‘Where shall I begin, Alice asked the king. Begin from the beginning the king said,’ Alice Wonderland

Among diplomats there is the diploma! Among selfless men there are those who live ensuring others fulfill their dreams. These are great men that change the world, transform societies and inspire the masses.

Usually I find it difficult to eulogize people, thus when I started this article I did not know where to begin. However, my mind went to Alice Wonderland: Begin from the beginning.

Many people may not know Mr. Omar S.M. Gibba, the Gambian deputy head of mission in the Latin American country of Venezuela. This is because he did not believe in eye service nor does he do things because he wants favour. He is the diploma among diplomats; the gallant among gallantries; the humanitarian among humanitarians; the patriot among patriots and more so, the reservoir of hope for Gambian in Venezuela.

Without the unflinching efforts and support of Mr. Gibba most of the Gambian students then in Venezuela and now professionals and civil servants in different institutions, and government departments would not have realise their dreams of completing university education in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Mr. Gibba’s coming to the Gambian embassy in Altamira have serve as a source of motivation and inspiration to almost all the Gambian student at the time and still serving the same purpose to those that are still in Venezuela. Social development workers will tell you that sometimes seeing an authority or a family member during difficult times and talk to them worth more than millions of dollar. This statement is perfectly right because I can vividly remember way back in my university days with my colleagues. When the going was very hard and tough, he didn’t hesitate to joint public buses and travel more than 14 hours’ drive to see how Gambian students were faring in their universities within Venezuela. And this effort was recognized by university authorities and other international students that were studying in the same university with the Gambian international students. I can clearly remember the words of my university rector telling Mr. Gibba and his colleague Alieu Musa Njie that, this was the first time that an ambassador come to his university to see how their citizens were living  behaving and performing in the university. His visits were never as a result of been summon by the university authority to come an address their students misdemeanors.

By extension, these visits to the universities where the Gambian student were reading their different academic programmes have motivated many to be steadfast on our studies. Seeing him was a relief and encouragement to Gambian students! He was the beckon of hope during times of despair. To be precise enough, he was the reservoir of hope and inspiration for Gambian students in Venezuela.  

Furthermore, we cannot talk about Omar S.M. Gibba without been cognizant of the fact that he is among the diplomat if not the only diplomat who will allowed international students irrespective of your nationality to stay in his diplomatic residence for weeks during holidays. He does sometimes deny his own children the comfort of sleeping on a bed just for the Gambian students or other foreign students to use the bed and his children sleep on the floor or on the sofas. He doesn’t only stop at allowing them stay in his resident but also give them three squad meals during their stay. Sometimes he give financial assistant to international students from his own pocket.

I cannot conclude this article without mentioning and thanking him for honouring our graduation invitation at the end of our studies. He doesn’t only stop at honouring our graduation invitation and but also donated us a graduation lunch as our graduation present and this was repeated in different graduation ceremonies that the embassy received an invitation letter.

May the almighty Allah bless you and your family and guides you through in all your endeavours with long and prosperous life and sound health. May He bestow upon you more strength and knowledge to serve your nation in particular and the globe at large.

I will always remember the saying that, ‘one good turn deserves another’. You deserve more than this!

Thank you!!!

Written By A Student From Venezuela Now In The US….

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