It is a good chance as my daughter and I study together, retired Aramco employee says
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Manama: A 64-year-old Saudi decided to go back to school to resume studies with the aim of obtaining a university degree. But online community were split on the merits of the decision.
Abdul Salam Al Abdullah said that he retired from Saudi oil giant Aramco four years ago and that he now wanted to study for a university degree in media.
Following assessment tests, Abdul Salam was placed in the ninth grade, the same level as one of his daughters.
“It is a good chance as my daughter and I study together,” he said as he was interviewed by Al Ain TV, a Saudi education ministry channel. “Her older siblings and even her brother currently studying in the US often offer to help, but I turn down their proposals and I insist that I study with my daughter who is in the same academic level as me and therefore there is a strong rapport. I always seek her assistance whenever something is a bit difficult or too obscure to understand.
Long-bearded Abdul Salam, a father of eight and a grandfather, said there was no shame at all in widening horizons and expanding education, even though he has retired from his Aramco position.
While some media users supported his decision and applauded his courage to go back and sit at school desks and pursue his media dream, most commenters said he was wasting his time and energy.
“He is a great role model that should be emulated by some of our reckless youngsters,” one user posted. “While his eyes are on education and learning, some of our youngsters waste their time in cafés and restaurants, on their phone cells and on car drifting.”
Another user found Abdul Salam as an “impressive” personality.
“He is retired and has plenty of free time, yet he wants to study and fill up the empty hours. We really wish this impressive man success in his endeavours,” he posted.
Those who disagreed with Abdul Salam evoked social, economic and religious reasons.
“This is really great and he deserves our deep respects,” a user under the moniker of Patriot posted. “However, he should appreciate that he should leave the field for young people who will be looking for a job and a source of income, since he already draws an honourable pension from Aramco.”
Another user said that Abdul Salman should devote his time to deepening his knowledge about religion.
“He would receive our full respect and gratitude if he expanded his knowledge about religion and devoted himself to serving other people spiritually,” he said. “Even if he receives a university degree and lands a job in the media sector, there is nothing new that he will contribute.”