"Dear Folks": Chapter 21

"Dear Folks": Chapter 21

BY Ken Slavin / /

The waning months of 1956 are history-making for the Middle East. King Saud hosts a first-ever summit of Arab leaders with high hopes of healing ancient tensions and establishing new and mutually beneficial diplomatic and economic relations.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXXI: Bedouin Wisdom, A Video

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXXI: Bedouin Wisdom, A Video

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this piece, Mark Lowey shares a special video of a recent, in-depth interview with desert legend and retired Aramcon, Quriyan Mohammed Al Hajri, who has gained growing recognition in Saudi Arabia for his twin passions, advocacy of environmental awareness and preserving Bedouin traditions.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXX: Aramco Helicopter Ride 1979

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXX: Aramco Helicopter Ride 1979

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this piece, recent college graduates Mark Lowey and Jim Sides venture to Saudi Arabia to work in Aramco’s vast Ghawar oil field, where on one eventful day they find themselves aboard an Aramco helicopter flying over Bedouin encampments.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXVIII: Old Ain Dar

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXVIII: Old Ain Dar

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this piece, Mark Lowey describes a day spent with Quriyan Mohammed Al Hajri touring his boyhood home village, Old Ain Dar, in 2021. At Quriyan’s farm in Junayah, I awakened at first light. I knew Quriyan would have been up for at least an hour already.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 20

"Dear Folks": Chapter 20

BY Ken Slavin / /

The summer and early fall of 1956 are packed with important developments for the Middle East, Aramco and the Webster family. The Suez Canal is nationalized by Egyptian President Nassar. A massive Aramco oil well fire rages for two weeks.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXVII: How To Khabsa

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXVII: How To Khabsa

BY Mark Lowey / /

Midafternoon on a bright and warm November day, Bdah and I drove to the outskirts of New Ain Dar near Jebel Al Riyahiyah. Bdah’s cousin runs a roadside business there where camels, goats, and sheep are kept in open-air stables and offered for sale.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXIV: The Remarkable Life of Bdah Al Hajri – Part 4

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXIV: The Remarkable Life of Bdah Al Hajri – Part 4

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this series, Mark Lowey, known as “Abu Jack” (Father of Jack) to his Saudi friends, tells the story of Bdah Al Hajri, whom he first encountered in the desert as an infant in 1979. Reunited in 2013, Abu Jack and Bdah have become close friends. From the age of seven to seventeen, Bdah attended Salasil school (1986 to 1997). Up to age 14, Bdah and his family lived in the desert north of Fardaniyah.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXIII: The Remarkable Life of Bdah Al Hajri – Part 3

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXIII: The Remarkable Life of Bdah Al Hajri – Part 3

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this series, Mark Lowey, known as “Abu Jack” (Father of Jack) to his Saudi friends, tells the story of Bdah Al Hajri, whom he first encountered in the desert as a baby in 1979. Reunited in 2013, Abu Jack and Bdah have become close friends. In 1986, Bdah was seven years old, and his two older sisters were already attending elementary school at Salasil. It was time for Bdah to begin his formal education.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXII: The Remarkable Life of Bdah Al Hajri – Part 2

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXII: The Remarkable Life of Bdah Al Hajri – Part 2

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this series, Mark Lowey, known as “Abu Jack” (Father of Jack) to his Saudi friends, tells the story of Bdah Al Hajri, whom he first encountered in the desert as a baby in 1979. Reunited in 2013, Abu Jack and Bdah have become close friends. Bdah’s mother, Masturah, reflected on her life as a newlywed.

Ad Vita per Aspera

Ad Vita per Aspera

BY Nestor J. Sander / /

In al Hasa, fifty miles inland from the Persian Gulf, a small drilling rig was helping to prove the existence of the great En Nala anticline, still the largest single complex of oil fields in the world. Sandy was "sitting" that well.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXI: The Remarkable Life of Bdah Al Hajri – Part 1

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XXI: The Remarkable Life of Bdah Al Hajri – Part 1

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this series, Mark Lowey, known as “Abu Jack” (Father of Jack) to his Saudi friends, tells the story of Bdah Al Hajri, whom he first encountered in the desert as a baby in 1979. Reunited in 2013, Abu Jack and Bdah have become close friends. In late 1978, Bdah Al Hajri was born in a Bedouin tent at the northern extremity of the Eastern Province oil fields, near the remote Aramco construction site at Fazran.

Photos that Capture a 1950s Aramco Childhood

Photos that Capture a 1950s Aramco Childhood

BY Aramco ExPats / /

Here is a wonderful collection of photographs taken by Aramco photographer Bert Seal that will take you down memory lane while envisioning those happy golden days of the 1950s.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XX: Journey to Meet The Son of Bathan – Part 3

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XX: Journey to Meet The Son of Bathan – Part 3

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this piece, Mark Lowey, known as “Abu Jack” (father of Jack) to his Saudi friends, is escorted deep into the Rub Al Khali (the Empty Quarter) to meet, for the first time, the son of an old acquaintance. Before first light there was a slight chill in the air, and the men gathered around the cooking fire. Coffee and tea were served, and conversation ensued. Inevitably the discussion turned to the herd.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XIX: Journey to Meet The Son of Bathan – Part 2

Tales of the Bedouin – Part XIX: Journey to Meet The Son of Bathan – Part 2

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this piece, Mark Lowey, known as “Abu Jack” (father of Jack) to his Saudi friends, is escorted deep into the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) to meet, for the first time, the son of an old acquaintance. We stopped at the edge of the camp. I stepped out of the Landcruiser and called out “Salaam Aleikum!” to the group of men standing facing us.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 19

"Dear Folks": Chapter 19

BY Ken Slavin / /

The first half of 1956 is full of interesting developments for Aramco. Notable visitors to Dhahran include King Saud, who is feted at a 600-guest dinner, Steve Bechtel, president of the Bechtel Corporation, top officials from the Aramco’s owner companies...