President’s Message August 2021

Dear FIWAL Friends,

With the high success rate of the vaccination programme in the UK and as restrictions lift, it is good to hear that Member Clubs are starting to plan some live physical events. One of the first, live events was held on the 2nd July by the Ukrainian Cultural Association UK. It was a concert at St.John’s Notting Hill Church in London. UCA-UK President, Alla Sirenko performed with the Ukrainian vocal ensemble Vivo and violinist, Orpheus Leander (see photo below) All in aid of Ukrainian orphans. It was a great success and memorable evening for both the performers and audience to finally perform live! You can find out more from their website :

Lovely to also hear from FIWAL Past President, Caroline Muir, of the success of The Women’s Council online events. On 14th July, they held another of their regular Zoom drop-in coffee and quiz events. Jenny Habib produced yet another masterpiece of a Fine Arts Quiz, aided by the wonderful photographs show-cased by Rajni Rijal’s tech expertise. A very successful morning, where attendees enjoyed testing their knowledge and adding to it.

The pandemic has highlighted to us the pros and cons of online virtual events and meetings. Most of FIWAL’s MemberClubs have embraced online technology and have been very successful at engaging their membership during this difficult time. Although it has meant that meetings are easier to organise and it has allowed more involvement from all over UK and the world, we have missed meeting ‘face to face” and the advantages of personal connections. Do you plan to continue to do online events?  Looking to the future, the FIWAL executive will be considering how we can combine both online and real events into our schedule. If you do have any thoughts on this, please do email me at :

We are very excited to be organising FIWAL’s first live physical event in nearly 18 months, the Autumn Lunch on 21st September 2021 hosted kindly by Mrs Maha Ben Khedher spouse of the Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia and President of the Association of the Spouses of African High Commissioners and Ambassadors in UK (ASAHCA-UK). It will be an afternoon of Tunisian delights – food, music and crafts. Full booking details will be sent out soon so do book early as places are limited.

Until we can meet again in September, I am sure you will be enjoying the rest of the summer with your family and friends, lots of travel and visits to museums, galleries and theatres !

Warm wishes from all of us at FIWAL,

Zehan Albakri

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