"Al Maghrib" Special edition. Commemoration of the 40th day after the loss of Said Hajji, sixth year - No. 937 April 29, 1942
Said was the youngest amongst us and the most mature. He was an adult in his adolescence and no youth who reached the age of his death can compare to him. I know no youth like the beloved Said with the qualities of an accomplished man, possessing a measured and natural calm, a wise and sensible mind and undaunted courage. He was a man who loved to take on difficult issues and nothing pleased him more than to be faced with problems requiring manageable solutions. Nothing interested him less than to have to deal with an issue that resolves itself as he prepared to tackle it.
Said was a soldier on the field of action. He knew neither fatigue nor boredom. His only concern was bad will when he perceived it in his interlocutor. To my knowledge never did sunrise catch him in bed except when he was ill. He spend days deeply involved with his work, faced simultaneously several demanding tasks, visiting and receiving and enjoying sleep only after worry free men rest on their laurels with sleep. As for him he felt sleep coming only after having tried in vain to beat it and only after he was totally exhausted.
He was not a soldier just on the field of action; he was so also by the simplicity of his way of life and his modest means of existence despite being from a wealthy family. He could have led a more comfortable life beside his parents who cherished him not to lose account of the benefits he derived from realizing from his enterprises. Instead he considered himself a private in the middle of a battlefield and by deliberate will he opted to lead a soldier's life so as to avoid having his personal welfare prevent him from taking of other people's issues.
To take up the cause and to take care of other people's problems, these were his objectives in life. I never heard he had a day where he lived, or worked till he tired for selfish reasons. All he undertook went towards the common good which was the ultimate goal for all the projects he initiated and worked on. He created his newspapers and his printing house not as a source for profits. He could have done without it and could have spared his efforts so as to just make enough revenue. instead he created them for the sole purpose to make these newspapers and magazines accessible to the public. And by doing so to show that Moroccans who were said to hardly appreciate anything new and who blindly follow only ancestral traditions are perfectly capable of achieving projects like the printing house he established ex nihilo (from the ground up) and could see the light of day by dint of will.
He marched forward without attacking anyone's convictions or traditions; nor did he injure their self-esteem or frustrate their desires or projects. He maintained a friendly exchange with this peers which he served willingly especially when he noticed some awkwardness and reticence on their part to accept his help. Said respected fully all he dealt with, close friends or otherwise, without feeling any obligation or means to assure that they would be indebted to him in any shape or form. He had the art of attaching his heart solidly to those of others, a bond one can't escape from as long they kept in mind that each time they needed his services, he would respond spontaneously to the call for help and he would maintain utmost discretion in his endeavors to address their needs for his help. Above all, he aided needy students or intellectuals who were betrayed by misfortune figuring that by staying on the sidelines of society they would be a loss to (the advancement of) science and culture. Numerous are those he encouraged in this manner and his disposition in this area would have had no bounds if he had lived much longer.
He traveled to Eastern and Western worlds to study and be informed on the progress achieved in the countries he visited. He gained enormously from these voyages and shared with others the knowledge he acquired from his frequent contacts with intellectual circles during his sojourns abroad. He returned to his country empowered with experiences only a mature man could normally claim only after a full lifetime and yet Said was still in the peak of his youth. He reported on what he saw and heard and on astonishing things that captivated us so much that we placed him amongst Allah's creations to which He granted insight and bold judgement. And yet he had not reached his 30's.
This was the Said whose memory we commemorate today. He led a brave life and accomplished in 30 years what others could achieve only after many decades of living. He served his country, he struggled and he engaged on the path of cooperation and dialogue all the while keeping intact his dignity and his reputation as the wise patriot that he was.
Said was mostly short of stature but he had long arms in all tasks he undertook. He had a big heart and was endowed with an open and informed mind. Upon his death, we asked ourselves a number of times about which one of us would be able to fill in his shoes. This question could remain unanswered were it not for the breath of life by which he enthused all of us while alive and continues to beat within us alongside his wings of light. And so here we are, still intoxicated by the fragrance that his breath wafted around us and we respond: "We, men of action, resolve to continue Said's work, taking his example to never be discouraged because he was the soul of his work and souls never die."
Said's family, which is also our family and one counted amongst the most courteous, was not the only one hit by his loss. His death also stung like a full whiplash the "Al Maghrib" newspaper family which milled about him and was his spiritual family. few in number these members worked each on their own before presenting the fruits of their reflections in the meetings over which he presided. Moreover his passing was a loss for Morocco, a country endowed with too few men of action; men who think in a calm and collected manner and who do everything so their lives would profit their nation.
Morocco needs men of the caliber of our beloved Said who will use loyalty as a guide, honesty as a companion on the road of life. It suffices to consider the loss of this man as one that is unrecoverable and by asking who can replace him, then in the eyes of history Said will be considered as one to emulate. Are we asking this question to many (of our) people?
We salute you Said. You lived happily via the force of your work. And we are allowed following the example of a poet, to tell you after your passing:
They'll cite your name in times that are dreadful
It takes a very dark night to say, a star is useful.
And you must be aware, Said, that your people for whom you lived are always ready to work hard.
We salute you. Be in Allah's Grace.
Abdelkebir El Fassi