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I'll Tell You What's on my Mind...ARAB DRESSES

22 Dec 2012 6:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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.

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