By Mia Farah (Lebanon)
I first met Haydee in New York. I was representing MENA during the negotiation of the CRPD. Haydee was there representing the Americas. I was immediately attracted by her confidence and kindness. She was speaking in Spanish and knew little English, but she managed to be my guide in New York, and she tried to explain to me how things work at the UN. While I was lost, she was there to help me and with a lot of patience she use to repeat things until I understood them.
Haydee is a very warm and pleasant person. She knows how to listen to people and how to communicate with everyone. I would like to add that when talking with people, Haydee is quite poetic. This strengthens what she says, yet gives it a gentle touch. As Diane Richler once said, Haydee is the poetess of the group of self-advocates.
What Haydee’s father taught her
As a council member of Inclusion International, Haydee used to talk about family, especially about her father. In one of her presentations she said that her father taught her to laugh and not to cry. He explained to her what and how she can do things. Yet the most important thing she learned from her father is: “I have value and I am equal to others.”
Haydee has come up with so many other ideas and has contributed so much in giving positive input about the role of the family in particular and the Convention in general, contributing to the success of the role of Self Advocates in many conferences.
Haydee just finished her term with Inclusion International and left us, but even if we used to see each other during the meetings and for a very short time, she was a true friend and a great person to talk with.
Good luck Haydee
We will all miss you Haydee and we all hope that we will meet again one day anywhere in this world. Good luck and keep on the good faith.