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Abdul Qadir Askalan .. Remarkable Success between Two Homelands



Translated by Sabrin Qadah 

His journey with banks included Jordan, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, his philosophy in work relied on honesty and integrity where he considers determination and risking the most important conditions for the success of the work.

He, then, submitted his papers to the Arab Bank in Amman, Jordan to become a bank accountant and was surprised by the existence of a close relative in the staff management affairs who refused to assign him in the bank so as not to be accused with nepotism later. Abdel Kader refuged to his father, who spoke to Abdul Hameed Shoman, chairman and founder of the Arab Bank, who agreed to appoint him in the bank immediately. That was in 1957. Abdul Qadir was paid a monthly salary of $ 40; to later manage a bank asset of $ 2.2 billion.

Abdul Qadir Askalan remained as an accountant in Oman Arab Bank for 9 months, then was assigned in charge of the bank's branch in Yemen and continued there from 1958 to 1969.

Askalan has gained considerable knowledge from his experience of Yemen, and then later transferred to the United Arab Emirates to be responsible for the Arab Bank branch in Ras Al Khaimah in 1970, and in 1973 a decision was aissued to be responsible for the Arab Bank branch in the Sultanate of Oman. Askalan experience as CEO of Oman Arab Bank in Muscat was full at all levels. at first, he rejected the idea after some people told him that the Sultanate was at the beginning of the Renaissance and that there was no real ingredients for life there. However, Shuman asked him to try out for 3 days first, then he can decide to accept or reject. He came to the Sultanate, and when he stepped foot on the land of the Sultanate said to himself (this is the land of dreams).

When he came to Maskat, necessities of life were not completed yet and there was one hotel, Falaj Hotel, as the Gulf Hotel was not built yet. Askalan stayed next to the hotel and began the establishment of the Arab Bank and was following up on the hotel archive of guests and businessmen coming to Oman to create projects. He started to get to know them who became the most important bank clients later. Life was tough in every sense, and Askalan confirmed that the foods were not available at the time except for a car that used to come loaded with food from Dubai once a week. Bread also was not available that only one single bakery existed in Maskat. The road however, was only one way towards the mountain and there were no seaside roads, nor there major bridges, tunnels or any facilitated methods of communication like those now.

Askalan mentions that the first of his activities and cooperation with the Sultanate's government came when he gave a $50 million loan to the government of Oman in 1975 to establish a cement factory. After this, the bank facilities and project financing arose;therefore, the Arab Bank funded Oman Flour Mills Company, then bridges, roads and hotels. Currently, Askalan serves as CEO of Oman Arab Bank, and he is also membership of the boards of directors of Omantel, Oman Investment and Development company, and the insurance fund and deposits of the Central Bank of Oman.

Askalan moved from his hometown of Nablus, where his first step in the banking sector was to Oman and Muscat to tell the finest banking and economic successful stories. Between childhood dreams of becoming a pilot, and the reality today as a prestigious banker, Abdul Qadir Askalan has undergone a long journey, during which he visited countries, and lived experiments. He is a man who mastered the success of the industry in the world of business and finance, and knew of the paths of the banking world to the extent that some of their landmarks connected to his name, and he became on top of the achievements in this area.

Askalan reclines in his career on academic qualifications, expertise of a cumulative process and personal qualities spearheaded by determination that don’t retract from walking ways of success no matter how great the challenges and few the possibilities are. Askalan devoted himself to teach his four daughters and married in 1961 at the age of 25 years old at that time.

The dream of becoming a pilot has been chasing Askalan, but his mother refused to do so fearing for him, so he obeyed her wish. Ashkelon was injured in the incident of robbery on the Bank's branch in Yemen and the dagger wounded his neck. That was the first adventure in his work when he moved to the bank branch in Aden, Yemen, where the branch has been newly opened.

He spent 11 years in this branch from 1958 until 1969 during which he witnessed the most violent and the most difficult periods in Yemen. However, this was not the only incident Askalan was exposed to. He was forced at one point to drive the car backwards for more than a kilometer to escape an area that was amid clashes during the events of Yemen's revolution, and it happened that an explosive device exploded on him after he crossed one of the bridge.

Apart from the banks, Askalan loves playing tennis, listening to music and going on trips

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