In the afternoon of Sunday 24 May 2009 Abla’s Restaurant was filled to capacity with ALHSV members, representatives of community organizations and members of Abla’s family to celebrate Abla’s 30 years as a restauranteur. It was particularly enjoyable occasion as Abla reminisced about her early life and the establishment of her now famous restaurant. Others joined in the conversation and the whole afternoon became one of collectively recalling with warmth and humor the early years of the post-war Lebanese community in Melbourne. The many stories Abla told us revealed much about the success of her business: her dedication to traditional Lebanese food; her genuine warmth and hospitality; and her love of family. Throughout the afternoon we all enjoyed Lebanese coffee, savouries and cakes in yet another demonstration of Abla’s hospitality.
Those who attended felt that this was a particularly enjoyable way of recalling an important period in the history of the Australian-Lebanese Community in Melbourne.
Dr Trevor Batrouney