President’s Message November 2021

Dear FIWAL Friends,

It has been a busy active month for FIWAL as more activities are starting up again, meanwhile, I’m hoping I do hope that this recent rise in cases will not stop this progress. I feel we all have to do our bit to be that little bit more vigilant about wearing masks and taking lateral flow tests when needed. We really do not want to have to face another lockdown this winter!

With travel restrictions easing, quite a few members of FIWAL’s Executive are taking this opportunity to travel but fortunately with Zoom we are able to continue to our work despite being in several continents!  It was good to see some of you on our Zoom FIWAL Board Meeting on 5th October – hopefully our next Board meeting in February might be a (real) live one or at least a hybrid one. I had the good fortune of meeting up with some FIWAL Member associations in October. 

I attended a KCWC “Foodies” evening on 5th October hosted by Maria Puleio – a lovely Champagne evening with food supplied from Green Caviar and Brik Chocolate, plus guest speakers Queena Wong and Simon Stockton. I thoroughly enjoyed all the treats but most of all getting to know more members of KCWC.

The Chair of Barcarolle Choir, Antonella Harrison, invited me to their weekly session at St Cuthbert’s and I met their members plus their Musical director, Samuel Evans. I enjoyed hearing them sing in such an inspiring venue. I would highly recommend joining them for some excellent musical music therapy! It was also good to see that the Embassy Induction Seminar, organised by Elizabeth Stewart from Embassy Magazine, was able to hold their annual event to bring together members of the diplomatic community in London on 15th October. Unfortunately, I was away but Immediate Past President, Siobhan was able to do the powerpoint presentation that had been prepared by Jennie Parish. FIWAL Diplomatic Liaison Officer, Hulya Kolcu and Susan Jahanshahi representing KCWC were also able to attend. This was a great opportunity for FIWAL to highlight our role at connecting women and women’s groups and helping to build friendship and understanding amongst the International community.

I am looking forward to all the wonderful festive events organised by our member associations in the next few months. Diwali, the festival of lights, is just around the corner so special wishes to all who that celebrate this. The name is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘dipavali’, meaning ‘row of lights’. The festival generally symbolizes the spiritual ‘victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance’ and is widely associated with Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity. 

To avoid a clash of events in December, FIWAL has decided to hold our festive event in late January to welcome in 2022 – do look out for full details. Until then, do keep well and enjoy this special time,

Warm wishes 
Zehan Albakri
President of FIWAL

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