Sanaa University Pays Final Tribute to the Late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf [Archives:1999/26/Reportage]

June 28 1999

On Thursday morning, Jun. 24, the commemorative ceremony for the deceased Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf was held by Sanaa University at the commerce and economics college, in which the deceased was serving as a teacher of economics.
The ceremony was attended by a large number of members of the consultative council, members of the Tutors committee and the rector of the University, Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Makaleh.
The ceremony was inaugurated with the recitation of the Quran by Mr. Saleh Al-Shallal, and followed by a word from Dr. Abdul Bari Al-Shargabi, the head of the economics department where Dr. Saqqaf worked. His main points are as follows:
“First of all, I would like to welcome all the attendants, the rectors of the University, members of the consultative council and the members of the tutors committee for the department of economics, which the deceased was a part of. I did not want to stand here to say a word for the economic department in praising the late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. However, my friendship with the deceased has lasted for the past thirty years, from our days in secondary school in 1969 in Taiz. After completing the secondary education in 1971, we unfortunately had to divide because of our field of studies. We met together again when the deceased started teaching in the university’s economics department after getting his Ph.D. The Doctor’s personality was totally different from the rest of the people in the university .
The presence of mind, generosity, pleasant social relations and ambition were noticed in his features by his friends and family, in addition to his love and honesty, his dedication to his work as a teacher and his patriotism for his country. He has worked in the television during his studies as a TV English language broadcaster. He established the esteemed “Yemen Times” news paper and worked as a consultant at the consultative council. The death of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf is a great loss for the country, but we can do nothing now, as God has chosen to take him away.”
After that, the university students, represented by Mr. Sadhek Al-Jumaie, deputy of the Yemeni Students Union, gave a speech where they welcomed all the attendees, and said “We at the Yemeni Students Union were stunned when we heard about the death of the late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. He has left us with huge gap and, is a great loss to the people who were fighting for human rights in the Arab world .
We have seen his intelligence through his distinguished Academic background. He was an educated intelligent model for us, and we the new generation have to learn from his contribution to this society.
The deceased was a courageous man with persistence, and he struggled to achieve all that has been achieved. Finally, I would like to thank all the people who have responded for the inauguration of this commemorative ceremony.”
The word from the members of the Tutor’s committee was presented by Mr. Abdalla Al-Makaleh, who welcomed the presence of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Makaleh, and the family of the deceased represented by the Engineer Waleed Al-Saqqaf. He said:
“Why do we dig the constructed roads and make speed breakers on them, has any one of you asked this question to himself?
-Why do we transform the constructed roads to asphalt and make the obstacles on it to prevent the car accidents?
The answer is as follows
Because the components of the formula, Human Being-Car-Road has not been perfected yet. Up until now, the civilizations compliance through which a person can learn how to drive safely and uses this civilized means is not available.
This complex relation between this discordant parts is similar to the relation between the deceased and democracy and human rights. As he was a herald for democracy and human rights before its coming of age and in a different reality, in which democracy came as a mutation which was not understood by the society. Democracy here is just like the roads, which need the speed barriers. In the crowd of this formula and the complexity of its relationship, the late lived his life as a reformer and as a striver to put something in this crowded complexity. He has died, but has left his trace, which may make some changes in the future.
The first time I met him was at a friends house, where he gave me the first issue of Yemen Times and we have since met on many other occasions.”
Mr. Mansoor Aziz Al-Zindani, Dean of the commerce and economics college said “I would like to welcome all the representatives and the family of the late. The college of commerce has lost one of its important members.The late was regarded as the message of the college to the society, and the society’s message to the college. I have had some unforgettable moments with the deceased. His way of teaching was different from ours, where he always tried to implement new ways of academic teachings such as those implemented abroad. Finally, I would like to thank everyone who has participated in making this ceremony successful.”The word of the deceased’s friend was said by Mr. Mohammed Abdul Rahman where he said “He had lots of friends and was beloved by many people. Dear friends let me tell you something about our deceased from this place and particularly from this hall, which observed his first participation in the journey of his good deeds which can still be remembered. I would remind the students that he was the first man to implement the Islamic economy in the subject which he was teaching. He also introduced a new theory in general finance and its practices in the former southern part of Yemen. In addition, he had a very strong presence on many occasions that were held by the college and his academic background was excellent. He had studied in some of the esteemed Universities in America, Japan, and Jordan etc.
He has also represented the university in the Arab scholastic meeting for Banking administrative studies,s and after that he started teaching this subject and was appointed as the head of the academy by the Academies administration after few months. He has also participated in teaching the students of higher studies at the Jordanian University and in addition to his educational participation he always had tough stands in defending the rights of the University.
His esteemed establishment, the Yemen Times, took lots of his efforts reach this stage in which we see it today. The job of his news paper was aimed at fighting corruption, defending human rights and social establishments which made many people from different parts of the world follow his achievements through the internet, and caused them to be informed about the social and economic situation in Yemen.
He had a very strong political presence, and his political stands were balanced, he used to think a lot about the future. He noticed that time is changing too fast, but he was faster than time and once he told me “We do not have to obey changes but we should be the ones who make the changes.”
In the field of human rights the deceased appointed himself as the defendant of innocent and used to follow their cases. After that he was employed at the consultative council because of his beliefs. The deceased at home was a father, brother and a friend to all of his family members and he educated his four children’s very well. He was able to bring his wife from the small village of Al-Hujariah to some of the most famous universities in the United States to complete her studies.
A word from his family was said by Waleed Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. Mr. Waleed Al-Saqqaf extended his sincere thanks to Sanaa University and his appreciation to the all organizers of the event, affirming that this event could have only one meaning, which is to show the great respect held for the late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. Mr. Waleed brought home his recollections of the painful day and said “It was afternoon at home. I heard mom asking me about my father, who had been expected to at home by that time. I detected a note of apprehension, as he had promised to join us at home. I called the office to ask about him, but no one was there, so I hurried to the office to find about him, in the newspaper’s office some one told me that my father had an accident and that he was in the I.C.U. at Al-Thowra hospital. I think that was the most painful time ever, no one can describe or understand the shock. On my way to the hospital I was still cherishing the hope that every thing will be okay, but in the hospital I was yet to be stunned with the more shocking news my father was dead. I had to take some time to digest this agonizing reality, for a moment I thought that a nightmare was haunting me, then I realized that I had to accept the situation and live up to it. Indeed, it was my father’s word that pushed me ahead to overcome moments of pain. Often he used to remind me of my responsibility to go forward when he was gone, the idea of death was ever-present in his mind and he was preparing me to take care of my family and the “Yemen Times” when the hour of his death should arrive.”
“Since his early childhood, my father’s life story was very hard and difficult, as he hailed from a poor family. This filled him with a spirit of challenging, struggling and perseverance. When he was a young student, he used to work as a restaurant attendant in the afternoon while studying in the morning. However, he finished his high school with straight “A”s. So we can say with complete truth that Dr. Abdulaziz was a true model of a self made man. He went along with education to the highest levels, he was admitted to the best colleges in the world, and when he came back he tried to pay his country back. He was a brilliant educator, a bold fighter and at the time when he established the Yemen Times, he set himself on a mission : To fight corruption and to comfort the afflicted. Our only consolation is the great heritage he left behind, which we will commit our selves to preserving.
The closing words were said by the universities rector, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Makaleh, in which he welcomed those present, and said “How difficult it is for all of us to believe that the late has died. If his family has lost one of its dearest sons, so the university of Sanaa has lost on of its best and most successful scientific tutors. He was a dearest brother and a courageous teacher, and by his sudden leaving we have lost one of our greatest researchers, whose ability to adapt to any new situations is well known by everyone. The deceased was always a humble and an optimistic person. He was also an example of forgiveness and patience. I knew the deceased very well, and the evidence of his greatness is seen in the generation which he has taught.
Finally, the university awarded Mr. Waleed Al-Saqqaf with the shield.
By:Yasser M.Ahmed