Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Being at a new place does not necessarily means only meeting new friends. If one is lucky, he/she could also be meeting old friends, either purposely or coincidently. This is exactly what happened to me, coincidently, here in Jeddah.
I was reading the Islamic Development Bank's Vision 1440H when I came across a familiar name in the book, Dr Abdullateef Bello, that rings me. With the help of Dr Siddig Abdelmageed Salih of the IDB's Strategic Planning Department, it was confirmed that he is rightly my old Nigerian friend while we were studying in Oxford in late 1980's and early 1990's. We have lost contact for nearly twenty years, after we graduated in 1991. He was the one who helped me developing tables in my doctoral thesis, as he was specialising in computer studies. Computer application then had just been introduced and drawing a table could hardly been done through it. We were living together at Summertown House of the Banbury Road; he in his single unit apartment while me and my wife in our married unit apartment in a block nearby his.

Dr Abdellateef visiting me at my office after zohor prayer today
Dr Abdullateef was surprised by Dr Siddig through an arrangment of a meeting with me at the former's office. Dr Abdullateef Bello is now the Director of Data Resources and Statistics Department while simultaneously becoming Acting Director of two other Departments in the Bank. He had been here in IDB for about 17 years, since he left Oxford after working there for about one and a half year. His typical jovial jokes and laughs are still characterising him a lot, as during our studying days, and his office was full of laughing emanating from our memories in Oxford, when we reunited again for the first time in his office last week.