The SF State wrestling team joins in for a huddle before an at-home match in Dan Nasser plaza on January 29, 2023. The team chanted the name of Hamzah Alsaudi in a mixture of visible emotions and promised to take home a win in his honor. Alsaudi is still missing at sea after two weeks of searching. (Joshua Carter/Golden Gate Xpress) (Joshua Carter)
The SF State wrestling team joins in for a huddle before an at-home match in Dan Nasser plaza on January 29, 2023. The team chanted the name of Hamzah Alsaudi in a mixture of visible emotions and promised to take home a win in his honor. Alsaudi is still missing at sea after two weeks of searching. (Joshua Carter/Golden Gate Xpress)

Joshua Carter

SF State remembers Hamzah Alsaudi, family still searching

Lack of updates on Hamzah Alsaudi’s whereabouts cause a mix of hope and grief for many on campus.

February 6, 2023

Members of the SF State wrestling team gathered in a huddle before their first meet since Hamzah Alsaudi went missing on Jan. 19. Coach Anthony Mancini promised to take home a win. 

Mancini led the team as they chanted “Hamzah!” After the count of three some team members were visibly emotional.

After a successful match, Head Coach Jason Welch gave his take on the day.

“I’m really glad we were able to have a good match,” Welch said. “I think everyone was having a hard time dealing with the tragedy, and I think this match’s success will help heal and return to a sense of normalcy.”

The case of missing student-athlete Hamzah Alsaudi continues to loom over SF State’s students and faculty. While for some, questions and frustrations about his whereabouts grow, others have begun seeking grief counseling.

Director of SF State’s Counseling & Psychological Services Dr. Stephen Chen urges anyone who is struggling to seek help from CAPS or to reach out to trusted support systems. 

CAPS partnered with the Dean of Students office and the Department of Athletics to address the concerns that the wrestling team may have had, taking a “frontline” approach to the news of Alsaudi’s disappearance. 

Dr. Chen emphasizes that these services are available to all university students. 

“Some people do still have hope, while some folks want to move on and grieve,” Dr. Chen said. “But everyone has their own way.” 

By all official accounts, Alsaudi’s current status is “missing.” The length of time and conditions surrounding his disappearance offer a bleak outlook, but for those assured that he will be found, the answers just aren’t coming fast enough.

A GoFundMe page created by Alsaudi’s sister Yasra appeared on February 2, dedicated to “seeking private services” to continue the search. So far the page has raised over $13,000 of their $20,000 goal. 

It’s not just Alsaudi’s family and teammates reeling from the news of his disappearance, many members of the SF State community feel the weight of the tragedy.

Nicole Watts, Political Science department chair at SF State, lives in Pacifica. She intentionally avoids the more secluded beaches of Rockaway and Esplanade, the area where Alsaudi went missing, which she describes as “dangerous at the best of times.”

“That Thursday was the first beautiful day after all the big storms we had,” Watts said. “This felt so close to home in a number of ways, though I didn’t know him.”

Alsaudi is a senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies. Though Alsaudi is just a few units away from graduating, so far there have been no talks about a potential posthumous degree. 

Associated Students President Karina Zamora stated that she has not heard of any events memorializing Alsaudi being organized by any clubs. 

“We have had students reach out concerned for him which is why we released a statement on social media,” Zamora said. “But after that statement came out, we have not heard much.”

The statement made by Associated Students’ board of directors gave their sympathies and thoughts for Alsaudi’s family.

“I think we are all really upset that the search has been suspended, but we have not lost hope,” Zamora said. “We definitely believe that Hamzah should be brought home at all costs so if that means urging the Coast Guard to continue their search and reaching out, then that is what should be done.”

The search teams from the U.S. Coast Guard, Pacifica Fire Department, San Bruno Police Department and other organizations involved concluded their activity after a nine-hour search on the day Alsaudi disappeared.

According to Capt. Bill Glasgo, commander of the Investigations Division for Pacifica Police Department, local detectives continue to search the area where Alsaudi was last seen.

Glasgo has worked on similar cases of disappearances before. He suggests heeding the signs along the beaches and trails that warn visitors of the potential danger of high waves. 

When asked how long it may take to find Alsaudi, Glasgo spoke frankly.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, so I can’t give a definite timeline,” Glasgo said. 

The lack of closure may weigh heavily on the minds of Alsaudi’s family, friends, teammates and peers, but help is available for anyone affected by this tragedy. 

CAPS services are free for students. You can be seen for a crisis consultation, access brief short-term counseling, participate in group counseling or informative workshops, as well as receive general guidance on services and programs on and off campus. To learn more about Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), visit, or call (415) 338- 2208. CAPS is located on the second floor of the Student Services Building.

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About the Contributors
Photo of Arman Archouniani
Arman Archouniani, Sports Editor
Arman Archouniani (he/him) is the sports editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. He was born and raised in Daly City and enjoys living in the area. As a kid, his dream was to become a professional athlete. Arman loves his local sports teams such as the Golden State Warriors, the San Francisco 49ers, and the San Francisco Giants. He was previously the sports editor for The Skyline View at Skyline College. His dream now is to become a sports analyst for a major sports media company.
Photo of Anessa Bailon
Anessa Bailon, Staff Reporter
Anessa Bailon is the Campus Recreation reporter for the Golden Gate Xpress newspaper. She is majoring in Print and Online Journalism and minoring in Classics. She was raised in Soledad, California, but moved to San Francisco in 2013 to pursue her lifelong dream of a career in sports journalism. Her favorite sport is baseball, and when she has time to go to the ballpark, her scorebook is always in hand. Anessa also enjoys playing her banjo, dancing to hardcore techno music, collecting vinyl records and hearing a good joke.
Photo of Joshua Carter
Joshua Carter, Editor-in-Chief
Joshua Carter (he/him) is the editor-in-chief for Golden Gate Xpress. He transferred from CCSF as a creative writing major but quickly switched to photojournalism with a minor in geography once he landed at SF State. Joshua spent six years in the Navy, served as photo and nonfiction editor at Forum literary magazine, interned as an editorial intern at Alternative Press, and is striving to be a groundbreaking filmmaker and multimedia journalist. In his free time he listens to audiobooks, falls into wiki holes for hours, and performs with his punk band.

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