AAHA = Amicale Alexandrie Hier et Aujourd'hui : www.aaha.ch


Ahsan Nas

EFES Restaurant, Lunch, Sunday 21th March 2010


Sunday 21st March 2010 , EFES Restaurant - London

 A whole season seems to have gone by since our lunch at Efes… we are now well into Springtime – thank heavens!!  and I have only ‘just about’ managed to put the photos (today) on the Picasa Website (as per Sandro Manzoni’s recommendations).  Mille merci! Jo Jesua (leader AAHA – Paris) for your divine intervention on Skype.  I know you were just as exasperated as I was!!

As it so happens, I am not out of the woods yet, as I have, somehow, managed to misplace all the surnames!!  Mamma mia…

 Maalesch!  I have decided to upload the photos anyway just, as they are and await my son’s return from Belgium, who will come with his magic wand (and chocolate) to put everything right!  So thank you All for your continued infinite patience.  It’ll be alright soon.

 You will find the photos of our memorable lunch if you click on  PHOTOS

 Many of you were holidaying, on business trips, celebrating, taking short breaks and convalescing.  I’d like to thank you all for letting me know one way or the other.  Although, we were a considerably smaller group, this did not detract from the fact that it turned out to be a particularly nice day.

As a consequence, Kazim (El Padrone - Efes) was not able to offer us the buffet option as promised.  He nevertheless, made sure that we were looked after in the usual style of ‘plenty’!   A special ‘thank you’ from all of us to the Efes’ team for taking such good care of us. 

 Michael and Loutfia (Hassanein) Haag turned up, for the first time, at very short notice.  I had not seen Loutfia since the 1980s in Alexandria and it was lovely to meet up again and catch up.  For those of you who do not know it, Michael is a well known writer, historian and photographer who has written for major newspapers and magazines in Britain and in America and has broadcast for the BBC. 

 Fortunately, Michael did bring some of his books with him to show the group and was able to tell us more about himself and his fascination for Alexandria.  I thought you might like his website click Cntrl + link to follow link:

 website: www.michaelhaag.com
blog: http://michaelhaag.blogspot.com

 Gaby Nahmias  introduced me to Philippe Ismalun from Paris.  He talked warmly about his step mother Alice Ismalun who is well known in Alexandria for her charity and volunteer work and gave us a brief account about growing up in  Alexandria.  In the meantime, Gaby faithfully resumed her ‘accountant’s’ position and made sure I did not have to worry about any of the important matters, like paying the bill !!...   It wouldn’t be the same without Gaby’s reassuring presence.  Thanks Gaby as always!

 Ahlan ya Huguette (Zaccar) Hanem.  Thank you for delaying your trip to Alexandria in order to come to our friendly lunch with Jean and Micheline (Zaccar) Antonian.  We hope you enjoyed it and look forward to seeing you when you next come over.  You promised me a coffee when I come over to Alex!!

 Lino & Renee Banoun came in with Georges and Mireille (Dahan) Rostas who are also ex-Alexandrians and fun was had by all on their table.

 It was nice to see Bill and Monica (Madden) Bonnett.  Bill finally got the opportunity to hold the microphone and introduce himself and his lovely lady to the group and tell us a little about his connection to Egypt.

 Arlette Gotkine-Cohen contributed by reading to us her Parodie about other ‘not such endearing aspects’ of our lives in Alexandria!!!  Creepy stuff…  Fortunately, she chose to read it between the basbousa and the coffee!

 Claudie Newnham-Cohen announced to us that she is currently writing a book and that she will be sending more details about her website link very soon – so, watch this space!!

 Thanks for turning up in large numbers all of you ex-Alexandrian and non-Alexandrian Maltese.  Harold Beaton who got us laughing with another Alexandrian anecdote , Ivan and Giovanna Vella, Oscar and Marjorie Vella,  Anthony Camilleri, Mario Vella, Josephine Byde-Vella, Eddie Malfiggiani who has been a regular since the very first meeting.

 Our best wishes for a quick recovery to Celia Male and Marlène Grech.  We miss you very much and look forward to seeing you at our next lunch.  Our special thoughts go to Alan Grech for the particularly difficult times he has been having during the last few months.

 Last but not least – thank you for the faithful  support of Eddie Pinto, Paul & Claudie (Cohen) NewnHam, Margherita Agatone, Lawrence Bugeya, Suzy Sidi and of course, my mother Anne-Marie Centofanti and my brother Flavio Centofanti.

                                                                                   Laura  Centofanti                                                                     

AAHA = Amicale Alexandrie Hier et Aujourd'hui : www.aaha.ch