She and financier Lionel Pincus were the chairmen of the IRC Dinner, where security was so tight and the Secret Service so stringent even a little mouse with a pea in its mouth couldn’t have crept through without being strip-searched.
After all, the place was swarming with big shots, the main man being President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, this year’s recipient of the IRC Freedom Medal for his extraordinary efforts in the cause of refugees and human freedom, which is what the IRC is all about.
Because the distinguished Karzai is regarded in some quarters as something of a fashion plate, it was no surprise that during his eloquent speech, all eyes were on the silken cape he wore. Striped in brilliant green and peacock blue, he wore it tossed-over-his-shoulders chic. He was introduced by his friend and admirer Christiane Amanpour, the TV journalist whose British-accented comments from the Middle East are heard by millions.
Moving right along, Tom Brokaw, the master of ceremonies interviewed Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Democratic Sen. Teddy Kennedy; John Whitehead, who received the Freedom Medal in 1987, spoke; everyone ate great slabs of beef and chocolate desserts, and then went home. Except Firyal, who, still in her evening dress, rushed to the airport, boarded a plane, changed into day clothes and flew off to Venice for a United Nations Conference the next morning. She, you see, is a working princess.