AMMAN: I worked with Saad Al-Silawi for 19 years, first at MBC and later the Al Arabiya News Channel. He was one of the most generous people I have met.
Those who were around him would also remember Saad as a selfless person; sometimes, he forgot himself to help others.
My first interaction with him was in June 2001, right after I conducted an interview with Osama bin Laden.
The recorded tapes of the interview had to be sent to MBC headquarters in London and at that time I did not have a visa to travel to the UK.
Saad flew from Jordon to Karachi where I met him at the airport to give him the tapes. That was my first direct interaction with him.
He didn’t miss the chance for humor about the interview, and how we might be chased by the intelligence agencies because he traveled to Karachi to carry the tapes.
Later, when I was taken hostage for 18 months by the Abu Sayyaf Group in the southern Philippines while on a reporting assignment, Saad was one of those who tried their best to help me.
He stayed in touch with MBC Group and with government agencies in Jordan to help secure my release.
Saad was the first person who received me when I landed in Amman after my release from my captors. He was waiting right next to the plane.
He never lost his smile, and his signature sense of humor. He was a true humanitarian.
Even when he was fighting cancer and faced multiple health issues, he was always still available.
We have lost Saad, the friend that you look for when you need help, the colleague whose experience you learn from, and the beautiful human being who dedicated himself to others. May his soul rest in peace.