Senator Clinton is confirmed, she will be the next US female Secretary of State who will deal with the most crucial foreign policy issues.

On Sunday, President-elect Obama had a speech in Lincoln memorial before thousands of people. He discussed the challenging road ahead. He said,"Despite the enormity of the task that lies ahead - I stand here today as hopeful as ever that the United States of America will endure - that the dream of our founders will live on in our time."

No body knows how President-elect Obama will be able to deal with the challenges at home and abroad. However, we have witnessed he has been a champion of using technology to reach out and inspire millions of Americans and young people around the world.

... Payvand News - 01/20/09 ... --

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