In the Footsteps of its Deceased Publisher, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf Yemen Times Mission Continues! [Archives:1999/24/Last Page]

June 14 1999

Thousands of Condolence messages have been received by the Yemen Times. Most of them included encouragements for the newspaper to carry on the noble mission Dr. Abdulaziz had started. While thanking all of them for their support, to these people I stress that “Yemen Times was built to stay”. Indeed, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf was a man with broad thinking and good planning for the future. Besides being a journalist, he was also a teacher. A good teacher can only raise good students. Hence, being his students, we are well qualified and have been raised to do the job right. We might not have the experience and extremely keen thinking of the deceased, but alongside us we have his will, his determination, and most important of all his spirit to carry on. He taught us that anything can be done through hard work and appropriate planning. Now it is our turn. He drew the lines, and now we have to go through them, he built the base and now it is time for us to strengthen it and build on it.
The press conference presented by the National Democratic Institute and hosted by Yemen Times on Saturday is another indication that Yemen Times is strong and even getting stronger. We have many ambitions, and we are working on achieving them. The good results achieved out of the press conference show that Yemen Times is a strong establishment that was built to stay. Newspapers are media organs which have a noble mission. Their duty is to report news as accurate as possible. As Yemen Times, we are obliged to do so.
Last week was a good start for us without our beloved chief editor. Many thought that the newspaper would temporarily close down and all its employees would go home and cry for some days before coming back to start work again. Some even thought that the newspaper would be finished and would simply collapse. These narrow-minded people did not know the character of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf well enough. They do not know that he was a person who always planned for the future and gave everything its share of possibilities. That is why he always explained to his employees that they should be responsible for what they do. He had trust in them and showed it by monitoring from far away while they were working. Within the last months, we used to print the newspaper completely without his assistance while he was away. He knew that he had reliable and hard working people operating the paper while he is abroad or doing other important things. 
In the last meeting of the Yemen Times, the deceased gathered all the employees of the “Yemen Times”, and told them, “You are all my sons and I have trust in you. You are the people who make it happen. I feel proud when I see everything going smoothly when I am away. Yemen Times belongs to everyone of you. You should always dedicate yourselves to the well-being and prosperity of this newspaper. I have trust in you and I will be watching everything you do.” When we look back in time, we get a hint as if the late wanted to say good bye. We know we can not have him back, but we can have his legacy with us forever. He indeed is watching us now from heaven. I am sure he is proud that we were able to publish the last issue despite the pressure, shock, disbelief, and sadness among us for his unfortunate death and premature passing away. Dr. Saqqaf taught us how to face the hard times and live up to the situation. We do really promise him that we will continue his message, calling for a democratic and civilized society that preserves the well-being of its citizens. We will also cling and adhere to one of the most important reasons for launching the Yemen Times, which is the human rights issue. Yemen Times will also focus on the economic issues of the country for it is our belief that economy is the key factor in the development and welfare of any society. This was also the main concern of the deceased Dr. Saqqaf, who once observed that any advancement at any front should be accompanied by some progress on the economic front. It is only the economy that begets the welfare of any nation. History stands witness that the conflict between nations has an economic background.
We would like also to assure the readers of the Times Yemen that the paper will appreciate their valuable contributions in giving suggestions, articles, and even critiques. We are eager to continue publishing their letters and articles and make their messages reach the ears of the people in authority and everywhere else. We assure all our readers that the paper will be the shelter for all the oppressed. We will consider our readers as our correspondents all over the country.
Yemen Times has been playing an important role in the political, social and economic life of the Yemeni society since its start in 1991. It has been calling loudly and without any fear for change and correcting the misdeeds of the corrupt figures in the society. It considers the accountability and transparency as important factors for the development of the society. And it is a promise we give that it will continue addressing these vital issues.
At another level, we would like express our gratitude for our readers who play an important role in the progress of the paper. We want also to apologize to those who could not get a copy of the last weeks paper. We have printed that issue twice but we have received a lot of messages from thousands of people asking for more copies of the paper. News agents and bookshops owners came to the office of the paper asking for more. The paper was sold in a very short time. Imagine, three hours after distributing the paper, it was out of stock. Some people thought the paper did not appear due to the departure of the publisher and editor-in-chief Dr. Saqqaf. This gave us a good impression about the paper and its fruitful future. Who knows? With more hard work Dr. Saqqaf’s wish of making the Yemen Times a daily, may eventually come to life. Amen…
Walid Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf,
Yemen Times