In the year 1994, after which economical worst years 1992 and 1993 which I experienced ever, which I mastered alone with my wife and my son, received I the opportunity freelance for my former company Humboldt Wedag Processautomation GmbH to work in the company KHD AG to regard at two projects for Saudi Arabia during one period of four years and than coronation of my career. Here it concerned ready for occupancy fully automatic cement plants about which three in Saudi Arabia to be built had and regrettably the last large orders were at all in the history of this company, because the company KHD Humboldt Wedag AG does not give it for reasons of the mismanagement and bad world economy today to no more. The building site for the first cement plant was at the Arab gulf (Persian Gulf) to Hofuf, 125 km into the country in the midst of the famous oil fields, here had I, after a Planning before of one year to do starting from May 1995 afterwards the work for the second production line site, 75 km from the city Yanbu (also Yanbo) was removed, directly at the Red Sea at a peninsula to at the end of till December 1997 continued. The first work had a capacity of 3500 t/d clinkers, the second work a capacity of 7000 t/d clinkers. My work for the first work to Hofuf consisted of planning, assembly monitoring and start-up of the entire process control system and associated network (LAN and WAN) to the data communication between the central and decentralized computer systems (Client - servers) as well as the array processors. Furthermore I should work on still the ranges, fire alarm system, telephone system and entrance monitoring device. The predominant part of the technology had been bought by the company Siemens. The journey, before was required by the Saudi message in Bonn for the assignment of a visa a medical certificate with the proof HIV, on the first building site found negative in May 1995, my wife could and wanted unfortunately also on the building site, it was not also heavily for it a visa to receive because Saudi Arabia which women went on was not generous.
Chaled Ibn Abd Al Aziz
King Fahd, since 1982 regent
Office container in the foreground (picture right) and left above living containers as well as cafeteria.
I flew with Lufthansa of Cologne over Frankfurt, where I transferred to the far flight into an airbus 310. It was noticeable to me, when I could see on the monitor in the airplane that the airplane already flew over Saudi Arabia, the sun was meanwhile to term airplane under gone, like bright the lighting under me flown over of the localities, compared to the localities of other countries, was. After a flight from seven hours the machine landed at night around clock in Bahrain, booked directly the far flight after Dhahran at Saudi Arabia to over finally arrive. Turned off in Dhahran the airplane somewhat apart of terminal building, when I stood then at the door for stepping out, came to meet me a hot damp air flow, which had a temperature of over 40 degrees C. In terminal building was concerned me only consciously like many foreign immigrant workers in Saudi Arabia worked, because before us was an airplane from India landed many hundreds only male immigrant worker had flown, who waited now all before me in rows before the dispatching switches set up for permission for the entrance. When I was finite then in turn, it was already two o'clock early and could rise after detailed control of the customs officer into the taxi ordered by the building site. The Taxi driver was Indian and very friendly, he drove me once again to 125 km country inside over a good-passable four-lane motorway to the building site, where we happen then finally after a work gate before a container held, which was obvious my accommodation, because it opened the door and my luggage took in.
Picture left, aunt Emma shop, also Chaotic mentioned, where one could buy the most necessary food. One sees me at the bar for paying my food.
After one thank-beautifully and up-see again entered I mean accommodation and was to tired around everything in eye-look to take, although there was not much to admire, because the total area was about 18 square meter and the mechanism exclusively consisted of plastic. It was as I arrived stick dark and could not orient itself where I had not at all landed and it shifted on the next day, immediately had I to bed put and fell asleep. I baptized the accommodation with the name drawer. Suddenly I was waked by the noise by starting cars, which drove on the building site, it had become already bright and time rising, although I was not yet completely out-slept of the long journey. In the refrigerator a colleague me had also deposited a box Cola a pair disks toast bred, so that I could satisfy first hunger, because the line of the building site had not planned this service. When I was then showered and shaved, I opened carefully the door outward, there painted a hot air flow my face and saw around me sand and other living containers. Then I decided to look for the office container and did not find her finally not far from the living camp. After I had announced myself to the building site leader, I got my monthly garrison ration from the building site buyer and could in there aunt the Emma shop (baptized by the building site colleagues as Chaos) my purchases transact, so that my next breakfasts for the time being was secured. For my lunch of the next days I have in the there cafeteria had announced myself, to I food had bought around also my own lunch to cook. The cafeteria was led by the building firm DYWIDAG AG., which the buildings of concrete of the new work had built. All containers were in the middle in the sand turned off and with one or more air conditioners equipped.
I got in the office complex in a room, it could in each case in a room only two men place find, mean desk and computer with which I mean clerical work to settle, as well as could work on or provide designs. Over on the area, which contained several kilometres road system, away to move I got a car awarded, with which I was allowed to drive close convenient city Hofuf also into 35 km. There for me a certificate of employment requested was, had also still another Saudi driving licence ago, because with work permit the stay was secured for two years, one was allowed however not with a German driving licence a car to lead. The German driving licence had for the rewriting on the Saudi driving licence its acknowledgment, with the physician in the hospital in the nearby city Abqaiq had still another sight test to be accomplished and the blood factor (Resus) be determined. After four weeks I got both permissions handed out.
Directly on the first day I was addressed by all sides, because one had to develop longingly waited for me around the high-technical-qualified automation plant with the use of twenty computers alone for the control room and management information system. First I could be explained on the building site on the basis a projection design of the new work the situation and meaning different buildings. The new work had been developed around the smaller older work consisting of several smaller lines, developed between 1930 and 1982. The old work had been built by the company Polysius of the Krupp Company and the power station consisting of MAN Diesel from the year 1929 in the course of the time by a gas turbine was replaced. Since the delivery date of the work was very limited, I had little time in the beginning of private remaining it was still nothing prepared. One worked of six o'clock early in the morning to late in the evening twenty-two o'clock, because in the evening hours I had assembly work for the next day to prepare and all laid on work, like structure of control room, parallel to me telephone system and building of fire alarm systems, had instead of to find. Some buildings do not finished product or one had not yet begun to build, this caused that my eagerness for work in some places was impaired or I not continued to come. Assembly works became of the company Siemens - Saudi Arabia under my supervision accomplished and over the company Indumont of the assembly leader of electro-technology coordinates. The mechanics of the company Siemens were a mixture from Filipinos and Pakistani, about which the predominant number was not qualified and was lent by subcontractor. These mechanics had compared despite their, with us, miserable accommodations where six one in a container lived a good work moral to register and much it me easily about the newest technology to inform. From time to time there was political conflicts to register under that individually mechanics, because the Filipinos was predominantly Christians therefore differently in its behaviour assessed than the Pakistanis all Muslims was and in Saudi Arabia was preferred. All these immigrant workers sent their money monthly to their family in the homeland, in order to let thus also their children study.
Muslims did not work on Fridays (Sunday in Saudi Arabia), on the other hand the others only in the morning. On these days I could also times out drive thank God to the work to twelve o'clock with the colleagues into 125 km removed city Al-Khobar at the Arab gulf and afterwards in the hotel Meridian a maintained coffee with a Black Forest cakes to consumed, still in a well sorted self-service shop to American kind food for the next weeks buy, since I was full the meals in the cafeteria. After three months I could move from the container into free an apartment in the company-owned housing estate, become, where I somewhat more comfort had with artificially watered palms and trees approximately. When I came the first time into the control room of the old work, where the new control room in the same area should be developed, I was received cordially from the shift personnel (Operator). These shift personnel consisted of Saudis and Indian and always was from now on around me if I in the control room to do had. Looking back, before I travelled on the building site, went a planning of the entire technology and production of the process pictures as well as testing the hardware, user software and above all the system software supplied by Siemens first. I provided all process pictures for the new cement plant, beginning with the crusher plant over the mill plants, which was necessary rotating furnace up to the dispatch of the cement, with a colleague, who already was over twenty years at the company. Were to the two hundred pictures with static and dynamic process symbols, the system is nevertheless called COROS LS-B and is from Siemens. The system of Siemens was at the time again and would require a detailed examination, which one year took before it on the plant site be sent could. Begun with the wiring by mains supplies, data communication connections and data BUS (net) was decentralized likewise assigned lines of the computers with the control controllers assembled set up central in the ground floor in cabinets and peripheral process electronics, set up in the control room, in cabinets in the Substations (Electric-area) to the asset areas in each case.
By this data multiplexer system and decentralized plants referred process binding, which consisted of coaxially cable and glass fibre cables, many expensive signal cable, which were necessary after conventional building method otherwise, became redundant. The transfer and treatment of these cables were to be accomplished extremely professionally, since otherwise data communication was endangered, therefore were it my task the assembly personnel for this to be trained like it the plugs at the ends of the optical waveguide cables to e.g. install had. All buildings were connected with an underground tunnel system as the cables from building to building were shifted. The old tunnel system already existing remained unaffected by the new system and had only in a place a fitting where cables was accomplished, which had to manufacture the connections with the old work, e.g. new Telephone cables and optical waveguide cables for the data communication of the old with new electronics to preparing cradle devices. In this old underground tunnel system much sand and rain water were inside, whereby the rain water in the ten months it did not rain evaporated, found guessed cats, snakes, mice, kitchen scraping, crickets and scorpions at home and could on in the tunnel existing the cable routes and at the soil move itself in the course of the time. For us this, before we went into the tunnel system, meant extreme caution, because the snakes were, as everywhere in the desert, poisonous and the scorpions likewise. Since I before assembly works began with the preceding endorser on the spot with the appropriate assembly documents the suitable ways and had to mark places, I came also in the old underground tunnel system, because our cables on the old cable routes were projected here and thus also with a fire signalling system to be equipped were. Before we dived then into the tunnel, I had to go as the first forwards and knock through with my protective helmet on the cable routes the snakes had then hunted. Since the lighting was very meagre in the tunnel system had one with a hand lamp the way to illuminate itself and here and there a queue, not longer than a meter, saw which made itself of it. Later after the plant was in enterprise, has I one evening late on a control trip in the old work range, a large cat, that a queue to snatch itself wanted, seen like he finally the queue term head bit, one stays held and it gradually devoured.
Contrary to the old underground tunnel system, the new tunnel system was also in regular intervals projected recesses (sumps) provided, into which then a Sump pumps was installed in each case. When the pumps were not yet in enterprise and it came into January to strong rainfalls, the sumps filled and tunnels very fast with rain water and we could with the work come no longer in front. Sometimes there were storms in bright sunshine and filled the tunnel with sand, because one had not locked the doors before outside at the tunnel entrances, these doors had one intentionally, in order to get with the work a to some extent cool air flow, on left. If I met then with control trip, in order to examine the assembly continuation, by which tunnel ran, I saw mechanics on pasteboard on the soil they sleeping more frequently. At the three raw material crusher plants leader little houses were in also a control room projected were in each case, that in each case with the central control room over optical waveguide cable to communicate can however decentralized to serving were around faulty operation on the part of the central control room leader to be excluded. The computers were so durable that the environment conditions, how sand and heat, which anything to computers could not wear, which was proven with start-up, when the air conditioners were not yet in enterprise. When assembling time all electro technical buildings (Substations) not yet with an air conditioning system ready for operation equipped this was relative was the conditions of work very heavily, there ran the sweat the body down, only gradually everything in enterprise was taken. Thank God we had enough water around regular to showers, the water were groundwater and seemed to be plentifully present.
Our work was constantly examined from the company Holderbank from Switzerland on behalf of the Saudi cement plant and removed range way by a protocol. Director Mr. Amine of the cement plant, a Pakistani, was not a smart intelligent man at that anybody came past, with which I had to do much, because he determined like which where in which place be installed had, naturally could I my mustard in addition to do, because he wanted to have mostly made than him contractual for more was entitled, in addition the customer insisted on it the entire plant from the control room in enterprise to take. After approximately a quarter year, in August 1995, I could all computers of programs raising (boats) and test whether the signals of all drives and measuring points in the process pictures were to be recognized by the correct places, locally already our engineers were busy with the testing of the measuring points naturally. As the first the clay crusher with the gravel bed went - camps in enterprise, which was led from the leader house with the serving and observation station (decentralized control), whereby the data arrive over an optical waveguide cable at the central control room and passively could be observed like the crusher plant behaved. Next the loading of hoppers of the materials sand and iron ore came into another camp, whereby that had to be cut up iron ore also by a crusher before, again from a leader house with serving and observation station led, afterwards transported one over transportation volumes these raw materials to the pre-bunkers of the two raw meal mills, which became and supervise volumes naturally from the central control room started. To take now was it time both raw meal mills in enterprise, after material of routes of transportation, consisting of air promotion gutters, by which the raw meal with air pressure, produced from giants fans, to whom both homogenizing silos transported, were freely switched. Now the rotating kiln at the row and contractual was very important, was the date for the ignition of the firing and the first clinker from the rotating kiln, because the meant production ran, the customer its delivery obligations by Kuwait to hold could and for us a larger payment on the bank caused. The raw meal from the silos was too led in the heat exchanger pre-heatedly and tuck in the rotating kiln.
Picture left, in the background the long raw meal store and in the foreground the old work. Admission of the new heat exchanger.
The start-up of the rotating kiln was set up with a banquet, in a typically Arab tent directly putting in the sand beside the rotating kiln and laid out with carpets, celebrated largely. While we availed ourselves and were spoiled leaned at cushions sitting on the carpet with meals and tee, one could recover from the past strains and be proud on its achievement. The celebration was paid, organized by our company KHD it by a Saudi employee of the cement plant, who was manager of the security agency, which had home invited me on a later time to itself.
Picture right, the rotating kiln on concrete - to columns stored, see the brown thing above in the picture. In the background on the left of down the rotating kiln of the old production lines.
Me it was clear that these qualified work >Portfolio< a mixture of different abilities and experiences, only as independent with the necessary experience in the past collected at many companies for which I was active master could. The condition for the start-up of the rotating kiln, was the enterprise of the fire monitoring system in the different electro technical buildings and the underground cable tunnel system.
Picture on the left of the Main Sub station area with switchgear cabinets and control console. The area is normally always course-closed.
Picture left shows the area in the Main Sub station, of where from the high voltage supply for the new cement plant, with which serving and observation desk in the foreground and are switched off. The operational data of this serving and observation station become via the gateway, which at the work network interlocking in the LAN technology with the central control room, see picture down, connected is, are sent and thus the Operator can see which drives in the control room at which rail is switched. In case of failure this high voltage supply in some seconds the emergency power generator is connected automatically and accessed an emergency power rail around the rotating kiln not to endangering.
The Saudi man in the foreground picture centre is a Operator of the old control panel to see left in the picture and right is the new control post, which is for the moment many more interesting for the personnel.
Picture left, view of the company-owned housing estate, which was greening in the course of the time by artificial irrigation with plants and trees. Left forwards, a homogenizing silo and above in the distance an age-old massif from tone and sandstone.
Adjacent the control room building an extension of the laboratory building had been cultivated, furnished with to fully automatically working Roentgen fluorescence an analytical device, for this even the sample preparation automated was, on so a plant still returns I in the description over cement plant Yanbu. To my support by the company Siemens software an engineer was used, who should eliminate the still arising errors in the system software during start-up. A very important aspect was consisting, managers - information - system, with this system, of a server, Processor and four Clients (terminals), could pursue the product manager, laboratory manager and director of work operational data processed by the desk the current and on the basis reports and with simplified pictures and depending upon need expressions. This system was, protected by DATA router, interlaced with the backbone network work of the production department, thus arrived the production data unimpaired into the management system, also the laboratory results by the system was stored. In the planning phase I have all reports and pictures prepared for the management system and so far it went tested, afterwards on the building site with desires of the customer supplemented.
Picture right, with the work on the manager information system behind the instrument panel of the old control room.
Remarkable it is still that five times on the day on an unrolled carpet behind the instrument panel of the old control panel, their prayers performed the Saudi shift personnel in the control room. Every evening during I in the control room was, my fine nose by wonderful smells was spoiled and followed, there turned out that the Saudis even together organized its dinner in the tee kitchen, was cooked from one, which could do it best, which better in the nature tasted than in the cafeteria. To tee and coffee always loaded one me, the coffee was a special Arab drink, consisting of many herbs in the hot water prepared and tasted bitter, should be however healthy.
Pictures above, flowering bushes in the desert after a rainfall in February.
From the plant site, at a distance of approximately five kilometres, one looked on an elongated massif, is which about hundred meters high and to the rear westward as a far highly level, where sources of oil are, it stretched. If one approaches the massif, then one looks to rinsed out sandstone things in many ravines and on of the water, over centuries. It was like that impressing this landscape created by nature that we were decided on the few free hours to us at the disposal to look for systematically the area to exploring and after us unknown conditions. We drove with a jeep for the beginning of the massif, parked the car and went to foot further around so nothing at objects of interest missing, because as gave it placed itself out a great many.
Picture right, this thing became over centuries, if not even over thousands of years, from the massif between the high-altitude level and deeper pre-level washed and stood completely isolated from the pre-level as pre-posts in the burning sun. The shade on this thing, was thrown by the massif, which was not yet by the rain water freely washed, behind it, late in the afternoon.
Picture left (I on the picture), the view of ravine, to which with the time from the high-altitude level was washed although it only from time to time in the months January and February rained however then so violently that the water by force flowed from the level down and rinsed the sandstone freely.
Between these walls from sandstone and tone there was places where obviously the dampness kept longer and could prosper to plants, because only in the morning or in the afternoon its effect showed the sunbeams briefly there. Me much immediately up that also many barn swallows were here over to winter, this pointed to the existence of many insects, so that the swallows can survive even wild pigeons, some falcons and other birds felt in the labyrinth of the massif probably. Once we met a desert fox, with hunt not up to the darkness to wait could and of it did not make ourselves fast as it us saw, because I knew before already, when we the evening late, I sat behind the steering wheel of my car, from buying from al Khobar home drove, a fox before my car the road crossed that there were her here. We had us considered and carefully by the ravines and over each other supporting, with tone covered, sandstones induce over by collapsing breaking into to be surprised and not hurt. Had been noticeable some tents of a Nomad family with their herds of sheep at this massif guarded because it stop so many bushes and gave some grasses.
Picture above, here I look on a thing, which looks as if someone would have a breaking into on each other stacked, is however through under flushing of the rain water over centuries developed.
Picture right, shows like much rubble on rock lies and as easily one to slip there can. The rock breaking into have tears, because it, because of which under flushing, had no more stop. The sand, stone and clay strata in the depth, through under flushing visibly become, are many million years old.
We discovered in some places like today on mornings, from which an individual flowering bar of full blooms sprouted to meagre soil, let us see picture left, the dimension of this bar are about twenty centimetres high and without smell. After one day it dried up halfway. We discovered likewise some grass hops with the dimension of approximately ten centimetres and dark colour, these grass hops the past summer survived and to provide for the reproduction thousands of new grass hops, which slipped into February until March and fell themselves then on few green in the desert. The Nomad collected these grass hops and as if delicate-eat eaten. Between these grass hops fly also thousands butterflies, which died then on the next day nearly everything.
In the old city Hofuf, about 35 kilometres south of the building site far away, see following map, I occasionally in the evening hours in the SELF-SERVICE shop my food for the everyday need bought, we drove with several colleagues over to buying still in a Fast-food restaurant still which to feed, because we had no more time on so one day even to cook. Sometimes we met in the SELF-SERVICE shop Nomad with their wives and children masked from head to foot, at the many products unknown for them out of print. We had to always consider the prayer times, because the shops were closed in the time for customers, were already received one against it before this curfew into the restaurant and at feeding, then only the lighting is switched off during the prayer time and can remain sitting. One must consider that in Saudi Arabia around the 90% that population excluding male immigrant workers are entire and the evening in the roads walks or sits before the business, only sees one a masked woman with its man isolated.
Picture left points one to the death condemned, which is to be cut back on open road with the sword, so that also coincidentally passing persons can see her. Death penalty stands among other things on drug trade, rape, armed robbery and witches practices. With murder the oldest child of age of the victim can decide whether the family accepts a blood money instead of the execution.
The customs and laws in Saudi Arabia depend on the Islamic faith, i.e., if someone which stole it publicly the left hand off taken, has someone an armed robbery committed, then it cut back in the public, which happened in my time once. Once a controversy between two immigrant workers by the police with ten stick impacts, at the place before our office containers where all from the offices were requested to appear, publicly punished. Women in the public their legs pointed, by the police with a stick to the legs were struck and had rapidly to take off. In the old part of town Hofuf gave it still old Arab houses from the Middle Ages and the old bazaar, which were built much for close, but with roofing.
In this bazaar I bought good incense for the minister stirring up man as gift at its church. In direct proximity of the bazaar was the Jewellery quarter with a rich offer at gold decoration in the cleanly furnished business, where excluding Saudi as owners the customer served, which in other shops the case was not, because there had it of immigrant workers, mostly Pakistani, adjusted and later had, by the king is ordered, a Saudi additionally adjusted sat only there and his content took thereby it a job had. A proclamation of the king, over which future work politics of the Saudi state in that should be diminished the immigrant worker number on under fifty per cent thereby all Saudis a job were gotten, hung in the control room out. It is probably like that the fact that was awarded a monthly money of the state to each Saudi but a daily in the immediate future thereby counting had, only by work their money to earning, which many is more badly than quite.
Picture left, a jeweller's shop fully packed also gold decoration from Pakistan and India or from Iran and its proud owner.
Most Saudi (Arab generally) floats dear trade and change, when those are them after our conceptions to work, i.e., them always dependent on strangers, contrary to which Iranians those want to probably work. Meanwhile most Saudi understands that the Americans will suck its last drop oil from the soil and they get only a fraction of the thereby gained capital. From the time 1932 ago, when Saudi Arabia belonged still to the Turkish realm, originates still another Turkish fortress, which was built outside of the old part of town Hofuf.
Region where the city Hofuf was established is to realm at sources of water and thus the oldest city in the region at all, because the cities in a periphery of some developed for hundreds kilometres only during the oil boom. A colleague, Heinz Krieger, and I had arranged on next Friday (Saudi Sunday), it was in February 1996; the plant already was in enterprise, around six to enjoy clock early in the morning at the massif to breakfasts and the sunrise. It was in this season so early in the morning rather coldly; about fifteen degrees Celsius and the barn swallows already flew up nevertheless by air on the search for fodder. In the distance we could see and by the output of the chimney recognize the cement plant whether the new electrical - filter worked perfectly. Because it Sunday was could we one hour later than in the week of our work begin.
Our breakfast at the massif, even with table thereby no sand in the tee comes. In Hofuf there is also still another dairy, which was supplied by a yard with European cows, with milk and their milk products in SELF-SERVICE shops daily to the sales to freshly stand. At first the dairy sales resistance, because the sow these products were strange, had over this to changing the products offered and gradually came free of charge the Saudi on the taste, naturally also the immigrant workers. At the road of Hofuf direction the east up to the gulf of Bahrain, right on the map, was the landscape in many places lower than the sea level and filled with seawater, which by evaporation into salt surfaces were transformed. In other places again dunes of sand had themselves formed from the wind to moving were constantly forced and between them some Dromedaries their fodder searched, see further below.
Down my Saudi driving licence, on the left of Arab and on the right of English.
Above Map of the eastern region where the oil fields dominated, which are well developed cities and which are infrastructure on the highest conditions. The city Hofuf had even a beautiful station, because of the capital Riyadh until Damman led a railway and drove regularly courses. To 30.09.1995 I had come in the afternoon an invitation of the Egyptian, Mr. Nagib, to tee following to. As I then to its house arrived led the guest gentleman me into the living room, where only he and its son me accompanied. Its wife, who carried a head cloth, brought the tee and candies, greeted me from the distance and disappeared again. I had pictures from Germany thereby, which I showed him and it gave afterwards its wife in the kitchen for looking at.
We were to be looked for on one day (Friday) for the first time driven into eastern direction over toward a place, where we could swim reasonably, because this coast region at the gulf was quite flat and salty at the same time, like that which one hundreds of meters in the shallow water to run had before it enough became finally deep over to swim to be able. On the other hand, the reason was in the water stony and with fine corals scattered, our feet to hurt could, therefore we had, since no divers were present shoes, with cheap sandals at the feet or with much oh and pain on naked feet up to the deeper place struggle through, but it became hardly deeper. Picture down that Gulf.
In each case we had it tried however no fun, because the water was to flat and salty, us again moved and is the road up to the end driven, where we discovered an old ruin, which afterwards itself as nest of Pirates put out, Al Ugayr from which the Middle Ages placed, out. Meanwhile it was late, the sun stood already deeply on the horizon and until Hofuf had to drive still seventy kilometres. There already ten o'clock late in the evening as we in Hofuf arrived, is then in a Fast-food restaurant with dinner gone before we on the cement company site drove.
A mosque at the promenade of the Arabian Gulf outside the city Al Khobar. The mosques in the city were not Photo gene enough. These mosques in Saudi Arabia are not to be compared with the artful mosques in Iran, because the Saudi mosques stand in the shade.
Picture left, Badi Al-Dossari, the manager of the Security agency and I at its herd of sheep in the desert. The herd is guarded by a Sudanese. Here it shows me two lambs to the world had yesterday come.
Some days before I the work on the building site to Hofuf and finally back to Germany, at the end of April 1996 had locked, flew off, became I still from the manager of the work security agency, Badi Al-Dossari, it home invited. Its house was convenient and like all houses surrounded by a wall at the outskirts of a town Hofuf, with a blind gate as entrance of the road into the front garden of the house. After the entrance, I stood in the front garden and could to the left going at a wash basin my hands wash and further through was also a toilet. Before the house entrance has I mean shoes taken off and entered the corridor, because one never enters the house with shoes in Saudi Arabia and if I had had Sandals on, I would have had to wash my feet also still before, from the corridor had I entrance into the living room, which also Carpets laid out and at three four walls, in U - form, Chairs on each other posed, at the fourth wall stood a cabinet with the television. The host presented its brother and son to me, according to which first the Arab coffee one served, I did not get its two wives and daughters to face. After the coffee for the soil between the chairs a plastic tarpaulin was designed, where plates to the meal and bowls also different courts, like roasted chickens, sheep meat in rush, different rice courts and salads were set up, therefore we set on the soil over to feed, for me gave ourselves it still to cutlery, because the Saudis used its fingers regularly in a bowl with water was cleaned and around the customs will also I ate with my fingers. After the mark time those had tasted, as dessert once again coffee with Dates very good was served. After one hour the guest gentleman loaded me on the country to driving over to his herd of sheep to look, what its whole pride was. The herd we found finally far outside of western of the city Hofuf in the desert where still grass polling and small bushes were increasing present in the sand, one must themselves this in such a way present, as if one would be with us at the North Sea Coast in the dunes. The herd was guarded by a Sudanese shepherd, water is driven with a small tank car here and if the rain were missing times during the winter months had the Animals larger surfaces to graze off. The guest gentleman told the fact that its sheep would be its capital and compared it with a bank, if he wants money sold it only one pair of sheep and already had he cash money, its capital increased by the new generation of the herd. It had become gradual late and was approaching the sunset, now became it time for the evening prayer, which found in the middle in the desert at the herd as for centuries instead of.
Picture left, on the country with the sheep and the guest gentleman in the center, me right and the shepherd left.
After the evening prayer, where I sank behaviour for the sake of also in thoughts, took I separated and went back on the plant site. We have everywhere after one suitable place for swimming searched, so also a daily in eastern Direction on the way of the city Abqaiq to the gulf of Bahrain, when then the coast was some hundred meters distant still and we could already see the sea of widening, had however still with the car a low dune with bushes grow to be crossed. We had left already before more than one hour the fastened road and drove in of Bedouins vehicles made a trace, from now with full travel across the apparently good areas the dune was started, we had still no twenty meters behind us, there the car with the front wheels dipped into the sand and remained put. The attempt in the reverse gear from the sand to driving failed, because this car had a front wheel drive, now was expensive good advice. For a long time after it we did not sight a Saudi with all wheeled vehicle, which we here called for us from the sand to pull, which us also with the help of one in mine Car of optical waveguide cable present, this was the proof created as strongly so a cable is. We finally let stand the car and to foot in the glowing sun to the beach ran. Sometimes we drove a typical in the week, if we did not want to cook times, to the Chinese in the city Abqaiq, by the oil boom city where also many Americans developed were stationed, their own business, banks, post offices etc. possessed. That Self-service business had been built like that, the owner is a Saudi that each man to buy there knew as outward a guard the barriers to the parking lot opened and so the entrance controlled, also in the SELF-SERVICE Shop ran a guard armed with a club by the business. The Chinese could exist only from the many Americans in this city was, not from us or the individual Saudi. The city centre was dirty, uncomfortably and for us uninteresting, contrary to the city Al Khobar at the gulf, where we, I and Manfred Werner from Siemens nearly each Friday in the afternoon, it could ourselves attach also different colleagues, first in the hotel Meridian a maintained coffee with cakes approved, before we became against sixteen o'clock, because only around the time the business on Fridays opened, buying drove or the car left a washing. In a well sorted book shop we could buy the magazine of the Spiegel and Frankfurt Allgemeine, all knocking against pictures were made with black colour by the censorship unrecognizable. In this book shop, which we often visited, the book my fight lay on Arab in the shelf to the sales, which naturally dismayed us. In the city center of aluminium Khobar gives it naturally also many purchase possibilities in department stores, where on Fridays enormously many immigrant workers walk around as reconciliation for that locking up its in the worker camps in the desert, therefore we, that had more moneys, had the possibility in a giant new modern shopping centre, where there was only luxury article to look around. This shopping centre with name Al Rashid had the appearance of a palace and was on the inside in three floors, with much small business equipped, divided, at central points was jumping well their Fontanel with multicoloured radiating headlights illuminated, after which music of Mozart on and gushed off.
Picture above, the shopping centres Al Rashid to Al Khobar on one Friday in the afternoon before the opening time at sixteen o'clock, because the parking lot is still as trainings wept.
The business in this shopping centre is opened until late into the night and of the Saudi families well visited, also for children are present playgrounds with playing equipments.
In the third floor is a mosque, where all Muslims for the last prayer the evening were requested to participate, because on all floors was those it represents police and continue on the fact to respecting that all business closes and set their customers before the door. In the prayer time all were not, those more in the mosque fit before the mosque met, mostly were this only the children and women. Beside the mosque was a Chinese Restaurant, where we appeared from time to time with dinner and for it provided before that to already be prayer time in the restaurant, which briefly pushed the Curtains before the prayer time before the windows and we could feed further. Further were in that highest floor nearly food restaurant, one of these restaurants became by one Saudi in Frankfurt/M the cook art learned had led.
In this shopping centre I bought also some Decoration pieces for my wife, golden ball-point pen and pencil for the son, as well as Security of shoes for me and other articles. It mostly was briefly before sunset, if we could drive under the work, for buying into the city and during this travel I observed, as Saudis were on the travel to possibly a city, to the roadside drove, would step out, somewhat from the roadside departed and in the sand opened to the prayer.
The recreational value in Saudi Arabia was not large particularly and the time for this was limited with the short completion date of the work on few half days in Month. In the contract with the Saudi customer it was located that the entire technology out the production of Western European, North American or Japanese companies to be should, which the guaranteeing of the company KHD Humboldt Wedag AG made more difficult, because for example a ball bearing one of Siemens turned out supplied fan defectively, where, with the disassembly of the fan, the ball bearing was pervasive as supply of a Hungarian company emerged and the customer complaint inserted. Some weeks before I finally my work on the plant site had terminated and me discharged, I loaded the best mechanics of the crew had helped me when assembling of the evening to a banquet and they will never forget this time. I hat despite the many working hours, at least ten per day, not under that Heat, in the summer to 50 degrees C, still under the dust suffered and is healthy remained. One can only by a good disciplined way of life, by one vitamin rich food cooks, does not smoke and no alcoholic Beverages consumed, healthy remain. Although the alcohol in Saudi Arabia, gave it was forbidden which the beer or wine always made. The wine became from grape juice, which one could buy litre way in the SELF-SERVICE shops, with yeast set and over some weeks fermented, manufactured. The beer was alcohol-free in the SELF-SERVICE shops available and likewise with yeast one set in order to get after some weeks an alcoholic beverage. Both beverages, I cost it, had a bad taste. As previously mentioned, the predominant part of the colleagues themselves had cooked and more frequently together of the evening potato pancakes or pancakes baked. A television I did not have, probably however a telephone and could thus home call could myself hear later I a broadcast CD plaything ness bought around at least the German wave and music. On this plant site there was an accident with fatal outcome of a German civil engineer, that on a stage stepped in the darkness into a hole and with its back on a steel girder had fallen is. There were naturally among the European colleagues also quarrelling, because purely technically seen also some was not made correctly or the nerves revved up, then violent disputes developed then later again were settled. Some younger colleagues never abroad on one Building site had been and continuously at pressure were with the scheduled work or straight had married, revved up after some weeks and had home. Sometimes possibly a idiotic came on the plant site and wanted those on its way drive work in such a way in front, like he it in Germany is used, whereby he had to then experience very fast that he wrongly at the place was, because the clock ran here different with the many Asians, it was intolerable for its colleagues and was not no more considered. It is then with one Philippine preceding endorser in conflict turned out and of it as one small Hitler; called. The German building firm had also many Englishmen and Australians adjusted with who one well get along could. Strange also was in German, which before it flew home, instead of buying for its wife a gift, Flaxen of bread with home took, which was naturally with the arrival in Germany long old, hard and not enjoyable.
Were naturally also colleagues, for this count I also the Englishmen and Australians, evening their portion the home-made wine or beer drank and on the next day during the work still taken away?
Picture left, shows a waste water ditch of the city Hofuf, which runs eastward to the gulf. The water seeped after some kilometres into the sand where the salt content is so high that in the place hardly which stature. The waste water is not as one sees contaminated, because there is no industry in the environment. The cement plant has its own purification plant. The facts that also in Saudi Arabia on the road beggars beg for alms, is remarkable it is above all offended women with their children. One can, because those Mrs. from head to foot black dressed and thereby not to recognize are whether them young or was old, does not ask why them was forced to beg it is forbade itself with to maintain.
Because the immigrant workers without their family in a man company in the Camp in the middle lived in the desert and in their spare time did not know where, are them with penalties on the few days off into the city driven, where they bought massive music cassettes with music from the homeland, also I had bought some CD´s, also Arab music, in order to ease the evening after the work with music.
Each year came many pilgrims from all countries in the world for a certain time after Makkah and Medinah travel around the large celebration (Ramadan) of the birth of the prophet Mohammed to celebrate and afterwards at the Kiblah (Hajj) pray, their residence permit is limited in this connection only on some days, afterwards they had to be left the country. Many, some, around work get and turn out into sinking in the hands of many non respectable companies, the such people tried to remain nevertheless still longer for thousands to use and than cheap workers to large renowned companies for expensive money letting. In order to seek out these illegal immigrant workers, the Saudi police established everywhere in the country at important road junctions occasionally to boards of control, those above all late in the afternoon if the workers too their Camps to be driven, were occupied and in the darkness with large Headlights into each driving past car radiate, so that it dazzles one. Obviously the police know itself in this regard out; because we left they continue to drive. I got an invitation of the German in August 1995 Message over with other invited guests the day of the German unit being entitled to celebrate.
On the conscious day, drove we, it only the Germans were invited into, with mixed feelings from the plant site to Dhahran to the hotel international, which directly at the airport, were announced Riyadh to the message. The number of the inviting was not large, because after the arrival we became of resounded the hotel privately the house of the Hotel directors, at the hotel built, referred, where we receive cordially and by the corridor and the living room into the large garden were led. In the garden were numerous Tables, with wonderful courts and a barrel of Löwenbräu directly out Germany flown, set up. After the official part, consisting knew responding of some gentlemen us at tables and the freshness Beer of the barrel goes. It was straight enough beer for all there, in order not to become drunk, because I had to drive still back on the plant site, one said to me, it can not pass that the police can arrest you because of drunkenness to tax, so which am in Saudi Arabia not possible, because is alcohol here in principle forbidden thus gives it also no drunk ones.
In Al Khobar in the Tamimi kind Gallery I could two paintings of a Korean painter, Kim Sun Soek, acquire, motives am an Arab shopping street with purchase conditions and an Arab woman, where only the eyes are to be seen, with a tent, at the campfire, resting Dromedaries and moonlight in the desert.
On "the Thanks giving day ", in the nature, one knew an American celebration in Hotel Meridian to Al Khobar observe like many Saudi families with children there according to American habit this day because it not against those To laws their religion offends being entitled celebrated. The celebration found apart in a large secondary room of the hotel instead of where the children some at plays were ordered. On 30 April 1996, after completion of my work, I became of a Saudi in its typical costume early in the morning with Mercedes a SL 600 over Al Khobar and King Fahd causeway (dam) in the gulf of Bahrain, where reciprocally the far sea to see was, to the airport on the island aluminium Bahrain driven. Briefly before eleven o'clock on the same day, could fetch my Mrs. me in Frankfurt/M at the airport and celebrate on the next day with the family first May.