Yemen Times A Vital Milestone in The Free Press Drive in Yemen [Archives:2000/09/Reportage]

February 28 2000

Yemen Times: Steady Progress Through Years
By: Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf,
Publisher & Chief Editor,
Yemen Times.

This article was written last year by the late Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf and because we believe he is the best man to describe the steady movements of progress and success of the Times Times, we have decided to re-print on this happy occasion. ÑThe Editor
This week, the Yemen Times moves into its ninth year. The first issue came out on February 27th, 1991. In the short history of the paper, it has become an important factor in the democratization and transformation process of Yemen and the Yemeni people.
One of the questions that I have been repeatedly asked is “Why do you produce a paper in English?” I have tried to answer this question in several ways.
First, English is the language of the world, and it is the language of our present civilization. If it is not your first
language, it should be your second.
Second, when the idea of the paper was developed in the second half of 1990, Yemen had a problem with the world. Given its position on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Yemen needed a channel to explain itself. We thought we would spread the word in a language that the world understands better than Arabic.
Third, there were at the time over a hundred Yemeni newspapers and magazines. So, it was difficult to see how one more Arabic paper could add anything.

As the idea was developing, I visited many well-known world newspapers. These included The New York Times, the Herald Tribune, Le Monde, and others. Then I visited much smaller papers within the region.
I finally spent several weeks with The Star, a weekly newspaper coming out of Amman. I engaged Osama Sherif, the editor and publisher of the paper, in a contract to do technology and information transfer. Thus the Yemen Times was born.
Our first location was a two-room old shack made of corrugated metal plates and cardboards. It was located in the northern outskirts of Sanaa.
We had two small classic SE Macintosh computers, which are still with us today. The total Yemen Times team was three persons – a typist/page setter, a guard/messenger, and myself. We did all the financial and administrative work.
We did everything from interviews, to news-writing, to pagination to supervising printing of the paper, to distribution…. At first, we only produced 1,500 copies.
Four months down the road, we had our first advertisement. Then a few more. We employed a fourth person on the team to attend to advertising. By the end of 1991, we were selling 3,000 copies.
By mid-1992, we moved into the city. We rented a flat behind the Central Bank of Yemen. At that time, we employed three news editors, on a part-time basis. We employed two clerks to help with
administrative and financial affairs. Momentum was building.
By the end of 1992, our revenue from advertisements had surpassed revenue from the 5,000 copies we were selling.
We purchased three more Apple machines – Power Macintosh 4400/200s.
By mid-1993, we were caught in the power struggle between the People’s General Congress and the Yemen Socialist Party. The PGC did not take kindly to the Yemen Times.
Our landlord was forcing us out because of outside pressure. This was to become our problem for the next four years. As soon as the paper’s one-year lease expired, it could not get an extension. Thus we were forced to move from one location to another.
The third location was a two-storey building behind Mujahid Street, facing what is today the French Embassy. Then we moved to the basement of a large building on Haddah Road, where today Emirates Airlines is located. Finally, we moved to our present location, which we first rented, and finally purchased.
In the meantime, the Yemen Times bought newer and more advanced equipment. The most important jump came in 1994, when the newspaper bought a number of Quadra 700, then Quadra 840 Macintosh machines. These were followed by PowerPC Macintosh 8500/150 and 9600/233 machines. These are now to be followed by G3 and iMac machines. In the meantime, the number of journalists and employees of the newspaper had jumped to over 30 persons, with branch offices in Aden and Taiz, and stringers in six different cities of the republic. Circulation and advertisement rose to phenomenal levels.
The Yemeni diaspora was the first international target of the paper. Therefore, the Yemen Times embarked on simultaneous printing of the paper in London and New York. This ambitious effort was very costly. As the internet became available, the simultaneous printing was discontinued, and the Yemen Times went on-line in 1997.
The number of visitors to the Yemen Times homepage address has risen to high levels. Over the last 3 months, there were 1,350,000 visitors. The visitors are mostly from the West – the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and other countries. But there are also lots of on-line readers in India, Southeast Asia, Turkey, etc. Diplomats assigned to Yemen, donors and other partner agencies continue to tap in. Business interests are also among the regular readers. Yemeni students abroad as the opposition in exile have been kept informed through the Yemen Times. “It is our lifeline,” one said.

The newspaper is honored by the commitment of its readership base. A survey of our readers indicated that the paper’s policy of “calling the shots as we see them” has gained it the respect and sympathy of the Yemeni public. It is often cited by the international media and visiting journalists and delegations as the most credible and reliable source in Yemen.
In addition, the Yemen Times and its chief editor were honored by the Washington DC-based International Press Club with the International Freedom of the Press Award for 1995.
The Yemen Times was also the main partner of the UNESCO and the UN in organizing the Arab region’s media conference of 1996, leading to the Sanaa Declaration on Independent and Pluralistic Media. It also made it to the short-list of the UNESCO’s Guillermo Cano Press Freedom Award for this year – 1998/9. Even though the Yemeni public and the international community express their support, the Yemeni authorities have not seen the paper’s work in the same light.
Between 1994 and 1997, the chief editor of the Yemen Times was imprisoned seven times, albeit for short periods of time because of the public uproar. The editor was beat up twice. The paper was shut down once, and it was subjected to various forms of harassment. These included cutting off all communication lines, electric lines, tapping telephones, censoring mail, intimidation, name calling, accusations ranging from national and high treason to being agents of the USA, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc…
Advertisers were discouraged openly, and the state media has embarked on many verbal assaults.
The Yemen Times, after securing and expanding its own premises, now has plans for expansion on three fronts.
These are:
1. Al-Aswaq:
The paper plans to issue an Arabic magazine called Al-Aswaq. Preparations for this are in full progress.
Al-Aswaq will focus on economic issues.
2. Printing Press:
The Yemen Times has started negotiations to purchase its own printing press. This is a costly investment, but necessary for continued progress. This is a project that will mature before the end of this year.
3. Yemen Times FM:
Our final investment is a radio station. Application has already been to the Minister of Information last year. He says that some legal adjustments need to be made in the laws to allow the private sector to own radio and television stations.
We hope this project will see light by the year 2000.
The legal and political environment needs to improve steadily for the Yemeni media to continue to make progress. The obsession of the politicians to control every journalist is a danger that could jeopardize our democratic transformation and multi-party political structure.

People’s Comments on Yemen Times
Indeed, Yemen Times has always been an inspiring and so genuine an expression of the “vox poluli” and of the “pulse of the nation”. It has become a symbol as well as an acute reflection of the Yemeni reforms, its successes, shortcomings and major failures. As a representative of your devoted readers let me express my profound gratitude for the simple fact that you are there, not only for us but, for most, for ever and please never give up the task of being both the bold conscience and the common sense of Your Nation.
Krzysztof Suprowicz
Ambassador of the Republic of Poland
Most important is that the Yemen Times, with the efforts of its founder Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, has turned into a journalism school and complete institution that plays and important role in the political movement. It has also supported the civil society, human rights and democratic freedom Organizations financially and morally. I do feel sorry for the loss of the founder of this journalism school. However, our only consolation is the new cadre that is following the path he has drawn.
Ahmad Ali Al-Salami
Many people thought Yemen Times will hardly endure after the untimely death of its founder.
Yet, it had continued its metamorphosis into an institution devoted to the furtherance of the noble ideals of democracy.
Yemen Times continued success is a plus for the development of democracy and is in the best interest of our country.
Abdullah Mohammed Al-Saidy
Deputy Foreign Minister
I have been reading the Yemen Times regularly. I depend on it as an important source of knowledge and information. All in all, I became addicted to it for its ability to satisfy its readers’ thrust to credible and dependable news.
It is Yemen Times which was found as an independent and still independent. It was found to fight corruption, defend the human rights, present the truth to the public and above all, it was found to give a model in press responsibility.
Subhi Nasser Ahmed Al-Zuraiggq
English Language Teacher
I think it is one of the most interesting newspapers in Yemen. it publishes different views and opinions on current affairs in the country. What is very important, criticism of negative aspects in Yemen’s life is not done for the sake of criticism, but it is of a constructive nature and very instrumental in giving the readers more or less adequate picture of what is going on in the country.
Alexander Kalugin
Ambassador of Russia- Sana’a
“My impressions about the Yemen Times are good. I am one of the steady readers of the newspaper for it benefits me in different manners like continuing my practice of English and gaining knowledge from its topics.
Fatima Abdullah Al-Salami
Student, Faculty of Arts, English Language Department
Yemen Times is one of the most prominent newspapers in Yemen and it is the first Yemeni newspaper to be published in English. However, the newspaper still has several shortcomings that block its widespread. For, instance it lacks information topics and local surveys and instead it shifted to publish different points of view in the form of articles without really looking at the core of the subject or making suitable solutions. Yet, in general, this has not greatly affected the newspaper in a negative manner.
Amira Alawi
Student, English Language Department
Yemen Times is a comprehensive newspaper and it is reaching its zenith during this period especially the field of social sciences which is a major field I am interested in due to its close relationship with our practical life. In general, it is very organized in terms of topics and design and that makes it almost the only newspaper which I have an interest in. I shall not forget to mention its smooth and understandable language it uses in its topics. Finally, I wish the staff of the Yemen Times all success and development.
Sohayrah Abdullah Alows
Student, Libraries Department
I will write my opinion beginning with the stage that I started reading the newspaper. It is really nice that we have an English-language newspaper in our country although, as we all know, that there is a little proportion of the population able to speak English. However, despite that the newspaper could find its readers even among this small portion of the people.
I would like to say that the newspaper started by publishing lots of new topics that gained satisfaction of the readers like reportages and publishing facts without concealing the truth and without flattery towards.
If we look deeper into the newspaper we would find that it works for noble goals which serve the Yemeni society in several ways.
Abdul-Fattah Ismail
Student, College of Arts, English Language Department
Truly, I am very proud of Yemen Times for all that it has achieved and yet to achieve for the Yemeni media field. I consider it the other side of the coin of Yemen for it’s the first newspaper published in English. During the past ten years Yemen Times has proved that it is the most capable of entering the third millennium with more challenges and abilities and the continuation of the newspaper is the biggest proof of its success.
Talal Ali Ali Al-Kawlani
Senior, Faculty of Art, Libraries and Information Science Department
There is always a connection between the great man and the great deed and here the man is Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf and the deed is the Yemen Times. The publishing of this newspaper in English was the window of Yemen through which other foreign countries can look at Yemen. In the past, all that the outer world new about our country was written by foreign journalists and there writings were full of lies and rumors against our country and religion. Ever since it was established the Yemen Times played the role of a defender of our country and religion and we can take the story of Nadia and Zina as proof. We all know the rumors which were spread about these two ladies since 1980 and it was not until the Yemen Times investigated into this subject that we have come to know the real truth and were able to answer all accusations.
Mohsen Saleh Ali Al-Yafye’e
English Language Teacher
My impressions on the Yemen Times are great because it has a very wide-spread reputation inside and outside Yemen. It writes about important topics comprehensively and covers all their details. So, without exaggeration, it is considered the best newspaper for me and I read it regularly. I always follow its hot news and objective articles that speak of reality of our society. What really prevails the newspaper is its independence in choosing topics and not being biased. From its start and over the previous ten years the Yemen Times has forced its self through its complete coverage of news that includes all life aspects and through its interesting articles which are always clear and smooth.
Abduh Rabu Ahmed Salem Al-Yafye’e
Student, Faculty of Art, Psychology
Yemen Times is considered the first window for Yemen on the outer world by means of covering different topics in the fields of literature, art, culture, folklore, heritage and ruins not to forget its patronage of many political and cultural seminars and festivals every once in a while. These are all proofs for its strong presence and prominence in publishing in all fields.
Abdul-Jaleel Salam
University Student
When I came back from Germany in 1995, I found that many newspapers have been spread and published after the reunification of Yemen. However, the Yemen Times was the only newspaper that attracted me and I started reading it regularly without missing one issue. I observed the true and unbiased news which was free from flattery in this newspaper and I found on the ideas of its founder the newspaper which tries to perform
its informative role to the development of the country. It is undoubtedly Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf’s personality, his great articles, national sense and true wish to improve the situation of Yemen that attracted me to this newspaper. I was always proud of the presence of such man in the newspaper and I felt truly sad when I heard about his unfortunate accident. At this point, I expected that the newspaper would not flourish but days proved my expectations to be wrong. I now believe that the Yemen Times has lost one of its most brilliant stars but it is still the newspaper number one.
Dr. Adel Mohammed Al-Qubati
In reality, I am not a steady reader of the Yemen Times, however, in the few times that I read the newspaper I can say that it is the best newspaper published in English. I always find its topics interesting and I noticed that newspaper brings up-to-date political issues. The Yemen Times has recently made a millennium competition on the occasion of the new millennium. So, I always find it enjoyable to read the Yemen Times more than once.
Shadi Ali Mohammed Al-Sabri

Yemen Times Heading for a Brighter Futuer
Mohammed Hatem Al-Qadhi,
Managing Editor
It is really difficult for me to record my experience with the Yemen Times in words. Actually, my story with the Yemen Times goes back to the beginning of my college study. I found in the Yemen Times a good source of information as well as an appropriate means to improve my skills in English which was my first purpose for reading the Yemen Times continuously. But later on I developed a liking for the newspaper and its late editor Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf. I admired his writings, his devotion to the country and its people, his courage in handling critical issues for which he was ruthlessly harassed. I used to know everything about him through the newspapers. This really made me feel the greatness which made him command the respect of all people. I admired more his courageous fighting against the crooked and corrupt people in the country. For this, I used to keep all the issues of the Yemen Times in a special archive. And because I am fond of writing, I decided to contribute to the Yemen Times. The first article published for me in this paper was in 1995. I still remember even its title,” The Arab Mindset and Future Challenges”. Publishing that article gave an incentive to write. It also gave me confidence in my ability to write in English, though I started writing in Arabic since my secondary schooling.
After graduation from the university I kept reading the newspaper. Once I decided to write a letter to the editor of the Yemen Times asking for the post of a corespondent of the paper in Taiz. The managing editor of the paper at that time asked me to work as a freelancer in the paper. He further asked me to write reports for the paper. He sent me a letter of accreditation as I am the paper’s correspondent in Taiz. I started making reports and writing articles which were published. That motivated me a lot and gave me an impetus to go ahead. My first contribution now was about the manners of begging. I kept on writing for about six months. Then, I was offered a job in the head office. I came to Sanaa and I met Dr. Saqqaf for the first time. He gave me a very warm welcome and I found him very modest and humble. He told me that he was very impressed by my writing and the topics I focus on in my writings. Furthermore, he told me that all the editors of the newspaper had th same impression about my writings. I attended the next day a seminar about ” Safe Tourism in Yemen”. It was the first seminar in which I represented the Yemen Times.
Dr. Saqqaf kept on encouraging me and telling me to always ” take the initiative”. He was also happy with my being hard working and punctual and he used to tell me about that.
After two months of my joining the work, Dr. Saqqaf promoted me to the position of the Assistant Managing Editor. This pushed me further to keep the good work up. He also sent me abroad to participate in some seminars. Once I told Dr. Saqqaf that malaria swamped Taiz. He told me that he had a plan to re-open the paper’s office in Taiz. Then, we re-opened the office and I worked there for seven months as the editor of the office. After the catastrophe of the untimely death of Dr. Saqqaf in June I started working as the managing editor until now.
During all this time I have found the paper achieving consecutive success and ranking a high position among the other media bodies in the country. This is mainly because of its total independence and accuracy in reporting. For this it has become an important source for news for people living inside as well as outside Yemen.
After the death of its founder, some people thought that it would wither away and collapse. BUT it continued and it will with even a stronger determination as long as the soul of its founder is with us, YEMEN TIMES is alive and kicking.

Dr. Saqqaf: The Man who Commands the Respect of All
What attracted me in the first place to the late Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Saqqaf was that he was an ambitious energetic young man whose head was swarmed with ideas on what he could do for his country Yemen.
My first encounter with him was before the elections of 1993, a period when the political arena was hustling and bustling with various trends and absence of clear political visions. Conflicts were at their highest points between power centers, party blocs, tribal groupings and those having interest in such turmoil atmosphere.
We were looking for patriotically oriented youth not yet contaminated with the ills of corruption that was rapidly spreading in our country particularly after the unification. We were searching for well behaved youth enjoying good morals, and away from tribal and partisan fanaticism. That was the situation and the state of affairs comprehended by the youth then and indeed it was clearly and profoundly understood and realized by Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Saqqaf.
This common concern had brought us close to each other and decided to work together under the slogan of ” the homeland above all”. Thus Dr Al-Saqqaf decided to run the parliamentary elections of 1993. Electors at his constituency placed great confidence in him as their faithful representative and among the sincerely patriotic men in Yemen with progressive orientation. Unfortunately he could not score the votes needed to win a seat in those parliamentary elections and that was owing to many political reasons. Nevertheless he has won the love of the people and their respect during his lifetime and following his martyrdom on June 2, 1999, the people mourned him in a most magnificent referendum of love, respect and confidence. It was exciting and awesome vote of confidence awarded to the man whom the people have always loved and respected, Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Saqqaf.
Mohammed Bin Sallam, Yemen Times
Yemen Times….. The Leading English-Language Newspaper
Mohammed Khidhr
Yemen Times

Having spent around four months working for the Yemen Times weekly newspaper, now I feel I have had a pretty happy chance that it has been my first experiment of working in Yemen. The cordiality and hospitality of the Editor- in- Chief Walid Al-Saqqaf in my first meeting with him made me completely forget I am away from home. His friendliness was that of an old friend, not of a new acquaintance and he facilitated all procedures and requirements for having me as one of his paper’s staff. And this is, of course, very gentlemanly of him. I have the feeling that I am much obliged to do my best to serve this widespread leading media organ and I am determined to do so, hoping more success and development for this young newspaper.
As an Arab, I feel very proud to find out such a very informative English-language independent publication in Yemen, recruiting young hard-working staff fully dependent on their own linguistic and journalistic abilities. All Arab countries need to have qualified and competent media in foreign languages because they represent the main truthful source of information on the developments taking place in our countries in a credible and unprejudiced way and truthful accounts of what is happening in them. In addition: through these media we can express our views and opinions on what is going on in the world on different topics so that the world would know that we are not a nation isolated from the rest of other nations and we have our active share in shaping a democratic and peaceful world.
Despite its young age, for it has just celebrated its tenth birthday, the Yemen Times has gained for itself a good reputation and spread among readers inside Yemen and abroad particularly that it has a site on the Internet. Yemeni expatriates find in it a reliable source of information on their country and happenings in it and the paper receives many letters to the editor from them expressing their views and impressions on multitude of information and news published in the newspaper.

I have come to know that its founder the late Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Saqqaf had exerted great efforts to bring about this publication to occupy a distinguished position among the press in his country and even abroad. He had met with very many difficulties and resistance to abort his scheme but he struggled with all his might and eventually managed to realize his objective. Even after that the newspaper faced many attempts to muffle its daring and frank voice and its founder was subject to many kinds of harassment and even detention. All those acts and attitudes were meant to deviate the paper from its free independent course it had adopted for itself, but fortunately all were doomed to failure and the paper has been successful to survive them all then and at present under its young and energetic chief editor Walid Abdul Aziz Al-Saqqaf for whom I wish ever and ever success to maintain conveying his late father’s mission and message.
In acknowledgement of the good efforts and as a show of thankfulness towards his achievement I propose to have a small statue- a bust Ñ to be erected on a stand at the entrance of the newspaper building to represent a monument consecrated to the memory of this prominent Yemeni personage. Much heartfelt congratulation to all the staff of the newspaper and its editor-in chief on its birthday and best wishes for its ever success.

After 10 years, The Challenge is Greater
Hassan Al-Haifi
Yemen Times

The Late Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf was indisputably a man of foresight and had a sense of never letting opportunities slip by. On the other hand, Dr. Al-Saqqaf knew where his talents were stored and how to apply such talents for the fulfillment of his own aspirations while at the same time not forgetting that life is meaningless if one does not serve a national cause and advocate for the advancement of freedom and welfare of his people. While many people were displeased when the second party to the unification of Yemen (agreement) opted for a break from the union, once the pressure on them got too heavy, it is still to their credit that for four years (1990-1994), the Yemeni press enjoyed relative freedom and respite from direct or indirect censorship. In fact, even the public responded positively as circulation of many of the independent and partisan mouthpieces reached record high. The Yemen Times, along with many of the existing newspapers, were born during this period. The progressive outlook of the founder of the Yemen Times quickly brought the paper into the forefront of Yemeni journalism, both as a strong defender of political and human rights and in the use of state of the art technology at the same time. Al-Saqqaf understood that a paper’s appeal is maintained by maverick reporting and a refusal to compromise on quality. 

Sometimes this entailed sacrifice and exposure to danger, but when one’s destiny becomes tied to a cause sacrifice and danger take on secondary consideration and left to God’s will to deal with.
With Dr. Al-Saqqaf’s untimely passing, the Yemen Times continues his legacy. No doubt that the atmosphere has changed, and the pressures against free conscientious reporting have become formidable. It becomes more important for the Yemen Times to tread on the same course set by its founder and accordingly must take up the issues that are brought on by increasing repression of free expression and increasing government blindness to the decadence of the social fabric of the nation, amidst corruption, contempt of the Law, by the very elements that are responsible for upholding it, priorities that neglect the real needs of the people and even sometimes work against their well-being, and a misguided approach to democratic government. All of these work against the credibility of the state and it is up to papers like the Yemen Times to insist that as such government is not fulfilling its obligations in the social contract that binds it to the people it claims to govern, and exacts a heavy price for doing so from the resources of the land. That was what the Yemen Times worked diligently to make clear over the last 10 years, and one is pretty much convinced that Dr. Al-Saqqaf’s heirs fully understand this and their commitment to this mission shall not be anyway put to comprise. So, the legacy of the YT shall carry on for generations to come, God willing!

The Education Supplement/ Youth Forum: A perspective
Dr. Ramakanta Sahu,
On the glorious occasion of 10th birth anniversary of Yemen Times , it is our proud privilege and bounden duty to present a perspective on the Education Supplement and Youth Forum, twin feathers in the colored cap of Yemen Times. These constitute a forum by the youth and for the youth, to encourage them to express their ideas, feelings, emotions and visions for the future. At a time when Yemen Times is entering the threshold of its youth, it is only appropriate that there should be an exclusive chapter for the youth who uphold a rich promise for the future of this old country but young nation. Yemen Times is committed to search literary talents among the Yemeni youth and nourish them to be harbingers of its fabulous literary and cultural heritage. We take this opportunity to solicit the patronage of all concerned to join hands in this noble endeavor. Let the Education Supplement and Youth Forum attain the full bloom of youthful vigor and vitality under its youthful Chief Editor Walid Abdul Aziz Al-Saqqaf.

Yemen Times Steady Progress Towards Prosperity
Radwan Al-Saqqaf
Yemen Times,

The occasion of the 10th anniversary of the newspaper is the beginning of a new era of prosperity. We have committed ourselves to do our best so that we see the newspaper prosper and develop. This is the best thing we can do to express our appreciation for the late founder of the newspaper Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf.
Our celebration this year is very special for it is our first festival in the new millennium and I still remember the time I joined Yemen Times when the late Dr. Abdulaziz helped me a lot to improve in journalism. At the beginning the newspaper used to have very limited resources, however our celebration today marks the conspicuous success the newspaper has achieved throughout ten years. I still remember how we started with a small modest office equipped with few machines and how it has developed into a big journalistic institution equipped with sophisticated equipment and latest computer network. Who can ever forget the year 1993 when the most modern computer network was inaugurated in Yemen and Yemen Times was the first newspaper to use such modern technology.

In Memory of Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf
Imad Al-Saqqaf
Yemen Times, Taiz

We started from scratch in a country where democracy was in its infancy. Ever since its establishment, it has been committed to freedom, democracy and human rights.
Yemen Times was established by the pioneer of Journalism Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Saqqaf on 27 February 1991. He had been fully committed and devoted to these goals until he passed away. From establishment to his death, lies a long, tiring, and challenging journey, but, interesting.
I have been associated with Dr. Abdul Aziz since the establishment of the newspaper. He used to play the role model in sacrifice and patriotism. He was always optimistic and used to take the initiatives in anything pertaining to the development of our society. So often he used to tell us “The true role of journalists is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”I have held so many positions such as an accountant, printing supervisor and presently Taiz Bureau Chief.
There is a big difference between the beginning and our present state which goes all-out to prove that the founder as well as the staff of the newspaper have done a good job. The only thing we are ought to do to give Dr. Abdul Aziz his due right is to follow his footsteps no matter whatever happens.

Yemen Times: A Glittering Decade of Success
Yemen Times is celebrating the elapse of a decade of unique experience in the field of journalism in Yemen as the first English-language newspaper. Yemen Times’ age is as that of the Yemen’s Unity and this is what its founder really desired. Despite the fact that its period of experience in journalism is short, it has proved itself as an outstanding one among independent newspapers gaining the respect of local as well as foreign readers.
It has never been leading a traditional profession and its founder, Dr. Saqqaf, did not think of fame or material gains. He had rather wanted it to carry out a mission in society. He wanted to be the mouthpiece of the suppressed and needy people as well as a mirror reflecting the people’s ambitions and aspirations. Through Yemen Times, many people inside and outside Yemen have come to know him as a great economist and advocate of human rights.
Mahboob Ali
President of Yemeni Journalists Syndicate

Continued from Page 1: Statement of the Winner of the YR 1,000,000 in the Yemen Times Millennium Competition
“I have been following Yemen Times since 1992. I admired the newspaper since the first time I read it. What mostly impressed me was the attention it gives to its readers in providing the unique and interesting articles and reports about local and international issues concerning Yemen. I also was delighted to see how its simple and effective language had helped a lot of students enhance their reading abilities and English language in general.””I participated in the competition by mere chance. I stayed awake the whole night just for the sake of completing the coupons. I kept on calling the sponsoring companies and I went to the places where I could get the accurate answers from. I even went to the Shammr Shopping center to shop and to get the answer of the second question. I worked hard on getting the questions, and it was worthwhile. I had strong confidence in the honesty of Yemen Times in making a just draw in an appropriate and correct manner. Just as I expected, the draw was fair and was done in front of the public at the Yemen Times premises, where the gate was open for all to monitor and watch the draw. I also was told that the draw was recorded on video, which further emphasizes on the fact that the draw was carried out fairly.””Yemen Times called -the telephone number I wrote on the coupon- 10 minutes after the announcement of the 1st prize winner (me). Because I was in out of town on that day, I was in a mission in Shabwa, my original homeland. My friend Nayef Al-Mansouri answered the phone and was told that I won the first prize. He then called me to tell me the great news. I couldn’t believe the news. I couldn’t believe I was the winner of the YR 1,000,000, simply because I participated by mere chance. Frankly speaking, I was encouraged to participate after reading the phrase “Who knows? You could be the YR 1,000,000 winner.”

“When I was called to the Yemen Times office in Sanaa, I saw my name listed as the first prize winner. Only then did I believe that I won the prize. I will use this amount of money to enhance my standard of living and cannot think of much to do with it now. I also would like to wish all the other participants who did not win in the competition more luck in future competitions. I would also want to encourage them to participate in the coming competition of Yemen Times, because the newspaper’s reputation and honesty are the two main factors that encouraged me, and should encourage the rest.””At the end of the day, even if I hadn’t won this competition, I still would have trust in the honesty and fairness of the draw that took place in a truly appropriate and just manner, and hence would still be satisfied with the results.
Thank you Yemen Times.”Salem Mohamed Salem Kuraif – Winner of the 2000 Millennium Competition