Moving Forward [Archives:2003/639/Opinion]

June 5 2003

Hassan Al-Haifi
One of the aspirations that Dr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Saqqaf expressed to this observer, just a day before he unfortunately met his untimely passing away was that the YT becomes a daily newspaper. It is obvious that the heirs of this phenomenal Yemeni personality fully understand this aspiration and aim to bring it about eventually. So, thus we now have the Yemen Times coming out twice a week, and it is the intention of all the people in the YT to make sure that such expansion will not interfere with the quality of the output. It should be noted that while many people will quickly comment that this means more money for all those involved, the key to the expansion should never be taken to imply any desires to expand the revenue base of the people who work night and day to try to project a journalistic effort that is worthy of Yemen. On the contrary, many people will be surprised to learn that the YT is barely keeping afloat in a high cost environment with regressive returns. The important drive behind this new expansion should really be viewed by the stream of feedback that we are getting to the YT from readers all over the world that indeed the YT has put Yemen on the forefront of international public opinion that is heard. While this feedback may not always be in agreement with what is printed in the YT, it is nevertheless not void of respect and sometimes even understanding. Thus, we consider the expansion of the YT as really a response to this feedback and a continuation of the efforts of the late Dr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Saqqaf to project Yemen in a modern and forward looking posture, in which hard work and the perpetual drive to get the truth out to the world about Yemen is the unrelenting drive that keeps us going. Moreover, it is also a firm desire of the management of the newspaper that journalism has an important mission to deliver, in looking after the interests of the public and in making sure that the transparency that the public should have access to is guaranteed, even sometimes at the irrecoverable cost of life itself. Throughout the ages, hundreds of journalists have stood up against insurmountable odds to relay the truth about events as they unfold before our eyes, not even sparing their own lives to ensure that this truth is not hidden or covered up by any of the evil institutional or security apparatus that works to crease a barrier between what the public should know and what these demonic tools of arrogance seek to cover up. We say, let the public know, and they say, the public be damned! It is a continuing battle, that is not so much carried out by simple brute force, but also by the prevailing economic and social pressures that often accompany misguided establishments that have the upper hand in running the affairs of state.
While we in Yemen do not say that all is rosy, we still believe that, in Yemen if one puts his mind to it, things can get done. We also realize that Yemenis are really willing to sacrifice their own material well being in order to project their own moral and spiritual inclinations and in meeting the wishes of all those who stand behind them. We in the YT are proud to declare that it is in the interest of the “public be informed”, that we thrive on and the feedback we are getting only adds to our determination that this motto shall stand to guide us continuously.
There were many people, who said that after Dr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Saqqaf passed away that the YT will fold its presses and head towards the oblivious fate of history. But alas, thanks to the hard work put out by the successors and heirs of the late Dr. Al-Saqqaf, led by Mr. Walid Al-Saqqaf (not to mention the technical acumen the latter injected into the paper), the paper continued to deliver the mission, which the late Dr. Al-Saqqaf advocated for so strongly: Get the truth out and worry about the consequences later. We are sure that our loyal readers everywhere will continue their unfailing support for the YT as it goes into doubling its efforts towards achieving the goal of the late Dr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Saqqaf and more importantly responding to the wishes of the readers of the YT. After all it is for them that we have dedicated our lives.