Twenty Five Years On – Fahad Almalik

We recently got a lovely
surprise, with an old friend returning to us to study after…25 years!

Fahad Almalik studied here
in Portsmouth
back in 1989 when things were very different. 
So we asked him if he would tell us a little about that time,  and what brought him back here. 
 Lea and Fahad 2015
“My name is Fahad Almalik,
and I am from Saudi Arabia.  I work in the Central Bank in the Saudi
Arabia Monetary Agency (SAMA).  I work in
the currency department, and I am responsible for the issue of currency, which
means I supervise the printing and minting of the project, which is
outsourced.  I have worked there for 23
years.  Before that I was the Marketing
Officer for four years at the Savola Co (The Saudi Vegetable Oil and Ghee Co).
Lea, Fahad, Peter, Allan 1989
When I worked at Savola,
they used to send some employees to England to study English.  In 1989 I came here for six months.  When I first arrived, I was at level one.
I actually came with a
friend because in the beginning I couldn’t speak at all and he used to
translate for me, but by the time I left I spoke very good English.
Recently the Central Bank
asked me to get some training. My biggest difficulties in English are meetings,
presentations, negotiations and business letters, and because I had such a good
experience at LSI/IH Portsmouth (back in 1989) I started looking to see if I could find my
old school.  Of course none of the old
phone numbers or contacts still worked, but eventually I found LSI/IH Portsmouth again, and I
told them I was here 25 years ago, that I knew Peter (Gray) and Allan (Gray)
and my teacher was Lea.  They said ‘Yes
this is the same school’, but they didn’t tell me whether any of these people
were still there, so I was very happy to see Lea, who is now the Vice
Lea, Fahad, Sara, Marilyn, Sarah, Peter, Julie 1989
I chose to come at this time
because it is the school holidays in Saudi at the moment. I have one month in
total, so I will come back again later for another two weeks.
Fahad and Lea top right and lads from Omani Navy 1989
I think I was one of the
first students to come here the last time. There were four classes and seven
teachers.  The school then was a converted
house down by the seafront.  Now there
are seven floors, about 60 teachers and over 250 students. 
The facilities are so different today, with all the IT equipment and
smart boards and technology.  I was very
surprised by all the changes.  Also there
are such a lot of teachers now.  Twenty
five years ago we used to do our own social activities, we used to all sit
together and decide, a little like a family, but now everything is
organised.  All you need to do is take
care of your education.”
LSI/IH Portsmouth Student lounge, Whitwell Road, 1989 
Thank you Fahad for talking to us, and for bringing these photos back to show us.  It has been
so lovely to see you again, and we really look forward to the next time you
come back.