President’s Message July 2022

Dear FIWAL Friends,

I cannot believe that a year has passed since I took on the role of President of FIWAL in June 2021!

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the different FIWAL member clubs as well as the FIWAL Executive Committee who have been hugely supportive. It has been a rewarding experience but also quite challenging as we moved out of the pandemic. It was difficult to predict how people would respond to “face to face” events again but the FIWAL community has shown its strength and determination to keep up the connections and have been wonderful at getting involved again.

The FIWAL events over the last year, have all been special but the Platinum Jubilee Tea was an amazing occasion and a spectacular way to end the FIWAL year! Everyone made an enormous effort with the Jubilee theme and the sea of red, white and blue outfits looked stunning in the beautiful setting of Ironmongers‘ Hall. I am sure the Queen would have approved of our celebrations in her honour!  Our speakers, the Mistress of the Ironmongers’, Clare Wauchope and Aldermen Professor Emma Edhem both made impressive speeches and enlightened us on the history of the City of London and its Livery Companies.  Both encouraged more women to get involved in the City and the Livery so I do hope that some of you will take up this suggestion. 

Our AGM took place on the same day and it was good to see so many FIWAL Member reps there after a gap of three years. I am delighted to announce that our newest member club was voted in, the Japanese Women’s Association in Great Britain (JWA). They were established in 1956. Their general aim is to educate and acclimate Japanese women living in the UK by hosting social events to network and fundraising events. 

Unfortunately, I was not able to attend any FIWAL member club events this month as I took the opportunity to visit my mother in Malaysia which was wonderful as over the last two years it has been very difficult to plan trips. I am certain there are many of you with international families in a similar position so it must be such a relief that travel is easier again. On the subject of travel, we have a fascinating talk planned for after the next FIWAL Board meeting on 20th September  – Rosemary J. Brown will talk about her recent book “Following Nellie Bly : Her record-breaking race around the world”. We will be sending out full details soon so do look out for it.

One of the events that I sadly missed was the Farewell reception for the Kuwait Ambassador H.E. Mr Khaled Al Duwaisan and his wife Mrs Dalal Al Duwaisan who is a long standing supporter of FIWAL and the international community of women in London. Hulya Kolcu, our Diplomatic Liaison Officer represented FIWAL at the reception. We will all miss her but hopefully she will still do lots of trips to London!

Congratulations are also in order for one of FIWAL’s executive committee, Susan Jahanshahi who has just been appointed Vice – President of KCWC, a FIWAL Member club. We wish her well in this new role and are delighted she will continue as the Dateline Editor!

Wishing everyone in the FIWAL community a wonderful summer and enjoyable holidays wherever you are! 

Special Eid al – Adha greetings to all who celebrate. 

Warm wishes,
Zehan Albakri
President of FIWAL 

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