Friday, August 10, 2012

President Obama's 2012 White House Iftar Dinner: Menu, Guest List, Decor Details

Bounty from First Lady's Kitchen Garden spotlighted on the menu...
President Obama celebrated Ramadan on Friday night, hosting his fourth annual Iftar Dinner in the State Dining Room. First Lady Michelle Obama's Kitchen Garden was spotlighted on the menu, as is now a tradition with important dinners. The White House did not release menus for the President's three previous Iftar dinners, and did not do so on Friday evening, but pool photographers took photos of the menu cards, which were put atop each place setting. The china was the Clinton State Service, cream with a gold border. CLICK HERE for a full post about the dinner.

Mrs. Obama did not attend the dinner. Guests were "elected officials, religious and grassroots leaders in the Muslim American community, and leaders of diverse faiths and members of the diplomatic corps;" the White House released a "partial list of expected attendees," printed below.

The Instagram photo above, of the State Dining Room set for the dinner, was tweeted by Linkin Park's lead singer/songwriter Mike Shimoda (@m_shimoda) who was on a tour of the mansion before the dinner with his band, but not a guest at the Iftar.

2012 Iftar Dinner Menu

Kitchen Garden Chopped Summer Salad
Tarragon Dressing
Spiced Lavash

Thyme-roasted Natural Chicken
Sunchoke Puree
Farmstand Vegetable Ratatouille

Vanilla Peach
Sesame Halvah Crunch
Green Apple Lime Granita

Guests were seated at twelve round tables for ten, anchored by floral centerpieces of yellow and pale pink roses with pale blue hydrangea, and long white tapers in vermeil candle holders. Smaller votives were also on the tables. The Clinton State Service was designed to honor the bicentennial of the White House, and is the only State Service to feature architectural images of the White House in the center of the plate rather than the Presidential seal. President Bill Clinton began the tradition of hosting White House Iftar Dinners.

The transcript & video President Obama's remarks.

Related: The President's 2011 Iftar Dinner and the 2010 Iftar Dinner.

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
August 10, 2012

Expected Attendees at the White House Iftar Dinner

This evening, the President will continue a White House tradition of hosting an Iftar celebrating Ramadan in the State Dining Room. This is the fourth Iftar hosted by the President. The Iftar is the meal that breaks the day of fasting, when Muslim families and communities eat together after sunset.

Below is a list of some of the expected attendees at tonight’s White House dinner celebrating Ramadan:


The Honorable Andre Carson, United States Representative
The Honorable John Conyers, United States Representative
The Honorable Keith Ellison, United States Representative


Mr. Zango Abdu, Minister at the Embassy of Nigeria
His Excellency Yousif Mana Saeed Al Otaiba, United Arab Emirates
His Excellency Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Her Excellency Hunaina Sultan Al-Mughairy, Sultanate of Oman
His Excellency Mohamed Abdullah M. Al-Rumaihi, State of Qatar
His Excellency Mohammed Al-Hussaini Al-Sharif, League of Arab States, Arab League Mission
Mr. Adel Ahmed Alsuneini, The Charge d'Affaires of Republic of Yemen
His Excellency Abdallah Baali, People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
His Excellency Seydou Bouda, Ambassador of Burkina Faso
His Excellency Daouda Diabate, Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
His Excellency Dino Patti Djalal, Republic of Indonesia
His Excellency Maitine Djoumbe, Republic of Chad
His Excellency Bienvenu Joseph Foe-Atangana, Republic of Cameroon
His Excellency Gilbert Galanxhi, Republic of Albania
His Excellency Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
His Excellency Othman Bin Hashim, Ambassador of Malaysia
Mr. Mahmoud Daifallah Hmoud, The Charge d'Affaires of Jordan
His Excellency Akan Ismaili, Republic of Kosovo
Mr. Fakhraddin Ismayilov, The Chargé d'Affaires of the Republic of Azerbaijan
His Excellency Bayney Ram Karran, Cooperative Republic of Guyana
His Excellency Al Maamoun Baba Lamine Keita, Republic of Mali
His Excellency Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Russian Federation
Her Excellency Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar, United Republic of Tanzania
Her Excellency Jadranka Negodic, Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina
His Excellency Ilhomjon Tuychievich Nematov, Republic of Uzbekistan
His Excellency Alieu Momodou Ngum, Republic of The Gambia
His Excellency Cheik Niang, Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal
His Excellency Roble Olhaye, Republic of Djibouti
His Excellency Meret Bairamovich Orazov, Ambassador of Turkmenistan
His Excellency Michael Scott Oren, PhD, State of Israel
His Excellency Akramul Qader, People's Republic of Bangladesh
Her Excellency Sherry Rehman, Islamic Republic of Pakistan
His Excellency Nuriddin Shamsov, Republic of Tajikistan
His Excellency Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Arab Republic of Egypt
His Excellency Maman Sambo Sidikou, Republic of Niger
Mr. Tahsin Timur Soylemez, The Charge d'Affaires of the Republic of Turkey
His Excellency Bockari Kortu Stevens, Republic of Sierra Leone
Her Excellency Amelia Narciso Sumbana, Republic of Mozambique


*Top photo by pool; second by Mike Shimoda