The Khedivial Ball

Pack of Cards
By Madame Sosostris
Al Ahram Weekly
15-21 April 1999

I do hope that you have been hanging on to grandma's ball dress and grandpa's tarboush -- they are mandatory if you wish to attend the very lavish ball organised by my dear friend and king of extravaganza Maged Farag at the Mohamed Ali Club. Maged is so keen on his Egyptian début de siecle theme that he has hired a tarabishi who will be in attendence to iron -- or lend -- partygoers the proper headgear. No such arrangements have been made for the 1920s gowns, though, and I am afraid that the ladies will have to come equipped with their own boas.

Kongit Sinegiorgis, Saadeddin Shazli, Maged Farag, Mette Ravn,
Pål Thorson, Vivi & Christer Sylven

Pack of Cards
By Madame Sosostris
Al Ahram Weekly - 13 - 19 May 1999

Like a bee sampling the nectar of many flowers, I filled my chalice at a ball fit for a king, launched in style by my dear friend, perfect host Maged Farag, who welcomed his guests in a white tuxedo jacket and red tarboush at the Mohamed Ali Club (which, incidentally, is transforming into the most sought-after venue in Cairo). I am really not at liberty to tell you all the wonderful things that made this evening so extra special, because Maged told me that those who did not turn up as prescribed did not deserve to know. Well... maybe I can cheat a little and share a few tidbits: The ambassador of Sweden, His Excellency Christer Sylven, was wearing a tarboush in the colours of his country, blue with a yellow tassel, Ambassador of Norway Mette Ravn did not stray off the beaten track and neither did Nader Riad, chairman of Bavaria company, but His Excellency Daniel C Kurtzer, ambassador to the United States, opted for the less provocative, tarboush-less look, while Her Excellency Kongit Sinegiorgis, ambassador of Ethiopia, wore the loveliest white ensemble with bright trimmings imaginable; impeccably elegant as ever, the problem of the tarboush never arose with her of course. Arbiter of elegance Naguib Abdallah arrived in a gold embroidered frock coat to go with his classical tarboush and was accompanied by a mysterious and gorgeous woman in a stunning long dress; elegantly understated as usual, veteran diplomat and former ambassador to the US, Ashraf Ghorbal sported a no nonsense dark suit and standard tie with his tarboush. General Saadeddin El-Shazli looked absolutely thrilled when his old friend and brother-in-arms Major-General Munir Shash walked in, apparently an unexpected and pleasant reunion. That is all, dears: enough is enough. From now on, mum is the word.

Dancing at the Club M. Aly's Khedivial Ball
to the tunes of Cairo Symphony Orchestra

Lady of the harem arriving at the Gezira Palace (now Cairo Marriott Hotel)

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