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Considering the low levels of reading, the decline in notable reading material and the decreasing interest in gaining knowledge in general, any exciting discovery that takes place in the field of print media cannot be overlooked. The world of magazines is distinguished and unique; despite the sharp fall in the distribution of weekly news magazines, some specialized magazines having been embarking upon in-depth reports and have stood out through their distinguished coverage in varying fields.

Perhaps today’s most prominent cultural publication in the Arab world is Al Qafila Magazine, which is published by Saudi Aramco and run by the Lebanese artist, Camille Hawa. This magazine is distinguished by its remarkable articles, artistic production and important diversity.

Today, the magazine is marking the departure of Abdullah Jumah, the former president of Saudi Aramco, who retired recently. He was one of the most prominent executives in the business world and was an experienced leader and was dedicated to the principle of collective action. He believed in the importance of education, training and development and in practice, he applied the principle of communication between civilizations and respect for opinions and religions.

Abdullah Jumah ran the biggest oil company in the world and took on inspiring projects and achieved expansion in the fields of refinement, processing, marketing and gas energy.

In 2003, Abdullah Jumah featured in Fortune magazine’s list of the world’s most influential business people and in January 2005, the World Economic Forum in Davos appointed him energy community leader. Abdullah Jumah spent 40 years at Saudi Aramco, fourteen of which he spent as head of the company. He represents an important example of a self-made man and of development, progress and gradual success.

Jumah was a skillful manager and an outstanding listener. He loved reading and acquiring knowledge. He was an intellectual without vanity and an avid listener to classical music, and liked Mozart in particular, adding another dimension to his character that only those close to him are familiar with.

Before traveling, Jumah would take the time to familiarize himself with the culture of the country that he would be visiting. He felt strongly about education and development work and he established partnerships for his giant company in these fields to a large degree. On a personal level, he maintains an interest in working with administrative bodies of universities and sharing his opinion and experiences, and giving suggestions for their programs.

Abdullah Jumah is a wonderful example of a rare success story and he will be succeeded in his post by another well-known success story, namely, the current Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi, who, in turn, will be succeeded by an ambitious young man, Khaled al Falih.

Many thanks to Abdullah Jumah of whom we are proud.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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