Fikr 10: Success in a Changing World

19 December 2011 | 0 comments | Saudi Aramco News | by

Saudi Aramco NewsFikr 10: Success in a Changing World

Paying attention to the cyberworld and using information technology has been one of the key ways Saudi Aramco works to ensure it has young talent in a variety of fields with appropriate skills, according to Abdulrahman F. Al-Wuhaib, senior vice president of Operations Services at Saudi Aramco.
Al-Wuhaib shared some of the company’s unique experiences in recruiting young Saudis with some of the top minds of the world during the recent Arabic Thought Foundation conference Fikr 10 in Dubai.

The theme for the conference, which was Dec. 5-7, was “Arab Spring, What’s Next?” Saudi Aramco was one of the sponsors.

“I will say it loudly: The future is in cyberspace. If we do not learn its language and invest in its potentials and unlimited opportunities, the gap between us and our young generations will widen, and we will not be able to bridge it,” Al-Wuhaib said, noting that industry understands and is responding to this call to push toward a more technical world that young people naturally embrace.

There are four pillars that journey of progress are building upon, Al-Wuhaib said:
Reaching people’s heart and minds, persuading them with the importance of change for them to be messengers.
Building an environment supportive of innovation and creativity; opening the door for unique ideas and all means to implement them.
Developing human capital and establishing opportunities for training and education to keep pace with the skills required to cope with change.
Monitoring change, following up meticulously and transparently on the change, and making suitable modifications during arduous periods of change.
As an example, Al-Wuhaib used Saudi Aramco’s experience in doing the ambitious project in building the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture. The Center embodies the unique vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah’s for the importance of culture, progress and development.

Also, young, successful, bright Arabs were given the chance to share their stories. Such a person was the founder of the first small bank for funding in Yemen, Mohammed Alalie, who, despite coming from a humble background – his father is a taxi driver and mother a seamstress, – was able to do that. Since he founded the bank, it has created jobs for 8,000 people.

Georgia Faith Collins Born in Dubai

15 December 2011 | 0 comments | Births & Birthdays | by

Georgia Faith Collins

Craig and Fiona Collins are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Georgia Faith, on September 28, 2011 at the American Hospital in Dubai. She weighed a healthy 6 pounds 7 ounces and was 48 centimeters long.

Fiona recently left Saudi Aramco after 11 years to join her husband in Dubai.

Saudi Banknotes Attract Serious Bidders

12 December 2011 | 0 comments | Special Interest | by

Saudi Banknote

Former Aramcon, David Jessich, a long time collector who often exhibits his coins and banknotes at brat and annuitant reunions, shared the news that Saudi banknotes are attracting serious bidders in an eBay auction closing on December 14th.

He writes, “A mint set of 1961 Saudi banknotes are listed on eBay this week (item #180770834849) and within 24 hours bidding jumped from $99 to more than $3,000. Once again this demonstrates the collectibility of top quality items, especially rare notes from Saudi Arabia.”

The eBay listing includes the following details which may be of interest to Aramcons looking to sell rare collectibles:

  • Complete set of the second issue in gem uncirculated condition. Signed in ink on the front of each note by Anwar Ali in English. His signature in Arabic appears on the left side of both series of this issue.
  • This is an extraordinary listing. Uncirculated examples of the 5 riyal note and especially the 50 and 100 riyal notes are extremely rare.
  • A personal gift by Anwar Ali, the governor of the Saudi Monetary Agency, to Thomas C. Barger, the president of Aramco, on the occasion of the first issue of this currency in 1961.
  • Each note has a pin hole in the middle of the right side.

Anyone interested in contacting David Jessich may email him at

Aramco Himalayan Adventure 2011

12 December 2011 | 1 comment | Travel & Leisure | by Marian Leighton

Aramco Himalayan AdventureHimalayan Trekkers Front Row L to R: Andrew and Maria Gawin, Tara Belcher, Julie Rataezyk Back Row: Melanie Turner, Samantha Duske, Steve Rundle, Joan O’Connor, Marian Leighton, David Jarvis, Petaline Kelly, Jeff Craddock

Over the November Id Al-Adha holiday Marian Leighton led yet another group of Aramco adventurers on a Himalayan trek. Due to the short time frame we were limited to a 5-day/4-night trek in the Annapurnas with our destination being Poon Hill. From Poon Hill we hoped to see the whole Annapurna Range at sunrise. Our adventure started sooner than planned as a weather inversion caused the cancellation of all flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara for a period of several days. Undaunted, we hired a bus and though it took several hours to drive there on the main “highway” in Nepal, we saw a lot more of Nepal, its people and countryside than we would have done in a 25 minute flight. We spent the rest of the day and that night in a hotel in Pokhara. Pokhara is known for its large collection of inexpensive hotels and restaurants along Phewa Lake. Although we could not see them then, due to the overcast and often rainy skies, Nepal’s central Himalaya, the Annapurnas, Machhapuchhare and Manaslu dominate the skyline.

Aramco Himalayan AdventureJoan O’Conner and Husband, Steve Rundle

The following day our bus took us ever higher on winding, bumpy roads to our start point of Naya Pul. The first day of trekking was relatively easy, with a short hike before lunch and a hike of less than 3 hours in the afternoon to our first campsite at Hille. The next day was our first real challenge as we climbed over 1300 meters to reach the large village of Ghorepani. For the most part, we were still in clouds though we had the occasional sunny break allowing us mountain glimpses. We crossed sparkling clear streams and rivers on suspension bridges, all the while climbing higher and higher through mainly deciduous forests with fall colours on display. We trudged into Ghorepani in late afternoon in light rain, exhausted but also exhilarated that we had all successfully faced one of the biggest challenges of the trip.

Aramco Himalayan AdventureFront Row: Shyam (our Sirdar or trek leader) Back Row: Nyma (Sherpa), Petaline Kelly, Saru (Sherpa), Julie Rataezyk, Samantha Duske, David Jarvis, Melanie Turner, Joan O’Connor, Marian Leighton

The following morning, though it had rained for much of the night, we were wakened at 0430 to starry skies for our early morning summit to Poon Hill. It was very cold. We bundled up in long underwear and warm clothing. We then headed up the steep path along with many other trekkers, all with headlamps on, hoping for the mountain views at sunrise that we had all been dreaming about for months. Partway up the 400 meter ascent, the clouds appeared and drifted up in in the valley. Nevertheless we struggled on with our ever encouraging Sherpa guides assisting. As we reached Poon Hill with its lookout tower and hundreds of other exhausted hikers, the clouds magically fell and as the sun rose, the panorama of the whole Annapurna Range was before us. It was very cold but we stayed as long as we could; with the light constantly changing. It was a photographer’s dream.

Aramco Himalayan AdventureBreakfast with a View of Tadapani

We trudged on down to camp, packed up and had yet another hearty breakfast before setting off for our next stop, Tadapani. We had a steep climb to start with but were rewarded with more outstanding mountain views at the top of the hill. From there, we hiked up and down through some of the most beautiful pine and rhododendron forests in Nepal. With one last steep climb we reached camp at Tadapani and had the finest site there, with more spectacular mountain views and a backdrop of huge rhododendron trees. By this time, we were all used to the camp routine and over afternoon hot chocolate, tea or coffee with biscuits, card games started, journals were added to and it became clear that we all knew we had achieved much in only a few days of unfamiliar and often difficult trekking.

Aramco Himalayan AdventureJulie Retaezyk and Our Group Trekking Through the Rice Harvest

The following morning dawned clear and we trekked through some more remarkable forests down to terraced fields of barley and millet, green and gold. With the brilliant blue skies the towering mountain peaks were amazing to see. It was not a long day of hiking and we were in Ghandrung in a lovely campsite before lunch. Ghandrung is a rich farming village where the majority of the Gorkha army are recruited from. After a leisurely afternoon, we celebrated the successful trek with a party which included all our camp staff of 15 porters, 3 Sherpa guides, one cook, 6 cook helpers and our wonderful Sirdar or trek head, Shyam. Laxman, our cook had created a large iced cake, using only a one burner kerosene stove and we were treated to “Mustang coffee,” before the dancing began. Normally in Nepal, men and women do not dance together but in our case we all joined in and it was a night of celebration.

Aramco Himalayan AdventureAnnapurnas

Our last day was a pleasant hike through terraced plots and small villages to the town of Birethanti where we said goodbye to the trek team and boarded a bus for our return to Pokhara. Our fine weather had stayed with us and the mountain views were outstanding for our short flight back to Kathmandu the following day.

At a final farewell dinner at our hotel in Kathmandu there was much discussion about our achievements and I think it is safe to say that many in our group will return to Nepal and test their trekking abilities again. Regardless, we all knew that we had done well and the camaraderie of the group was a bonus.

View more photos in the Aramco ExPats Galleries.

SAEEA Monthly Meeting for December 2011

12 December 2011 | 1 comment | Pakistan | by

SAEEA December MeetingSAEEA December Meeting

The monthly meeting of Saudi Aramco Ex-Employees Association (SAEEA) Sindh based was held on December 01, 2011. The attendees were as follows:

  • Kamal Ahmed Farooqi
  • Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan
  • Ghulam Qutubuddin Khan
  • Sher Ali
  • Mohammad Abdul Matin
  • Shafiq Ahmed Khan
SAEEA December MeetingSAEEA December Meeting

Following are the highlights:

  • Mr. Kamal A. Farooqi explained the activities during the month of November 2011.
  • Work on the next SAEEA Party is in progress and Mr. MA Matin and Mr. Shafiq A. Khan are working on it and will provide complete details in the next meeting.
  • The web site for SAEEA is progressing very well and soon the URL (Link) for the site will be provided to all members.
  • The marriage bureau activities are progressing and Mrs. Mahtab S. Khan received one more request by a SAEEA member.
  • Work on new membership is also progressing and in November two new members filled the forms.
  • The increase in the yearly subscription be placed and decided at the next general meeting with the consensus of all SAEEA Members.
  • A final review was done of the Identity Cards for SAEEA Members. Mr. Shafiq A. Khan will provide the final sample for approval in the next meeting.
  • SAEEA Member Mr. Mohammad Iqbal Chugtai’s wife passed away on November 27, 2011-Inna Lillah Hay WaInna Ilaihay Rajoon. Two office bearers and fifteen SAEEA members attended the funeral.
  • SAEEA Member Mr. Shahmim Khan passed away in Jeddah Saudi Arabia few weeks back due to heart attack. He was buried in Thugba Cemetery and his Saudi Aramco Friends Mr. Ayub Lala, Mr. Mohammad Khalid Bux, Mr. Mujeeb Ur Rehman and Mr. Qamar Khan attended the funeral.
  • Last but not the least Mr. Kamal Ahmed Farooqi made Dua for all the diseased and all the SAEEA members who are sick.

If you have any question or comments then please call Engr. Iqbal Ahmed Khan on +92-321-701-4929 or write on