Ambassador Carmona’s speech at the opening of "Alliance Française" in Pulchowk
Kathmandu, 14 Jan 2017:
Dear Pratima Pandé, chairperson of the board of Alliance française Kathmandu, dear members,
Dear Véronique Becchia, Director and Prabin Rana, deputy director and all the team of Alliance française,
First of all, let me wish all of you a happy new year! 2017 begins well for us, with this brand new location for Alliance française de Katmandou. Since I was appointed as a French Ambassador to Nepal, I heard of the great work done by Alliance Française, its Director, Véronique Becchia, its dedicated team, its board chaired by the lovely Pratima Pandé.
Alliance française had been struck by the earthquakes in 2015, had well resisted but unfortunately, another kind of catastrophe was threatening its survival, a silent tsunami, namely real estate speculation! So it had to move by the 31st December 2016. As soon as I arrived in Kathmandu, almost one year ago, I had the opportunity to appreciate the excellent work done by Alliance française, and at the same time I watched and sometimes accompanied Véronique in her frantic search for the impossible: a good location with decent premises at an affordable rate.
Now, I am sure the right puja was conducted properly since the miracle happened and here we are. Yes, it is still work in progress, but the new Alliance française is already impressive. This rooftop is a great idea, the landscape is typical of Kathmandu surrounded with the most famous mountain in the world !
We have just enjoyed the circus company “Fil à retordre” which took the opportunity of its India tour to grace us with its performance.
In a few minutes, another performance will be a spectacular sunset and I am sure it will be inspiring all year long for the students, teachers and all friends attending these premises. The famous cafeteria will be completed here and in a not too distant future, we will find again the auditorium in the garden, safely transported from the former location.
All this would not have been achieved without the support of our sponsors in this occasion : Turkish Airlines, Goyal publishers and NCCI. It is the fourth time AFK moved since 1994, and this time it has a 10 years contract so let’s hope it can rest for some time. This location definitely allows for easier transportation and better equipment.
Everything is in place for Alliance française de Katmandou to start again its activities, with a new start for the French classes the day after tomorrow. There will be “TBI”, tablets, serious video games, online classes. I am really impressed with the hard work which has been done to allow that in due time.
Impressed but not surprised, since I know for long that Alliance française has always been a story of passion, dedication and benevolence.
Supported and funded by the French government since its inception in 1883, it would not have survived without the involvement of its private members and citizens in all countries who look at French language and culture as a way to improve their knowledge of the world. That is the reason why on all continents, including in our two huge neighbors, about 800 Alliances Françaises are thriving.
Alliance française de Katmandou is on the world map and it will be again, as an organizer for the first time in Nepal of the next “night of ideas” on the 26th January. We expect many visitors to be there that day which will take place at Hotel Himalaya. Of course, AFK is one of the pillars of that evening and the event will be broadcasted live via internet.
Long live Alliance française de Kathmandu in its new location!
Thank you for your time ladies and gentlemen and enjoy the evening.