Prof. Saqqaf We Miss You.. [Archives:2001/23/Viewpoint]
Two years have passed since Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, the founder of Yemen Times passed away. It is quite difficult to believe how quickly those two years passed. However, he is still remembered by all, his pictures fill the newspaper and its premises. His words and deeds are imprinted in the minds of millions of Yemenis.
We, at the Yemen Times, admit that despite our success in having the newspaper run we still miss him a lot. There were times when Dr. Saqqaf would enliven the atmosphere on the newspaper premises with laughter and joy. There were also times of challenge, times of hardships, times of successes, and times of great achievements, all an integral part and parcel of Dr. Saqqaf. How can those days be forgotten?
As we look back in retrospect, we can see how he used to be the well-known defender of human rights and the freedom of the press. He was the symbol of hard work and dedication. He was the idol for Yemenis at large for his high level of intellectual attainments, integrity, courage, intelligence, and devotion to his country.
When Dr. Saqqaf left us in the tragic incident of June 2nd 1999, the country suffered one of its most irreparable losses in its history. Critically evaluating the worth of different Yemeni individuals who aspire to replace him, we realize that they are no more than puppets in comparison to the great man. He was a type by himself, and his memory will live on forever.
“Oh how I wish he would be with us today to see the miseries and problems we are going through,” said one of the ordinary citizens who forged a good friendship with Dr. Saqqaf, but who failed to pay his rent and was left homeless a few weeks ago.
If there is something we are proud of after two years of his demise, then that is the steady growth of Yemen Times. The newspaper he set on strong ground, which stands today with little competition as the main source of news in Yemen in English.
Let’s hope that Dr. Saqqaf gives his benediction for the relentless efforts exerted day and night by the Yemen Times crew to maintain the high profile of the institution he created. We promised him we would leave no stones unturned to keep a loft the banner and never let it die, and so we have fulfilled our promise. It is a promise that we will keep as long as we live.
Dr. Saqqaf, we miss you a lot, and know that you missed us as well, but it was God’s will to take you to Him so early.
We will always be with you, with heart and soul, and you continue to live in our breath.
May your soul rest in peace.