Former Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi recounts how he first joined Aramco


Ali Al-Naimi, the former minister of petroleum and mineral resources in Saudi Arabia, recounted his early days as an employee for oil giant company Aramco in a video that has been gaining traction on social media.

He related the story of how he started looking for a job, his appointment as an Aramco employee and his attempts to obtain a birth certificate proving that he was 18 years old in order to get employed.

Al-Naimi said that he went to the company’s human resources department to explain that being a child born to a nomadic bedioun family, it was impossible in those days to obtain a birth certificate.

“My actual age at the time was 20-years-old and not 12 as they had previously thought. They even asked me to go to a doctor who was known in Dammam and prove that I was indeed of age,” Naimi said.

RELATED: Ali al-Naimi: The shepherd who led Aramco, OPEC

It also didn’t help that, like his father and brothers, they couldn’t grow beards and a moustache.

He added that one of his professors directed him to go to an ophthalmologist in Dammam to give him a "red certificate". When he entered the doctor's office, he examined his eyes and ears but then he was surprised by the doctor's request that he had to remove his pants. Initially he refused but then he complied. The doctors examined him and wrote on the paper that he was 12 years old.

Al-Naimi said that he cried at the doctor’s office because the doctor’s testimony would not help him to get into Aramco. The doctor changed then changed the age to 16 when Naimi challenged him again and told him that he was actually 20-years-old but he would concede if the doctor wrote that he was 17 instead. The doctor granted the request and signed as such.

“When I first joined, I was appointed to the junior clerk position with a monthly salary of 125 Saudi riyals ($33),” Naimi said.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50