Media exchanges from across continents [Archives:2007/1092/Last Page]

October 8 2007
A group photo for the summer course 2007 participants after receiving their diplomas
A group photo for the summer course 2007 participants after receiving their diplomas
By: Mohammed Al-Jabri
Diana was playing the harp when twenty five journalists from different countries arrived at Park House Club, which is located in Cardiff, UK. The harp sounded well, and it attracted everyone's attraction upon his/her arrival . It gave a romantic atmosphere to the place. On the other corner was a beautiful table on which different drinks could make it another centre of attraction.

The drinks reception began when it was six in the evening. A beautiful lady distributed drinks for the people available in the place. The harp was still being played, and the guests talked to each other quietly.

Mike Pierson, a print-journalism trainer, and his wife stood silently for a while in front of the harp. The old couple seemed to recall memorial moments in their lives. The journalists, however, were so excited to receive their diplomas.

Perhaps the harp could make the journalists be in a good mood before receiving their diplomas in advanced journalism.

Five journalists, Mara (from Mexico), Dewan (from Nepal), Michael (from Uganda), Punam (from India) and Amos (from South Africa), were sitting around one table. All of them had one thing in common and that is a sense of humour.

Almost all guests were there. Anna Robert, head of training at Thomson Foundation, stood before the microphone and gave a welcoming speech. The Thomson Foundation's trustees were among the guests. Robert thanked the course trainers.

Sarah Page was holding the certificates. Lord Howe of Aberavon, the chairman of Thomson Foundation, stepped into the platform to present the journalists with their diplomas. Cameras' flash lit up the place; a big round of applause was given to each journalist upon receiving his/her diploma.

Once again, the guests were talking to one anther in groups, while the journalists were still taking photographs.

Perhaps they didn't want to miss such significant moments. They took photographs with their trainers and colleagues. I took as many photos as I could. I gave my camera to Robert, who took a group photo for us all.

Inside the club was a big banquet. Eleven tables adorned with candles filled a quite big room. One hour later, the guests began entering into the room. Each one had a comfortable seat.

Two Thomson Foundation's trustees were sitting with me. Sarah Williams, an employee with the Foundation, was sitting next to me, too. She and I talked about different dishes served in Wales. I explained to her some Yemeni popular dishes. A few minutes later, Khaled Al-Raqqad, a Jordanian journalist, came to me and said it was time for iftar (fast breaking).

I was so thirsty and ordered a big glass of orange juice. But that didn't serve the purpose, and I had another bottle of water. It was dinner time. We were served with duck and onion soup. It was the first time for me to have duck, but to tell the truth, it tasted delicious.

The table next to ours included Lord Howe of Aberavon, chairman of the board of trustees at Thomson Foundation, and Lord Thomson of Monifieth, a trustee for 30 years. But at that event, the two men announced their retirement and \” handed over the reins\””.

Lord Fowler of Sutton Coldfield