Winner: Sarfras Nawas — Doha
Honorable Mention: Gerardo Amato — Rome
Why They Won
Here at InterNations, we recognize that all our Consuls make a huge effort to welcome and include members at activities, and the winner of our Best Host 2018 award really does take this to another level.
Saf started off hosting activities for the Doha Jazz Lovers Group, and vividly remembers greeting all 40+ attendees at the door before “dancing all night long”. He has now gone on to take Consul roles in a further three groups, and last year he became an InterNations Ambassador in Doha.
No matter what the activity or event plan, Saf strides to secure the very best for members in terms of food, drinks, music, and deals. Of course, a great host has to also set a good example. So, in addition to continuing to welcome all members to his activities where they are likely to get a warm hug, members who attend one of his party activities are likely to have witnessed Saf always being the first one on the dance floor!
Saf always has a strong focus on the members of his community. When he was informed about winning this award he wrote: “I would like to thank my fellow Consuls and InterNations members who indeed helped me win this award. Their willingness to adapt to new ideas, venues, and themes have made all my activities a big success.”
Why do you think we chose you as 2018's best host?
The members of the InterNations Doha Community — without their support or participation, I would have never received this recognition.
My life at InterNations started as an Albatross Member, and I quite liked the idea of meeting new people, getting to know various cultures, and getting into various prestigious venues with absolutely no cost or membership (without InterNations I wouldn't have seen any of these premium venues in town).
Later on, I thought about hosting an activity with the Doha Jazz Lovers Group, as there were no Group Consuls at that time; the previous Consul had to leave the country for his employment, and the group was inactive for a while. I still remember my first activity where almost 40 people showed up — I met and greeted everyone at the door and spent some time with everyone who attended. We did dance all night long!
You truly embody the InterNations motto: “Nobody stands alone!” Do you have any advice for other Consuls hoping to strengthen their presence at activities?
I am sure all the InterNations Consuls across the globe are very capable and they very much know what they are required to do. If they didn't know what they were doing, I don't think they would be volunteering for this role. So, as of now I am not qualified to advise anyone.
But what I can share with you, is what I normally do at my activities and events:
1) I meet and greet every attendant at the gates/doors.
2) If I already know them, I give them a warm hug.
3) I am the first one to dance (if its a dance night) and also invite other members to dance and enjoy themselves.
4) I negotiate bargains with the venue for the best deal and make sure our members are happy with that.
5) Usually, I stay until the last member leaves the venue safe and sound.
Even though I am way too friendly, sometimes we have to be harsh on members who disrespect the rules and regulations (both InterNations and venue rules) and undermine our efforts to get them a good deal and a good time.
At the moment, nobody stands alone in the Doha Community, or I would say our very special members don't like to stand alone or if they decide to stand alone, my fellow Doha Ambassadors and my amazing fellow Consuls don't let them stand alone and watch. Day by day our little Doha Community keeps growing.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our lovely members in Doha and InterNations, especially Laura and Ben for their support.
Congratulations to Sarfras Nawas in Doha, as well as our honorable mention, Gerardo Amato in Rome, for impressing all of us with your bright smiles and motivation to host fun activities for our members!
About the winner:
Sarfras Nawas is an especially active Consul in our Doha Community. He is originally from India and moved to Doha back in 2013. He has also lived abroad in the U.K. in the past and enjoys mingling with global minds all around the world. Keeping his friendly attitude to make new friends, he loves organizing welcoming activities as a Consul, that truly embody a hospitable host.