Ali Al-Baluchi’s memoir offers a rare Saudi insight into the development of his home community as it paralleled the growth of the world’s largest energy company, and the forging of an international community of Aramcons.
This small collection of verses was written as a poetic diary of my thoughts and impressions, influenced by my life and travel within Saudi Arabia during the past eight years (circa 1980s), intending, hopefully, for them to be handed on...
When expatriates describe their experiences to the less traveled, it often starts with food. In Saudi Arabia, because the traditional cuisine is so minimalist — spare, unpretentious fare derived mainly from ancient nomadic bedouin culinary habits — only two items come quickly to mind: kabsah and sweet tea.
The annual Al Janandriyah camel festival had been held near Riyadh since 1985 but we never knew exactly when. Every spring, we waited in anticipation for rumors of when the races would run and more importantly what day in the two-week festival would be allocated for expat families to attend. That was the tricky bit.
I have twice had the pleasure of visiting Jeddah, on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. The first was a scuba diving trip with two work mates in 2007, and, again nine years later, with my wife, Ann, shortly before retiring from Aramco in 2016.
As I was going through photos on my phone, I came across pictures I took on January 1st, 2017, at the Ras Tanura Beach. A smile appeared on my face, and my nostalgia took me back to that winter breeze in Ras Tanura. After spending NYE in Bahrain, my family decided to spend a quiet afternoon at the Ras Tanura beach.
Two weeks ago my wife and I went into Khobar and stopped by a little coin shop. The owner had two Aramco medallions for sale. One says Safety Award and the date 1959. The other is an Award of Merit without a date.
In the mid-1990s, Cordoba compound was opened in Riyadh. At that time, it was at least a 30-minute drive to get to the city center, with roads devoid of traffic, yet far out from the center of activity. It seemed a world apart from the heart of a bustling Sulamaniya/Olaya district we had come to love...
Through our common bond, Aramco ExPats from around the world persevered in 2020. Meaningful stories, heartwarming photographs, and shared memories helped us stay connected which was needed more than ever. Here at AXP, we draw comfort from this and hope that you do as well. These are some of the highlights...
On a blustery, overcast day in early Spring 1988, a friend and I spent our Friday day-off work at the camel races on the outskirts of Al Ahmadi, near the small residential community for employees of the Kuwait Oil Company.
A palpable sensation of peace and power emanated from him. A sarong was usually wrapped about around his waist and with rough keffiyeh fabric wrapping his ears like a package. Calm, steady stillness poured out of him in every direction while he simply held Autumn Breeze’s halter.
In Al-Hasa, a town about two hours from Dhahran, there was a remote clinic operated by Aramco and staffed with a multinational workforce. The closest camp to Al-Hasa was an Aramco-sponsored compound called Udhailiyah, where many ExPats lived and worked.
Home is shuffling through Heathrow to reach the gate counting how many movies I can watch based on the flight duration but underneath the exhaustion of the journey rested the excitement of nestling under the covers upon arrival.
Although retired only three short years, my wife and I jumped at the chance to return to Saudi Arabia to attend the KSA ExPats Reunion in March 2019. Saudi visitor visas were rare and difficult to obtain at that time, but Aramco seamlessly arranged visas for the reunion attendees.
We recently had the opportunity to catch up with William (Bil) Jines who arrived in Arabia in October of 1988. Bil was a senior reservoir engineer who was in the PEASD department on loan from Mobil Oil Corp. He and his wife, Glenda, lived in Dhahran. Of particular note, the couple is soon to celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary on December 23rd.
Of all the senses, our sense of smell is one most closely linked with memory. The slightest hint of a familiar smell can trigger powerful memories of treasured moments past. Little wonder that when I cast my mind back to my first visit to an Arabian souq, it is the tantalizing aromas that I remember first and most vividly.
Jacque graduated from college in 1985, immediately married her Greek boyfriend and within two weeks was living in the desert town of Hofuf in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Jacque’s husband was hired by a Greek friend, who was the general engineer for a local construction company.
I have a feeling that ExPats know a thing or two about closure. Closure is our mind and body’s way to be at peace with something we have lost—a relationship, a job, a move. For Aramcons, we all have to depart from the Kingdom at one point or another...
“WHERE AM I?” This Middle Eastern adventure living and working in KSA was certainly not unique to me. Expatriates since the early 1930s have made thousands of similar trips to this same part of the world. Eight decades of history have happened since the inception of Aramco.
The novel coronavirus has caused many changes in all our lives, but changes that can be particularly impactful include retiring or being laid off amid this pandemic. Reilly Financial Advisors wants to let you know that, no matter your situation...