My best friend Simone Kerlin came to see me one weekend earlier this month. As Brazilian now living in DC she’d never seen so much snow. It wasn’t even the snow that astonished her, rather the fact that it never stopped falling during her four day-long visit!

One day while attempting to avoid the snow we visited the Nobel Peace Center, which opened in June 2005. The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five Nobel Prizes bequested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel and the only one to be awarded by a Norwegian committee.

When the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and its coordinator Jody Williams were awarded the peace prize in 1997, the irony was not lost on the selection committee as Nobel had made his fortune after inventing the explosive dynamite.

The museum contains a curious mixture of multimedia exhibitions. At the time of our visit, one floor was devoted to the most recent winner – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its director general Mohamed El Baradi. The theme??? “Make Nuclear Power, Not Weapons.”