Monday, February 25, 2013

A little night music at the home of the Iraqi Ambassador

The hosts, Ambassador and Madame of Iraq,
with the 2012 Peace Prize awardees
and the Ambassador of Sri Lanka

H.E. Wadee Batti Hanna Al-Batti, the Ambassador of Iraq to the Philippines, and his lovely wife Nadja, recently hosted a dinner in honor of visiting Iraqi musician Naseer Shamma, one of the country’s top musicians and composers.

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Naseer Shamma performed at a fundraising concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines organized by the Spouses of Heads of Missions (SOHMs). He was also one of the awardees for 2012 of the Gusi Peace Prize.

The dinner was attended by the diplomatic corps and top government officials.

FULL OF VIPs

I spotted the Ambassadors of Austria, the European Union, Finland, Greece, Sri Lanka, and Switzerland.

Dignitaries from abroad who were also in Manila for the Gusi Peace Prize were also present, including Deepika Priyadarshani, Sri Lanka’s most famous songstress, and H.R.H. Sheik Hissah Bint Saad Abdulad Salem Al-Sabah, Princess of Kuwait.

With some of the wives of the ambassadors...


A CHIC PRINCESS
AND AN EXCELLENT COOK

The Princess of Kuwait, by the way, looked very distinguished in a simple black gown with her hair slicked back.

The Princess of Kuwait, with her hosts,
and the Ambassador of Greece


Madame Al-Batti, the perfect hostess, arranged large round tables in her lovely garden, with a buffet set-up on her patio. There was a delicious Middle Eastern spread including an extensive mezze selection and a variety of roasted meats.

Madame Al-Batti even made the hummus and tabbouleh herself – and these were truly fresh and tasty. It was the perfect evening for an al fresco event in Forbes Park as the weather was fine and the stars were out.

With the Ambassador of the European Union
and Iraq's most famous musician


LAST ONE IN, LAST ONE OUT

After many of the guests had left, I decided to stay behind and finish the remnants of Madame Al-Batti’s hummus with some freshly-baked pitta bread and strips of beef shawarma.

 While I ate my second dinner, the Al Batti’s young and extremely self-possessed son, Zaid Wadee Al-Batti, who is enrolled at the International School and enjoying his studies immensely, kept me company and entertained with stories about his classes and after-school football activities.

“I love my school and I love living in Manila,” he told me.



FOOD THAT'S SO GOOD.
AND SO GOOD FOR YOU.

My “partners in crime” in finishing up the last of the buffet were Madame Al-Batti herself, plus Joseph Assad, the honorary consul of Lebanon, and visiting Lebanese government officials.

We all sat out in the garden, enjoying food that can only be described as so good and so good for you, and discussing the great things about travel and life.

Basically we talked about the joys of a never-endingly, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.



This also appeared in The Diplomatic Travelife column of Travelife Magazine Publisher Christine Cunanan in the Business Mirror. Catch The Diplomatic Travelife every Sunday in The Business Mirror.




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