The Man who died standing [Archives:2003/645/Community]

June 26 2003

Dr. Abdu Mohammed Shdiuoh,
Member of the central council
for the Doctors and Pharmacists Syndicate
For the Yemen Times

It becomes difficult at times to record all things and events that go into ones mind, especially when they are related to the memory of a lost dear friend. Probably because generally we avoid thinking about our loss because it hurts us or probably because the effect that those people had on us is quite deep. For it is not about the time duration that we spend together only, it's in fact more about the personality and characteristics of that person, especially if he has the ability to do or say something that leaves a mark in your life. Some people you stay with for a long time and in spite of that they leave un- noticed, and some, although they might have given you company for a short while and still, things take different dimension and it seems as if you have known them all your life.
My friend, late Dr. Abdullah Al-Huraibi (peace be on his soul) was one of the latter kinds. The times when we met were quite limited, in the syndicate or other places, and still I and many others who have known him must admit that he has a compelling ability to attract all those surrounding him and to influence them in a strong way they would never forget.
Through times of our acquaintance, I have come to know a number of his qualities that together formed his personality. He was a brave man and had a free mind to speak all that he wanted. He was confident and believed in his principles, yet he was modest with others and quite frank. His frankness sometimes drove people who could not tolerate being criticized. All these aspects of his were clearly displayed whilst he was dean of the medicine college at Sana'a University where he made drastic changes especially in employing efficient cadre not only at the college of medicine, his influence expanded to most of the University's other collages.
At a time when the policy at the university was to hire graduates from a limited number of universities ignoring by that others who are well qualified and graduated from approved universities by the state, many disturbing incidents took place this way as authorities at the university had to accept personnel whose only merit that they graduated from so and so university regardless of their intellectual and scientific abilities. Yet Dr. Al-Hurabi as soon as he took lead in the medicine college opened the doors for all those who suffered from discrimination before, as long as they passed a certain level of requirements. Ironically at that time many did not really appreciate his move and his courage to take a rebellious stance against the universities policies. Looking back now we all agree that he was foresighted and saw what most could not then. He had proved that qualified people given a chance and a strong decision making position they will prove worthy of their place and make a difference in their work and in the lives of all those they deal with. Those people will be remembered throughout the years and their works will be a milestone in the history of the institutions they have worked in.
Although the period of his work as dean of the university was one of his most fruitful times, it is worth mentioning his achievements before while he was a fresh graduate from Cairo University at the time of revolution. He and his colleagues demonstrated heights of loyalty and sacrifice for their country. Those doctors used to work day and night in hospitals taking care of the wounded, carrying out many operations sometimes 50 a day with limited basic resources, especially during the 70 days siege after which the revolution was declared a success.
His patriotic stands were linked with the National movement and with the pan-Arab movement. He adopted nation's issues while he was in the people's council between 78 and 79 and also while he was a candidate in 1993 elections. His work, however, was not limited to politics and exceeded that to public domain as he had an influential role in syndicate and the technical field. He was one of the main founders of the doctors and pharmacists syndicate in 1968, and was elected as the first chairman for the period between 68 and 69, a critical time in the syndicate's life through which he had made a number of achievements in various aspects.
To talk about Dr. Al-Haurabi and give him his worth is beyond the scope of these words. Perhaps those who know him better may have a better chance in doing so. That is because his strong personality and overall aspects made him the man of many situations. And if there is anything that must be said for this man on the occasion of the 40 days on his passage, I could say that he was a man who did not bend in front of any of these worldly attractions and lived an honest honorable life and died in poise and pride. Dr Al-Hurabi passed away just like trees do; standing, a stand that forever caused envy among his lovers and jealousy amongst enemies. He was one of those people who dreamed larger than life, larger than this country and it was this country that sometimes was too narrow for them. May his soul rest in peace and may of his memory remain with us forever.