Yemen 21 Forum: Dr Saqqaf’s Main NGO Lives On [Archives:1999/31/Viewpoint]

August 2 1999

Today, we commemorate exactly two months since the untimely death of the founder of the Yemen Times, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. Even though we have not completely gone over the shock of his passing away, we slowly have come to realize that we must go on without him. But we still know that his spirit will stay with us as long as his institution, the Yemen Times is still issued every Monday. 
Many people know Dr. Abdulaziz as the founder of the Yemen Times, but a few know that he also is the founder of another establishment that is alive and active today. That establishment is the Yemen 21 Forum (Y21F). 
The Y21F is an organization that aims to serve as a catalyst for mobilizing the efforts of Yemenis and foreigners residing in Yemen in support of the democratization and modernization process that the country is undergoing. It was established in accordance with Decree Number 123 of 1998 dated 14/11/1998 issued by the Minister of Culture. As the name indicates, the Y21F has the general objective of helping Yemen move into the 21st century. Now that the founder is not among us any more, every effort to strengthen and help the movement of this forum is a must. We should all join hands in order to make sure that the Y21F lives up to the intentions of its founder. 
In the meantime, there are many indications that the Y21F is indeed going to continue its mission and will definitely work to help the country move on to the next millennium. We have all the resources necessary to move on with confidence and hope. The members of the Y21F are anxious to do a lot in the forthcoming days. The Forum has already got a strong infrastructure and is willing to be a good example for other NGOs in Yemen to follow. The coming months will tell how effective and strong the steps of the forum will be, just like its founder wanted. 
We have an elegant seminar room. We have a fine meeting room, we have a number of good computers. We can use all these facilities to do a lot for the country in all aspects. 
We have the motivation and the ideas. We also have the staff and members. More important we have the drive and the momentum to do something for Yemen’s real progress. Stay tuned for the works of the Forum in the near future. 
Some people are seeking to manipulate the Forum by using other names. These forums act just as puppet forums or centers. Such forums have proven in the past to be temporary and with no genuine objectives, and the people behind them only aim at gaining material profit, with no comprehension of the aesthetic values involved. They claim to have similar aims and ideas, but tangible results are what matters. They will fail the test when they have to produce concrete results, because they are lacking in sincere intentions. 
As the Editor-In-Chief of the YT and the person in charge of the Y21F, I want you all to keep up the hope in what the late Dr. Al-Saqqaf had established. The Y21F is not just a name, it is a strong establishment that will live on alongside with the Yemen Times, to deliver what really counts for Yemen, and help it to move on beyond the Year 2000. 
The Yemen 21 Forum is a foundation of a great man with a great objective. There is no question in that it will live on, to meet the aspirations of the Yemeni people for real progress and development, politically socially and economically, not only through the 21st century, but beyond that as well. 
Let us keep our hopes high! 
Walid Al-Saqqaf 
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief