Hamid Shuhra, until we meet again [Archives:2006/995/Viewpoint]

October 2 2006

Hamid was one of the few bright and promising journalists in Yemen. I met him on several occasions and had a long interview with him in 2001 for the Yemen Times. He spoke of his ambitions for Yemen and how he hoped to promote freedom of press and democracy in this country “peacefully yet persistently.”

That day, he talked about his dream to leave a legacy behind. He was an admirer of my father, late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf who died in a car accident in 1999.

“This is my first book, and I hope fate will give me a chance to write more,” he said while dedicating a copy of his book: “Masra Al-Ibtisama” (Demise of the smile). In his book he talked about the 1948 revolution and the role of the Muslim brotherhood. Hamid was generally inclined to the religious school of thought, but this did not keep him from being friends with people from all sectors of life.

Sadly he was still a young when he passed away last Wednesday. The 33 year-old was one of the shining stars in Yemeni media. He established the opposition newspaper Al-Nass in 2000 and since then, the newspaper has grown rapidly. Before he died, he has purchased an offset printer, which is on its way to Yemen. Unfortunately, he will not be here to witness this addition to the newspaper.

The first thought to come to my mind when I heard about his death is that he was assassinated. He died in a car accident just like my father. However, the circumstances indicate that it was likely an unlucky act of fate. It is quite sad to see him leaving at this stage, when so much is yet to be done.

Hamid Shuhra has left behind a media legacy and a good book through which he will definitely be remembered. We hope the Al-Nass newspaper will continue Hamid's mission in the hands of his successor and we will not spare an effort to help ensure this happens. His loss is a great for all of us, may mercy be on his soul.