My husband was so patient. He never got impatient with buying Dina picture books, which she used to tear apart. He would still bring her another and she would react the same way, over and over, until she started loving books and asking for them. She loved music the same way. Thirty years ago, her father bought her a cassette recorder so she could listen to music. Again, she would destroy the tapes and he would buy her new ones, until she became fond of music. It was the best way Dina was able to pick up new words; especially from the songs of the late singer, Abdel-Halim Hafez.
During this journey, the horizon was not always bright and clear, but was marred by some mental and physical crisis. And here I learnt the meaning of the word ‘extremely exhausted’; it is when you feel you are working and working so hard, but it is useless, and then, and surprisingly, the results are outstanding.
The fruitful results showed one day when Dina was invited to speak in front of a gathering about the rights of women with intellectually disabilities. I asked to be given time to inform Dina as I was afraid she’d feel uncomfortable because she was aware she was had intellectual disabilities. But on the contrary, she denied the fact, and agreed to speak to the audience. And immediately, she surprised me by putting pen onto paper and wrote her message in her own words: “I want to tell the disabled, don’t lock yourself up. Go out in the streets; we want people to treat us nicely.”