Here's what some of our clients have said about our Washington, DC tour:
… I am delighted that you were available to conduct a guided tour of Washington for participants in the International Visitor project on university administration in the United States that was held recently for a Russian delegation of university administrators. Participants spoke enthusiastically about all that they had seen, done, and heard during the course of the tour and rated it as one of several distinct highlights of the project's introductory segment. I am certain that they will long remember their journey to the United States, thanks in large measure toyour contribution to the program….
Academy of Educational Development
… This comes as a thank you note for the excellent introduction that you gave us about the USA's history, government and the various wings of the executive, the judiciary and the legislature which make for a smooth functioning of a great country. We were very impressed with your presentation and felt that there could have been no better introduction to the U.S.A. I look forward to more such interactions in the future too. Inshallah
Thanking you once again for your enthusiastic and enlightening presentation….
Natural History Society
I was fortunate enough to be part of a group of International Visitors to be given an orientation brief by you on Tuesday April 6. I found it fascinating and so very informative. Your enthusiasm was contagious and a brilliant way to begin my US visit. Thank you for a delightfully educative session and tour of Washington D.C.
Fiji Law Reform Commission
Thank you so much for the tour of Washington you conducted on 1 October to illustrate American federalism and the principles and ideals underlying US institutions and society. It was a fascinating afternoon which was not only interesting and informative, but also most enjoyable. Your presentation gave me a valuable insight into why the USA is as it is and what drives the American way of life. My tour of the USA under the International Visitor Program would have been much poorer without it. Please let me know if you plan to come to Brussels. It would be a pleasure to see you again.
General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union
We are writing to convey to you our appreciation for meeting with the Fundacion Universitaria Del Rio de la Plata Group from Argentina. They expressed their gratitude to you for this appointment at the close of their program in Washington. The group very much enjoyed the opportunity to tour Washington with you and rated your "Fedtour" in the top 5 of their 30-some appointments. Thank you for your skillful explanation of our capital and the ideals that shape the U.S. system of government. Again, thank you for dedicating your time to participate in the International Visitor Program. People to people contact is vital in building bridges across cultures and your work toward that end is greatly appreciated.
Institute of International Education
… Special thanks also to tour guide who skillfully explained in details the principles of democratic government, federalism, and the jury system. Mr. (name withheld for privacy) believes that the tour of Washington, DC has led to the smashing success of the whole program…
U.S. Embassy Officer
United States Information Service
On behalf of the African Studies Program and the twenty-eight visiting South African Educators, I want to express my deep appreciation for the superb tour that you gave us on Sunday, July 19. You were, in all honesty absolutely outstanding. You gave us such a nice gift. The group continued to talk about you throughout the week. As anAmerican, I also learned a great deal from you on that day. As far as I am concerned,there is only ONE tour guide in Washington, DC. You will hear from us again nextsummer, when we expect to bring another group to Washington, DC.
African Studies Program
On behalf of the IIE/JCIE Asia Pacific WINGS Project, we would like to extend our belated deepest appreciation for your willingness to take time out of your busy schedule to guide the WINGS delegation on February 23. The tour was an essential element of the program and all the participants were greatly impressed with your knowledge. Your explanations were informative and essential in helping the participants understand American history. We are sure all the members valued and enjoyed this experience very much.
Japan Center for International Exchange
New York, NY
Of all our guides in the United States you were the most sophisticated…
University of Amsterdam
I had heard from several escorts that they had found your tours for international visitors an excellent introduction to the Washington program and I was pleased to find after my participation on Sunday with the Russian group that I completely agreed with them. I liked the way you use some of the sights of Washington to talk not only about Washington attractions but more generally about American life and institutions. Your presentation was well-planned, interesting and satisfying far beyond an ordinary tourist tour.
A member of the Russian group on Monday said something along these lines, "If all tour guides in America know as much about democracy as our guide yesterday, you have nothing to worry about the development of democracy in America.
Program OfficerMeridian International Center
…Col. (name withheld for privacy) commented that the sightseeing tour in Washington was so well presented that it was tantamount to an audio-visual lecture on democratic institutions in the United States.
U.S. Embassy Officer
United States Information Service
You've done it again! On behalf of the Board, staff, and Conference Planning Committee of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV), thank you for generously providing anincredible tour of DC for the 1999 NCIV National Conference. Participants expressed overwhelming enthusiasm and appreciation for the tour and your insights (and have asked for your contact information!).You play an important role in the N CIV network and we are grateful for your participation.Thank you again for your support.
Director of Programs
National Council of International Visitors (NCIV)
Akram- thanks for your patience and grace with the tour interruption yesterday. I loved being with you and will look forward to another chance with the Indian MPs you'll be doing the night tour for. You really brought our Qataris to life and added great value to their DC experience.
North Africa, Near East and South Asia
Office of International Visitors
United States Information Agency
The Washington tour conducted by Akram Elias was the most engaging city tour that I have ever experienced. It was unusual in that, instead of dealing with aspects of the city which can be easily found in any book, it focused on those values that shaped america as a nation. In that sense, each monument was described intrinsically as a representation of values and ideals that guided the Founding Fathers, as temples in the Greek tradition, to perpetuate the origin of those ideas. The tour built a solid foundation for what we were to experience during the program and the necessary background to achieve a better understanding of american society and culture.
The conviction with which Akram presented those values was a clear indication of his strong belief in the country that has become his second homeland. For many of us, it was compelling proof that, despite past and present problems, the U.S. remains a country of many opportunities for whomever believes in the values for which it stands.
Senior Foreign Service National
…I would like to express my gratitude for your personal contribution to making my study visit a success. The Washington tour was extremely good and illuminating. This is definitely an experience I will not forget.
Office of International Education
University of Iceland
Dear Mr. Elias:
The purpose of this letter is to express my heartfelt appreciation to you for allowing me to accompany two of our international visitors on a tour you recently conducted of Washington, DC. Your three-hour presentation of the themes of American federalism and the uniqueness of American popular participation in government was absolutely first rate. During my debriefing session with the two Salvadoran legislators whom I accompanied on the tour, both were unanimous in their recommendations that this presentation ought to be the starting point for international visitor programs of any theme. Of course, I had heard this suggestion many times in the past from other visitors, but only by having participated first hand did it become very clear to me just how much depth was covered in your afternoon program. Your use of the physical layout of the city and the concomitant use of symbolism to reinforce the nature of American values and culture was both fascinating and original. As a resident of the Washington, DC area for a number of years, I must confess that I too learned a great deal on the tour.
International Visitor Program
United States Information Agency