Farewell Farida!

Veteran private secretary to the Syrian Ambassador is finally retiring.

Tanzanian-born Farida arrived in London in the 1960s and took up her first job at the Egyptian visa section before moving to the Embassy to work as a junior secretary. After an interlude at the UNDP, she returned to the Egyptian Embassy and then on to the Commonwealth Secretariat. In 1975 Farida took up her position as Private Secretary at the Syrian mission and, apart from a short career break, has been running the show ever since.

A career highlight was the Syrian State Visit in 2002 when she met President Bashar al-Assad.

Farida has an illustrious family history too. Her great grandfather, Sir Tharia Topan, was the first Asian to be knighted by Queen Victoria for his involvement in the abolition of slavery in Zanzibar.