President’s Message June 2022

Dear FIWAL Friends,

With the weather improving, it is good to see more people out and about and an increase in events as we head towards the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations this week. There is lots planned so I do hope that you will all get the chance to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. A great and historic achievement! Our own Jubilee celebration on 7th June is now sold out. Thank you to everyone for supporting this event and I look forward to seeing you there in red, white or blue or all three colours!

I have had a busy month attending a range of wonderful events around the arts, food and music. The month started with an invitation for a private FIWAL group tour to “Weaving Hope: Tenun Pahang”, a special textile exhibition organised by the Queen of Malaysia. About 16 years ago, she started an initiative to revive the weaving industry in her own state of Pahang by training prison inmates in the ancient weaving techniques. As I am originally from Malaysia, I was very proud to see the success of such a worthwhile project and see some of the stunning woven textiles. It was made even more special to have the Queen herself explain the project to all of us!

Food is one of the common interests that link all FIWAL Members and so I was delighted to be invited to attend the launch of two cookbooks at the Tunisian and Turkish Embassies. Both quite similar cuisines but also with some distinct differences. The books focussed on the healthy aspects of their traditional diets: 
– “The Tunisia Cookbook: A Celebration of the Red Cuisine of Tunisia” by Hafida Latta
– “Turkish Cuisine with Timeless Recipes” by First Lady Mine Erdoğan

Music is another excellent way to bring different cultures together and the Royal Thai Embassy hosted a wonderful A Cappella evening with The Yale Spizzwinks. I was joined at this event by FIWAL member Barcarolle Choir’s Chair, Antonella Harrison.

Lastly as the sun shone brightly on Friday, I joined FIWAL Member PAWA’s Discovery Walk around Royal Kensington which ended with a delicious Jubilee tea. PAWA are holding a series of these walks around London plus one virtual one to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee so do check them out in Dateline.

Looking ahead, please “Save the Date” for our next Board Meeting on 20th September – full details to be sent out in July. In the meantime, enjoy the bank holiday weekend celebrations!

Warm wishes,
Zehan Albakri
President of FIWAL 

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