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Marlene Hall grew up an army brat and has lived all over the world and in Washington, DC. Since an early age, she has played sports including soccer, basketball, and swimming; receiving three letters in high school for sports participation. Marlene graduated from the University of Virginia where she wrote for the Cavalier Daily and interviewed popular 90's bands including No Doubt and the Goo Goo Dolls. Commissioned an Air Force officer, she served in Korea, Germany, New Mexico, and Louisiana. Marlene earned two masters degrees while in the Air Force in Management and IO Psych. After leaving active duty, she has worked as a government contractor, freelance writer and public relations executive. Marlene dabbles in improvisational comedy and has taken classes at the famed iO Theater in Chicago. She is very active in the DC charity and social scene and contributes her time to DC Humane Society's Fashion for Paws. She also was a supernumerary in the Washington National Opera's Carmen with opera singer Denyce Graves. An extrovert at heart, she has never met a stranger. Marlene loves journalism, attending events, meeting people and making things happen. She lives by the motto, "The best way to predict your future, is to create it."

Recap: Asia After Dark at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries

Asia After Dark at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries is mad fun!  After the folding of the Smithsonian’s Young Benefactors, a new crop of social events cropped up at the Smithsonian like Asia After Dark.  This Thursday night was Middle Eastern themed. It was celebrating the special exhibit Arts of the Islamic World.  All attendees received a drink ticket and food was available for purchase like hummus.  People were strongly encourage to dress up in Styles of North Africa and South and West Asia outfits.  The collection of different people at the Smithsonian was super cool!

Middle Eastern Art sculpture from the Smithsonian (photo by Marlene Hall)

There was a guy dressed in clothes from Cameroon, a guy dressed like Ali Baba and a lady dressed in garb from Pakistan.

Sayedgul Kalash from Pakistan (photo by Marlene Hall)

Roland from Cameroon (photo by Marlene Hall)

Ali Baba aka Jorge Thomson, intern at the Smithsonian (photo by Marlene Hall)

 

In the middle of the beautiful museum is a court yard with a water fountain.  The DJ Turbo Tala was blasting Arabian music, but it was super loud..never get why music is loud that you can’t talk, but can get a headache.  The music was fun and there seemed to be women learning to belly dance to the music too.  Unfortunately the author missed the belly dancers called the Barakaat Middle Eastern Dance Company.

DJ Turbo Tabla in the courtyard (photo by Marlene Hall)

Inside the beautiful museum were tables set out to make Arabian Art or to get fake henna tattoos.  The real surprise was in the Arabian art section, actress Karen De Mauro was dressed in middle eastern garb as she spun the tale of 1001 Nights.  It is the tale of an Arabian prince who is cheated on by a woman.  He then believes every woman will cheat on him so he starts marrying virgins and then kills them the next day.  He meets his match with Sherhazade.  She tells him a story every night for 1001 nights.  She doesn’t finish the story each night so he keeps her around to hear the rest of the story the next night.  De Mauro did a superb job!!

Actress Karen De Mauro (photo by Marlene Hall)

This is a great way to support the Smithsonian, meet some really interesting people and learn more about different cultures.  Just a blast!!  This is a very popular event and was sold out.  Be sure to check it out next time if you haven’t already!

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