The Man We Lost [Archives:2000/24/Focus]

June 12 2000

It is already one year since we lost the late Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Saqqaf. It is time for the forces of modernization to imagine what could have been achieved if Dr. Saqqaf was with us during this very difficult year. Only through such imagination we can comprehend the extent of our loss, and our homeland’s loss of Dr. Saqqaf. Dr. Saqqaf was the vanguard of modernization forces which refuse to surrender or bow. He had a belief that he is entitled to a role in society and he always looked up to the role he thought Yemen should play.
Dr. Saqqaf was a stern fighter who did not know despair . He had a strong will and a brave pen. He was always on the move and had a rare set of qualifications. He wasn’t interested in wealth just for wealth’s sake as he was accused by some. Wealth in his belief is only a means towards great aims and achievements. He started private ventures ranging from chickens to rabbits . Each time he discovered that these ventures might yield money , but they didn’t satisfy the aspiration of having a role in serving society. In Yemen Times Dr. Saqqaf found what he was after. He endeavored to make the best he could deliver. He spared no effort to innovate Yemen Times through tireless efforts into the most internationally recognized Yemeni newspaper. Dr. Saqqaf’s ambitions weren’t limited to that. He fought on numerous fronts in order to establish a [development] society for the country. He was mercilessly fought by the ignorant and hypocrites who envied him. His efforts on this aspect continue as a sweet smell among his community.
Dr Saqqaf fought for democracy, free elections, human rights and the establishment of modern society institutions. All of this was in addition to his duties as a lecturer at the Faculty of Commerce and Economics. Dr. Abdul Aziz endeavored to enforce his international contacts which he tried to use for the purpose of modernizing his homeland Wherever Dr. Saqqaf worked his unique qualifications and characteristics prevailed and inflamed the rest: especially the anti-modernization tracts and forces in our society.
This is a common phenomenon in non-developed societies. They kept following his unintended missteps while being all the time blind towards his achievements. Similar to all human beings who endeavor and try he had his missteps. Only when he died did they recognize what a man they and the homeland and forces of modernization in Yemen lost. May God bless Dr. Saqqaf.
Dr. Mohammed A. Almutawakkel,
Sana’a University