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Visitors observe democracy in action

June 22, 2000

Lima S. Nabeel, a senior reporter for the Jordan Press Foundation, has been in the Hagerstown area before to cover the Mideast peace talks in Shepherdstown, W.Va. But it wasn't until her recent trip to Hagerstown that she saw how American democracy works.

"It's really interesting. How open the government is with all the debating and arguing," said Nabeel, one of 30 foreigners and high-ranking politicians in Hagerstown Tuesday for a tour of the city.

Mohammad Abu Hena, a member of the Bangladesh Parliament, said the amount of citizen participation in government and the level of decision-making authority given to municipal governments were interesting to him.

He said in Bangladesh the national central government makes all the decisions and the local governments just implement those decisions.

The tour was sponsored by the U.S. State Department and run by Delphi International, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C.

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Members of the group, which was led by former New Carrollton, Md. mayor Jordan Harding, visited the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, The Herald-Mail Co. and attended a joint meeting of the Washington County Commissioners and the Hagerstown City Council.

- Dan Kulin

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