Success a process, never an end: outgoing Ecuador ambassador
March 09 2020 10:08 PM
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“For me, success is a process and never an end. There are small achievements that we make by taking little steps. Nothing is a success. It is a process that makes you feel good about something that you get. The more you do, the more you realise there is so much yet to do.”
This was stated by Ivonne A-Baki, the outgoing ambassador of Ecuador to Qatar, while talking to media persons during a farewell press conference at her residence in Marsa Malaz Kempinski recently. She was responding to a question about how successful her stint as an ambassador to Qatar was.
“As for bilateral ties with Qatar, I think we have made a lot progress. Ecuador is known here more than ever and vice versa Qataris are very well known in my country. There is an increase of 35 percent in bilateral trade. The import of roses from Ecuador to Qatar has increased multiple times. Chocolate import is also increasing. We are working on bringing in more bananas. We have also made progress politically and culturally. However, still there is a lot more to do. We are also working on increasing bilateral tourism and starting many business ventures together in the fields of energy and housing. One thing that I wanted to see was direct flights of Qatar Airways to Ecuador.”
Ambassador Ivonne became nostalgic while talking about her two and a half year stay in Qatar. “I have mixed feelings. Wondering that I have to leave very soon, brings tears to my eyes. But at the same time, I am excited about the new challenges awaiting me – as an ambassador to the US. Honestly, I can say that Qatar is my second home. I have never felt I am a stranger here. I have got many friends who helped my mission be easier and more productive.
“I always say that I am the person who never plans. I always follow my destiny since I was born until now, I never planned my career, and even my marriage was a coincidence too. However, the only thing that relieves me is that I am going to a familiar place which, as I served there 20 years ago as ambassador of Ecuador to Washington. I will never forget Qatar and will keep supporting it from Washington.”
The outgoing ambassador has penned a book about her life. The Arabic book is titled in English as My Destiny – Horrors of War and Aspirations of Peace. Speaking about the book, she said: “I would like to share with you a very special step in my life. I want to reveal about the launching of my first book My Destiny – Horrors of War and Aspirations of Peace. The book will be launched at Qatar National Library tomorrow. I seize this opportunity to extend my thanks and gratitude to HE Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports and his amazing team and Lusail Publish House.”
Ambassador Ivonne further said: “I was keen to issue this book in Arabic, first to reach a large audience of the Qataris and the Arab residents in Qatar; as the book has a large part where I talk about my stay in Qatar and my experience during the blockade. It will soon be translated into three languages, English first, then Spanish and French too. I was lucky to have the support of Ibrahim Badawi, Arabic journalist, in writing this book. This book is a unique experience for me and made me remember all the past years with its happy memories sometimes, and the tragic ones, other times.”
Touching upon the book further, she said: “Through this book, I tell stories of the different stages of my life and the crucial moments that shaped my destiny. It presents in a smooth way how my life had transformed between the horrors of war and the aspirations of peace, as I have lived the Civil War in Lebanon and passed through many painful situations and challenges that confronted my children. This book unveils secrets of wars without bullets, against corruption and drugs and how I faced a fierce battle during my elections for presidency and another one during the Unesco Presidency elections. It also includes interesting stories about the rescue of a hostage, a journalist named Vivian, environmental catastrophes, funny situations with the US President Donald Trump, while I was working as an Ambassador of Ecuador in Washington and an exciting meeting with the world’s most dangerous journalist, Founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. This book starts from Qatar and ends in Qatar. It narrates a different experience that I lived during the treacherous blockade, and how Qatar managed to overcome this crisis and gained more benefits than losses.” 



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