Yemen mourns the death of one of it's brightest and finest young men. Ibrahim Mothana (@imothanaYemen), a prominent activist and writer, Co-founder of Watan Party and Arab Thought Foundation 2011 ambassador, died on September 5th, 2013 at the age of 24. He lived a short life but was an inspiration to many who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Ibrahim, who was born on October 23, 1988, dreamed of a better Yemen and had dedicated his life to achieve that goal. He wrote an Op-Ed about the impact and morality of drone strikes in Yemen, and in the New York Times he wrote about his aspirations as an Arab and Yemeni youth activist in CNN and in Al-Jazeera. He was also an eloquent speaker and one of the best youth activists to represent Yemen abroad. Watch him speak about Yemen's revolution in “Global leadership and the new digital landscape” seminar in Sweden in July 7, 2011 (video uploaded to YouTube by GlobalUtmaning):
Ibrahim Mothana was a bright, friendly, inspiring, smart, talented, witty, young man and his untimely death is certainly a great loss to Yemen and to his family and friends.
News of his sudden death spread through social media late Thursday evening as friends in Yemen and around the world wrote heartfelt posts to commemorate his achievements and mourn his tragic loss:
His friend and fellow activist Farea Al Muslimi tweeted the sad news:
— Farea Al-muslimi (@almuslimi) September 5, 2013
Another friend, Hamza Alshargabi wrote:
Ibrahim Mothana leaves us to a better place, only the good die young! Never in my life have I met someone… http://t.co/oxRJkvVv06
— Hamza Shargabi (@icHamza) September 5, 2013
Hamza also posted a YouTube video commemorating Ibrahim:
Abdullah Hamidaddin shared a video of Ibrahim:
— Abdullah Hamidaddin (@amiQ1) September 5, 2013
Activist Summer Nasser vowed to continue in his footsteps:
— Summer Nasser (@SummerNasser) September 5, 2013
Yemeni Blogger Afrah Nasser wrote a powerful blog post in his memory. She wrote:
Mothana truly believed that he had the responsibility to make a change for his community and he has stated that in his piece published on the Global Changemakers website, “I realise now that I am not in this position to represent my own views but also the millions of young people under the age of 25 living in the Arab world. I am responsible for making the voices of young people heard and helping create solutions for the problems they face within the Arab region. I agree with the words of Albert Pike: ‘What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal’.”
I also wrote this blog post as a remembrance to make others know who this inspiring young man was.
American Author Gregory Johnsen wrote:
This is a tragic loss for Yemen. Ibrahim was incisive and kind, one of the few bright spots for Yemen's future.
— GregorydJohnsen (@gregorydjohnsen) September 5, 2013
Irish Journalist Iona Craig, who lives in Yemen and knew Ibrahim, tweeted:
In total shock and tears to hear of the death of great friend @imothanaYemen. One of Yemen's smartest young men. Yemen needed you Ibrahim. x
— Iona Craig إيونـا (@ionacraig) September 5, 2013
US Journalist and author of the book “Dirty Wars” Jeremy Scahill added:
Horrified to hear of the sudden death of my friend Ibrahim Mothana, an amazing, tireless activist who never stopped fighting for Yemen
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) September 5, 2013
Bahrain's Human Rights Activist Maryam Al-Khawajaa tweeted:
I had the pleasure of meeting Ibrahim Mothana, an inspiring #Yemen-i activist, a while back. Saddened to hear he has passed away. RIP
— Maryam Alkhawaja (@MARYAMALKHAWAJA) September 5, 2013
Egyptian journalist and blogger Mohammed Aldahshan wrote:
Endless sadness. My friend @imothanaYemen, 25 years old, passed away. Truly an immense loss for his family, his friends, Yemen, & the world.
— Mohamed El Dahshan (@eldahshan) September 5, 2013
Please share with us your memories,words or pictures with our late friend, شاركونا فيما تملكون من صور او كلمات او ذكريات عن صديقنا الراحل.
Australian Linh Do shared her impression of Ibarhim, she tweeted:
RIP Ibrahim Mothana who was one of the few people I knew who didn't just want to change world, but was already doing so.
— Linh Do (@lmdo) September 6, 2013
I knew him as a great Yemeni (or as we used to say, Yemish) anti-drone activist who showed me a Yemen that I didn't know.
— Linh Do (@lmdo) September 6, 2013
But even if the outpouring of grief in Yemen and other places across the globe provides a fitting demonstration of what Ibrahim achieved in his 24 years on this earth, its not just about who he was and what he did, but what he was unable to do. I doubt there's anyone who ever met Ibrahim who didn't assume he was destined for even bigger things. God knows how much more this guy could have accomplished, how much more he could have done to make Yemen a better place. We'll all certainly miss Ibrahim's humor and insight.
This is a storify of the outpouring messages from Yemen and around the world mourning Ibrahim Mothana's loss.