Hayel Saeed Ana’am died 15 years agoA story of a blessed Yemeni man [Archives:2004/789/Reportage]

November 11 2004
Late Hayel Saeed Anaam
Late Hayel Saeed Anaam
Haifan  District.
Haifan District.
Emad al- Saqqaf, Yemen Times Taiz Bureau Chief with Saeed Mudhesh Anam.
Emad al- Saqqaf, Yemen Times Taiz Bureau Chief with Saeed Mudhesh Anam.
Imad Al-Saqqaf
On the blessed 27th night of Ramadan, his soul traveled back to the Almighty leaving a life of success and virtue. He founded the national industry; he spread goodness everywhere and in every soul. It is not a matter of fantasy to say then he is not dead and he is still alive.
But Hayel Saeed An'am is alive with his charitable activities in every city, village, and in every house; he is alive with people's love for him. It is his noble deeds and glittering biography that make him live forever narrating a magical story of strife and a lesson of hope. That's Hayel Saeed An'am.
Hayel brought the first bricks of the national industry and established the greatest economical group in Yemen. What is more is his extreme care about planting goodness everywhere. He was not born with a golden spoon in his mouth; he hadn't 'Alla'addeen lamp' to have his wealth and found the most important economical project in the twinkling of an eye.
He was self-made, hardworking and a man of righteousness and virtue, thus Allah helped him and granted him success in whatever he did. We, in the Yemen Times, do believe that what the government should do towards him and towards the youth of this generation is to include his biography in the school curricula and the faculties of commerce and economy setting an enthusiastic example in their minds.
That's to make the lives of those great fathers alive in our memories, which is considered of their right to be so as mark of recognition towards what they achieved.
Ramadan 28th brings to our hearts the glimpse of the anniversary of sorrow for leaving that man and the grandeur of that blessing night in the month of virtues and forgiveness.
It's been 15 years since that Hayel's heart stopped beating in the modest body, though it keeps on beating with love and goodness in the whole country. The charitable fountains of that heart are still providing our home with many things in all directions.
A long journey should be performed in order to reach to the biography of the first operator of our machine of industry and economy as well as the founding head of the noble principle of competition, what Islam orders us to do, between people in the way of virtue and charity, the immortal projects will never got dry in the hereafter.
My colleague Mohammed Abdu Sufyan and I started our journey towards Taiz, precisely towards Haifan district, to meet the recollection incarnated in every thing we encounter. We passed through fantastic landscapes drawn beautifully by mountains, such as Wa'alan, Dhula'a, al-Ahyuq and Jabal al-A'aruq, which is our destination.
Villages are distinctively scattered on the top, steeps and at the feet of those mountains; there we arrived in Qaradh, the village at the foot of Al-A'aruq Mountain where the man of Yemen's economy was born. We arrived among people who have been drinking from the same fountain of tradition, love and smiles for their visitors. They believe in changes but not changes of goodness principles and love of which life goes on.
At the door of a very archaic house, my question was raised, isn't this the house of the family of the deceased?
'Yes' was the answer though there are many modern houses around it. Being maintained by the sons, believing in its significance, that house remains carrying all memories. It is the house of struggle and integrated noble meanings. It is where the great economical achievement, not of Hayel's family but of Yemen has been started.
In 1902, that house was full of happiness and hope and the whole family was receiving the third child of Saeed An'am, it was Hayel the brother of Moh'd and Abdu. That was a time of darkness spreading all over our Yemeni lands which the northern part was occupied by the Turkish forces and the southern by the British one. Our country was divided in haves by foreign forces and absolutely driven by illiteracy, diseases and poverty.
Hayel, with other children of his age, spent the first years of his life in Al-Melamah where he studied the Holy Quran. But when he was 16, in 1918, the Turkish occupation left Yemen, leaving the power and control at the hand of another tyrant, Yahya Hameed al-Deen, leading Yemen into another period of darkness and sufferings.
Exemplary life
He started his life as a clothing weaver at his father's weaving workshop. He used to go with him in clothes marketing journeys to the markets of Al-Rahidah and Khadeer. Those journeys were immigrations for him because they were too hard to afford, but he was acquiring the first lessons of his commercial work.
In 1922, many villages and different areas were attacked by a storm of infective diseases stealing the lives of a great number of people, of whom Hayel's mother was unfortunately one. The house turned vacant after that unbearable loss, so the father looked for occupying it by advising his obedient child, Hayel, to get married, showing him the purpose of restoring a part of the house's balance. Hayel got married; responsibility became difficult to be handled and the small weaving workshop couldn't help sustain their family's life especially when taxes increased.
He thought of what his elder brother have done, immigration. He discussed this idea with his father who hadn't but to accept the idea and bid his third child farewell. Then the thousand-step journey started with that single step of Hayel in 1923 from Aden towards France.
He embarked on a French ship bound for French port Marcela. He was being, during his journey, guarded by the providence and his father's prayers. He on the ship met unexpectedly his brother, Abdu, and brother-in-law, Abdu No'man, whom tried in the ten-day journey to teach him some French to help him communicate with others at his potential work.
After arriving in France, while the French police was looking for those who entered the country without having a legal residence, he was arrested. Among others, they saw innocent and solemnity in him, so they freed him.
At that time, his brother and brother-in-law was sacked from their work because of the change of the owner of the ship. Abdu No'man traveled to Britain yet Abdu Saeed, after securing the Hayel's position went back home.
The first work of Hayel was on a French ship. He made some trade work like the other sailors learning practically the principles of trade. Being suffered from homesickness, he once recollected the past days and events counting them and realizing he has spent five years of immigration. He decided to go back home wrapping up his first journey.
What he did after that is by all means a brief of a long series of activities and a bright record of achievements. After he was informed that the factory he was working for was sold to another proprietor which meant his loss of work, he opened a small shop in Aden which made him think of staying in Aden.
In Al-A'aruq, we preferred to hear the rest of his life from his closest friend, Haj. Saeed Mudhish (96years), who accompanied Hayel in most of his life. We asked him whether we find some thing in his memory, he said: “We used to be together since our childhood. After Hayel traveled to France, I hoped to be with him, so I sent him messages asking him to help me go there.
“He did what I wished and I went there and worked with him for six years in a factory of oil. He was a strong believer; he didn't neglect his religious duties. Then he traveled to Aden and I stayed there. He opened a small leathers' shop in Al-Mualla though he had only 30,000 shillings that wasn't enough to start a project but he surrendered hi will to Allah's will.
“Throughout his honest dealings with traders and merchants such as Albess, and Ausudio who were famous, he received a great trust. After that I came back from France and opened a shop in Al-Rasheed St. in which I spent 27 years. At that time, Haj Hayel founded a company which Ali Mohammed Saeed contributed to build the first bricks leading to frequent success and successive enhancement.
“When the coup against the Imam happened, he was actively moving between Aden, Mokha, Hodeida and Sana'a struggling for founding a free national economy and for achieving the other national goal of revolution. Haj Hayel was believing that he is a good example for the family and whoever support his way.
“Aden was looking forward to improvement and better changes particularly after the independence in 1967, but what happened was the opposite. The nationalization decisions of the system there compelled us to leave all our proprieties and to go to Taiz. But as I've said, his good intentions and honest dealings with others enabled him to establish the first industrial project, Al-Hawban factory for ghee and soap forming a very successful turning point in Hayel's commercial life.”
We then asked Haj Saeed Mudhish whether Haj Hayel was frequently connected with his village and if the hand of virtue still stretched. He replied: “Haj Hayel was always in the village. Even his children continually visit it and me; they don't forget their relatives. And Hayel's virtue is still going on and his charitable association extended its activities not to include merely villages but also cities.”
A question was shot towards Haj Mudhish about his memories in France, he answered by saying: “The horrible situation that can't be forgotten is that when the German forces attacked France during Second World War. It was, let me say so, like Palestine today. That made me believe that Hitler was right in his view against Jews. That situation is in my memory.”
And about Yemen's of the past and of today, “Yemen was a dark cottage; whatever inside was black. The Imam made all Yemenis live in poverty, diseases and illiteracy and what he only did was collecting money from all even poor people.
“But Yemen today is shining with entire freedom to shape your life. This generation has all means of better life; it hasn't of that age (of Imam) but the pictures. We should praise the efforts of president Ali Abdullah Saleh who achieved the reunification and his main role in making the great national development, therefore I pray for him.”
With the above brief interview we concluded our journey to Al-Aqrudh, in Al-A'ruq, with two prayers in our hearts: one for Haj Hayel Saeed to be granted forgiveness and mercy and the other is for Ali Mohammed Saeed, chief of al-Saeed family, to have health and long age.