Group Photo at the Farm House.
Ex-Aramco family friends connected in Lahore, Pakistan after a long time, and were met with the good news of the launching of “Aramco Retirees Association – Pakistan (ARAP)”, based in Lahore.
From energy to the world to friends from around the world.
Aramco and its retirees continue to connect thousands of people. About 70 Saudi Aramco Ex-Employees and their families from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and the UK attended a grand dinner in Lahore on November 15, 2023. The theme of the event was ‘LET'S BE HAPPY’. The old memories, waves of laughter, bonding, and new connections in the community brightened up the event.
Once the movers of life in Aramco, retirees were seen welcoming each other. The most senior retirees in attendance were Ghulam Sarwar Warraich (Abqaiq Plants) and Younis Awan. Hosting and logistics were handled by an Organization Committee (OC) consisting of Muhammad Idrees, Riaz Ahmad, Abdul Waheed Sheikh, Syed Arshad Naeem, and Malik Fazal Mehmood (all Abqaiq retirees).
OC members meet at Idrees' house to finalize the event plan.
The guests included retirees and their families: Qamar Khan and Arif Qamar from Karachi, Javaid Iqbal (UK), M. Riaz Baig, Imtiaz Ahmad, Malik Waqar, Karar Hussain, Manzar Baqai, Mohammad Abbas, and Zaki Hussain from Islamabad. Sarwar Warraich from Gujrat, Ahmad Ali, Arshad Butt, Junaid Usmani, Ijaz Karimi, Khawarul Islam, Mohammad Awais, M. Ejaz Sheikh, Masroor Khan, M.Afzal Langah, and Munir Mughal and their families from Lahore.
Author, Junaid Idrees
Event poster designed by Junaid Idrees.
Event posters designed and displayed by Junaid.
The reception started at 3:30 pm at Riaz Ahmad’s Farm House in Lahore, decorated with event posters and Aramco logo designed by Junaid Idrees. The families rekindled memories of living like a family in Abqaiq for many years. Tea and Qahwa with traditional jalebi, namak paras and dates were served. Warraich, being the most senior retiree at the event, was the chief guest and remained the focal point of everyone, reflecting his great association and love with them when he was in Abqaiq.
Group Photo at Riaz House Tea Party.
Idrees welcomed everyone in Punjabi (Gee Aayaan Noon), Urdu (Khush Amdeed), and recited two Quranic verses with their translation. Then all attendees joined him to offer dua’-e-maghfirat (condolences) for the departed colleagues: Abdul Qayyam, Syed Sabir Shah, Ali Bin Salman, Mrs. Humera Arshad, and M Ashfaq who used to organize former Saudi Aramco employees gatherings in Lahore, and others.
OC members greet Warraich.
OC Members with Warraich with their Appreciation Certificates.
OC members were invited to introduce themselves. Riaz highlighted that his initiative was the result of an inspiration from a duck clip on WhatsApp. A pair of old ducks start from their home and other ducks join them from the adjacent homes till a big group is formed. Then they all enjoy their time in the pool and the park. Abdul Waheed, Naeem, and Mehmood welcomed the attendees and thanked the families for their presence.
Attendees enjoying Idrees' poetry.
Ladies enjoying Idrees' poetry.
Idrees then invited Mr. Warraich to give his views. He greatly appreciated the OC’s hard work and categorically said, “Each OC member’s performance has always been fantastic.” Being the senior most popular retiree at the event, Idrees asked him to hand over Appreciation Certificates to OC members with his signatures. Idrees then read his two new poems: one on welcoming the individual families by name and the other titled “Lahore Lahore Ay (Lahore is Lahore).” People enjoyed his poems and gave him a big applause. The floor was then opened for the attendees to share their views.
Here is a synopsis of their comments:
- Baig: We know the OC members very well, they can work wonders. We will try to hold a gathering in Islamabad during the 1st Quarter of 2024.
- Qamar: We couldn't have asked for anything more. The OC's efforts are exemplary.
- Ejaz: Today’s event is so special and unforgettable, please keep the dice rolling. It has been an absolute delight and seeing the positive energy enlivening Saudi Aramco memories is special.
- Imtiaz: A great job, very well-planned and executed event by retired SAOO top planners.
- Abbas: It was a great pleasure meeting so many old friends and having delicious food in a family environment.
- Javaid: It is wonderful, and we need to see a similar gathering in Islamabad.
- Junaid Usmani: I have badly missed such a gathering. Meeting old friends and talking to them at our age is a necessity.
- Zaki: Thank you OC and those who made it a huge success by attending. We enjoyed the beautiful evening and amazing food while sharing memories with old and new friends.
Idrees highlighted that he has been approached many times by the OC members and other friends, and has seen a huge interest and need to meet frequently from today’s event attendees, also. So, he shared the good news with attendees and announced the launch of “Aramco Retirees Association – Pakistan”. He has already completed the necessary groundwork in consultation with Karachi SAEEA and thanked Arif Qamar for his support.
He will introduce ARAP soon through WhatsApp and email (a big applause from the attendees). He advised everyone to stay tuned and spread the word to other Saudi Aramco retirees in the Punjab province, Islamabad and all over the globe. A Committee will be established to look over the setup, logistics and future plan. More details will be shared during December and the group will be in action starting 2024, Inshallah.
Ladies enjoying food.
Ladies sharing stories.
Gents enjoying food.
Young attendees enjoying food.
Group Photo at Dinner in Defense Club Lahore.
Live BBQ and Naan.
A lavish dinner was served including live barbeque, Gajar Halwa (carrot sweet), butter naan and Kashmiri tea.
At 8 pm, the OC members thanked and wished Ma’salama to all families, while Junaid Idrees handed over a souvenir bearing the event logo to each family. Everyone showed great love and thankfulness to this memento with big smiles on their faces. It was a goal accomplished with everyone being so happy and connected after a long time and the enlightenment of the revival of the association to connect them more frequently in the future, also.