Our friend Ibrahim

Gone too soon | Fatima Abo al-Asrar

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I never knew how old Ibrahim was until he died. A decade ago, it was hardly possible to see a young Yemeni man as a proponent of change, heading a party and representing the youth of his country. Ibrahim did all this with grace and diplomacy, a currency that is missing among many seasoned politicians in Yemen.

 It was in Cairo that we met. Ibrahim was in the Carter Observation mission for the Egyptian Presidential Election, and sought to talk to me to let me know how proud he felt that a representative from his government was participating in the same mission. He shined in that mission. We met again a year later in Boston at Conference sponsored by Harvard. He spoke with other experts in Yemen and delivered the most interesting heartfelt presentation. When he spoke, he was not speaking for himself or his interests, he was speaking for something that was bigger than him, people he never met. He stood up to say “We, Yemenis”, not “I, Ibrahim”.

 Although he was in my life for a brief amount of time, I was touched by his presence.  Knowing him renewed my hope in Yemen’s generation. I was saddened to hear the news of his passing. Just like many who are in-shock, I felt that he had so much more to give. Ibrahim came into life to teach us something; a  messenger for his Yemeni generation. He will be missed.

Fatima Abo al-Asrar

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