The First Anniversary of a Giant’s Departure [Archives:2000/23/Focus]

June 5 2000

By: Sultan Al-Thawabi
The second of June, 1999 is an unforgettable day in the living memory. It is a catastrophe/a tragedy ending up the life of a great man, a giant by all means. The car accident was a signal reminder of the ends of all our aspirations. One year has passed after this catastrophic event; a man, a giant, a thinker, an academician, one of the intelligentsia of Yemen and the Arab world leaving us just as unexpectedly as that and leaving us to our mourns. Such a unique individual with reputation in the east and the west is by all means regarded as one of the best representatives of the nation and humanity. It is a tribute to the man on his first anniversary to bow down for his strong personality, logic, and distinguished thinking power. Those who loved him during his life time would never forget his logic, defense of the country against any violation of principles or separatism. It is his great love of his people and country that earned him this greatness in the eyes of all who followed his pursuit.
The martyr Dr. Abdul Aziz in the eyes of some is” the last giant of the intelligentsia who have had his marks on the twentieth century” whereas the others regard him” the miracle of his age.” Some regard him “a man of all fields.” Whatever we say about Dr. Abdul Aziz will not be enough. He was a man in para-excellent. He is the gift of the benevolent God to his nation. Such a man is not going to be repeated. But that is his destiny to end up and leave this world in such a tragic way. He is a giant of his age on all the levels.
Saqqaf has departed the world in the same way as his great ancestors throughout history. The great man has departed leaving us to our agonies. But his soul and ideals are there wavering in the horizon of Yemen. Wherever we go round the world and roam, Saqqaf’s name is mentioned and when people abroad talk about Yemen they associate his name to Yemen’s. The western and the Arab world will never forget Saqqaf the man, the writer, the politician, the thinker and a human rights activist. May be, we will forget him as we forgot our other heroes and giants. It is a question which requires a stoppage and rethinking.
Is it ignorance, negligence or indifference which put us in this situation. In fact, it is a pity that a man of the people with all his ideals and morals loving his country to the degree of sacrifice departed us and we are about to forget him.
Saqqaf’s roots goes too far and deep in the history of mankind and he deserves to be put on the top with all those great figures who represent the human heritage. Saqqaf could be regarded a towering historical figure. He was just like a candle in the wind burning to enlighten the way for the others. His concern and interest lay in the high interests of the homeland. Despite his travels and tour, he never forgot Yemen. Wherever he went, Yemen was there with him in his eyes and heart. But Alas! He left us and we were in need of his efforts and thoughts to guide us in this troubled world. He left us on the doors of the third millennium tolling with a smile for a better future.
Within his inspirations lied a turning point toward the better future. His works , writings and articles tackled the issues of Yemen from national and humanitarian perspectives. The establishment of “Yemen Times” is one of the chains in his hard work toward an independent media. The other great work of Saqqaf is his endeavor toward the establishment of the Forum of the new born democracies of which Dr. Saqqaf was one of its founders. All his works were remarkable and modernized with innovations and solutions. With estimation and high respect, I have put down these words on his first anniversary. I promise to pursue his ideals and march however thorny it might have been. Peace be on your soul in paradise with all those martyrs and prophets.