Ivonne A-Baki, the outgoing ambassador of Ecuador, recently launched her maiden book My Destiny during a well-attended ceremony at Marsa Malaz Kempinski – The Pearl.
The book launch ceremony was attended by members of the diplomatic community in Doha and book enthusiasts. A beautiful composition by Dana Alfardan was played at piano by Sonja Park, pianist with Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. The composition was prepared by Dana especially for the book launch event. Ivonne gave away copies of her book duly signed to the ambassadors present on the occasion and her friends.
Speaking on the occasion, Ivonne thanked Dana for the special music. “I thank her for the composition. She said that she does not even need to read the book as she knows a lot about me already.”
The ambassador, who is going to perform duties for her country in US, said that she never wanted to write a book but it only happened because of her friends in Qatar. “I think this book happened because of you all – my closest friends. You made my stay here in Qatar very unique and special. The book has become a reality because of Ibrahim Badawi, a journalist friend, and my team here at the Ecuadorean embassy.”
“The book starts here in Qatar and it ends here. It takes you on a journey, narrating the things I have done, including some of those things that I do not want to remember, including the very sad period of the Lebanon civil war. However, there are happy moments and achievements narrated; for example, when I was in Ecuador and we negotiated peace with Peru. I also wish to have peace between Israel and Palestine. That is my dream and I have been talking too much about it. I believe if we get together as Arabs, we can do it. Once we put our differences aside, peace can happen. It is a process. We have to give up something to get something while negotiating for peace. You cannot come to a table and take away everything. You have to go away from the table half happy and half sad. Peace is all about negotiating with the intentions of finding a solution. It is difficult but it is possible.”
She further added, “Only weak people cannot have peace. Strong people, on the other hand, always find a solution for their problems. I am sure the Middle East will find a solution for peace. That is what I say wherever I go. Once again I am going to US where I served as an ambassador 20 years ago. I will be defending the Arabs because I am an Arab.”
Ivonne thanked the Government of Qatar and the Ministry of Culture and Sports. “I would like to say thanks particularly to the Minister of Culture and Sports for supporting me in bringing out this book. I am also thankful to Ibrahim Badawi who wrote the book for me. I can speak and understand but I do not know how to write Arabic. It took us almost an year to complete it. He would always push me to speak. His questions forced me to recall all my stories – my previous life. I would also like to say thanks to my friend Bader al-Dafaa, former ambassador of Qatar to US, who made me love Qatar some 20 years ago.”
Speaking on the occasion, Bader al-Dafaa, who is now Executive Director of Global Dry Land Alliance, said, “Ivonne is not only an extraordinary diplomat she is also a very decent human being. She is an artist. I have seen some of her works at the exhibition in Washington. Unfortunately, she did not exhibit her work when she was here. I have also visited Ecuador two times. She took me to the presidential palace of Ecuador to have breakfast with the then president.
“There are so many interesting stories that makes this book worth reading. There are certain photos that make the book very interesting. I hope many people are waiting for the translation of the book in English and Spanish.”
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