- The Washington Times - Monday, November 23, 2009

Saturday night’s Capital City Ball had no shortage of attention-grabbing glamour, what with the opulent environs provided by the Washington Club in Dupont Circle and the bevy of beauties such as golden girl Miss D.C. Jen Corey and the equally blonde WJLA and News Channel 8 anchor Pamela Brown.

Proceeds from the annual event go to organizations that work to end human trafficking and the sexual slave trade, which, unfortunately, is said to be one of the world’s most thriving industries.

The Polaris Project, Innocents at Risk, and the Emancipation Network were this year’s beneficiaries.

Miss Brown, who served on the party’s host committee, told the gathering she became aware of the problem of modern-day slavery after seeing the film “Taken.” In the film, Liam Neeson plays a man whose young daughter is kidnapped while vacationing in Europe by slave traders.

Despite her moving testimony and glowing good looks, Miss Brown’s voice was drowned out as the guests continued to chatter and clink their wine glasses, virtually ignoring her.

Ever the pro, Miss Brown kept right on talking and flashing her smile.

Miss Corey tells us she is looking ahead to competing in the Miss America competition in late January in Las Vegas, but, like most, is waiting until after the holidays to begin the rigorous diet and exercise regime necessary to get her already near-perfect figure in even better shape.

However, the real stars of the evening were virtual unknowns, and had, and we mean this literally, no speaking parts. They were the ladies in white, or living statues mimes that looked like alabaster sculptures that have been featured on the “Martha Stewart Show” and at Epcot in Orlando, Fla.

Needless to say, many of the guests were startled when they got a tap on the shoulder or a surprise wink from the statue standing sentinel nearby.

Hands on

One of the Capital City Ball attendees we bumped into was the young and dashing ambassador from Yemen, Abdulwahab Abdulla Hajjri, ever the bachelor and man about town.

He tells us the secret to his success as a prolific host (he averages three events at his residence per week) are the personal touches he puts on his guest lists.

“I rely on myself,” he said confidently when asked how he deals with not having a wife to lean on for hostessing duties.

“I like to send my invitations out personally via e-mail. I have some secretaries, but I do the invitations myself,” says the ambassador, who was surrounded by beautiful women at the party.

He has hosted heads of state and major military figures, but he says his favorite guests are “always my friends. I am not kidding.”

Mr. Abdulla-Hajjri heaped praise on his ambassadorial colleague, Said T. Jawad, who represents Afghanistan in Washington.

A polo lover, Mr. Jawad is also debonair and social, often seen at the Georgetown nightclub L2 Lounge, and just as hands on: He has his own Facebook page, which he manages himself.

Somehow we don’t think the diplomats from France and Britain are quite this accessible, especially on social networking sites.

Hanky-panky coral

We noticed something a little fishy over at the National Aquarium on Thursday, and it had nothing to do with the fish.

The aquarium, squeezed into the basement at the Department of Commerce (go figure), is undergoing a major expansion into another area of the building. Donors and marine-life lovers gathered for a cocktail reception and tour of the new digs, which are a work in progress during the next three to five years.

While on the tour, a sign promoting one of the aquarium’s many endeavors caught our eye: “An Aquatic Treasure: Through the National Aquarium’s Sexual Coral Reproduction Project, we are raising more than 400 live coral species.”

What’s really, um, scintillating is that this research has been given the acronym, Secore.

Yes, it seems in addition to the snakes, tropical fish and alligators cohabitating at the aquarium, the coral likes to be more fruitful and multiply too, and, thank goodness, because coral protects the shorelines during storms and is a haven to many species of marine wildlife.

So go have at it, guys!

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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