Founder of Yemen TimesNever died [Archives:2003/642/Culture]

June 19 2003

Fahmia al-Fotih
Yemen Times Staff

“Dear editor,
I write to you rather late about Dr. al-Saqqaf's first death anniversary that reminded us of a great loss that we and Yemen, as a whole, had.
Writing about Dr. al-Saqqaf does not require a certain time or special occasion, because we can write about him in any time. He deserves more than just writing about him if we think about and remember his services offered to his own people and country.
No one can deny the efficient and effective role he had played in various fields and everybody witnesses that the martyr had spent his life for the sake of his country with all his efforts and strength he could exert.
To see his country as a developed and prosperous were all his dreams and ambitions. So he devoted his life for the bright future for Yemen.
Dr. al-Saqqaf status does not need evidence; it is as clear and vivid as the sunlight.
I am sure my modest words will be nothing among Dr. al-Saqqaf's lovers and admirers who indeed expressed their true love and full respect to a man who believed in the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words”
All of them stress that Dr. al-Saqqaf did not die but rather is still alive among us with his principles and mottoes to which he remained loyal and sincere till the last drop of blood in his body.
I feel happy to write about a man whom everybody considers as an ideal figure.
Believe me whatever is said about the founder of Yemen Times is not enough.
I have read and seen many articles and poems that are published on Yemen Times pages and they gave me encouragement to offer my modest contribution to this occasion with which I prefer to address Dr. al-Saqqaf.

Never die
Without farewell your depart
Shocked your lovers in every part,
Leaving a vast space in each heart.

Even if you went so far…
Your pen still tells who you are
A brave man A fixed star.

Your soul goes as sun goes west
A life after you remains without a taste
Just say, “Your soul may in peace rest”

But! Do you know dear?
That I feel you are here.
Thy great words from a heart near.

Glorious men NEVER DIE
As their souls soar up in the sky “

That is exactly the letter I wrote 3 years ago and I was a level-two university student on the occasion of the first death anniversary of the late Dr. al-Saqqaf. I wrote this letter before joining Yemen Times and became one of its staff. Actually it was a dream and finally it has come true.
I used to read the Dr. al-Saqqaf articles that were courageous and purposeful and full of wisdom. I had not a chance to meet him but I did love him and I did highly respect him as everybody did.
Today as one of Yemen Times staff who comes every day to the paper, becoming close to those who were lucky and to work with a man like the Yemen Times founder. Day by day my love, admiration and respect to him increase.
Day by day I discover many things about his lovely personality and about the charm he had on everybody, whether the newspaper staff or on his friends. When they talk about him they smilingly tell you about a man coming from a fancy world, a man who was dreaming to live in Utopia.
Everyday I enter YT I feel his presence and I feel his spirit filling every issue of the Yemen Times. I just look at his picture and I am filled with strength and resolution to go on and overcome all challenges.
Wherever I go I meet men and women who truly love him and terribly feel sorry for his absence.
“Believe me he was like an angel” a prominent journalist has once told me about him.
“Everyday we used to have a meeting with him we gained something new and filled us with new energy” one who worked for the Yemen Times founder said.
“I cannot find someone like Dr. al-Saqqaf. He was a treasure,” said one of the late al-Saqqaf's students
Three years ago I failed to have anything I wrote about Dr al-Saqqaf published in the Yemen Times. Now I also feel I have failed to write something sufficiently expressive of my feelings towards such a great man like him. I feel that I cannot write and express well all the love I carry for him.
I am encouraged to write now because I feel happy the Yemen Times has become a biweekly and I have a sense that Dr. al-Saqqaf is going to be really happy about this development that can lead to his ambition to see the newspaper issued daily.