Condolences to the Yemen Times and Family [Archives:1999/23/Front Page]

June 7 1999

After the death of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, Publisher of the Yemen Times, had been announced, an overwhelming number of condolence messages have been sent to the Yemen Times by fax, telegraph, and email. As the new Yemen Times Editor-in-Chief, I thank all the people who sent us these messages, and assure them that even though Dr. Abdulaziz is dead, Yemen Times is still alive, and will survive. The publisher was the person who established this newspaper, and he is the person who built it on a very strong basis that is strong enough to withstand even his death. I promise you all that I will do my best in continuing in the mission of my father. I know that he is looking down at us from heaven and expecting us to continue in his footsteps. He should never think that we will turn him down. I believe that all the support to the Yemen Times given by our readers through these condolences will motivate us further, and push us to continue in our mission for a better Yemen. Thank you all.
I wish to express to you and your family my condolences for the death of your father. I last talked to him the day before the tragic accident that deprived us of his company forever. He interviewed me just a few weeks ago. Beyond what he reported with his crafty professionalism, our conversation was deep and nurtured by his love for Yemen and his uncompromising urge to better the political, social and economic environment of the country through what he could best do: using the powerful voice of the media.
Because of my recent arrival in Yemen, I had no chance of becoming a friend of your father. Yet he is one of the few persons whom I felt that I could really relate to and become friend with. It is not consolation, but feel proud that the death of your father is not only a terrible loss for you and your family but also a loss for Yemen as a country and for the Yemeni people. Personally, I lost as well. I lost the chance of having a real Yemeni friend.
With my sorrow for the death of your father, I cannot avoid remembering the first time I met him, some eight months ago, in his office. It was when he found out that I was Italian, the conversation came naturally to the subject of our families. We shared our pride for our children, our hopes for their future, and our desire for a better world in which they could happily live. I was deeply touched by this conversation. I wish to evoke it in offering my condolences to you and your family.
Gianni Brizzi
Resident Representative,
World Bank Resident Mission in Yemen
It was with great sadness that we at the Middle East Program of Amnesty International read the news about Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. On behalf of the program I would like to express our sincere condolences.
Dr. Al-Saqqaf contributed a great deal to human rights in Yemen and was held in high esteem, both professionally and personally, by his friends and colleagues here at Amnesty International. His tireless and selfless efforts to promote human rights will long be cherished by human rights activities across the world.
Your and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Our heartfelt sympathy is with each and every one of you.
June Ray
Middle East Program
UNESCO  has been totally shocked and stunned to learn of the tragic death of your husband, Professor Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. We would wish to convey to you and your family our deepest sympathy and condolences on behalf of UNESCO, and especially the Sector for Communication, Information and Informatics and the Program for Freedom of Expression and Democracy.
His life-long commitment to freedom of expression was highly appreciated and admired by not only us and our fellow colleagues in the Communication Sector, but also by professional media people throughout the world. He worked unswervingly on the preparation and organization of the Seminar on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Arab Media held in Sana’a in January 1996 and the successful outcome of the meeting was very much the result of his fervent efforts and ideals.
As a man who possessed so many multi-cultural facets, he was greatly liked and respected among the international community, and he leaves behind him a legacy which will be difficult to follow.
Once again please accept our most sincere condolences on the loss of this great man, who will forever remain in our thoughts.
Henrikas Yushkiavitshus
Assistant Director-General
Sector for Communication, Information and Informatics
Alain Modoux
Programme for Freedom
of Expression and Democracy
It is with so much sorrow that I learned of your fathers’ passing away yesterday.
I have had the privilege of meeting with him on several occasions in the past two years, discussing human development and human rights issues. The last I saw him was when we shared a flight together when he went to Qatar two weeks ago and we discussed one of the presentations he had made in Canada. I have always been struck by his abounding love of the people of Yemen, and his dedication to human rights worldwide.
The people of Yemen have lost a great leader and their foremost advocate. The international community in Yemen and worldwide has lost the man who was a window of Yemen to the world.
Today, all my colleagues in UNICEF, and I feel a great sense of loss and tragedy, for the person, the family and the nation. We present our deep felt condolence to yourself and the family, and to the family of the Yemen Times.
May God grant him mercy and surround him with loving care.
Habib Hammam
Representative (UNICEF)
We are writing to convey our deepest condolences, and those of our colleagues, on the death of Dr. Abdulaziz. We are all profoundly saddened by the news and can only imagine your suffering. Please know that our thoughts are with you.
We remember Dr. Abdulaziz as a man of principle and courage. His commitment to democracy, human rights, and a democratic future for his country was impressive and heartening to those who worked with him towards similar objectives. In Dr. Abdulaziz, NDI  found a friend of sound judgment and absolute sincerity, one whom we can never replace. We will miss him very much.
Once again, our hearts go our to you in this very difficult time.
Ken Wollack
Les Campbell
Regional Director
Middle East and North Africa Division
Reporters Sans Fronti?res wishes to express its deepest sympathy over the accidental death of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, founder, publisher and chief-editor of The Yemen Times , on 2nd June 1999. We wish to express our sincere condolences to Al-Saqqaf wife and children as well.
We considered him a sincere friend of human rights. His death in a road accident constitutes a great loss for press freedom in Yemen.
Robert M?nard, General Secretary
Reporters Sans Fronti?res
Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, Editor in Chief of Yemen Times and CMF MENA founding Broad Member, died yesterday at 3:20 PM in a road accident in Sana’a, Yemen. A car hit Abdulaziz while he was crossing the road.  The Yemeni authorities are investigating the accident.
Dr Al-Saqqaf was one of the leading human rights defenders in Yemen and the Arab world. Among his many achievements, he helped set up the Center for Media Freedom in the Middle East and North Africa.
Dr Al-Saqqaf was an essential player in the organization of the UN/UNESCO sponsored Regional Conference on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Arab Media held in Sana’a in January 1996.  The Sana’a Declaration, which was adopted by Arab journalists in Sana’a, was endorsed by all Arab countries at the UNESCO General Conference in November 1997.  The Sana’a Declaration (drafted by a working group of Arab journalists headed by Dr. Al-Saqqaf) was adopted by CMF MENA as its mandate in the Arab countries.
A young and energetic leader, Dr Saqqaf will be greatly missed by his family, his colleagues, friends, his country, and his larger family of Arab journalists and human rights defenders.  CMF MENA director Said Essoulami said:
“The Arab World has lost a staunch defender and promoter of press freedom.  His legacy will be continued by CMF MENA.”
The board and staff of CMF MENA would like to express their deepest sympathies to his family and colleagues.
Center for Media Forum –
Middle East and North Africa
I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences on the terrible news about Abdulaziz. He was a good and brave man, and will be a great loss to Yemen.
Brian Whitaker
Guardian Newspaper, London
Dr. Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, who has died aged 49 today, June 2nd, 1999, was an outstanding scholar, thinker and journalist whose contribution to the Yemeni community was outstanding. Highly respectable, approachable and sensitive, he was the peoples’ HERO who conducted his affairs with dignity, wisdom and style. Nobody was better qualified to perform the task of guiding Yemeni Society in their struggle to build a vibrant and dynamic country.
His death is a big loss for the entire Yemeni Society. Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf’s training in Socio Political sciences, combined with his grassroots experience, practical wisdom and courage to deal with real issues head-on, leaves a gap that will be hard to fill. He will be especially missed by educated Yemenis for whom he was the one “Sheikh” (Tribal Leader) they had come to trust.
Muslim Educational Trust (MET)
As-Salamu alaikum wa Rahmtullah.  I heard the sad news today after a long day of work at the office.  Inna Lilah wa Inna Ilaihi Rajoon (We belong to Allah and to Allah we shall return).
May the deceased’s soul rest in peace.  On Behalf the Muslim Community in Portland, Oregon I would like to send you our deepest condolences as well as to the rest of the family members and to all of our Yemeni Society all over the world.
Wajdi Abdo Saeed
MET Executive Manager, USA
It was with great shock and profound sorrow that I learned of the death of my friend Dr Abdulaziz Al Saqqaf, founder and chief editor of the Yemen Times. He was a good man, and a personal friend of mine. He will be missed in Jordan and the rest of the Arab world as a brave defender of justice. Please accept my sincere condolences.
Riad al Khour, MEBA
Please accept our sincerest condolences on the passing of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. This is a big loss. With my Sympathy to his family at home and at Yemen Times.
Bassam Audi
Global Media Services, Dubai
Accept our heartfelt sympathy on this great loss of yours.
May Allah grant peace to his soul. God is great , keep up the good work.
Web International Team (