In Bahrain, Suliman attended local schools where he quickly mastered English. He proved to be an exceptional student overall with a prodigious memory, great curiosity and an ability to see possibility in the midst of challenge.
In 1937, by then a young man, Suliman returned to Saudi Arabia to take a job with the California Arabian Standard Oil Company, forerunner of the Arabian American Oil Company, today known as Saudi Aramco. By 1947, Suliman had risen from transportation dispatcher to storehouse supervisor to a position in government relations.
He later often said that Aramco was his ‘university,’ exposing him to best business practices at a time when Saudi Arabia’s oil industry was essentially an exciting startup.
Photo: Suliman (back row, third from the right) stands with members of the Aramco storehouse in the 1940’s.