The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m. by President-Elect Nominee David Treadwell who led members in the Pledge of Allegiance.
 
Words of inspiration were offered by Stefan Alber who asked “Will the Euro survive? Should it survive?”  He discussed the importance of the Euro and provided with its historic context. He stated that the answer is more important than “just Euros and cents”, positing that “The hope was and still is that the Euro would act as a political glue” when it was introduced six decades ago. Will the Euro survive? Should it survive? Yes, the Euro should survive.

Secretary Lynn Holec introduced the following guests and visitors:
• Tonya Johnson, a guest of Kenny Barnes
• Daniella Allam, JPO at ICTSD, a guest of Maria-Nelly Pavisich
• Marguerite Benson, Senior Vice-President, Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley, a guest of Clara Montanez
• Estela Ruoda, a guest of Estela Landeros
• Padma Mathema, visiting from the Rotary Club of Kathmandu, Nepal
• Ralp[h Hanan, visiting from the Rotary Club of Queenstown, New Zealand
• Peter Warutere, visiting from the Rotary Club of Nairobi, Kenya

Sergeant at Arms Peggy Schoen announced the birthdays of:
Tim Hanson, December 12
Natalie X. Korytnyk Forrester, December 12
Charles “Chuck” Banks, December 13

Past President Howard Davis reminded members that elections begin tomorrow and will run until the end of the meeting next week. Our very own certified election consultant Gretchen Kearney will be tallying the results. Members may vote online or cast ballots in person at the Club’s December 19 meeting.
Executive Director Gretchen reviewed the specifics of online voting and ran through a mock ballot. The voting site can be reached at www.electionbuddy.com/vote. Each member will get an e-mail from the office with the URL and personal 16 digit code. Members can only vote once. Ballots are anonymous.

Announcements were made by the following club members:
Foundation President Monica Boner announced the start of the annual fund drive’ Request letters will be sent via e-mail and “snail” mail to all members. During the family board meeting last month at the Family Place, a grant of $25,00 was given. This represents the largest grant given to date. Monica asks that you please participate. Please contact Foundation Board members for more information.
Wilhemina Bratton, Chair of the Community Grants Committee, announced that applications will be on the website this Friday. The application deadline is January 14, 2013. Tell your friends and colleagues to complete an application. The Community Service Club is looking for new and old members. Please contact Wilhemina or Andy Cook for information.

President-Elect Nominee David Treadwell announced:
Movie Night will be on Thursday, December 13, and the film is Anna Karenina. Preceding the movie, there will cocktails and appetizers at the National Press Club. Please contact Alexander Kravetz or May Gwinn for more information.

Walter Reed Bingo Night will be on Thursday, December 20 at 5 pm. Please let Peggy Garrett know by December 18th if you’d like to come.

The New Member Talk was given by Nobutoshi Hanai who began with “call me Nobu.” Nobu is originally from Japan, “where Toyota is located,” but works for Mitsubishi, manufacturer of big machinery: nuclear power plants, aerospace, defense. Five years ago he moved from Nagoya, Japan to Andover, MA to work as a General Manager. He is a former electrical engineer who worked in Japan’s defense industry. He informed us that fortunately Japan only has defensive weapons, no offensive weapons “unlike the neighboring country that launched weapons yesterday.” Nobu’s predecessor at Mitsubishi was a Rotarian and encouraged him to become a Rotarian as well. Nobu has a wife and two daughters who attend high school in Bethesda.

Clara Montanez introduced the week’s speaker author Kathryn Abdul-Baki, “Dancing in the Desert Sands,” as a mother, wife, friend, author, and dancer. She is an Arab-American born in D.C. and educated in the Middle East. Clara met the speaker while dancing Tango. Kathryn Abdul-Baki is a trained dancer and teaches Tango. Clara called her a true American: “open, generous, beautiful, intelligent and multicultural.”

Kathryn Abdul-Baki recounted her past: her mother is from Nashville, Tennessee her father is Palestinian. She was born in D.C. but raised in the Middle East in Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Jerusalem. She trained as a journalist but decided to become a novelist and pursue creative writing. Saying “Although English is my strongest language, I am very much Arabic inside. If you write true to who you are, you are going to cross that boundary and touch somebody.”

She has written five novels. Fields of Figs and Olive, her first book, contains short stories about Lebanon, Jerusalem, Greece and Turkey. This is a book about Arab women. In 1991,”the year of the woman and the Gulf war,” she appeared on T.V. and radio to talk about Arab women. The book was taught in universities. Her second novel, Tower of Dreams, is a coming of age book about growing up in Kuwait in the fifties and sixties. Ghost Songs, book number three, takes place in Jerusalem. This novel is a love story between a man and woman who are cousins. The story is about a Palestinian woman wanting to go back to Jerusalem to rediscover herself. In the end, it is a story of reconciliation back to the times where Muslims, Jews, Christians and Arabs intermarried and got along. Her latest novel, Sands of Zulaika, takes place in a fictional Gulf state. The author and her husband lived in Bahrain for two years where she discovered the rich history of the country which dates back 5000 years. The book is a love triangle about an American couple who goes abroad where the wife falls in love with an Arabic man. Book five, Hotels: A Marriage in Four Seasons has taken her ten years to write. This book is the first to involve only American characters. It is about a wife and husband who travel for 10 years, sometimes in the Middle East. It has not yet been published.  A very animated question and answer session followed, where Kathryn Abdul-Baki revealed that her first story was published in “Erotic Fiction Quarterly.” The session ended with Clara thanking our speaker for the donation of her time and her dancing, with partner Carlos, which help the Rotary Club in its fundraising efforts.

The Club Raffle tickets were sold by Lucia Serra. The small pot, valued at $46, was won by Kenny Barnes, but he did not draw the Ace so the large pot of $785 will continue to grow.

The meeting was supported by Ted Hamady and Stu Shalloway at the Hospitality Table.

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 19 and will feature His Excellency Jorge Arguello, Ambassador of Argentina to the United States as speaker. This will be our last meeting for 2012!

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM by President Elect Nominee David Treadwell.