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Sir Derek Plumbly

Chair’s Annual Report 2015–16

On 9 June 2015 following the last AGM I gave a talk entitled In Pursuit of Stability, which drew on my experience as a diplomat and international official in the Arab world, including most recently as UN Under Secretary General and Special Coordinator for Lebanon.

On 5 November 2015 Dr Mark Thompson, Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, delivered the annual Ghazi al Gosaibi Memorial Lecture. His stimulating talk was entitled Saudi Youth and Societal Transformation: Aspirations and Challenges.

The Society’s Annual Dinner on 10 February 2016 was held in conjunction with the presentation of the Rawabi Awards, thanks again to the great generosity of Shaikh Abdul Aziz al Turki . Awards were given to Ms Judy Houry MBE, founder and long time leader of the Riding for the Disabled programme in Jedda, Saudi Arabia, and Dr Ali Almihdar, a distinguished Saudi lawyer who qualified as a barrister in the UK. The prizewinners spoke movingly of their experience in these roles.

Sir Sherard stood down as chairman of the Saudi British Society after the Rawabi ceremony: members voiced their appreciation for his leadership of the society over the past 4 years.

If you were unable to attend any of these talks, summaries are on our website:

Sir Derek Plumbly
May 2016

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