Monday, March 21, 2011


Last Thursday Mike and I had a great opportunity to take a day trip the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia to the company compound, Shaybah . This little community is nestled in one of the most extreme desert areas in the world in a sea of red sand dunes. Here the company has the only gas and oil facilities in the Quarter. It's an amazing production to see and you can tell it's one of the company "jewels" and used as showpiece. The community seemed to have a lot of fancy extras to impress. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit.
In fact the company has two trips a year and you enter a lottery for the chance. We won! Well, were one of the many winners. There were three bus loads of company employees and families that filled every seat in the company plane. My mom was gracious enough to stay a few extra days so Mike and I could go. The kids have to be 6 and up to go. So that left both of our little guys at home for a special day with Grandma.

Spending 12 hours together without the kids was a great break for both of us. I don't think we've EVER done this! Made us feel like we were back in college. We missed the boys, but it was relaxing to just be adults and not have to chase anyone else.

Here are a few pictures from our trip.
Mike outside the airplane when we arrived. The company has its own airport at the compound it's the fastest/easiest way to get in and out.
They had the best looking soccer field we've seen in the country. That in the middle of the extreme desert. Impressive. They do use reclaimed water on everything, so there is some conservation.In the background you can see some of the employee housing/dorms. The architecture here was beautiful.
Outside one of the community centers.
Best part of the trip was when we were turned lose on the actual sand dunes.On our way up. You can see Shaybah in the back.
Showing off some Saudi "skin." Nothing like some ankle. We weren't asked to wear abiyas on the trip but were told to dress conservatively because it is a bachelor compound. I know sometimes I like to break the rules. :)
On our way up to the top.At the top of a HUGE sand dune.The view of the compound from the top of our dune.
The other side.Just miles and miles of red sand and some of the largest dunes. They are so deceiving in size and you don't grasp how large they are until you get to the bottom. The sand was soft and fine on our feet and a beast to walk in at points.Pointing to the peak we climbed to from the Oasis rec center. This is above the hill from the compound and where we had a BBQ dinner as the sun set. It was a great experience to see this side of the world. A marvel really. To sit at the top of the dune and see the Lord's hand in it all. To feel small compared to the mass of the red sand desert. We've been blessed with a beautiful world and I feel blessed to be able to see it and touch it.
We are not here by chance. There is a reason and the Lord has a plan.
Hugs, A


Ahmad A. Nader said...

Hey there!

It should be a nice trip to such place in the middle of the desert but for us as (employees) it's hard enough that you would do whatever possible to leave this area. I am one of the employees in Shaybah. In fact i was the main presenter in Shaybah and let me tell you the weather here is extremely harsh!

I've been working here since 2007 and I'll be leaving this month and the main reason behind leaving this area is because of the remoteness of this field. Would you imagine being away very far from your family and specially your wife and kids for a continues 7 days not mention the pressure of working for a continues 12 hours a day (day and night)!

Believe me they pay us good here. For the first year i felt like its ok to work at such place but after i got married i knew how it feels to be in such a remote place

Wish you all the best: D


Ms Eden said...

for 7 years...still considered a challenge Mr Ahmad....but you made the right decision...for family sake....
well i have been here as MOH RN/SN in the kingdom since 1985, started at ARAR North region before the Gulf war...then transferred to Dammam and still working as RN at king fahad specialist Hosp...hopefully in three months time i will also go home to my country...for good...God Bless you... and take care as always

Ms Eden said...

...Ms Angie...a place i've envisioned to see i 've been in the kingdom for 26years now...but have nto gone to that area yet as you've said only the winners had the priveledge he he..... enjoyed viewing your photos and felt so near to the place myself while I google it....following the rub al khali to the tarmac...
Thanx for sharing a real ADVENTURE as all of us here downstreams ( who saw your pics with me...says....please continue sharing sort of these pics again...