The Gambian Consul to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Burama (Fabou) Sanneh, has received commendation from Gambians for humanitarian interventions extended to his nationals.
His appointment raised eyebrows among critics who felt he didn’t have much to offer.
Mr Sanneh’s first test was to mobilised human and material resources to evacuate Gambian students from the war-torn Sudan. In July of this year, Mr Sanneh was praised for standing up for Gambian pilgrims at Jeddah Airport. Gambian historian Dembo Fatty, who described Fabou as a Nyancho, wrote: “Our group was scheduled to fly out from Jeddah to Gambia at 9:20am, which was pushed further. We shared a waiting lounge with some Nigerian pilgrims, and the place was jam-packed with many without seats. After about an hour, the Nigerians left much to the relief of the Gambian pilgrims that were standing, and so we took advantage of the empty seats that were available. Some twenty minutes later, some airport officials asked us to leave the area that was occupied by the Nigerian pilgrims to be used by Indian pilgrims.
“We were almost about to leave when Fabou Sanneh intervened and told the Gambian pilgrims not to leave, and from afar, I saw him talking to the airport officials about how the Gambians would not give up their seats for Indian pilgrims. Whatever his line of argument was, I don’t know, but the officials backed out, and the rest was history. I would have been one of the Gambian pilgrims to give up their seats, having already endured an extended period of standing in the hall. Thank you for standing up for your people. We appreciate your efforts, and many grateful pilgrims salute you. You were a Nyancho true and true that day,” Fatty said.
Fabou is also commended for his steadfastness in building contacts and networking with Gambians living in Saudi Arabia.
The networking is meant to create opportunities for Gambian youth in Saudi Arabia. Saikou Touray is one of the young, vibrant Gambians the diplomat is working with to build a close relationship between the Embassy and young Gambians living in the Kingdom.
“This led to the trial of four young female soccer players and a coach in the persons of Aminata Gaye, Adel Mendy, Teddy Sirreh Jatta, Elizabeth Ndeke, and coach Modou Lamin Nyassi,” Fabou wrote on his Facebook page.
The five young Gambians arrived in Jeddah last Tuesday for trials with Al Nors AJ Academy in Jeddah. Coach Nyassi will help set up the training manual and other logistics for Al Nors AJ Academy.
“This came as a result of an MoU I signed with two female soccer clubs to scout talent from the Gambia. The two clubs are also building female soccer academies in The Gambia, while one of them, Al Intillaga Sports Club, promised to build and develop a sister club under their name in The Gambia. This is what we call economic diplomacy. On behalf of the office and staff of the consulate in Jeddah, we seek your prayers for the success of these girls, which will certainly open the gate for others,” he said.
He added that the opportunity was possible through the support of Saikou Touray, who has been the source of connection.
“Touray has been a resident of Jeddah for over twenty years, and his quest to support development in The Gambia is adorable. May Allah help him in his dreams,” diplomat Sanneh added.