Aden’s Journalists Greet Yemen Times on it 10th Anniversary [Archives:2001/15/Reportage]

April 9 2001

Report by:
Ridhwan Al-Saqqaf
Aden Bureau Chief
The 10th Anniversary of Yemen Times was celebrated about one month ago indicating the progress and achievements of the newspaper during the last 10 years. Yemen Times is also admired and widely read in the economic capital of Yemen, the city of Aden. Its great popularity and readership in the city puts it ahead of most other newspapers and makes it compete even with Aden-based Arabic newspapers as well.
On this occasion, Yemen Times received tens of letters some congratulatory and others felicitation by fellow journalists from the beautiful city of Aden. Here we are honored to publish some of the statements of those Aden-based journalists who continue to have uniquely strong relationships with the Yemen Times.
Isam Saeed Salehm,
Editor-in-Chief of “Sum & Bum” newspaper
Yemen Times was and continues to be a distinguished newspaper in our country, not because it is in English, but because its management was able to withstand and combat many difficulties it faced. It has become a huge press enterprise with many contributions to the different sectors of our society by carrying out various programs including holding seminars and bringing out different publications. Its unique reports are distinguished for their accuracy and credibility, something not achieved by other local newspapers.
I knew the founder of Yemen Times, the late Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, as a friend as we met in several official visits to many countries together. The advice that he once gave me when I asked him about his opinion regarding my newspaper project was, “The true meaning of success comes when you draw your path with confidence and move along that very path until you reach success.” His sympathy towards his colleague journalists was respectful and his sudden death on 2/6/1999 was truly devastating for all of us.
After his demise, I expected mistakenly that Yemen Times will not continue or at least would deteriorate. However, the efficient and hard working team of the Yemen Times led by his eldest son, Walid, exceeded the level of expectations who continued to publish the newspaper confidently. They deserve all the respect for the distinguished effort they have exerted, and I take the occasion of the 10th anniversary to congratulate them and wish them all the best. The issue of our newspaper published after the death of Dr. Al-Saqqaf was dedicated to him and his family. From what I concluded, he was an ideal father, brother, journalist, and citizen. I could only wish his son and all the Yemen Times staff all the best of luck in continuing the noble mission of its founder, who is also almost a co-founder of our newspaper. I do not say this as a complement for our newspaper, but indeed this is true.
Ma’roof Haddad
Journalist and Political Analyst
14 October Newspaper
The presence of an English-language newspaper such as Yemen Times is indeed a great advantage for the Yemeni press movement in Yemen, in its contents and its reputation.
Yemen Times was able to fill the gap created after all previously issued newspapers in English-language were closed for good, including the ‘Recorder’ and ‘Aden Chronicle’ at the end of the 1960s.
Yemen Times was also able in a short time to bridge the gap between the foreign community and local news in Yemen and maintain its distinguished and leading position among other newspapers due to its uniquely diverse topics and credible reporting.
What made Yemen Times distinguished among all other Yemeni newspapers is its totally independent stand and its honest and unbiased coverage in its stories, articles, and reports. The coverage of various economic and financial issue was also a major advantage over other newspapers. The newspaper has now become a major source of news for its large readership from all nationalities.
On the 10th anniversary of Yemen Times, I could only wish the staff all the best of luck and support them to continue improving this giant enterprise founded by a great man.
Abdulraqib Moqbil
Journalist at the Presidential Office
During the last 10 years, Yemen Times has been able to support the true meaning of the freedom of press and true role of the media by publishing true facts and stories of great significance for the Yemeni people. Being an English-language newspaper, Yemen Times was able to bypass the two main obstacles that it faced, which are:
1-English-illiteracy among the majority of the Yemeni public
2-The difficulty in keeping a link between the news of common interest along with issues of concern for the diplomatic and foreign communities.
The potential of Yemen Times to deal with those two issues was tremendously successful as it developed many features not available in most other newspapers. These include the quality news reports, quality color printing, columns and articles reflecting common problems among the Yemeni public, exciting and entertaining news reports that are usually not matched with reports in other journals. One of the main advantages has been its strong and independent stand that has enlarged the available margin for the freedom of press.
The beautiful and distinguished design of the pages was yet another advantage, and it is also the field that the newspaper pioneered over the years. It resembled the well-defined half news half advertisement structure adopted in most international newspapers worldwide. It is true that there were English-language newspapers in the past in Aden, such as the ‘Aden Chronicle’ and the ‘Recorder’, yet those newspapers were similar to English versions of traditional Arabic newspapers seen today in the market.
Yemen Times took over the mission of launching the first truly institutionalized newspaper that came after the reunification to effectively use the new space and scope democracy offered to bring new dimensions and ideas never implemented before.
Ten years of working against tremendous odds is not an easy thing. The accumulated experience and success along with the determination to open new horizons and bring new heights to journalism in Yemen will definitely continue to push Yemen Times forward.
On this occasion, we could only wish the staff all the best of luck and success in the path of true democracy and freedom of press that its founder, Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf drew 10 years ago. May his soul rest in peace.
Mohamed Ali Saleh
Head of the Arab / International Department
14 October Newspaper
Despite its young age of just 10 years, Yemen Times has been able to make tremendous leaps in the Yemeni press with the language of the era (English). The newspaper’s continuing success and progress no doubt is mainly due to its founder Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. We hope that the newspaper would continue to go along the independent and unbiased path it is in today, and that it would continue its courageous and distinctive initiatives in all respects.
Yemen Times is truly Yemen’s window to the world, and the world’s window to Yemen in the third millennium. We could only pray to God to bless the soul of its founder, Dr. Abdulaziz who left us early in the prime of his life. He left us at a time we were in dire need for a person like him.