Saad Silawi: A true humanitarian

Saad, with his son, Seri, and his wife Rawabi. (Facebook)
Updated 04 September 2018
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Saad Silawi: A true humanitarian

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.


Dubai-based radio presenter dies hours before show

Updated 16 January 2019
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Dubai-based radio presenter dies hours before show

  • Aramouni was due to present his regular Drive Time slot when he died
  • The Arab-American had previously worked for a radio station in Lebanon

DUBAI: A Dubai-based radio station suspended its regular programing after one of its presenters died a short time before he was due on air.

US-born James Aramouni, 28, had just returned from visiting his family in Lebanon and was due to present his Drive Time show on Dance 97.8 when he died on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019.

The radio station is owned by the media group Shock Middle East which also owns Heart 107.1 FM.

Aramouni, joined the group in October 2017 as the Dance 97.8 Drive Time presenter, having previously worked on a radio station in Beirut.

Group managing director, Cameron Plant said he “quickly became one of the stations leading presenters.”

“James was a much-loved member of the Shock Middle East family and we are devastated to hear of his passing,”

“We will miss his creativity, energy and his contribution to Dance FM. We ask you to respect the privacy of his family during this difficult time.”

Digby Taylor, Aramouni’s program director, told local press that the DJ was one of the biggest talents he had worked with throughout his 40-year career.

He said Aramouni was hugely popular with his colleagues and lived with several of the other presenters

“This was a young man who should have had many, many years ahead of him. He was in the prime of his life and should have had such a long career ahead.”

Aramouni had spent New Year in South Africa and posted a photograph of himself with a friend in front of Table Mountain.

In one of the comments in the thread that followed he told a friend: “it was amazing bro. i wanna move there!!”

But after his death the thread became a place for tributes, with one frined writing: “R.I.P my brother!!You were a great man!!I will never forget the day I met you.”

The radio station Dance 97.8 suspended regular programming for three days as a mark of respect.

No details have been given into the cause of his death.