DHAHRAN, 6/26/2013 — The Arabian American Little League’s 2013 Baseball Majors All-Star Team, the Arabian Knights, will compete for the first time in the Asia Pacific Middle East Region Little League Tournament. The tournament, which begins on July 1 and concludes on July 8, will take place at Clark Air Base in the Philippines.
Majors Team players 11-12 years old will represent 12 nations from the Middle East, Far East and Southeast Asia as they seek a victory in the regional tournament and a ticket to advance to the finals in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, home of the Little League World Series.
The Arabian American Little League has been representing Saudi Arabia in regional tournaments since 1983 (their first trip), and the squad accomplished the amazing feat of competing in the Little League World Series in the United States over 12 consecutive years.
It is no wonder that Saudi Arabia sends a strong team since baseball has been a part of the company landscape and surrounding communities since 1952. There have even been three major league baseball players who grew up playing baseball in Saudi Arabia.
The Youth Baseball program continues to be very popular in all Saudi Aramco communities, with more than 200 families participating in baseball ranging from T-Ball (Pee Wee) up to majors (13 years and older). The program not only teaches baseball skills but also addresses mental preparedness and sportsmanship, which are all attributes that are critical for team sports.
This has been one of the key areas of focus the coaches have been honing with this year’s team, instilling the thinking that they are all “one team” and that winning will not happen based on individual achievements but instead will be the result of everyone pulling together.
This year, the players and coaches chose the name of the Arabian Knights to signify their strong bond, mission, and diversity.
Team members include two players from Ras Tanura as well as two local Saudi players. The coaching staff is led by a Canadian and includes two American coaches with professional baseball experience. Each participant selected has worked hard (literally eating and sleeping baseball six days a week) and has proven himself ready to face the new challenges of taking on the best that Asia and the Middle East has to offer.
With more than 1,000 participants, Materials Supply held its annual forum with Saudi Aramco’s suppliers in a Dammam area hotel on May 25.
This year’s theme was “Quest Toward Supply Chain Excellence,” and was intended to advance excellence in Saudi Aramco’s supply chain.
The forum offered the opportunity for suppliers to hone in on supply chain capabilities to meet future challenges of an increasing and diversified Saudi Aramco materials demand.
This forum also promoted supplier awareness of the Saudi Aramco Supplier Performance Metric, which forms the foundation of the business relationship with Saudi Aramco.
In the keynote address, Munir M. Al Rafie, vice president of Materials Supply, spoke to suppliers about Saudi Aramco’s goal of becoming the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals company.
To reach this goal, the company is implementing an ambitious Capital Procurement Program to build major new facilities and expand existing ones. Because the company has a preference for sourcing the majority of materials from locally available sources and Saudi-based service providers, Saudi Arabian suppliers and manufacturers stand to benefit substantially from these developments.
Al Rafie highlighted the enormous range of products, from pipelines to compressors, which had the potential to be sourced from local providers.
“I hope this introduction gives you a flavor of the opportunity of growth offered by the Kingdom and Saudi Aramco,” he said.
Al Rafie highlighted how the company’s values are integrated into its supply chain, giving it the following attributes:
Excellence: Delivering high quality products on time to the correct facility.
Safety: Safely manufacturing and transporting supplies.
Citizenship: Creating wealth in, and for, local communities through Saudization of the workforce in manufacturing and services sectors.
Accountability: Supply chain stakeholders deliver on promises and take responsibility.
Integrity: Supply chain stakeholders follow ethical codes, guidelines and rules.
“(Saudi Aramco and its suppliers) share the quest for supply chain excellence through the constant improvement to each of the five attributes,” he said, adding that Saudi Aramco will continue to recognize suppliers who endeavor to apply these attributes and that those suppliers who embrace these attributes will stand to benefit the most from the offered opportunities.
Faisal Al-Naim, the administrator of the Supplier Relationship Management Division, noted that Saudi Aramco is seeking suppliers and contractors that not only are using the latest technology but also creating innovative solutions.
Khalifa Al-Obaid, also from the Supplier Relationship Management Division, gave an overview of the Suppliers Performance Management Program.
Its roles include implementing the supplier recognition program, facilitating collaboration between various stakeholders and monitoring performance.
He listed the key performance indicators for the evaluation of suppliers, including emphasis on providing services on time.
The program promotes accountability and operational excellence while adding value to the entire supplier base.
Adel Al-Shahrani talked about the Suppliers Network benefits and how they will streamline supplier delivery processes by:
Allowing suppliers to view order details.
Giving advance shipping notifications.
Displaying actions suppliers must take.
By going electronic and eliminating extra paperwork, the Supplier Network further expedites delivery of materials to Saudi Aramco.
In a lively interactive panel discussion, representatives from Finance and Materials Supply answered questions from participants.
They encouraged suppliers to use the Web-based tools developed by the company such as the Vendor Portal. Audience members were informed that the company is undertaking a variety of projects to automate the process of doing business.
In his closing remarks, Abdullah Al-Warthan, manager of the Projects and Strategic Purchasing Department, recapped the highlights of the day and then challenged suppliers to consider how quickly the marketplace is evolving and to ask themselves how they must change to take best advantage of future business opportunities.
The world’s largest offshore oil and gas production facility, Safaniyah Offshore Producing Department, went green recently by launching The Tanajib Mangrove Campaign.
The campaign involved a beach cleanup followed by the plantation of 1,000 mangroves in the shallow-depth coastal area of the Tanajib community.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “Today’s Environment is Tomorrow’s Energy,” and the Tanajib event included a lecture and a presentation designed to raise employee awareness and to emphasize the importance of planting mangroves.
About 100 people from the Safaniyah Offshore and Onshore residential areas joined 120 students from Khafji schools to participate in the event.
The event was inaugurated by Mohammad Al-Hatlani, manager of the Safaniyah Offshore Producing Department, and Ali Al-Ajmi, manager of the Safaniyah Onshore Producing Department.
Al-Hatlani spoke with students before the campaign began, highlighting the important role the community can play in improving the environment in which we live.
He emphasized that planting trees in remote coastal areas develops the natural habitat and helps create a healthy ecosystem.
Al-Hatlani also noted that in addition to environmental benefits, such initiatives improve the appearance of the area and make it hospitable and inviting to tourists and the community, encouraging them to come and enjoy the natural environment.
Al-Ajmi also spoke with the students and passed on similar messages. He said that individuals should make a conscientious effort every time they are in a public use area to keep the area clean and take part in initiatives that improve the natural ecosystem of that area.
He noted that these efforts not only prevent degradation but also show the desire of the community to improve general living conditions.
About 700 elementary school students from Ras Tanura, Safwa and Umm Al-Sahik recently took to the shores of Tarut Bay to plant 6,000 mangrove seedlings.
Under the theme of “Planting our Future,” they were joined by company officials and employees along with 30 volunteers from the Rahima Club for Volunteer Work.
“This environmental campaign organized by Saudi Aramco is a continuation of previous annual campaigns and part of the company’s comprehensive plan to build the first mangrove Eco-Park on the Eastern Coast,” said Mohammed Y. Al-Qahtani, vice president of Saudi Aramco Affairs.
“This awareness campaign strives to develop and promote citizenship through the active participation of children and adults in protecting the natural environment of this precious part of the Kingdom’s shores,” added Qahtani.
“The campaign also supports Saudi Aramco’s relentless efforts to promote the idea of volunteer work among community members. We gave hundreds of interested school students and volunteers the opportunity to explore this relatively new aspect of volunteer work,” he said.
During the event, young students carry mangrove seedlings and then plant them on the beach, thereby contributing to the environmental protection project.
The Saudi Aramco sponsored project strives to plant seeds of environmental protection awareness in the minds of the young participants, even as they plant mangroves with their own hands.
Hani Abu Khadra, executive director of Community Services, emphasized that Saudi Aramco advises its employees living near beaches, their families and other beach visitors how to deal with environmentally sensitive areas and the importance of preserving them.
The company encourages these individuals to observe environmental practices to protect the areas. “Mangrove seedlings are used as a natural way to increase fish resources and clean coastal waters,” said Abu Khadra.
“The company plants the seedlings and provides them for environmental campaigns to engage the community in company-shared environmental protection objectives. The company also provides the necessary support services to ensure the success of these campaigns and attainment of their goals,” he added.
Hesham Al-Musaiid, manager of Saudi Aramco’s Environmental Protection Department, said: “Tarut Bay and all of its shores are environmentally sensitive areas that support wildlife. They are among the most important breeding and nursery grounds for fish on the Kingdom’s Eastern Coast.
“Mangroves grow between water and land, offering a haven for wildlife, a nesting ground for seabirds and migratory birds, and a fertile habitat for breeding shrimp and plankton that provide a source of food for other fish and play an important role in the balance of nature.
“Undoubtedly, the more the mangroves grow and spread on sensitive shores, the safer the environment of these shores will be. Such environmental safety will influence human food safety both qualitatively and quantitatively.”
Jamal Al-Khudair, acting manager of Saudi Aramco’s Public Relations Operations Department, said the campaign “comes as part of the company’s strategic plan for corporate social responsibility programs to confirm and strengthen the company’s role in the field of environmental protection, as well as to instill the love of volunteer work into the various segments of society and give them the opportunity to participate in community service in a safe and stimulating environment.”
Sultan Al-Sadaqa did not find it difficult to ask his supervisor for a two-month leave to join the innovation program sponsored by Saudi Aramco this year under the theme “Synthetic Biology.”
Underscoring the importance of the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture’s Keystone innovation hub, Al-Sadaqa, who lives in Riyadh, gladly spent eight weeks in al-Khobar to participate in the program and said he had no regrets.
Maha Al-Mansour, another participant in the program supported by the Center, postponed starting her new job until after the program was completed.
She echoed Al-Sadaqa’s sentiments. “I didn’t have any regrets — not for a single moment,” Al-Mansour said. “The Keystone Program is really worth the sacrifice.”
Three dozen male and female participants presented on the theme of synthetic biology at the program’s closing ceremony June 17 at the Dhahran Plaza.
The event was attended by Abdulaziz F. Al-Khayyal, senior vice president of Industrial Relations; Muhammad Al-Ali, senior vice president of Finance; Essam Z. Tawfiq, general manager of Public Affairs; as well as a number of the company’s officials, department managers and unit supervisors.
The ceremony also was attended by Eastern Province businessmen, thought leaders and academics in a show of support to the social development initiative.
“Keystone is a program with a touch of originality,” said Fuad F. Al-Therman, director of the Center.
“It concentrates on enriching imagination and enhancing innovation out of our belief that imagination is a major tributary of knowledge. The Center team exerts maximum effort in helping transform the Kingdom into a society famous for innovation and into a society that is a leader worldwide by tapping the endless capacities of its generations.”
During the eight-week program, participants worked at the Art Science Lab — an affiliate of Harvard University Laboratories — to develop their synthetic biology projects.
The lab was conducted for a third consecutive time in partnership with the Center in an attempt to attract innovators from throughout the Kingdom.
The 36 participants hailed from all disciplines of science, including medicine, engineering, applied sciences, architecture and technology. By merging arts with science, the teams developed eight innovative projects designed to improve people’s lives.
Throughout the course of the program, participants had objectives and skill sets to be achieved. Project teams were formed first; then ideas were put on the table, and then they were developed each week.
In the end, the final exhibit at the Plaza not only documented the innovative work of the talented participants, but it also served as a showcase.
A variety of visitors with interest in the arts and sciences, entrepreneurs and finance experts took keen interest as they explored the ideas presented through the various projects.
“The Keystone Program is a unique program Kingdom-wide,” said Fatmah Al-Rashid, Design Division head and developer of the innovation programs at the Center.
“The program adopts a quadrangle of arts, sciences, technology and entrepreneurship. Its methodology focuses on dealing with each idea as a project with an assigned multidisciplinary team, thereby enhancing excellence in the innovation process.
“We have previously conducted Kingdom-wide research that confirmed our belief that our young people possess hidden creative capabilities and enthusiasm, if they had the incentive-laded environments and the supporting programs that enable them to conduct experiments without the fear of failure.
“On the personal level, I’m extremely happy to see young people not only bringing creative ideas into reality in complex subjects such as synthetic biology, but also gaining more confidence in themselves and their capabilities and feeling they are capable of achieving the impossible through their efforts, perseverance and continuity,” she added.
Al-Rashid explained that the impetus of the program is to give participants an opportunity over the eight weeks to conduct creative experiments in a realistic manner that enables them to implement such experiments in their everyday lives.