Memory Lane

Memory Lane: From passports to the return to school days to Sadara’s completion

In 2001, the Pearl Mosque near the entrance to the Dhahran Core Area got a makeover.

Memory Lane: From passports to the return to school days to Sadara’s completion

Here are some interesting headlines from The Arabian Sun (and Sun and Flare) over the years.

Aug. 14, 1957


Two questions are asked Della Dunham and Velda Shirley of the Passport Office many times each day.


“Is my passport ready?”


“Will it be at the airport?”


The answer is “Yes,” if the person has followed instructions by getting his travel orders in to the Travel Office promptly and has complied with passport notices.


Dunham explained, “If travel orders reach the Travel Office for processing six weeks ahead of time, visas can be obtained for most trips. Six weeks are needed for all African and round-the-world trips. Iran and Indonesia also require six weeks processing time.”


Requests for visas to faraway places occur daily. African visas are cleared through Jiddah; Pakistan and Indian visas at Bahrain; Japanese visas at Beirut; and Lebanese visas are obtained through the local American Consulate.


Nearly 1,200 people go in and out of Arabia each month.


Aug. 30, 1972


The annual fall exodus of Aramco dependent students has begun.


Among the earliest to leave were those going the shortest distance — 31 10th, 11th, and 12th graders enrolled in the new Bahrain School, the first institution in the Gulf area providing secondary schooling for expatriates. Last Saturday, Aug. 26, the Bahrain School opened its doors for the first time.


Expected enrollment for the beginning of the first term for the entire school, kindergarten through 12th grade, was 500 to 550 pupils, not far from the capacity total of 600.


The new school is located in the Jufair area, roughly three miles from Manama town.


Aug. 19, 1987


Yousif al-Qahtani, the 1986 champion of the Open Pool Tournament, repeated his performance to emerge the overall winner over 38 contestants who participated in this year's contest, sponsored by the Dhahran Recreation Service Division, July 6 through 14. 


The participants were divided into three age levels and took part in a total of 34 games. The final competition was a round-robin between the first-place winners of the three levels.


First and second-place winners who received their trophies from Ahmed Jassas, administrator, Dhahran Recreation Services, were, in order of finish:


Level 1: Wayel al-Mulla, Kenneth Tjomsland; Level 2: Yousif al-Qahtani, Ishan Humaind; Level 3: Helmi Saif, Hesham Emad.


Aug. 28, 2002


Old and new, East and West are meeting again near Gate No. 1 in Dhahran. There, a handful of half-century-old buildings are being restored and rebuilt.


The little mosque near the security station leading to the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals gate in Dhahran was built during the early 1950s by Aramco employees. Some say two Pakistani workers built the mosque at their own expense, explaining why the mosque displays features of Indian architecture.


Some company employees named it the “Blue Mosque” because of the color if its inside and outside walls. Others say it was named after the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed and considered one of the most beautiful mosques in the world. Whether it is known as the Blue Mosque, Pakistani Mosque, or Adense Mosque, its true name is the Pearl Mosque.


In addition to the Pearl Mosque, four former housing buildings are being renovated to serve as a reception center for visitors to the company’s Dhahran complex.


Aug. 16, 2017


Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara), a joint venture between Aramco and The Dow Chemical Company, on Monday celebrated the commissioning of the last of its 26 plants — a isocyanates section currently producing crude quantities of toulene diisocyanate (TDI) and other specialty chemicals.


The landmark commissioning milestone was celebrated at the Sadara complex in Jubail Industrial City II in the presence of Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and Aramco Chairman HE Khalid A. Al-Falih; Dow chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris; and Ahmad A. Al Sa’adi, chairman of Sadara and Aramco’s senior vice president of Technical Services.


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