This Day in History

This Day in History (1984): Aramco Veteran al-Mughrabi Celebrates 50 Years’ Service

An Aramcon reflects on his five decades of service to the company.

This Day in History (1984): Aramco Veteran al-Mughrabi Celebrates 50 Years’ Service

From the May 16, 1984, edition of The Arabian Sun

“Everything has changed,” says 50-year employee ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Ahmed al-Mughrabi, scanning the developments in the region since he joined the company on May 20, 1934. “Today we have an airport, roads, pipelines, a refinery… everything has changed.”


Al-Mughrabi, now in his 60s and the longest serving Aramco employee, was personally congratulated by President Ali I. Naimi and Abdelaziz M. al-Hokail, senior vice president, Industrial Relations last week. Earlier, on May 8, he was honoured at a luncheon hosted by the Nursing Department where he has been employed most of his long career.


Of course, when al-Mughrabi joined the company the area was without any of those modern, industrial elements which trademark it today. Indeed, it was just nine months before that the first pair of oilmen had waded ashore at Jubail to start down the trail towards discovering the largest reserves of oil in the world.


Al-Mughrabi had arrived with his family at Jubail several years before, moving from the Najd in central Saudi Arabia. He was so young then that he doesn’t recall the trip.


Interviewed at the Dhahran Health Centre where he works as a screening nurse in the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Clinic, al-Mughrabi remembered the early oilmen’s names with ease: Robert “Bert” Miller, Schuyler “Krug” Henry, Max Steineke, Bill Burleigh, Fred Dreyfus and Floyd Ohlinger to name just a few. 


Looking back to his early days in Dhahran, he remembers the time when there was “no radio and no TV and for relaxation you just sat and visited or swam in the sea.” Today, he says, employees strike out immediately for home after work, while “before, we were like one family, sitting outside and talking.


“Everything has changed,” ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Mugrabi says wistfully, “and it’s better than before.”


Caption from top photo: ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Mughrabi, Aramco’s 50-year employee, poses with president Ali I. Naimi, right, and Abdelaziz M. al-Hokail, senior vice rpesident, Industrial Relations.


Also on this day

1991 Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom addresses a joint session of the United States Congress. She is the first British monarch to address the U.S. Congress


1998  A report by the Surgeon General of the United States C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine


1986  “Top Gun” directed by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise premieres.


1975 Junko Tabei from Japan becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest


1969  Venera 5, a Soviet space probe, lands on Venus


1966 — The Chinese Communist Party issues the "May 16 Notice", marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution


1960  Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser (a ruby laser), at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California


1929  In Hollywood, the first Academy Awards ceremony takes place


1919 — A naval Curtiss NC-4 aircraft commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight


1916The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Third Republic sign the secret wartime Sykes-Picot Agreement partitioning former Ottoman territories such as Iraq and Syria


1888 — Nikola Tesla delivers a lecture describing the equipment which will allow efficient generation and use of alternating currents to transmit electric power over long distances


1770 — The 14-year-old Marie Antoinette marries 15-year-old Louis-Auguste, who later becomes king of France


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