Letters to the Editor [Archives:1999/25/Letters to the Editor]

June 21 1999

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Abdualziz Al-Saqqaf. On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, and both the American and Yemeni staff of the Embassy, I would like to express our sincere condolences. He was a Yemeni patriot of many accomplishments, a friend of the American people, and of all supporters of democracy and human rights. His legacy will indeed live on, in the lives of the Yemenis he taught at Sanaa University for nearly two decades, in his work in the Consultative Council, and as founder and Editor of the Yemen Times, which we hope will continue to represent the values of democracy and freedom of expression.
In all things he went the extra mile. He not only founded a newspaper, but went on to receive the coveted Freedom of the Press Award in Washington in 1995. He not only successfully completed his studies as an honored recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, but went on to be the founding member and Secretary General of the Fulbright Alumni Association of Yemen. In Dr. Al-Saqqaf, we found not only sincere belief in democracy and human rights, but the ability to create institutions in support of his belief, and not only Yemeni patriotism in its most positive sense, but the ability to see beyond borders and factions.
Like all of Yemen, so many Americans who worked with him over the years share in your loss, and hope for the continuation of his legacy.
Barbara Bodine
American Ambassador
On behalf of the National Press Club, it is with profound regret that we note the recent death of your founder and chief editor, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, the recipient of our 1995 International Freedom of the Press Award. We posted a copy of your Online obituary on our bulletin board.
We join you in hopes that his soul will rest in peace and our deepest condolences to his family.
Larry Lipman
President of the National Press Club
On behalf of the Canadian Embassy and the Embassy Officers who have had the privilege of knowing and working with your father, I would like to express to you our sincerest condolences. We share with you and your family a profound sense of grief for his tragic and unexpected death.
Your father was a tireless champion of democracy, human rights and the building of civil society. He exhibited a selfless sense of patriotism and succeeded in making Yemen a better citizen of the world. It was an honour to work with him and support him in these efforts. He shared freely his wisdom and counsel, enabling us to gain a better appreciation of the tremendous challenges faced by Yemen. On a personal level, we all appreciated his human warmth, sharp wit and sense of humour. He will be sorely missed by all of us.
We understand that you will now continue your father’s work as publisher of the Yemen Times. This is a task of immense responsibility. Please be assured that you will have our encouragement and support in pursuing this endeavour.
Yours sincerely,
D. H. Hobson
Canadian Ambassador
I hereby express my deepest condolences to the family of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf in connection with his tragic demise.
Several members of this Embassy had the honour and pleasure to know Dr. Saqqaf personally and we will truly miss a good friend
Svein Andreassen
Norwegian Ambassador
With the deepest emotions of sorrow we received the news of the death of your father, Publisher and Chief Editor of the Yemen Times, and the Chairman of the NGOs and Human and Liberties Committee of the Consultative Council, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf ‘s, in an unfortunate car traffic accident.
The sadness and pain in our hearts and the hearts of all the people who knew him well is devastating. He was a person who gained respect and admiration locally and internationally.
At the same time, we express you our sincere condolences for this horrible incident, which has shocked everyone and caused them depression and devastation. We hope that you and your family can go through this with patience and faith, and pass through these moments of grief and pain.
Akira Hoshi
Japanese Ambassador
I came to know Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf when I started my duty as the ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Sanaa. I knew him as a well-informed man and a person who worked for his beliefs with honesty and seriousness.
He was a faithful friend, and a man who was concerned with the issues of his country, and all Arab and Islamic nations.
Losing this man is a loss for the whole Yemeni society. The pain increases when understanding that the reason behind his death was carelessness and neglect. May Allah’s mercy be upon our friend and brother, Prof. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf and upon all his family, and to his son, Walid whom we send our deepest condolences.
Murtadha Rahimi
Iranian Ambassador
The sudden and horrible death of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf hurt us a lot. Losing Dr. Al-Saqqaf is a great loss, which we will all feel. But the hope is in his staff who could try to fill in the gaps after his death. We pray to god to have mercy on him, and to inspire his family and lovers with patience and faith. We belong to God, and to God we shall return.
Taha Yassin Al-Basri
Iraqi Ambassador
With hearts full of faith and belief in fate, we learned of the unfortunate death of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, Member of the Consultative Council, and Publisher and Chief Editor of the Yemen Times. He was an extremely honorable reflection of a courageous and hard working Yemeni, working for the prosperity, wealth, and democratization of his country, Yemen. He gained respect from prominent international and Arab individuals, and he had excellent relations with the Palestinian people and leadership.
On this sad occasion, all I can do is offer my condolences on behalf of the Palestinian Leadership and people, praying to God to accept him and inspire in his family and relatives faith and patience. We belong to God, and to God we shall return.
Yahia Rabbah
Palestinian Ambassador
Expressing my sadness and devastating loss of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, I sent a letter of condolence to you and to H.E. the Yemeni Minister of Economy. I pray to God to give you the patience and strength to go on, and to continue the great works of the publisher of Yemen Times with lots of success.
Arich Astather
German Vice Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development