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SL Information Attaché to Saudi Arabia astounded at welcome at JFK airport, USA

SL Information Attaché to Saudi Arabia astounded at welcome at JFK airport, USA

On 16 March, 2010 a staggering number of people showcased at the JFK international airport, New York, USA, to welcome one of Sierra Leone’s most influential journalists, Mr. Alhaji Jalloh, press attaché to the Sierra Leone Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, who is visiting the USA on vacation.  Although Mr. Jalloh mentioned to a few relatives and close friends that he planned to visit for a vacation, news travelled fast around the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania), and unbeknown to him, great plans were put in place to organize a surprise grand reception for his visit.  People travelled from the three states, some hired a coach and others travelled by their own private car to the airport with around 15-18 vehicles full of passengers waiting for Alhaji Jalloh to land on US soil.  (Photo: Alhaji Jalloh at the great “Haram” mosque of Prophet Muhammad, Peace and Blessings of Allah Be Upon Him).

Speaking to Mohamed Abdul Koroma, of Jersey City, New Jersey, USA who was one of the organizers of this grand reception,  revealed to SEM that the Sierra Leone community has great admiration for Alhaji Jalloh.  His work as a journalist and Information Attaché is valuable to the community in the USA and to Sierra Leoneans as a whole.  Mr. Koroma further stated that “Mr. Jalloh is an honest, hard working citizen and he does a great job for the country, if we had 5 or more people like him I could be so grateful. He is an example to the citizens of Sierra Leone and the Diaspora, as to what we can do towards supporting our country.”

On speaking to Alhaji Jalloh, he told SEM “I was shocked to receive such a welcome, I was like wow!  Honestly, I was expecting a few family members and a couple of friends to meet me at the airport but to my surprise, there were people in their Chinese numbers, many unknown to me, who were rushing to shake my hand and hug me, saying they admire my work as a journalist and appreciate me lot.  After the grand reception at the airport, I was hustled into one of the many vehicles and escorted to Central Avenue,  Jersey City, New Jersey, where a gigantic surprise awaited me.  Over 60 people had taken the time to travel to this venue and show their appreciation and support for my work.  I was completely taken back but very happy to receive this recognition.”

Alhaji Jalloh1Alhaji Jalloh of New Jersey a namesake of Information Attaché Alhaji Jalloh, said “the reception was in recognition of the hard work Mr. Jalloh is doing in promoting Sierra Leone around the world and for the great job he is doing in disseminating information to all.  I was so glad that the event had nothing to do with political allegiance, those gathered on that beautiful evening were from all parties, some were not even interested in politics at all. We wanted to thank Alhaji Jalloh for his hard work as there is not enough amount of money that can pay him for his service to our country. We felt it’s important to let him know that he is an example and a role model to all Sierra Leoneans.

If one may recall, in 2007, Alhaji Jalloh started up a column “Search for SLPP Minister,” which he started with interviewing Solomon Berewa, the past Vice President and presidential candidate for SLPP during the 2007 elections.  Jalloh followed this up with many interviews of past SLPP Ministers .  After that success he ran a second series of interviews which fell under the heading of “Face to Face with EBK’s Ministers.”  This column was insightful and entertaining for people at home and in the Diaspora to get to know much about the past and present administrations.

At the end of that grand surprise reception, the very tired Alhaji Jalloh thanked the people for coming together and making this such a special and unforgetable evenings.  He concluded if we work together as a nation, it will be good and benefit all of us.  I encourage each and every Sierra Leonean to support our current leader, President Koroma in his “Agenda for Change.”

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