April 27, 2016, Washington D.C. The 14th International Festival of Language of Culture (IFLC) kicked off in with a colorful event at the Rayburn Building in Washington D.C. The event attracted U.S. Members of Congress from both the House and the Senate, including their staff. Over 126 students from 24 countries participated, in the annual celebration of diversity and linguistic talents.
Rep. Robin Kelly (IL) and Rep. Bonnie Watson (NJ) greeted and welcomed the students to Washington D.C.. Thereafter, Rep. Henry Cuellar, thanked the guests and gave brief remarks on the importance of diversity and free speech. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK) was very honored by the invitation and thanked the organizers for their efforts in bringing people from different cultures and backgrounds in promoting unity.
Faruk Taban, President of the Turkic American Alliance, was pleased with the turnout, recognized and acknowledged the efforts of the organizers, including the U.S. Members of Congress who showed their support and shared the cultural experience with the students.
Rep. Xavier Becerra presented Dr. Taban with a Certificate of Recognition for organizing the 14th International Festival of Language and Culture, and showed his support for contributions to dialogue and serving as global citizens in establishing peace.
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX), who was impressed by the music, dance and dress, thanked Turkic American Alliance for inviting his staff and looked forward to improving person-to-person relations with students and professors in promoting education. Rep. John Delaney thanked the organizers for celebrating multiculturalism and promoting integration communities through music, language and the talented youth.
Rep. Juan Vargas (CA) showed his appreciation to the students for their performances and presented Dr. Taban with a Congressional Recognition honoring the 14th International Festival of Language and Culture–and praising it for “creating a platform for youth to share their cultural heritage” and “uniting nations of the world with universal human values”.
Other Members of Congress that participated in the event or interacted with student participants were Rep. Scott Perry (PA), Rep Dan Kildee (MI), Rep Ed Royce (CA), Rep. Pete Olson (TX), Rep. Marc Veasey (TX), Rep. John Duncan Jnr (TN), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX), Rep. Trent Franks (AZ) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA),
The event concluded with a united performance by all the students in the song titled, “Universal Peace” and will continue on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington D.C.