Sierra Leoneans in Saudi Arabia Converge to Market an Educational Programme
Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, should be competing with the best in the world when we talk in terms of economic power and infrastructural growth rate. The sprouting skyscrapers can easily capture skywards the glance of visitors who get mesmerised by the fine art. But on Thursday, 11th April, 2013, Sierra Leoneans living in Riyadh rather chose to enjoy the sprawling expansion of the city by selecting a ‘cool and cozy’ spot in the outskirts of the capital to host a well-organized two-in-one evening program featuring the naming ceremony of a new born baby as well as the promotion of the Cambridge International College (CIC) for long distance studies.
It was a flamboyant occasion that cut across nationalities and respectively brought together a melting pot of cultures significantly displayed in the colourful apparels and attire. Honouring the occasion were His Excellency the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E Wusu B. Munu and wife, Mrs. Zainab Munu, the Head of Chancery and Minister Counsellor, Mr. Umaru Dura, the Second Secretary of the Embassy, Mr. Salamu Koroma, the Press Attaché, Mr. Mohamed Ben Jalloh, an American – Sierra Leonean diplomat, Mr. Mohamed Bah, President of the Sierra Leone Nationals’ Union, Mr. Osman Kargbo, newly-elected Chairman of the All Peoples’ Party in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, Mr. Unisa Kanu, to name but a few. Other nationals including Kenyans, Eritreans, Sudanese, Guineans, Philippinos and many more were also in attendance.
The actual hosts of the blessed gathering, Mr. Abdul Kargbo and Mrs. Aminata Fofana, had earlier been blessed with a baby girl whose name incidentally matched that of the Ambassador’s wife of which His Excellency the Ambassador was quick to rise to the occasion to settle the symbolic tradition of re-paying the bride price.
The naming ceremony proper witnessed reflective religious sermons from Alhaji Baila Bah and Sheikh Marouf Sesay. Again, it was tradition on full display as the audience was mesmerised by the narrative prowess of Mr. Abdul Karim Kargbo (AKK) who took time to unravel some proverbs of wisdom passed over to us by our ancestors.
But perhaps, if substantive laurels were to be reserved for a special performance of the evening, then the indisputable merited benefactor will be the charismatic Chairman of the occasion, Press Attaché, Alhaji M. B. Jalloh, whose astute commentary after every speaker was met with an overwhelming sense of elation from the audience. It was through the matured manner in which he conducted the ceremony – subtly issuing time prompts but giving allowances where necessary; showering befitting comments that displayed a comprehensive knowledge on world affairs; seizing the opportunity when presented to astutely showcase President Ernest Bai Koroma’s “Agenda for Prosperity”; cleverly created space for prominent personalities in our midst to take to the podium etc. – all in a nutshell, made some of us acknowledge that Mater Ceremony (MC) attribute is indeed a special art!
When the CIC program took center stage, a brief presentation of the program was done by Mr. Unisa Kanu, where he threw light on the parallel bearing of the two events from the twin timing of the pregnancy and the educational study initiative. The first president of the Sierra Leone Nationals Union, Mr. Ibrahim Y. Sillah, was given the responsibility to give a detailed coverage of CIC program from its inception to its current state.
He informed his audience that the CIC operates in Saudi Arabia with its affiliate, SPARK through Bashair whose headquarters is in Saudi Arabia’s second city, Jeddah. The sitting president; Mr. Osman Kargbo spoke on the guidelines of how to use the study package and Mr. Abdul Karim Kabba spoke on the educational system in Sierra Leone while a British-Sierra Leonean, Mr. Alieu Kamara dilated on the CIC study guide.
By Unisa Kanu
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