Kangaroo on the menu for Harry and Meghan Down Under

Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry smell traditional native Australian ingredients during a visit to Mission Australia social enterprise restaurant, Charcoal Lane, in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018. (Phil Noble/Pool Photo via AP)
Updated 18 October 2018

Kangaroo on the menu for Harry and Meghan Down Under

  • The pair will only spend a few hours in Melbourne, but had a jam-packed schedule that included a meal featuring native Australian foods
  • Meghan was inundated by flower bouquets and baby gifts following their announcement

MELBOURNE: Chargrilled kangaroo was on the royal menu Thursday as Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan arrived in Australia’s second-largest city Melbourne, where they were greeted by thousands of screaming fans.
Clutching flowers and waving flags, the crowds turned out to welcome the pair, who were delayed in traffic after flying in from Sydney on the third day of their tour Down Under.
The pair will only spend a few hours in Melbourne, but had a jam-packed schedule that included a meal featuring native Australian foods and a trip to a beach.
“I love everything they stand for. As a human being you have so much to look up to with them,” one young fan who had been waiting since before dawn told national broadcaster ABC as the pair mingled with the crowd.
A teenage girl cried tears of joy and threw her arms around the prince as she clutched a hand-written banner with the words: “Been here since 4am. Loved you since I was eight.”
“You’re gonna get me in trouble,” Harry joked as he embraced her.
Meghan was inundated by flower bouquets and baby gifts following their announcement on Monday that Meghan was expecting their first child.
The US-born royal also put on a dinosaur pasta necklace made by a five-year-old boy, who was wearing his favorite pilot uniform outfit, for the rest of her walk.
“I made it with pasta and dipped them in gold paint and threaded the string through,” he told news.com.au.
The Duchess was wearing a tan trench-coat, believed to be by Paris-based Australian designer Martin Grant, a navy dress by the breakthrough star of local fashion Dion Lee, and holding a Gucci Sylvie clutch.
The loved-up husband and wife mostly mingled with the crowd separately, but when they were together, they held hands and the Duchess periodically stroked Harry’s back.
After the public meet-and-greet, the couple spent some time with the Victorian Governor Linda Dessau in an official reception at Government House, where the Duchess of Sussex stole the hearts of local sports fans by handballing a football used in the Australian Rules game.
They then headed to a restaurant that mentors indigenous chefs with chargrilled kangaroo and wild boar on the menu, according to broadcaster Channel Nine. They will visit a school before finishing up at South Melbourne beach.
The couple will also follow in the footsteps of Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth during her 2011 visit by taking a tram ride in Melbourne.
They are due to return to Sydney later this week for the opening of the global sports championship the Invictus Games, which was set up by Harry for wounded military personnel after his decade of service in the army.
The couple’s more-than-two-week official visit will take in multiple stops in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand — all parts of the Commonwealth, a group of predominantly former British colonies.


You’ve got mail: Writer of mystery letters in Jeddah revealed

Updated 02 April 2020

You’ve got mail: Writer of mystery letters in Jeddah revealed

  • She leaves notes all over Jeddah to be picked up by strangers

JEDDAH: Ever wondered what it is like to find an uplifting letter from a stranger? If you are in Jeddah, then you are in luck as you might pass by and pick up a letter in a public area titled: “If you find me, I’m yours.”

These random acts of kindness were devised by an initiative called Garba’at Rasayl, Hejazi slang for “a mess of letters.” The group was created by 23-year-old Saudi freelance graphic designer Hadeel Felemban.

The simple white envelopes are covered in stickers and magazine cutouts. Felemban said letter-writing helps her express her thoughts and feelings while sharing it with the world, one letter at a time.

“Mess happens every time I write paper letters, a mess of words and feelings, a mess of scraps and colors used to decorate the envelope,” she told Arab News.

The act of writing letters is special to her as it brings a sense of connection to her father — who worked at the Saudi Post Office more than 20 years ago — and revives the exchange of letters in a world filled with technology. The initiative holds monthly meetings in different cities, where attendees gather to write letters to strangers.

“My father passed away when I was two, and the only way I knew him was through the stories my mother and his brothers share about him. I would write to him on my phone’s notepad sometimes, but I wanted something other than our names to connect us.”

The discovery of her late father’s stamp collection from different periods in her home two years ago prompted her to start the initiative.

“It was like finding a treasure. And ever since then, I’ve been looking for ways to reuse them and revive paper mail. I realized that in a period different than his, I became a mail carrier just like him.”

Felemban shared her interest in sending traditional mail on Instagram. She was able to send letters to some who responded, but she did not receive any in return.

“The waiting was suffocating, I felt devastated and I blame that we are not used to the mailing system and its hardship,” she said.

One night, she decided to write a letter and leave the envelopes in public places.

“Writing a letter to a stranger is probably the best solution to killing the unknown wait from the other party.”

She decorated the envelope of the message, and left it in a cafe in Jeddah without any contact information. “Then I found myself monitoring the cafe’s account on social media, and was disappointed yet again. I didn’t know what had happened to the letter, was it thrown away, picked up or neglected?”

In a family gathering in early October, Felemban placed her stationery supplies and envelopes on the dining table, ready to write a new letter. Her cousins and mother were curious and joined her.

“I was so happy to include them. I complained to them about the waiting and not knowing if the letter was abandoned.”

Her family members suggested creating a special tag for the letters so that strangers who received the letters could reach out to her.

“I created the Arabic hashtag for ‘mess of letters’ and created a post for my friends in Riyadh — where I was at the time — and asked them if they wanted to gather to write letters together. I received a lot of positive responses and then prepared for the event in one of the cafes in the city.”

She hosted the first gathering on Oct. 25 and was happy to see how the simple gesture of uplifting messages had an impact on her community.

“During exam week back when I was studying, it was such a mentally exhausting time, and I used to write encouraging words and quotes for myself and the visitors of the cafe I usually go to. I noticed they had a great impact on emotional well-being. I held on to that idea by writing letters to strangers in public places.”

This simple act of kindness from one stranger to another can go a long way toward making a difference in someone’s life.