Departments Awarded for their Environmental Excellence

28 May 2015 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

Five departments across Saudi Aramco received the 2014 President’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

The award was developed more than a decade ago to motivate company organizations to intensify their efforts towards environmental protection.

The nominees for the 2014 awards involved more than 250 initiatives from more than 45 company departments.

Acting president and CEO Amin H. Nasser noted in his address at the awards ceremony that Saudi Aramco has a deep-rooted commitment to environmental stewardship that dates back more than 50 years.

“We’ve taken that approach in all that we do — from the design of our facilities and developing innovative technologies, to a stringent air and water quality monitoring system,” Nasser said, citing the company’s reduction in flaring to essentially zero by the 1980s as an example.

As a result of the strong foundation laid in the early years, the company is reducing its emissions, recycling more waste, conserving more water and protecting marine and terrestrial habitats, as well as ensuring food quality is in compliance with environmental health standards.

“You’re showing the world that it’s possible to provide energy to billions of people for their development and protect the precious natural environment. You’re showing the world that our industry can, and does, choose sustainability as a key business imperative. And you’re showing the world that our industry doesn’t have to be led by regulation,” he said. “It’s simply the right thing to do for our environment.”

The list of winning departments for 2014 includes:

Operating Organizations

‘Uthmaniyah Gas Plant Department
Khurais Producing Department

Support Service Organization
Southern Area Well Completion Operations Department

Most Improved Operating Organization
Western Region Distribution Department

Most Improved Support Service Organization
Mechanical Services Shops Department

Saudi Aramco has taken on a leading role in the development of an industry-wide coalition created to share best practices, address key risks, and catalyze meaningful action and coordination on climate change.

The coalition came together at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in New York last year.

Time To Stop Blaming Others

27 May 2015 | 0 comments | Opinions & Editorials | by

Abdulateef Al‐MulhimAbdulateef Al‐Mulhim
Commodore, Royal Saudi Navy (Retired)

Today, there are more than 50 countries that make up the entire Muslim world. Followers of Islam are not confined to any particular geographical entity. Muslims are found all across the world. Islam is a very simple religion. It is a complete code of life aimed at making its followers a better person. Its teachings govern all aspects of human life. The success of a Muslim in this world and the Hereafter depends on his/her adherence to the five pillars of Islam.

Islam is also the world’s fastest growing religion today. Muslims around the world particularly in the West enjoy social equality and freedom of practicing their religion.

We see Muslims living in the western societies more united than their brethren in the Muslim world.

One fails to understand the root cause of the differences or divisions among Muslims. We believe in the same God and believe in the same Prophet (peace be upon him). This fact should have been enough for us to forge unity among our ranks. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Is it politics that divide us? Or is it mutual mistrust?

Surprisingly, Muslims in the West are more tolerant toward others. The teachings of Islam are universal and don’t change with the change of geographical locations. A Muslim living in the Middle East or the subcontinent is supposed to follow the same teachings as the one living in Norway.

Why, then, we are witnessing so much violence and killings among Muslims across the Muslim world? Sometimes, while reading such violent reports coming out of the Muslim world one is reminded of Hollywood flicks, even more gruesome at times.

The self-ascribed Islamic State (IS) is on a killing spree in the Muslim world. This terrorist organization kills people in the name of Islam!

This group does not only kill, it invents the cruelest ways of putting people to death. Groups like the IS are only harming the unity of Muslims. The Muslim world condemns these terrorist organizations and always tries to explain to the world that these groups don’t represent Islam or Muslims. It remains to be seen as to when the outside world gets convinced that the IS does not represent Islam.

The name of this terrorist organization is also very confusing. They call themselves the Islamic State and continue to brutally butcher Muslims.

It is true that many Muslim countries are not Arab countries but all Arab countries are Muslim countries. The so-called Arab Spring exposed the sorry state of Muslim unity. We see Muslims, from as far away as Australia, joining the ranks of the IS. Many, if not all, of them turned to extreme violence in the name of Islam. Their actions are only deepening the divide among Muslims.

Unfortunately, it has become fashionable in the Muslim world to blame the outside world for all the problems facing the Muslims. We seldom engage ourselves in the practice of self-accountability.

There is no ambiguity in the teachings of Islam and there is no room for any addition or deletion. Hence, no need for any innovation. The validity of Islamic teachings is not time bound. Islam has the potential to adapt to changes in a very civilized manner. There is no need for resorting to violence against anybody with a different perspective. There is great flexibility in Islam.

It is a religion that encourages the culture of dialogue. Unfortunately, we see self-appointed custodians of faith killing people in the name of Islam and attacking mosques to “promote the cause of Islam.”

Such elements tend to forget that the very essence of our religion is peace. Individual Muslims and Muslim countries should concentrate on implementing the true teachings of Islam.

Islam is all about transparency, social equality, good education, respecting others and eradicating corrupt practices. Muslims are supposed to learn how to live side by side with others but if they can’t live in harmony with each other then they will not be able to live with those of other faiths.

In the past, Muslims drew their strength from their unity and tolerance toward others. The world is moving fast and it is the duty of every Muslim to respect everybody. Seeing Muslims killing each other because of minor differences will only bring a bad name to Islam.

The Muslim world is divided not because of any outside enemy. We should try to assess ourselves before blaming others.

Written by Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim. Time To Stop Blaming Others reprinted with permission of Arab News and Abdulateef Al‐Mulhim.

The Udhailiyah Dining Hall Fire

27 May 2015 | 7 comments | Special Interest | by

The Udhailiyah Dining Hall Fire

On the 13th of this month a fire broke out in the dining hall building at the Udhailiyah camp. What started out as a small fire in a chimney quickly grew into a roaring blaze that consumed the dining hall, snack bar, library, game rooms, bowling alley, recreational offices and more. The fire department came, and they were able to stop the flames from spreading beyond the dining hall complex building, but they could not prevent the damage that was done. The building was gutted and the walls collapsed. It may take two years or longer for the facility to be rebuilt, leaving a gaping hole in the life of the people living in the small remote camp. Our sympathies go out to everyone there.

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The Redwood Forest

27 May 2015 | 0 comments | Travel & Leisure | by

The Redwood Forest

This land is your land, this land is my land,
From California, to the New York Island,
From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream Waters,
This land was made for you and me.

Folk music troubadour Woodie Guthrie penned those words in 1940, and ever since, generations of students have learned the words and sung the song. From time to time in these pages we shall be visiting some of the wonders that inspired Guthrie, beginning in this issue with those fabled Redwood Forests. When Guthrie sang of a land that “was made for you and me,” he was referencing Americans. In truth, the giant redwoods of California belong to the world. No matter what nation you call home, you will be awestruck and deeply moved the day you experience them yourself for the first time.

The giant or coastal redwood—genus sequoia, specie sempervirens—thrive in the moist, humid climate of coastal Northern California, where blankets of marine fog and moderate temperatures create ideal conditions for their growth and survival. A good place to start your redwood adventure is San Francisco. Driving north across the Golden Gate Bridge, it will take you an hour or so to reach Muir Woods National Monument on the outskirts of Mill Valley. If you saw, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” some of the scenes from that movie were filmed in Muir Woods. Don’t worry, though, chances are slim you’ll encounter any rampaging apes or their kin on your visit. What you will encounter will be a splendid stand of redwoods once described as “the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the World.”

The Redwood Forest

Heading north from Muir Woods in search of more redwoods to ogle, you have to make a difficult choice: either to hug the Pacific Coastline on California Highway 1 past Point Reyes Marine Preserve, Mendocino and Fort Bragg or travel inland on U.S. Highway 101 through Santa Rosa, Ukiah and Willits. Both offer memorable attractions. Perhaps your best approach would be to drive north on one and return south on the other. That way, you get the best of both worlds.

On your way north (or south), you will be passing through Sonoma and Mendocino counties, home to some of the finest wineries in California. There are simply too many to suggest even one or two here. Rest assured, if you’re a lover of good wine, your choices will be plentiful and varied.

The Redwood Forest

Of course, you will want to drive your car through the trunk of a living Redwood. Along U.S. Highway 101 on the way to Eureka—known as the Redwood Highway—you have a choice of three privately-owned options: the Shrine Drive-Thru Tree near the famous Avenue of the Giants; the Chandelier Tree further south near Leggett; and the Klamath Tree, 60 miles north of Eureka near the Klamath River.

Whichever tree you decide to drive through—if you can’t decide, you can always drive through all three—be sure to visit the Avenue of the Giants, where the largest and densest stands of Old Growth redwoods can be found.

The Redwood Forest

For a change of pace, take a detour off of 101 just south of Eureka and explore the delightful Victorian town of Ferndale. If you’re a film aficionado, you may remember the Jim Carrey movie “The Majestic” and the Dustin Hoffman thriller, “Outbreak.” Many of the scenes from both movies were shot in Ferndale.

Eureka itself is known for its beautifully-preserved Victorian architecture. The city offers a wide range of comfortable lodging choices and some choice dining spots.

Anthony George Kelamis Graduates with Juris Doctorate

26 May 2015 | 1 comment | Graduations & Retirements | by

Anthony George Kelamis

Anthony George Kelamis, son of Panos and Rea Kelamis of Dhahran, graduated on May 17 from the Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate (JD). He also received the Faculty Award for Academic Accomplishment.

Anthony was born in Dhahran in 1986. He graduated from the Dhahran Junior High in 2002 and he then attended Trinity College School in Canada.

He received his undergraduate degree from McGill University in Montreal; afterward, he then studied law at the University of London in the United Kingdom. The Kelamis’ family has been with Saudi Aramco for more than 30 years.