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  • 20 Jan 2013 7:24 PM | Anonymous

    Registration is now open for the 14th Biennial Reunion.  Registration Form
    A Happy Sid after registering.
  • 16 Jan 2013 9:59 AM | Anonymous

    Here are a few pictures of the newly renovated Grand Ballroom and Pre Function area.  Registration will be opening soon!

    Chandelier, The Grand Ballroom, and The Pre Function area.
  • 22 Dec 2012 7:03 PM | Anonymous

    (Thoughts from your ABI Nominations Committee and other board members on being involved in the organization.)

    Our home is an explosion of memories from my years in Saudi Arabia. One year my husband and son requested that at least one room in our home did not house a camel. I am proud to tell you that I accomplished this in 3 rooms (family room, kitchen, and dining room).

    Diana's Middle East Christmas Tree

    Last year I decided to put the majority of my camel and Middle East ornaments on a Christmas tree of their own. This tree represents the history of my childhood, and the love of family and friends that understand my strong ties to Saudi Arabia and have contributed to my collection. If you look closely you will see many things that will spark memories of your childhood as well.

    I have been involved with the Brat organization in various capacities for over 21 years which truly reflects my love of my/our past. True, it is a lot of work getting us to our beloved reunions - and yet, my involvement has produced wonderful lasting friendships with Brats of all ages. I cherish these relationships that I would never have had if AramcoBrats did not exist. It has been a pleasure working with past and present board members. We all take pride in what we do. The reward is seeing all the happy faces at our reunions, listening to stories, watching pure joy when childhood friends hug someone they haven't seen in many many years, meeting new people, talking and laughing with each other. Well, I could go on and on - but you know what I mean if you have attended a reunion.

    So, what would I like for Christmas this year? I would like our Nominating Committee to hear from lots of Brats younger than I that would like to become a part of the ABI to help ensure that our organization and reunions continue FOREVER.

    Merry Christmas,
    Diana Ryrholm Geerdes (RT '62)
    Director at Large
  • 22 Dec 2012 7:01 PM | Anonymous

    How many of us took dhow trips to Tarut Island, climbed around the old fort, spent time pot-picking in the Eastern Province or explored Qaryat-al-Faw or Mada'in Saleh?  Who didn't sometimes wonder what other treasures and tales lay buried and hidden beneath the sandy surface of those places so familiar to us...Jubail, Hofuf, and even Dammam? A traveling exhibit could finally satisfy a little of that curiosity.

    The "Roads of Arabia" exhibit, currently at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, offers a rare chance to tour ancient Arabia through a remarkable collection of over 300 historical and archaeological artifacts, many of which have only recently been unearthed.  The collection features pieces spanning the entire Arabian Peninsula and thousands of years (4th millennium B.C. to the early 20th century).

    In addition to Islamic era relics, such as ancient funerary steles from the region around Mecca, an old door from the Ka'ba, the exhibit includes archaeological finds from Tarut, now thought to have been the center of Dilmun at one time, as well as from Thaj (~80 km west of Jubail) where archaeologists recently discovered an ancient, Hellenistic burial chamber with solid gold jewelry, masks, and the remains of a young girl.  Artifacts from the ruins of Dedan (modern-day al-Ula near Mada'in Saleh) are windows into the ancient kingdom of Lihyan which predated the Nabataeans and covered much of the same area.  The list is impressive, especially when you consider how relatively young the field of archaeology is in Saudi Arabia!

    "Roads of Arabia" will be on display at Freer/Sackler through February 24th, 2013.  If you live in the Washington, D.C. area, don't miss it!  Future exhibit locations are:

    • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX - Dec 22, 2013 - Mar 9, 2014
    • Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA - Oct 17, 2014 - Jan 18, 2015
    • Chicago, IL - location and dates not yet announced.
    If you would like to plan a trip or learn more about the exhibit, visit the official site.  Some other great sources of information on the exhibit:

  • 22 Dec 2012 6:58 PM | Anonymous

    The first of a series from your ABI Nominations Committee and other board members with some thoughts on becoming involved in the organization.

    by Annie Oskam (DH '74), Nominations Director

    The kind of arab dresses made for girls that we bought in the suqs of Al-Khobar and behind Abqaiq camp. They came in flat cellophane packets and were made of dark floral prints, sewn closed at the neck and the wrist so you had to open the seams before you could wear them. You can find many photos of us wearing them when we were young in the 1960’s and 1970’s, completely unaware of the how different we would feel as we made our way in the wider world.

    Mrs. Weidner's 3rd Grade Class - Abqaiq 1967
    I’ve been searching the internet for some hint of these dresses, a photo, a vendor, a pattern, a description – anything to help me get near them – with no luck. I came across the Wikipedia entry for Al-Khobar and was pretty amazed to realize that Al-Khobar is no longer the dusty donkey cart town of our youth, but a modern metropolis and resort town. According to the article the Dhahran, Al-Khobar and Dammam area, or “Triplet Cities” has a population of 2.5 million people. No longer the place where we would get our bell bottoms handmade by tailors and puzzle rings sold by the ounce, Al-Khobar has become the place of Malls and Hotels and the Bahrain Causeway. Things have really changed.

    Arabia has changed, Brats have changed and ABI needs change.

    A gap is developing between the age of the average reunion attendee and the Board. In order for the Board to stay in touch with Brats and keep us moving forward we need to draw from the considerable talents of younger Brats. As years go by the Brats making up the largest portion of attendees gets younger. Our numbers in Dallas show the classes from the 80’s being those who are enjoying this special weekend in the largest numbers.

    We have enjoyed wise leadership of Brats from the 50's 60's and 70's, and now ABI needs to “grow” younger. The next generation of ABI stewards must come from younger Brats if the reunions are going to continue. There is need for people with experience in leadership, management, hospitality management, finances, law, contracts, technology – all kinds of skills are helpful – along with some ordinary enthusiasm and willingness to work together to make the Reunion weekend come together.


    The author now makes her own Arab Dresses
    And volunteers for ABI
    For more information, you may contact Annie.

  • 22 Dec 2012 6:55 PM | Anonymous

    You want to find your best friend from 3rd grade, but you are not sure where to start. Start here! Become a member of ABI and pay your small membership fee (Adbak) of $20 per 2 year term. Next, log on, using your email address and password. Click on “Main Gate” and then "ABI Directory". For a simple, 1 person search, type their first or last name into the box and almost instantly, every person in the database with that name, will show up. When you find the correct person, click on their name and their contact information is revealed.

    What if you want to find all Brats living in your city or state? Or perhaps those that graduated from 9th grade the same year? Follow these easy steps and before you know it, you will have the data.

    Click on “Advanced Search”.
    The following fields are available: First Name, Last Name, Email, District, 9th Grade Year, High School & College Attended, City, State, Code, and Country. Decide which parameter you want, and enter the information.
    Example: I want to find all those that would have graduated from Abqaiq in 1976. In the box next to District, I would click on “Is”, then “AB”.
    Right below that, I would select “Contains” and type in 1976.
    Then click on “Search”. Voila, there are 27 people that would have or did graduate from Abqaiq in 1976!

    Maybe you want to see who lives near you and arrange a dinner get-together.  Try searching by your city or even you zip code, and you might be surprised to find how many brat neighbors you have!  If the individual(s) you're looking for have entered an email address, just click on an address in their profile and drop them a note!.

    Please note that the visible content of each Brat's directory entry is controlled by that Brat.  If some information is missing, it was either never provided to ABI OR the person has hidden that information from view in the directory.
  • 08 Dec 2012 6:50 PM | Anonymous

    The 2013 reunion logo has been unveiled in the form of an online jigsaw puzzle. We loved it! If you already solved the puzzle, what do you think? Feel free to give the committee your feedback in the comments section below the original news post containing the puzzle. We've purposely left out a "spoiler" image here to give those of you who may have missed it a chance to solve it.

    When does registration open?
    We expect to open registration for the reunion in January, so keep an eye out for the announcement and start making your plans and checking for good fares! Meanwhile, if you haven't paid AdBak, yet, for this term, now would be a great time to do so and avoid having to do it when reunion registration is opened:

    • Click view profile
    • Under "membership details," check the date next to "renewal due on."
      • If it says 2014 or later, you already paid AdBak. You are set!
      • If it says 2013 or some date in the past, you will need to select the "renew until..." button to the right and pick the appropriate level.
    • Smile because you've helped support a special social organization that reconnects childhood friends who shared a unique experience.
  • 08 Dec 2012 4:58 PM | Anonymous

    Apologies to those of you who are already aware of this, but we wanted to make sure that we use all forms of Brat communication to get the word out.

    It is with great sadness that we report to you of the passing of one of our own. The Black Camel came and carried our Brat brother Michael Crocker DH 1965 into the night to join all of the others of the Brat family that have gone before him.

    Above all else Michael was a Brat and dedicated at least the last 20 years of his life to fostering and promoting the Brat spirit that ties us all together. When Bratdom was in chaos and the tradition of reunions had a very uncertain future, Michael stood up and did something about it. Gathering a group of like-minded Brats around him, he formed the ABI, rebuilt the contact database, wrote a stringent set of bylaws that dedicated the new organization to the protection of Brat ideals and charged the board of directors with fiduciary responsibility to make sure that Brat funds are protected. The ABI is Michael’s legacy to us all. His dedication to connecting ALL Brats together is the example he leaves for us.

    He will be sorely missed.

    Diana Ryrholm Geerdes RT 1962 and Mike Simms AB 1978
    Past ABI Presidents and Friends of Michael Crocker

  • 03 Dec 2012 9:54 PM | Anonymous

    Meet "Sid!"  Our new friend now has a name, thanks to Rex Phillips (RT '85) who has won a set of Saudi-themed (inedible) gingerbread ornaments for his entry.  Several people suggested Sadeegi or other variants, but we felt "Sid" was most unique to our Aramco Brat culture. We won't go into the subtleties of that moniker, but he is clearly winking in this photo!

    Thanks to everyone who participated. We have some very clever and creative Brats amongst us!  If you missed it and would like to read all of the entries, please see the original news feed item and November 20 and November 30 posts on our Facebook wall.

  • 28 Nov 2012 10:10 PM | Anonymous

    Your fellow Brats want to share your joys - birthdays, anniversaries, and more.  PLEASE forward your significant annual dates to Gina Tanner, so that we can either wish you the best on your special day, or tease you mercilessly - whichever is appropriate for you.  Then, when you have a new joy to celebrate (a grandchild or perhaps your Parole Hearing), let us know about that, too.

    Consider us your clearing house for Brat-related milestones.  Please send your news to:
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