Local News

Mourning .. Mourning

National Yemen

Fakhri al-Arashi

While I still strive to convince myself to accept the death of my best friend the American Photojournalist Luke Somers, who was a victim of Yemen’s low security, I continue to mourn.

I was quite optimistic watching his first YouTube video calling for help. As his mother said, he looked very healthy, even to me he was much brighter than I thought he would be. He was well dressed, neat and perfectly shaved. In his speech he was not scared and he had more confidence than any time I had met him. These signs made me more relaxed about his future and I thought that al-Qeada had come to talk to the public to trade him with any Gulf country with an interest to save his life.

I was counting the minutes either for his release, ransom or total ignorance, similar to the situation of the long abducted Saudi diplomat Abdullah al-Hamdi, who was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda for more than three years and he still in their hands. The movement of the U.S. government, his mother and brothers and the media outlets from around the world kept me in doubt about his future.

On Saturday morning, I received a phone call from a friend of mine saying congratulations that they have freed Luke. While I was celebrating the first news, I received different shocking news about Luke’s murder in a failed rescue attempt. Between the first and the second came tears, tears that only come out for relatives and close friends.

Luke was like one of my relatives. He was not just working for me. He was a good friend to my two kids. He was one of the few people who kept National Yemen in print up to today. Luke approached National Yemen in a critical time and he accepted to help to make National Yemen a well recognized English newspaper in Yemen.

The mourning is just little thing to do against the many things he gave to the improvement of National Yemen newspaper and its team. Luke if you have gone, you have gone to the right place, and the final place of all humans. My mourning starts and ends with forgiveness. You have hosted me twice in your little room in the old city of Sana’a, and you may have your private room in paradise.