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Continuing with my journey of work and life……
People and relations are life’s biggest treasures. I met some wonderful people in KSA whose company was memorable. Many relations still continue.
Munibullah Hussaini interviewed me and facilitated my employment from the beginning to the end and even later. He is from Pakistan and had been working in KSA for many years. He was technical head at that time. MH gave me the book of prayers when I went to perform my first Umrah. I liked it so much that I recommended it and presented it to many people. He recommended the organizer whose group I and my wife joined for performing Hajj. It was a very well-organized group which ensured smooth and convenient performing of all rituals. I am deeply indebted to him for his many kindnesses.
Ahmed Shahzad is also from Pakistan and was running the plant. Ahmed and I worked together in the office for development of new products. We also visited customers together where technical assistance was required. Our biggest win together was getting a specially developed grade for use in carbonated soft drinks (CSD) closures, tested and approved at Alcoa plant in Bahrain. Alcoa had a large manufacturing facility in Bahrain which made billions of CSD closures every year. We had been talking to them for a special material for closure lining. Ahmed Shahzad developed the material, we took couple of bags with us to Bahrain, got it tested and approved. It was a big win. The day we landed at Bahrain, was the day when a huge tsunami hit Thailand, India and adjoining countries, killing many thousand people. Ahmed is a very likeable person and we are on family terms. I have deep affection and regard for him.
Javed Mushtaq, also from Pakistan, was handling sales. Mostly, he worked on phone and developed and serviced clients in KSA and several other countries. Javed worked diligently and did a very good job. We are still in touch. Javed is passionate about Pakistan, Cricket and Politics.
Farooque Raza, Anwar Hussain, Altaf Almelkar, and Jijo Joseph came from India. We are still connected. Altaf Almelkar is now into serious singing, specializing in Mukesh songs.
Zakariya Al-Kathiri was a young Yemeni who worked with me for sales. He was a sweet person and keeps me updated about his whereabouts.
Wadhah Najeeb Mehmood was also Yemeni and was transferred from plant to sales. I haven’t heard from him for some time.
Bilal Ali Kara was Lebanese. Lebanese are among the most beautiful people on earth. Lebanese men have sharp sense of fashion and mostly live life on the edge. Bilal was a sweet, generous guy. He had married a Pakistani woman and was in trouble due to visa issues. But he kept his cool. I haven’t heard from him for a long time. I wish him well.
Among others, Aymen came from Palestine, Ahmed Al-Saqqa came from Syria, Jamal came from Sudan, Ahmad came from Jordan.
You can see the array of nationalities with whom I worked. I did get a lot of love and respect from my colleagues. I was grateful to all of them and shall always be. If I happen to go back, I would be pleased.
It was November 2004.
I was in Dusseldorf to visit Medica. Medica is the world’s largest show of medical devices which is organized in Dusseldorf, Germany every year in November. My Saudi employers used to say that “Medica is our show”. Because it attracted the buyers and sellers of medical devices and related materials and services. The then HR manager of CCL, Irfan Hashmi (late) called me and talked about my coming back to CCL on a new, different position. I told him I was traveling and would return after three days. Meanwhile, he could send an email. Irfan did that. We talked more when I returned to KSA. CCL had planned to create a new position combining International Business, Business Development, Regulatory, Medical Affairs and Procurement. The management desired that I should come back and take over that position.
I told Irfan that I [desperately] desired to perform Hajj which was two months away. I would only consider return after that. After some discussion, it was agreed.
The return appeared to have been ordained……