"Dear Folks": Chapter 6

"Dear Folks": Chapter 6

BY Ken Slavin / /

1948 shapes up to be another boom year for Aramco. Mildred Webster continues to chronicle her family's lives and interesting tales from Arabia. Ken Webster even manages to augment her faithful correspondence with a letter about some of his responsibilities as manager of Aramco's construction department.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 5

"Dear Folks": Chapter 5

BY Ken Slavin / /

Mildred Webster continues to be a faithful correspondent as she settles into the new house in Dhahran, works on committees and keeps up with the increasing “social whirl” that is expected of the wife of an up-and-coming Aramco executive. 

Desert Designs - Celebrating 30 Years of Distinctive Saudi Design

Desert Designs - Celebrating 30 Years of Distinctive Saudi Design

BY Mark Lowey / /

In this piece, Mark Lowey chronicles the story of Desert Designs and its founders, Qamar Ahmed and Farid Bukhari, who own the unique, family-run interior design studio, home décor gift shop and art gallery, in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, that is dedicated to Saudi culture and Islamic design.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 4

"Dear Folks": Chapter 4

BY Ken Slavin / /

Mildred Webster, the official family “correspondent,” starts off the New Year of 1947 with a full report on Christmas activities in the camps, hopes for the family’s first home leave later in the year, and observations about her husband’s “playing” the Roupee market in Bahrain.

"Dear Folks": Chapter 3

"Dear Folks": Chapter 3

BY Ken Slavin / /

The summer and fall of 1946 turn out to be eventful times for Aramcons. Mildred Webster reports on a polio scare and resulting quarantine in Dhahran; Fourth of July celebrations in the camps; the continued arrival of wives and children from America; Arabia’s first American schoolhouse and the formation of the first Girl Scout troop in the Kingdom...

"Dear Folks": Chapter 2

"Dear Folks": Chapter 2

BY Ken Slavin / /

“It seems like we’ve always been here…” Mildred Webster (known to family and friends as “Mimi”) proves a very thorough, observant and entertaining correspondent. Throwing herself headlong into the new and exciting life of the Aramco camps, she still reports regularly...

"Dear Folks": Chapter 1

"Dear Folks": Chapter 1

BY Ken Slavin / /

Ken Webster began his oil industry career in 1931, shortly after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

The Webster Letters Revisited

The Webster Letters Revisited

BY Aramco ExPats / /

Every now and then, AramcoExPats strikes gold with one of its features. Such was the case back in 2007 when we published a series of letters written by the late Ken Webster, who began his long service with Aramco in 1944, with World War II still raging.

4491-B: Vignette from '3,001 Arabian Days'

4491-B: Vignette from '3,001 Arabian Days'

BY Rick Snedeker / /

4491-B. Our house. Ours was one among 12 identical and nondescript single-story dwellings in two linear strings of six duplexes each directly facing each other in our immediate neighborhood, like opposing armies in a battlefield diagram.

Local Color: Vignette from '3,001 Arabian Days'

Local Color: Vignette from '3,001 Arabian Days'

BY Rick Snedeker / /

My memories of Dhahran often resemble wispy snippets of dreams, lacking linear structure or coherent narrative. Just random gauzy images, glimpses of fleeting emotion, stories with half-finished sentences despite having been retold ad infinitum over the dining table throughout my childhood, and unconscious embellishments slapped on as afterthoughts from my id.

‘Houseboys’ and Servitude: Vignette from '3,001 Arabian Days'

‘Houseboys’ and Servitude: Vignette from '3,001 Arabian Days'

BY Rick Snedeker / /

For many Aramcons, servants personified “the good life” in Dhahran. These ever-present helpers performed all the onerous domestic chores everyone abhors, and prepared food and served guests at Aramco communities’ endless, labor-intensive parties.

Tales of the Bedouin – Part IX: Travels with Stephen, Part 2

Tales of the Bedouin – Part IX: Travels with Stephen, Part 2

BY Mark Lowey / /

“Let’s go to Kuwait.” ... “What do you mean?” I asked. ... “We’ll drive to Kuwait on Thursday.” In Steve’s mind, Thursday afternoon would be optimal, as it was the beginning of the weekend, and Fridays were our only full day off...

Before Saudi Arabia: 1948 - 1949

Before Saudi Arabia: 1948 - 1949

BY Bob Waters / /

I went to Stanford University for two years and then quit to enlist in the Army Air Corp. After being discharged from the Air Corp in December 1945, I started working for Standard Oil in California, but after a year with Standard Oil I got as far as I could go without a degree. So, I went back to Stanford from February 1947 to June 1948.

Tales of the Bedouin - Part VIII: Travels with Stephen Part 1

Tales of the Bedouin - Part VIII: Travels with Stephen Part 1

BY Mark Lowey / /

Coming straight out of university from California at age 22, my move to Saudi Arabia and life in a typical Abqaiq contractors camp was initially a challenge. Located across the road from the well-appointed Aramco community...

Saudi Arabia: 1949 - 1951 (Part II)

Saudi Arabia: 1949 - 1951 (Part II)

BY Bob Waters / /

As soon as old Man Wallace returned in the latter part of 1949, I got a new assignment working with the Petroleum Engineers. My job was to check out wellhead pressures on all the wells in the Dammam Field, which was about 40 at that time.

Beneath Saudi Sands

Beneath Saudi Sands

BY Aramco ExPats / /

In 1932, a 37-year-old engineer employed by the Standard Oil Company of California (Socal) made a habit of climbing the highest point on the island of Bahrain, about 20 miles across the Persian Gulf from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Tales of the Bedouin - Part VII: A Mother’s Journey Part 2

Tales of the Bedouin - Part VII: A Mother’s Journey Part 2

BY Mark Lowey / /

In the years that followed her arrival in Ain Dar in the autumn of 1948, Hamsah and Mohammed lived according to an annual rhythm, summering in Ain Dar village and moving to grazing areas with the herds for the rest of the year.