L to R: Shafiq A. Khan, Kamal Farooqi, Sher Ali, M. Salim Hamid, Engr. Iqbal Khan, MA Mateen, Ghulam Qutubuddin Khan
The monthly progress meeting of Saudi Aramco Ex-Employees Association (SAEEA) was held on December 02, 2013.
The attendees were as follows:
- Kamal A. Farooqi (KAF)
- Engr. Iqbal A Khan (IAK)
- Ghulam Qutubuddin Khan (GQK)
- Mohammad Abdul Matin (MAM)
- Shafiq A. Khan (SAK)
- Muhammad Salim Hamid (MSH)
- Sher Ali (SA)
The highlights of the meeting were as follows:
- KAF, MAM, SA and MSH visited the local bank to update their records. It was necessary as MSH was taking charge of Finance Secretary’s Office. MSH will deal with the bank concerning SAEEA accounts matters.
- KAF highlighted activities took place during the month of November, 2013.
- KAF thanked all the Team, especially Qutub, Iqbal, Matin and Sher Ali for finalizing SAEEA accounts.
- KAF again requested all attendees to review SAEEA Bye-Laws one more time and review the chapter “Elections” and come back with their recommendations in SAEEA next meeting.
- KAF is in touch with a Lawyer concerning the registration of SAEEA with the Pakistan Government.
- KAF welcomed Muhammad Salim Hamid as a new Finance Secretary SAEEA. He handed over a written welcome letter to MSH as well.
- On behalf of all SAEEA Members and Office Holders, KAF thanked Mr. Sher Ali for performing outstanding job as Finance Secretary for more than three years. He presented a bouquet and an appreciation letter to Sher Ali.
- KAF requested MAM to look for a good place for the 9th Reunion. The tentative date for reunion is January 12, 2014.
- MSH took the charge of Finance Secretary, SAEEA and GQK explained the details of the accounts to MSH. GQK was heavily involved in finalizing the accounts with Mr. Sher
- KAF requested SAK to come back with his recommendations concerning give away items.
- KAF requested MAM to prepare a list of those Members who not yet paid the yearly subscription.
- KAF prayed for all sick Friends and their Families.
- The meeting adjourned after having a delicious lunch in a local Restaurant. The lunch was arranged to say good bye to Mr. Sher Ali and to welcome Mr. Muhammad Salim Hamid.
If you have any questions then please call Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan on +92-321-701-4929 or write to him on
View more photos of SAEEA Monthly Meeting Dec 2013 in the Aramco ExPats Galleries.
Founders Vicci Turner and Rusty Swayne
Aramco ExPats is celebrating 12 years of service to the Aramco community thanks to you, our valued readers and to our sponsors.
We have many things to celebrate with the passing of another anniversary.
- We are so thankful that Tim Barger has been contributing articles with frequency. We have had an overwhelmingly positive reader response to Tim Barger’s tales of adventure as a youth in Saudi Arabia. Tim’s writings have provided a priceless view of the good old days of Aramco that so many of our readers hold near and dear to their hearts. In addition to touching upon this nostalgia, Tim’s outrageous exploits surely make his readers laugh out loud. Read posts by Tim: http://www.aramcoexpats.com/articles/author/tbarger/.
- We posted A Driving Tour of Dhahran online video shared through YouTube which captured a modern day view of Dhahran. This trip down memory lane was the most viewed post on our website this year. View the driving tour: http://www.aramcoexpats.com/articles/2013/04/a-driving-tour-of-dhahran/.
- We are also pleased that Iqbal Ahmed Khan and the members of Saudi Aramco Ex-Employees Association out of Karachi, Pakistan have been regular contributors to the site. SAEEA has represented Karachi very well.
- With sadness in our hearts we said good-bye to Ray Stevens who passed away in February. Ray was not only a well-loved annuitant but also a weekly contributor of photos. We can only imagine and be thankful for the hours Ray spent sorting through old photographs of his decades overseas and scanning them for our enjoyment. Our photo archives have been enriched beyond measure by his efforts. You are well missed Ray!
- We have also been pleased that Aramco has been sharing stories with our readers from their internal publications which otherwise would not be available to retirees, brats, contractors and others.
- We are grateful to all our readers who have contributed stories and photographs to share. The foundation of Aramco ExPats is built on the sharing of all things Aramco past and present. We encourage all readers to submit stories and photographs to continue to build on this foundation.
Editor and Content Manager Kara Swayne
Celebrating Global Connection
- We now have 8,000 newsletter subscribers, up by 1,000 since last year. A faithful reader writes, “It’s one of the few newsletters I read each week because it’s so relevant to our own experiences. No one understands being an Aramcon like another Aramcon!” Subscribe to the weekly Aramco ExPats Highlights and Notices.
- In the past year, we have had 3.6 million website page views and we continue to broaden our reach through Facebook and Twitter. Like us on Facebook.
- Our Forum continues to be the best resource for sharing information between people living in the Kingdom or interested in working for Saudi Aramco.
“We are very proud to have achieved our 12 year anniversary,” said Vicci Turner, president and founder of Aramco ExPats. “The Aramco ExPats community has been very supportive of our efforts, and we look forward to many more years of serving our community. It has been an exciting journey.”
Beechcraft, photo contributed by Kent Howell
Back in 2008 Aramco published the Saudi Aramco Aviation History book. Courtney (Court) Gunderson, a fixed-wing pilot for Aramco in Dhahran, is currently working on an update to the book.
Court says, “The original book is lacking information on many areas of our history.” He asks that anyone with stories they would like to share that would enrich this history to please share them with him. Also, pictures from back in the day would be very valuable additions.
As an example, Court asks, “please help me figure out the mystery behind the Norseman aircraft that Aramco had shipped over to Saudi and pieced together in Dhahran. I would love to hear them.”
He has included a story about the Norseman’s first flight below. “All I can find so far is the Norseman was one of our first aircraft.”
Court requests,”Please help me document the History of our Aviation Department as it’s such an important piece of history to our company and the country!”
To share stories and photographs, please email Courtney Gunderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download Aramco Early Aircraft
Fred and Molly
Aramco Brat and former Aramco employee Fred Bobb, Barb and Elliott recently embarked upon a camel expedition through Safari Wilderness in Lakeland, Florida. Fred said, “It reminded me of the safari I went on with my parents in the 1970′s when we were in Kenya and Tanzania.” Fred’s father, Dr. Arthur Bobb, was an eye surgeon with Aramco Medical Services for 20 years from 1963-1984 in Dhahran.
“The safari, along with our personal tour guide, lasted almost 2 hours through a preserved game reservation on 266 acres. There were two different gaming environments, one with African animals and the other with Asian animals. All the animals got along fine with everyone and were well taken care of and happy. It was quite a fun and interesting educational experience,” said Fred.
Fred was particularly fond of his camel Molly. He said, “She was so cute and adorable. I was told that she had never spit or kicked anyone and just loved being with people. Molly was gentle, loving, affectionate and could not stop kissing and licking Barb in front of her. I never heard of a camel doing that before!” Fred tried to convince the tour manager that his camel Molly should be renamed Jameela, beautiful one in Arabic, The tour manager was not convinced to change Molly’s name.
Elliott on Smokey, Barb on Bob and Fred on Molly begin their expedition.
The expedition company Safari Wilderness assures, “Our camels are treated with kindness and respect — and they love their jobs. They line up at the gate each morning eager to go to work! After giving their human safaris, each camel returns to the herd in their large grassy pasture with trees and open sky for rest, play, and recharging. Our camels are athletes, and they live long and healthy lives.”
Elliott’s camel was named Smokey and Barb’s camel was named Bob. Smokey was the male leader and the boss. Bob was the oldest at 17 years of age. Fred said “Bob just went along with anything Smokey wanted to do. All three camels knew that they were getting fed at the end of the safari and as a result were so very well behaved. In fact when they see the saddles coming out of the camel barn they come running up in excitement to get them put on their humps. How amazing is that?!
Fred was told that these camels follow the 40-40-40 rule. They will live to be over 40 years old, can run up to 40 miles an hour, and they drink 40 gallons of water in one session.
Safari Wilderness also offers a jeep tour if you don’t want to ride the camels. Safari Wilderness expeditions allow a maximum of four people on a tour and the tours are very personalized. They only do two safaris per day, five days a week. The camels get a two day weekend, Monday and Tuesday. Fred said, “You have your own personal tour guide and as you go along you can choose different riding paths depending on what you want to see. The other animals in the game reservation love the camels and the camels love them. Elk, zebras, boar, chickens, birds, pigs, alligators and many others. But no lions or tigers!”
Fred highly recommends the camel expedition at Safari Wilderness.
Doug Grosch, son of Jon and Cindy Grosch of Dhahran, married Stephanie Mitchell in a fishing-themed wedding (“Hooked for Life”) in Cancun, Mexico on May 27, 2013. The wedding ceremony was performed in the all-glass, beachfront Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Chapel with a mariachi band providing the music.
Wedding activities included a Groom’s Golf Tournament (in which the groom’s team finished last), a cocktail party on the beach, and a rooftop wedding reception that lasted all night. The couple then proceeded to honeymoon on Holbox Island at Hotel Mawimbi with plenty of fishing and kayaking.
Stephanie is the daughter of Pete and Barbara Mitchell currently residing in San Antonio, a graduate of Langham Creek High School in Houston. She has a BS in Finance and Economics from Tulane University and is currently working on her MS in Finance at the University of Houston while working full time as an Olefins Marketing Representative at The Williams Companies.
Doug was born and raised in Dhahran, graduating from the Dhahran Academy International School and has a BS in GIS with a geology minor from Texas State University. After working for 5 years as a core analyst with the Core Laboratories petrophysics lab in Houston, he is currently at the University of Texas San Antonio pursuing an MS in petroleum geology.
Over 50 family and friends attended the wedding, including former Aramcons Al and Margaret Griffith and Aramco Brats Will Owen and Andrew Kochinski.