Gambian man follows in Obama’s footsteps

As he eyes Hungarian parliamentary seat
By Kemo Cham

A Gambian emigrant in Hungary is set to make history when he contests in elections for a seat in the Hungarian parliament, in April later this year.
Gibril Deen, who left Gambia to pursue his academic goals in history and political science, and later Printing and Graphics Arts Design in Europe, found himself enmeshed in the course of human rights activism in what is one of the most racist countries in the world. After pursuing courses in trade unionism and sport management in Russia and various other places in the region, Mr Deen, as he is said to be fondly called among Africans in the Central European Nation, finally settled down as a naturalized Hungarian.
He is contesting under the Hungarian party called Szociál Demokrata Párt (SZDP) led by a Dr. Petrasovits Anna, one of thirteen (13) minor political parties in the country.
A Google search of Gibril Deen will produce over 12000 results on the same man, mainly detailing his involvement in various humanitarian activities – seminars, conferences as well as sporting, all geared towards fighting for emigrants’ right in the country.
This, according to various reports, is what appears to have prepared Mr Deen for political office in a part of the world seen as well entrenched in racism.
“I’ve devoted all of my life to human rights activities and I’ll fight for anyone,” Deen is quoted as saying in 2007 on the Journal, ChickenBones.
If successful, Gibril Deen is said to be representing minorities in the Hungarian parliament, and reports indicates that he is very well fit for the post, given his record being in the vanguard of helping fellow immigrants regarding the violations of their rights.
But in order to qualify to contest, Mr Deen needs to secure 750 signatures in his district, according to reports.
“The preparation is underway, and people are helping me to get the required signatures,” he was quoted as saying. Deen went on to say that for him the elections are just a move and not a do-or-die issue.
Gibril_DeenApart from his preoccupation in the sporting field, organizing Afrikai Stars Football Club in Hungary with the goal of using sports to counter racism and fight intolerance, Gibril Deen is also the Executive Director of Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Movement, a foundation he is said to have founded in 1992 to fight injustice, helping emigrants integrate in the Hungarian society, and to provide legal aids to asylum seekers, human rights education and campaign, tolerance campaign among youths, as well as promoting African culture.
The Gambian born is also said to be a member of the minority committee of the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ).
In 1994, the defunct weekly newspaper, the Budapest Week, said to be the first English-language newspaper in Budapest, Hungary, which used to serve the expatriate population and larger English-speaking population in Hungary, named Mr Deen ‘The Gambian godfather’ ‘‘because of his enduring passion for people’s welfare,’’ reported Hakeem Babalola, a Nigerian writer and English teacher based in Hungary.
“He is a wonderful man and has lots of experience in human rights matters and immigrant problems,” the Budapest based Small Voice Blog, run by Hakeem Babalola, quoted Hungarian Margit Piroska who is said to have known Mr Deen for 25 years.
The Gambian will become one of two such Africans to have eyed top electoral positions in a Whiteman’s land, following in the footsteps of US President Barack Obama, whose father emigrated from Kenya. An unsuccessful Joachim Crima, an emigrant from Guinea Bissau, last year came third in local elections in violently racist Russia.

Comments are closed.