Dec 18, 2009, 9:02 PM
Mr. Pap Saine officially resumed work with us yesterday after spending 29 days at the Jeshwang Prison, along with other five colleagues - Sam Sarr, Pa Modou Faal, Ebrima Sawaneh, Bai Emil Touray and Sarata Jabbi-Dibba, who was kept at the Mile Two Central Prison.
We were concerned about his absence during the Ramadan, hence we wrote sometime ago an editorial (Ramadan without Pap Saine).
It was our own way of showing how much his absence was felt within The Point family, of which he is the patriarch. Knowing that he does not joke with his religious obligations, we were disturbed about how he was coping with this holy month of piety and supplication in the dire and grim circumstances of prison life.
Even in prison, as we have just learned, he did not shirk his religious duty - he has been fasting and praying, like most other Muslims in the Ramadan, making do with whatever meals was available.
And like the other faithfuls, Pap Saine continues with his fasting without a break. Seen in this light, Saine is both a devout Muslim and a steadfast journalist who did not lose faith in his religion and his profession throughout his ordeal.
We have therefore chosen to write the antithesis of our earlier editorial - 'Ramadan without Pap Saine', a celebration of liberty, truth and solidarity. For Pap Saine and the others, their experience at the prison was simply a question of mind over matter.
Since his resumption of work yesterday, the atmosphere at The Point has been infused with a renewal of energy and purpose, translating in the reaffirmation of unwavering commitment to the finest ideals of journalism among the staff.
The fast was broken with much laughter and joy, the joy of reunion with our colleagues in a communal spirit. And we now look forward to each day of the Ramadan with joy that Pap Saine will always be there with us to observe it with purity of mind and body.
In the spirit of the Ramadan, we would also like to state that journalism exists for the overall progress of society, because the right to inform and the right to be informed are the pillars of a true democracy.
A true democracy needs effective journalism to translate its gains to the people from whom it derives its strength.
The Ramadan is now complete for us as Pap Saine is around; together we shall all celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr (Koriteh) in good health, peace, and tranquility.
Allah Akhabur - God is Great!
"Even God is deprived of this one thing only: the power to undo what has been done."