I started dinner with a lentil soup, it was literally the best lentil soup I've ever had (Please don't tell my mom I said that)!! The first buffet had cold salads and dips. There were things there I've never seen. Of course there was the standard leafy green salad, hummus, and baba but there were sauteed onion dips, an anchovy dip, and garlic sauce. The second buffet was the hot buffet with two types of rice, grilled fish, buttered chicken (a DELICIOUS curried chicken in a creme sauce), egg rolls, kibba, samosa, filafil, and Kufta tajeen (ground beef patties grilled with potatoes and eggplant). It was all delicious. It is really such a shame to have so much food during Ramadan, you can't possibly try everything. The third buffet had 10 different desserts. I wish I could elaborate more for you but I didn't pay attention to it because I don't like Arabic sweets and I was stuffed.
After I plated my carefully selected items, I sat at our table with Mr. Siberell, other affluent Emiraties, and a guy who was described as being number #2 in charge of Al Arabiya, a well known Arabic news channel that rivals Al-Jazeera. Being that he was in media and Mr. Siberell was an American government official, the conversation obviously went to discuss Park 51 in New York. I was pleasantly surprised to find Mr.Siberells rhetoric to be very logical and similar to my own. The massive disappointment came from the Al-Arabiya guy (I never figured out his name) who claimed that there was already 300 Mosques in New York and it be okay if "we let this one go." I'm not here to discuss the broader points of Park 51, but its obvious that he needs a lesson in freedom and rights; they aren't quantifiable.
Overall, the night was very enjoyable; Alhamdulilah. I'm glad I was able to attend something like this, an opportunity I would not have had stateside. I met and saw "important" people and maybe even made a few connections that may come in handy later. You know what they say, its all about who you know. In the next few days, I will be attending other Iftars that will also be interesting and beneficial. In the mean time, I need to learn how to use all that silverware properly. Is the three prong fork for the lobster or the hors'doueuuuuvvvre?