In tribute to his honor Al-Wazir and professor Al-AiniTwo irreplaceable losses [Archives:2003/647/Opinion]

July 3 2003

How many times has one heard the tragic regret: Oh, oh, there goes another one! As the years go by, many people are increasingly wondering, what have we brought forth to replace great leaders, whether in the political arena, the social circuit, or even the family. Yes, as we see many of the former leaders meet their eventual human natural fate, and end what ever destiny they have been allowed to leave behind, many ask, what have we done to ensure that we have people who can continue along the same caliber of leadership, or who will go on to carry on where the lost leaders left off, to ensure that our social and moral fabric remain steadfast, if not add their own enhancements.
Notwithstanding the many volatile changes that Yemen has gone through over the last five decades or so, the most serious adverse result of these erratic developments is that they left out the essential elements of gearing our human development efforts from providing a solid base for leadership potential. Part of the problem may have been the highly unstable character of our political environ, which in some stages of these de4vleopments even worked against providing the right incentives for achievement and enhancement of knowledge. Whatever the case, we are indeed approaching a period when most of the leaders, formal and informal, who really left their marks in society felt, will be regretfully instinct. Since most of these people grew up in a “Hard Knox”, we are at a loss in being able to hope that the future will eventually produce their replacements, because we have forgotten that only through instilling the drive for achievement in our youth can we hope to generate such meaningful leadership.
Just last week, we lost two notable personalities in different walks of life and from different backgrounds.
The first was HH Ahmed Al-Wazir, one of the most outstanding judges of our time, noted for his sound rulings and impeccable record on the bench, which sadly to say is a rarity among a court system that has become accustomed to creating an entangled litigation process. Needless to say, the constituents were His Honor Al-Wazir had jurisdiction over, would always cry for his immediate return to his post, in the event that a decision was made to move this highly regarded judge, known for his equitable stance on all his decisions and outstanding comprehension of the essence of Sharia Law and its applications. On rare occasions were his rulings appealed and if an appeal was stubbornly turned, never was his ruling overruled.
While Mr. Al-Wazir came from a prominent family, which has already left its mark on the political and social fronts, the second leader, came from a totally different background. Mr. Ali Al-Aini, well known as “Professor Ali” came from a relatively poor family that lived on subsistence farming, from a village just twenty kilometers or so from Sana'a. If that was not enough, Mr. Al-Aini also was orphaned at a very young age in his youth and he and his brothers (including former Prime Minister Muhsin Al-Aini) by shear luck were able to go through a relatively decent education, starting at an orphanage school, then to the intermediate school and eventually university education overseas. There were no universities at the time the Al-Aini boys went through their schooling. The important thing to realize, that people even, with the almost helpless background of Mr. Al-Aini did have the drive for achievement, and never let the lucky opportunities, which God through his unlimited expanse for mercy chanced their way, slip by. They were thankful to God and worked diligently to translate that gratitude into achievement. Moreover, this luck, which they knew the odds of getting were so slim, developed in the Al-Aini brothers a strong faith in God, which eventually was rewarded by success, not only in their education, but in their professional lives and social standing.
Mr. Ali Al-Aini became a teacher and later a professional manager. In the first job, Mr. Al-Aini's students remember that he was one of the most outstanding teachers in the only intermediate school then in Sana'a in the 1950s, after having been one of the fir4st Yeme3ni graduates from a formal university education in Egypt.
In the second position, Mr. Al-Aini was General Manager of the nucleus of the Public Electricity Corporation, when it was a small private company offering electricity to Sana'a residents. He played an important role in the introduction of electricity to Yemen, which only began in the second half of the last century, and even after leaving this position, Mr. Al-Aini continued to play an active role in the management of PEC, even after it became a public corporation. Though small in stature, Mr. Al-Aini was the type of person who commanded charisma, by his irremovable smile, and his chosen words in discourse. He was also informally in command of a large family that was to leave its marks in so many areas of Government. A devout Republican from the very outset of the Revolution, Mr. Al-Aini never let his strong national record, become a material blessing as some politicians and social dignitaries tend to fall into. Mr. Al-Aini simply answered the call of duty, whenever it called, did his job, and quietly stepped back into the sidelines, whenever his mission was accomplished successfully.
Thus from the background of people like Mr. Al-Aini and Mr. Al-Wazir left, we should be able to reinstate an environment where achievement is the only criteria for success and thus open the door for achievers from all walks of life within Yemeni society. May HH Al-Wazir and the “Professor” rest in peace. If you never made the limelight on the official PR circuit, your memories are well engrained in our hearts.