The Gala Dinner

The Gala dinner following the awards ceremony drew inspiration from Abu Al-Hasan Ali bin Nafi, known by “Ziryab,” the pioneer of the arts of refined and sophisticated conduct, today referred to as etiquette. The event’s setup, from the table arrangements to the music selection and other intricate details, was meticulously curated to reflect the practices Ziryab introduced centuries ago. Renowned for his wide-ranging talents in poetry, music, and his exquisite taste, Ziryab’s influence on cultural and social norms endures globally. His innovative approach to organizing and serving food continues to be embraced worldwide, testament to his lasting impact on etiquette and hospitality.

The dinner ceremony saw the attendance of His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Supreme Committee of the Great Arab Minds Initiative, and HE Saeed Al Dhaheri, Secretary-General of Great Arab Minds Initiative. The event was also graced by the six awardees and their families, alongside a selection of media professionals and distinguished guests, making it a notable gathering that celebrated the achievements and contributions of the winners. 

The Menu Inspiration

Chef Al-Shaheen crafted a menu that paid homage to the rich culinary history of the Arab world, drawing inspiration from “Al-Baghdadi Cookery Book” by Muhammad bin Al-Hasan Al-Baghdadi. This cookbook, a treasure trove of recipes from the Abbasid era approximately 800 years ago, meticulously documents the intricacies of cooking practices of the time. It covers a comprehensive range of details, from the selection of cooking utensils and knives to the choice of spices and even the types of wood best suited for cooking to minimize smoke. Moreover, it highlights recipes, such as Rummania, Shorba, and Mujaddara, that continue to be popular to this day.Moreover, it highlights recipes, such as Rummania, Shorba, and Mujaddara, that continue to be popular to this day.

Musical Performances

The musical segment of the ceremony featured the talented Syrian musician, Malek Jandali, known for his impressive track record of success. Jandali enchanted the audience with his “For Peace” symphony, conveying deep emotions of love and peace. Alongside him, the young qanun virtuoso, Naghm Al-Dabal, offered a  harmonious fusion of classical and contemporary Arabic melodies. Their performances enriched the evening with an exquisite touch of elegance, thoroughly enchanting the attendees.

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