Letters to the Editor [Archives:1999/28/Letters to the Editor]

July 12 1999

Dear Editor, 
I was shocked to hear of the untimely death of Dr. Saqqaf. This is a great blow to the liberalization of the country. Dr. Saqqaf was very sensitive to developmental issues in the country where I had lived until last July, and I’m sorry to say that after many months of not being able to forward any material on Yemeni activities in Canada to you that I have had to turn to the web site this day and find such tragic news. My sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to those who worked with him and knew him as a frank and capable individual. 
I did have a fruitful conversation with the head of the Yemeni American Association last year, and forwarded the excerpt of that interview to your offices. My best regards to everyone on the staff, I have had to concentrate on resettling in Canada after many years of absence, but intend to keep in touch. 
I also intended to write about my present activities and what I know about Yemenis in Canada but would find that mentioning this now would be in extremely bad taste owing to Dr. Saqqaf’s passing away, and to the injury reported in your newspaper of another well-respected journalist. I do hope he recovers. 
Best Regards, 
Martin Dansky 
I was very sad when I heard the news of Dr Al-Saqqaf’s death. 
I did not know him personally, but I knew him through his opinions and his great characters of writings. All the Yemeni students in the UK are aware of the great lose to our loving country. But now we cannot say anything except that we are from Allah and we are returning to him. 
Ibrahim M Daidah 
On behalf of the Yemeni students in UK 
Dear Editor, 
I wish to offer my deepest condolences to the family of the irreplaceable Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. The death of Dr. Abdulaziz has shocked the entire Yemeni community living in England, from the most politically conscientious, to the humblest housewife. The news filled me will deep sadness, for, once again, a good man who strove for democracy and equality, who was the voice of the people of his country, has been tragically taken away from us. In England there is a saying that “only the good die young,” and you could not deny that Dr. Abdulaziz was anything other than good. May Allah bless him and open the gates of Janna for him. May Allah also provide his family with the patience and determination to continue his invaluable work. 
Respectfully yours, 
Asiah Al-Mansury, Liverpool, England. 
First of all, I would like to express my deepest and sincerely heartfelt condolences to the family of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf at the demise (death) of Dr Abdulaziz, one of the most brilliant economists known to the Yemeni people. He surely has done much to make Yemen a better country to live in through his very critical and intelligent articles in the Yemen Times. It indeed brings deep regret to me to hear that such a resourceful person passed away in this most tragic manner (in his own country)! May Allah save Yemen, Inshallah. Let us all read the Surah Al-Fatihah and make a lot of prayers and supplications for our beloved Dr Abdulaziz, so that Allah will reward “jannah” to his life hereafter, Inshallah. To all my beloved Yemenis who love Yemen, kindly read (between the lines) all the past articles written by Dr Abdulaziz, and try to understand how sincere he was in making Yemen a better (civilized) country to live in. Kindly, continue to support all Yemen Times staff and, of course, the newspaper. 
Dr. A.G. Mohamad Al-Muradi 
With great shock, I just read the announcement that Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf has dead. I knew him as a great teacher and a very honest colleague. My deepest condolences go to his son Waleed, his family, his colleagues at Sana’a University and the Yemen Times Staff. 
Dr. Hamoud Al-Najar 
Dear Editor, 
It is with deep sorrow and sadness that I mourn the death of your father, Dr. Abdulaziz, whom Allah has called to his side to join the ranks of the martyrs and heroes. We have lost a bright star that guided us through difficulty by his shining light. The world will mourn him as a legend that struggled for the truth and defended human rights. Dr. Abdulaziz is not only the son of Arabia, but the son of humanity, and his legacy shall survive in his descendants and the Saqqafs wherever they live and work. Dr. Abdulaziz was our pride and the jewel on the crown. He is of the true blood, and the descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, who dedicated his life and works to liberate mankind from ignorance and darkness. He will not only be missed, but he will be remembered for his courage, care, compassion and commitment to the truth. The Yemen Times is only an expression of his voice for the oppressed and marginalized freedom seekers. He let the bell of truth ring throughout the universe. Dr. Abdulaziz was an inspiration and a leader, a lion among lions and a beacon of hope for his generation. 
On behalf of the Saqqaf family in the Diaspora and throughout the world, let the bell of freedom ring and let the voice of the truth be broadcasted from the top of the minaret in melodious tunes that reaches the heart of freedom lovers. Let mercy and prayer rest on his soul. His beautiful soul shall join the martyrs who preceded him, Ali Ibn Ab-Talib and sons Al-Hasan and Al-Hussein. May Allah accept his good deeds and forgive him and us. May Allah be with you at this time of trial. Dr. Abdulaziz is the true son of freedom and beacon of justice. 
With deep regret and sadness, 
Dr. Ahmed Abdul Moen Al-Saqqaf 
Professor of International Health and Development, 
Howard University, Washington, D.C. 
To the Editor 
and all freedom lovers 
I was shocked to hear of the untimely death of Professor Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. My condolences to the family, and his second family, the Yemen Times staff, and to Yemen. Yemen has lost one of its bright minds, a man who dedicated his life to improving Yemen’s image, and who strove to improve the human rights of the citizens. 
Our loss is deep but we will survive. 
May Allah grant him paradise and forgive his sins. 
Ayoub Hassan 
Our deepest sympathy goes to Walid Al-Saqqaf, his family, and the employees of the Yemen Times. 
Abdulaziz is one amongst the very few who cared about our nation’s plight in the hands of vicious tribal leaders and a military gang. He was one of the few who remained behind and preached what he believed in. While some take their flight out of the country in disgrace, Al-Saqqaf takes a flight to meet Allah, and at his prime, not at an old age. There is a big difference between the fugitives and the martyrs. 
May Allah keep Abdulaziz in his heaven, and shadow his family with patience, grace, peace, and tranquility. 
Abdulaziz’s work for the truth should be an example to all innocent Yemeni Sons to come forward on the line of duty to Allah A’za wa Jal and our homeland. 
“Allah won’t change anything in people’s lives before they change what is in themselves.” 
To tell the truth, speaking our minds in private and public without fear, independently and in groups, is only the beginning to improving our lives, our people, and our country. 
My condolences to the family of Al-Saqqaf, the Yemen Times Staff, the Yemeni people and the world, for the loss of Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf is indeed a big loss to us all. As everyone I have told about this said, they just could not see it as a reality, but only as a bad dream. 
My hopes and dreams are that the Yemen Times will carry on as Mr. Al-Saqqaf intended it to be. 
I say go Walid, you can do it, it will be tough, but we have faith in you. 
Hedar Almaznaai 
This is indeed a tragic loss to the entire community and the readers of Yemen Times. We have lost a pioneer who has paved the way to one of the most truly democratic papers ever written. Dr. Al-Saqqaf will always remain in our hearts, and his death will not be in vain. I had the pleasure of meeting this Harvard graduate several times, he was a man of integrity, kindness, and courage. A true hero in promoting the economy and free speech in the country since the paper’s inception in 1990, Dr. Al-Saqqaf will be dearly missed by all of us who enjoy the privileges of what he has started. My deepest condolence to his son Walid (Webmaster of the Yemen Times), and to all the Al-Saqqaf family and friends. I hope that Yemen Times will continue to be, as in Professor Al-Saqqaf’s words, “a good world citizen.”
Sammy Sallam, 
Houston, Texas 
We are all saddened by the tragic loss of such a remarkable man. I am very saddened to hear about the loss of our beloved Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. Words do not and cannot express my feelings of loss and anger at this as yet mysterious car accident. Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf was the sword of the people of Yemen to act against corruption, and I feel no one will get over his death. At least I will not. 
The worst tragedy is for his family and the Yemeni people, who are left now without their sword and light to guide them. There is also the tragedy of the choices that were made all along the way, leading up to this horrific set of circumstances. I pray that Allah’s mercy, grace and wisdom will be upon everyone to teach the lessons that need to be realized … and the truths that need to be acknowledged as a result of this senseless killing. 
Although you’re gone now, you will still live in our hearts. Your strength and inspiration to stand up for human rights and people in fear will continue. Strength and the wishes of comfort to your family and the Yemeni people. May we all learn how to take care of each other as you took care of Yemen. Let us love one another! Allah will stand at the end and the beginning. May your soul rest in peace. 
I will mourn the passing of a wonderful Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. I will remember the life of a speaker for those with no voice, the writer of those without any ink, the publisher for those with no papers, and the sword of those who can’t fight. I urge all that read this to stand up and fight for your freedom, to fight for your humanity, to fight for the safety of our Yemeni People. 
My deepest condolences to his family and the Nation of Yemen 
The Saddened and Angry 
Yasser Al-Ghurazy 
Dr. Abdulaziz, my beloved, how did that happen? 
What can I say? 
What can I do? 
Crying is not enough. 
What can we do? 
I am completely shocked. 
My heart is broken. 
My feelings are destroyed. 
My eyes are pouring tears. 
The light has gone. The love has gone. I can’t believe myself. Is what I have read true?. Is it true? I can’t believe that. 
No. No. 
Who said that?.. Who wrote that? 
What a big loss if it’s true! 
My dear Walid. My dear Raidan. My dear Saqqaf’s Family. 
My dear Yemenis, who love the light. 
Dr. Abdulaziz, our teacher. Our example and role model. You are great. You will remain great for ever. Who does not love you? You are the burning torch against the darkness and oppression in Yemen. 
May Allah make all of us patient to face this calamity. My dear, your soul is in paradise. Enjoy living there. You are there with the prophets and martyrs and with the sincere and faithful who love the freedom and light and hate the darkness and oppression. You are in our hearts and minds forever. You will remain the source that provides us with energy and hope. 
Ahmad Modhesh Thabet