BELGIUM TODAY         September 2011  
September 14
Washington, DC
Dutch classes (beginners and intermediates, age 16 & up) will resume at the Embassy in mid-October. On 9/14 at 6 pm, new students with some Dutch-language knowledge will be evaluated for placement. Website
September 18- January 8
Washington, DC
The exhibition The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries features a set of four monumental 15th century tapestries woven in Tournai and recently restored by the DeWit Royal Tapestry Manufacturers in Mechelen, at the National Gallery of Art. Website
September 20 (9PM EDT)
Nationwide on PBS
History Detectives  includes a segment on "The Cross of Leopold Medal" that was filmed at the Belgian Embassy. Two weeks prior to broadcast, check local listings for your area here  (click on "edit settings: location" and then on "change location settings" to enter your zip code.)
September 22-25
Washington, DC
Brussels' Nomad Gallery
will participate in (e)merge, the first DC art fair for emerging art, at the Capitol Skyline Hotel (room 228). Featured artists include Aimé Mpane and Jeanine Cohen. Website
September 22-Dec 30 Washington, DC
The exhibition One foot in America: The Artwork of Eugeen Van Mieghem is presented in the Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery, at the DCJCC On 9/22 at 6 pm Erwin Joos, Curator of the Van Mieghem Museum in Antwerp, will give a lecture during the opening reception. To RSVP click here and follow the links to "Center for the Arts" and "gallery."
September 23
Washington, DC
The Embassy will participate in Euro Night, the annual celebration of the cuisines of the European Union, at the Embassy of France (6:30-11:30 pm) Tickets $35  Website    
Belgium has played an active role in Libya since the beginning of the conflict. Alongside the United States, it was one of the early members of the international coalition which intervened in support of the Libyan population. The decision of the Belgian executive branch to intervene in Libya with some allies and partners was approved unanimously (with one abstention) by the federal parliament. In doing so, Belgium was honoring its ‘responsibility to protect,’ a UN norm aimed at protecting civilians under certain circumstances.
In late August, after the impressive gains made by the opposition in Tripoli, Belgium saluted the courage of the Libyans who fought and are still fighting for their freedom. It is they who made this victory possible; it is their determination and persistence which are culminating in the defeat of the Gaddafi regime; but it is also the Libyans who will be responsible for putting a ‘New Libya’ on the road of democracy, the respect for human rights and the rule of law. On several occasions, including at the Paris Conference on September 1, Belgium has expressed its willingness to continue to play an active role and thus contribute to a better future for Libyans.
The worst humanitarian crisis in the world is currently ravaging the Horn of Africa. No less than 13 million people are being affected by famine and drought. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing. Humanitarian organizations are reporting a considerable shortage of funding. Security problems are also hindering the delivery of emergency aid. Belgian Development Cooperation is quickly freeing up funds for the victims.  Given the persistent monetary shortage in emergency aid, Belgium has decided to add 4 million euros to the 5.05 million previously granted. This money will go to humanitarian NGOs or multilateral organizations active in the region.
It all started with a California man who found an ornate medal in an embossed red box while cleaning out the garage after his father’s death. Along with the medal he found a photograph of his father, Joseph Goularte,  at an award ceremony in February, 1951 with a caption explaining the Belgian government bestowed upon him the "Order of Leopold." His father seldom talked about his military service. The Belgian government awards this honor for extreme bravery or meritorious service. George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower have a Leopold Cross. What did this soldier do to earn this decoration?
History Detectives host Gwendolyn Wright resolves to find the answer and interviews Joris Totté, First Secretary Press and Public Affairs at the Embassy of Belgium. With the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, he provides key information that solves the mystery surrounding this medal.
If you want to find out the story behind this medal,  this episode of History Detectives airs on most PBS stations on Tuesday, September 20.
A team from the University of Ghent is one of twenty collegiate groups selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, scheduled to take place on the National Mall (West Potomac Park) from September 23 to October 2.  Each team in the competition will try to design, build and operate a solar-powered house that is the most cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.
Team Belgium’s entry, E-Cube (pictured here), is defined by four principles: modularity, affordability, flexibility and efficiency.  The ultra-efficient house is conceived as an affordable building kit that can be assembled in days rather than months.
The Solar Decathlon is open to the public and free of charge.
Embassy of Belgium, 3330 Garfield Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20008 or 202 333-6900 with questions or comments.