We invite you to enjoy part 3 of the 12 part Distant Arabia video series comprised of films taken in Saudi Arabia between 1937 and 1940 by Tom Barger, Les Snyder and Jerry Harriss. They are among the few moving pictures that record that critical and brief moment in the country's history when an ancient pastoral way of life was coming to an abrupt end, to be replaced by an industrial society. Many of the Bedouin depicted had never seen an automobile let alone a movie camera before these men arrived. The herds of camels, once the lifeblood of Bedouin life, would become irrelevant. The dhows of the Gulf replaced by motor launches, the date oases, the very anchor of the Al Hasa economy, would become all but insignificant. All that remains of those days are these flickering images from a time before oil.

Distant Arabia part 3 - May 1st, 1939 Six years after the oil concession was signed the first tanker load of oil was shipped at Ras Tanura on this date. King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud arrived to celebrate the occasion. The tanker D.G. Scofield awaits offshore. At 0:53 Crown Prince Saud arrives. At 1:37 various bodyguards of the royal retinue collect near the pier. At 2:57 Emir Hamad bin Khalifa of Bahrain arrives. At 3:00 King Abdul Aziz arrives at the pump house. At 3:12 in the company of Floyd Oligher, Aramco's General Manager, the King tours the tank yard. At 3:35 Ibn Saud is smiling with great satisfaction at the success of a venture many years in the making. At the pump house, beginning at 4:50 the king turns the valve that sends the oil to the tanker. 5:11 the King and Shaikh Hamd leave the ceremony, Crown Prince Saud behind them. Saudi Arabia's future has begun.

More Stories – Tim Barger
ISBN: 978-0988205017
246 pages, $14.95

part 2 part 4