Grand Father’s Life

Grand Father’s Life


GrandFather’s Life


Iwas born and raised in Al-Khobar in 1940. When I was a child,Al-Khobar was not a big city is it is today. It was smaller withfresh beaches (InterNations, 2015). I grew up in strictly Muslimfamily. I can comfortably say that mine was an ideal Islamicenvironment because there were no major media influences like today.As children, we were taught to observe the commandments of Allah andthe mighty prophet of God (Muhammad). I was always the first to getin the Mosque every Friday for worship. Unlike today, my parentsalways had us stuck together with my siblings. I cannot recall anysingle family trip we had without my father and mother with us. Theywere really proud of us and they loved us through Islamic traditions.

My parents owned a small retail shop and a hotel. Their income wasmeager. I joined Al-Khobar high school in 1948 and left in 1952. After high school, I stayed at home for two years helping my parentsto sell in the family business. They told me the money the familywas to save of the two years would be enough to take me to college. During our days children were very patient. I had to wait because Iknew my parents had the will to take me to college. In 1962, theIslamic University of Medina had not attained full-fledged status, sothey accepted my application for a college degree. It had just begunits debut enrolments in 1961. I joined there to pursue a degree inpublic procurement. My father wanted to take the course because hebelieved I could easily get a good job in the Al-Khobar ports. Igraduated in May 1966. Interestingly, my first job was not inAl-Khobar as my father had wished.

TheSaudi Ports Authority hired me as an assistant supply chain officerin 1967. I was deployed in Medina, but the head office was in Mecca.I worked with the SPA for twenty years. The job was well-paying. Istarted with a basic salary of 20,000 Saudi Riyals.I bought myfirst car in 1968. It was a Volkswagen beetle. The beetle wasfashionable in those days especially for commuter middle incomeemployees in urban areas. In 1971, I bought a Volvo142 Grand Luxe. The car was nice in those standards of early 1970s. I married the same year. I had a wedding at a Mecca Mosque andtraditional marriage rights back home in Al-Khobar. My father was sodelighted that he gave me his golden watch as a gift. He had beengiven the watch by a British friend duringthe early oil explorations of the 1950s. I had six children from mymarriage, four girls and two boys.

Religionhas had a very strong influence in my life. I can describe myself asan Islamic moderate. While I like Islam I also respect otherreligions because Saudi Arabia has many other religions. When I wasin college I interacted with many Christians and Jews where I learnedto cope with, tolerate, and accommodate everybody regardless of theirreligion. At first, I identified with the politics of theHizb-ut-Tahrir political party, but later switched to the FreePrinces Movement due to its liberal ideals. Although I have nevervied for any political seat, I was actively involved in politicalissues for these two organizations such as fundraising and politicalcampaigns.


InterNations(2015). Livingin Saudi Arabia.Available at