Fez Hat themed first birthday party that we threw for my little boy Dia was something I have been wanting to do before I even had my son.
Dia, my sons name, is a very traditional old Arab name and when my cousins say his name they exaggerate its pronunciation to sound like an old Arab “effendi” from Damascus circa 1920s. That’s the time men wore red “tarboosh” or “fez” hats and grew out their mustaches with a curl at the end. They spoke in an authoritative strong man tone and smoked hookah while playing cards as pastime.
We were lucky enough to work with some very talented women that made this party come to life. Sahar, from Crown your Occasions, created the banner, the spice/candy favor bags and photo props using common Syrian phrases like “shoo ya” which translates to something along the lines of “watchumean”.
Maece, a talented Syrian designer designed and set the tone with a beautifully designed invitation featuring the little Effendi boy that we also used on the cake. The cake, a Nutella filled vanilla cake was so elegantly executed by Rima, over at JFcakegram along with the super adorable cake pops and the knafe cupcakes.
For the favors table, we decided to imitate the spice shops in old Damascus but fill them up with candy, to please the many little hands that attacked the bags. I then realized that was not a smart idea andI’m sure all the parents were not too happy about their overhyped kids caused by all the sugar. Oops.
Crown your occasions really went above and beyond to make the details of this party stand out. In Damascus as in most parts of the Arab world, newspaper is used in the old shops to wrap purchased items. We tried to recreate that in our spice/candy favor table by using old arabic newspaper which Crown your occasions actually shipped from Dubai! If you would like to recreate this you can probably go to your local middle eastern shop as they will have arabic newspaper readily available.
“Effendi” which translates to mister or señor is exactly what my little boy reminds me of. In fact we call him Mister Dia or Effendi Dia as a nickname. Even before he was walking he would sit up with his chest puffed out and command his milk bottle with authoritativeness. He was an old “effendi” in a little baby body. Of course, his 1st birthday was going to be an Effendi themed party with tarboosh (fez) hats and mustaches everywhere.
The donut wall which was a last minute add on on my part but executed perfectly by Norah’s Handwriting who happens to be the wife of our contributor Yaseen. You might remember him from this Chicken and Seafood Paella or this Bow Tie with Parsley Cream Sauce.
When babies turn 1, it really is quite a milestone for not only the child but the parents. I feel the first year is the toughest physically on parents, as far as the lack of sleep, the change of routine, the teething, the worrying, the feeding etc etc. It might be that I forgot how difficult it was with my 1st child but I had a much harder time with my second, Dia. Reaching his one year milestone was so special and I’m so grateful to everyone that helped throughout the year and with the birthday party.