Fahmi Basrawi: To Teach is to Learn
With only a sixth-grade education, Fahmi Basrawi began an exciting journey with Aramco, obtaining a job as one of the fi rst teachers at the company’s Jabal School in Dhahran.
A resident of Jeddah who worked as a clerk in the local police station, Basrawi responded to an ad for Aramco employment. Because he could read and write Arabic he was quickly hired. He was told he was going to be an English teacher! Basrawi did not actually know English, but he soon taught himself the language, learning as he went, only a lesson or two ahead of his students.
At the time Basrawi taught at the Jabal School, there were 3 or 4 teachers and over 100 students. His work was cut out for him, and he quickly found himself to be a natural teacher with a penchant for organizing youth sports and field trips. Basrawi remembered teaching Ali Al-Naimi for two years during his time at the Jabal School. Al-Naimi, he recalled was a very prepared student.
Following his years at Jabal, driven by his own educational goals, Basrawi attended college in Beirut. He was among the first group of Aramco students to study in Lebanon. He later returned to Dhahran for a job in the company’s Government Relations division.
Basrawi is also well known as a personality on Aramco Television, where he hosted educational programs for 17 years. Through this programming, women in the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia learned to read and write during an era when there were no schools for girls. He later hosted a popular quiz show where Aramco contestants competed on the subjects of math, history, geography and religion.
One of Aramco’s important pioneers, Basrawi reflects back on his time with Aramco and thinks it is wonderful that the Saudi employee of today has even more opportunities for education than during his era.