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Chers membres et amis de AFF,

Cette première newsletter de 2022 est l'occasion pour moi de vous remercier tous et toutes pour votre soutien, vos actions et vos participations qui ont fait que 2021 a été exceptionnelle pour notre association malgré la pandémie.

Merci aussi pour le vote massif de confiance pour l'équipe que j'aurai l'honneur de conduire pour AFF en 2022. Notre objectif sera de vous procurer du plaisir et de l'interêt dans chaque activité et évènement auxquels vous participerez.

Merci aussi pour vos retours positifs sur ce nouveau mode de communication qu'est la Newsletter. En complément de notre site internet, elle continuera de vous informer sur le programme d'activités de AFF et sur ce qui se passe en France. Aussi nous démarrons un tour de plusieurs régions Françaises afin d'y découvrir leurs architectures, leurs spécialités culinaires et leurs traditions. Ce mois-ci focus sur le département de La Haute Savoie.

Le programme de AFF en Janvier qui concerne notre Alliance est riche puisque après la galette des rois, la session d'hiver de classes de Français débutera mi-janvier et une présentation d'expression idiomatiques Françaises aura lieu à la fin du mois, puis viendra très vite la Chandeleur que prépare déjà activement notre équipe. Réservez votre place dès maintenant en suivant les instructions ci-dessous.

Croisons-les doigts que le virus nous laisse tranquille et surtout garde chacun d'entre vous et des vôtres sain et saufs.

Je vous souhaite chers membres et amis de AFF une bonne année et une bonne santé pour 2022.




Dear members and friends of AFF,

This first newsletter of 2022 is an opportunity for me to thank you all for your support, your actions and your participations which have made 2021 exceptional for our association despite the pandemic.

Thank you also for the massive vote of confidence for the team that I will have the honor to lead for AFF in 2022. Our goal will be to give you pleasure and interest in every activity and event in which you participate.

Thank you also for your positive feedback on this new mode of communication that is the Newsletter. In addition to our website, it will continue to inform you about AFF's program of activities and what is happening in France. So we start a tour of several French regions in order to discover their architectures, their culinary specialties and their traditions. This month, focus on The Haute Savoie department.

The AFF program in January which concerns our Alliance is rich since after the galette des rois, the winter session of French classes will begin in mid-January and a presentation of French idioms will take place at the end of the month, then will come very quickly the Chandeleur that our team is already actively preparing. Reserve your spot now by following the instructions below.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the virus leaves us alone and most importantly, keep each of you and yours safe and sound.

I wish you dear AFF members and friends a happy new year and good health for 2022.



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entre au Panthéon Français

Figure of the Resistance and the fight against racism, Josephine Baker made her entry into the Pantheon on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. She is the first black woman to enter the Republican temple.

The cenotaph entered the doors of the Pantheon. The coffin, which does not contain the body of the icon of the Roaring Twenties, is not empty, however. Filled with the land of the four symbolic places where Joséphine Baker spent part of her life: Saint-Louis, her city of birth in the United States, Paris, her city of heart, the Milandes in the Dordogne where she owned a castle, and Monaco, where she rests near her husband and one of her children, he passed through the doors of the temple of the republicans.


The winter session will last 10 weeks for the kids and 8 weeks for the adults, between January 17 and March 12. Our French teachers use modern methods in a friendly atmosphere which allows each student to learn according to their goal, for pleasure, for work or to prepare a trip to France.




Receive $ 10 in Amazon gift card by sponsoring a student who registers for AFF French classes

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Découvrez le département de France aux 1000 villages:

La Haute Savoie

Through this rich and tasty report, you will discover what makes the essence of France, its roots, its past, its colors, its accents and its traditions.

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AFF à aimé...


Paris, in the early 1960s. Jean-Louis Joubert is a serious but uptight stockbroker, married to Suzanne, a starchy class-conscious woman and father of two arrogant teenage boys, currently in a boarding school. The affluent man lives a steady yet boring life. At least until, due to fortuitous circumstances, Maria, the charming new maid at the service of Jean-Louis' family, makes him discover the servants' quarter on the sixth floor of the luxury building he owns and lives in. There live a crowd of lively Spanish maids who will help Jean-Louis to open to a new civilization and a new approach of life. In their company - and more precisely in the company of beautiful Maria - Jean-Louis will gradually become another man, a better man.


AFF Cooking class by David Masters


"On December 4, 2021 eleven of us met at the lovely home of Jesus and Georgeanne Maldonado for a luncheon of gourmet French food, conversation, and fine wine. Our chefs for the meal were Denise Ulrich and Jesus Maldonado, who did a masterful job of preparing our feast. Our president Emmanuel Le Bihan, served as our wine steward and made sure no glass was wanting. Due to lengthy preparation and cooking time of the dishes chosen for the meal, the dishes were prepared ahead of time so Jesus and Georgeanne's daughter, Rina, gave a description of each dish as it was presented. As such, we were each given a copy of the recipes so we could prepare them in the future.

We began our meal with pâté Berrichon. We learned that this dish originated in Denise's home town and our sister city, Châteauroux. It was like no other pâté that I had ever eaten. The minced meat was topped with hard-boiled egg and then encased in a puff pastry shell and baked. It was delicious! Following the pâté, we were served Quiche Lorraine. The buttery and flaky crust was the perfect accompaniment to the rich and creamy custard. We then went into the kitchen where Denise demonstrated the steps for Coq au vin. Unlike most recipes for Coq au vin that i have prepared the pearls onions and mushrooms were served on the side instead of being incorporated into the stew. The Coq au vin was excellent with tender chicken in a rich red wine sauce. To end the meal, our chefs had prepared Mousse au chocolat. This rich and creamy dark chocolate finale was a perfect ending to an excellent meal.

The afternoon was a congenial meeting of food, conversation and wine that i would encourage everyone to experience."

Mark your calendar: next class 06/04/2022

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AFF's book club celebrated its two year anniversary !


It's time for Randa to tell us about this activity that she has been leading with passion and professionalism for two years.

"Some days, you wake up thinking about it, and spend the day recalling it. You go to bed and are haunted by it, as it accompanies you into your dreams. That’s when you know that you’ve fallen into the trap, once again, but with total satisfaction and pleasure, as with every time. You have become obsessed with the character from a novel, a character who causes you to dread the moment when the life of this character will end, on paper, with the conclusion of the novel.

It’s a most pleasant type of suffering and a most enjoyable addiction. Others have it too, and you look forward to meeting with them, to talk, listen and share this obsession that has stayed with you for days and weeks – an opportunity provided by the Book Club of the Alliance Francaise de Fresno, which I have the pleasure of organizing and moderating.

It’s a recurring date with a number of friends who are also addicted to falling into this trap, and this passion for literature. This passion has taken us through time and place on journeys of discovery and re-discovery of the classics of French literature, as well as more modern works that have received the highest literary prizes and awards. The Book Club of the Alliance Francaise de Fresno has discussed important French novels and the films based on them; attendees look forward to discussing these works as a window on France, the French language and culture, and a history of literary and intellectual achievement. We concluded our 2021 meetings with a session dedicated to the novels Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, by Marcel Pagnol, as well as the Claude Berri films that spread their fame around the world.

Even though the global Covid pandemic has suddenly confronted us with huge existential questions and isolated us from each other, it hasn’t affected the passion of our Book Club. In fact, the situation has perhaps motivated us, and highlighted our need to confront isolation and loneliness, whether through in-person meetings or remote ones. After all, recognizing the value of life, beauty and hope is perhaps a result of literature and the act of reading.

Merry Christmas to all and we look forward to seeing you at Book Club meetings during 2022, beginning on 19 February!"

Randa Alrahwanji

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Livres colorés
Lunettes de lecture sur livre

Saturday January 29 at 1 p.m.

This is the first activity offered by AFF to its members and it will be hosted by Emmanuel and Ghassane. For an hour they will invite you to discover most of the famous and usual French expressions with animals, to learn their origins as well as their equivalent in English.


Click on the flyer above to get the link and the details of the Zoom room.


Free activity for all AFF members and open to any level of French.

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The first major event of the year organized by AFF, la Chandeleur will have the honor of being hosted this year by Manny, owner of the Yosemite Fall Cafe in Fresno, Sunday February 6, 2022, from 6 p.m. In addition to tasting savory and sweet crêpes in a very pleasant setting, it will be an opportunity to see each other, dear members and friends of the AFF.

At the end of the dinner, let's meet in the back room of the cafe to sing and dance thanks to the Karaoke animated by the DJ of the cafe.


This event is opened to AFF members for $35 and no AFF members for $40.

Registration online by clicking on the flyer below

or by check by mail to AFF PO Box 9941, Fresno CA 93794


Vegetarian meals are possible on demand to

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Hello, my name is Georgine Sullivan I am the current president of the Fresno-Chateauroux Sister Cities Committee. Fresno is partnered with 6 different cities and countries in our Sister Cities International organization. The most recent city is Chateauroux, France.

In 1956 President Eisenhower started Sister Cities International with the goal of linking up American citizens with citizens of other countries. He wanted to encourage citizen diplomacy and decided that a special relationship between two cities seemed like a good way to accomplish this. These sister cities, also known as twin cities, voluntarily forge ties to encourage business, trade, educational, and cultural exchanges.

Becoming a sister city is a timely process that involves building trust and forging a strong relationship with the desired twin city. Our Châteauroux Sister City relationship was established with a lot of hard work by Denise Ulrich a native of Châteauroux now living in Fresno.

One of the great successes of our new partnership was the establishment of our Student Ambassador program for high school students. The program is a recirprical exchange between Fresno and Chateauroux students allowing them to experience new cultures and travel. Like everyone, the Covid pandemic disrupted all of our exchanges so 2022 is a year of reastablishment! Current projects for 2022:

Reastablishing the High School Student Ambassador program for the summer of 2022

Chateauroux métropole futsal team to Fresno in April 2022

Establishing exchanges with Fresno Universites and l’IUT de l’Indre, l’Université d’Orléans at Châteauroux

Mayoral Delegation to Châteauroux in September 2022

Get involved:

• Membership – membership dues helps support scholarships and exchanges

• Become a committee member and help make our programs successful

• Make a donation

Contact me for further information at -

Why are there first names on the French calendar?

It is a tradition of celebrating first names which is linked to Christianity. At each canonization, the Church assigned a day to the new saint, martyr or not. Over the centuries the whole year has been filled. Like major religious events such as Christmas, Easter or Pentecost, it is usual to celebrate the saint with a "Bonne fête" the day before.

Some first names will be familiar to you, others unknown. The first names that our late grandparents or our grandparents wore seemed obsolete but by the fashion phenomenon can reappear in some recently born babies.


Our group of pétanqueurs recently inaugurated the new piste, freshly built, with a barbecue and some fun games. The group meets every Thursday around 2 p.m. then some join the French bakery conversations at 4 p.m. Every 2nd Thursday of the month, we meet around noon for a potluck lunch before playing a few games. If you also want to spend a friendly moment playing pétanque, a French game that is played with metal balls and where fun, strategy and skills are combined, join us with or without boules, we will provide you with.

Location: 3639 N Blythe Avenue Fresno 93722

Contact Emmanuel (949) 426-6505 for more information



Election Results


The General Assembly of l'Alliance Francaise de Fresno was held on December 9th at 6pm.

All agenda items were discussed, such as 2021 finances, AFF's project for 2022/2023, 2021 upcoming events and the Scholarship.

This meeting was above all an opportunity to renew the Board of Directors for which 91 up-to-date members were called to vote.

Thank you to all the participants in this vote and congratulations to the elected candidates whose details you will find by clicking on the AFF logo.

Thank you Ghassane who hosted the meeting and thank you Nidia who supervised the election process.

The minutes of the General Assembly are accessible to all in the Governance section of our website. These were the last for Marge who has done a fantastic job for AFF for two years as secretary. Thank you Marge.


New Board elected

Emmanuel LE BIHAN elected

Margareth FRECH elected

Ghassane HABIB elected

Patience TSHIMIKA elected

Celeste DEMONTE elected

Larry ROSELLE elected

Florent TROUILLAS elected




What an excellent choice for our first book club in 2022 is this literary fiction by Gabrielle Roy, a Quebec novelist, first a teacher then a journalist who became one of the most important figures in Canadian literature, which will take us to the Inuit community of the Ungava, where the first whites have recently settled, a cultural drama is playing out: that of the confrontation between the traditional values ​​of a thousand-year-old civilization and those brought with them by emissaries of science and progress from the South. This drama sometimes gives rise to comical juxtapositions, sometimes to heartbreaks which call into question the whole of life, the whole identity of the being in whom the two worlds meet. This is the case of Elsa, the heroine of The Restless River, mother of a child who, by her very existence, embodies both the clash of the two civilizations and their dialogue, that is to say the balance so difficult to achieve between their respective requirements.

Clic here to get the PDF of the book

Join the Book club


            ZOOM MEETING

ID de réunion : 890 7915 7324

Code secret : 425064


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