• Wagdy Hanna and Abraham Alawi

    Wagdy Hanna and Abraham Alawi

  • Namir Al-Saoudi and his wife Eman Al-Rubae

    Namir Al-Saoudi and his wife Eman Al-Rubae

  • Brendan Smyth, Assan Said, Roman Abdel-Massih and Mohammed Ali

    Brendan Smyth, Assan Said, Roman Abdel-Massih and Mohammed Ali

  • Laurie O'Donnell with Goldie and Kris Boyapati

    Laurie O'Donnell with Goldie and Kris Boyapati

  • Lauren Denney and Kate Winckworth

    Lauren Denney and Kate Winckworth

  • Haidy Ibrahim, Nagla Zoeir and Fatma Ahmed

    Haidy Ibrahim, Nagla Zoeir and Fatma Ahmed

  • Beata and Csaba Pakozdy

    Beata and Csaba Pakozdy

  • Svetlana Sharapa Zazo and Stephanie Mbombo

    Svetlana Sharapa Zazo and Stephanie Mbombo

  • Gehan Sidaros, Esther Armanious and Brian and Ghada Gleeson

    Gehan Sidaros, Esther Armanious and Brian and Ghada Gleeson

  • Ambassador of Egypt Dr. Hassan El-Laithy

    Ambassador of Egypt Dr. Hassan El-Laithy

  • Lucia and Henrik Langer

    Lucia and Henrik Langer

  • Sweet treats....

    Sweet treats....

  • Sweet treats

    Sweet treats

  • A picture of a picture taker.....

    A picture of a picture taker.....

Not often do I get to discuss recipes at a national day event but happily indulging more than one dainty Konafa made from kataifi shredded pastry prompted a discussion. It looks like a birds nest before the addition of butter, nuts, spices, raisins and silky sugary syrup and Assan Said from Melbourne was telling me the best way to make it, something he does regularly on Sunday when he’s home from his consultant’s work in Canberra.  Cooled syrup on hot baked Konafa seems to be the trick and making sure the kaitafi is thoroughly saturated with the butter. Raisins or coconut a delicious addition.

As a committed eater of most foods with my days of polite declining for the obvious reason that grazing has its drawbacks now long gone, the feast for the guests at the National Day of Egypt was a well roasted lamb roast with nuts and rice, a tasty beast and welcome feast for those observing Ramadan, followed by a sugar overload if they chose the sweet treats and copious quantities of pomegranate and tamarind juice. Balanced eating on these occasions relate to balancing the plate.

I met the newly arrived deputy head of mission for Hungary and his wife, Csaba and Beata Pakozdy. Just married, they arrived on Saturday and aren’t sure which day it is but suddenly he’s the Charges D’Affaires as the ambassador is away and this was their first diplomatic event. A quick intro to the wife of the Ambassador of Italy, Svetlana Sharapa Zazo, who is just back from sunshine and swimming in Port Douglas and from Slovakia, Lucia and Henrik Langer and they were soon connecting.

Ambassador of Egypt Dr. Hassan El- Laithy in his speech of welcome did mention the war and current events. We were in fact celebrating a revolution from 1952 and with another now on the calendar for January 25th 2011 best remembered as 18 days in Tahrir Square. Revolution Day has other connotations that Egypt is struggling with so let’s hope the revolutions stop, the people can feel safe and secure and prosperity will come for a stable Egypt. And diplomatic entreaties will help resolve the Peter Greste situation satisfactorily for all.