This Side of Peace: A Personal Account, p.174-6
by Hanan Ashrawi
Haidar, a gentleman of the old school, was a man of strong principle and firm convictions. Behind his bushy eyebrows and guileless smile lay an unyielding iron will. Tall, thin and well-dressed, he carried his seventy-two years gracefully; but his eyes were those of a young man. We all had problems keeping up with him, and he waited for no one. As soon as he was ready, he would take off. The moment his car stopped, he would dash out without looking back. He had an intense aversion to being late and disliked it in others. He would take any kind of sloppiness - physical, intellectual or procedural - as a personal offense. His rigor, discipline and correctness often offset Nabil Sha'th's more relaxed, unstructured attitude. However, his subtle and often sardonic sense of humor, as opposed to Nabil's more jocular wit, struck target with accuracy.
By just being himself, Haidar gave me glimpses of my father. Both had the habit of absentmindedly twisting upward their eyebrow hairs when absorbed in their own thoughts. They also shared the habit of stroking their bald heads as if patting their nonexistent hair in place. They shared the habit of speaking the formal English of the British mandate with its hints of Victorian propriety and emphasis on correctness and careful diction. Their straight-backed gait and squared shoulders conveyed not so much a military discipline as dignity and self-confidence. Both were medical doctors and graduates of the American University of Beirut, and both had played a role in Palestinian national politics although Haidar's was a more active, public role. Their progressive socialist backgrounds formed another historical bond. My father died in December 1988, just before his eightieth birthday, and I always wished Haidar, who was ten years younger, an even longer life.