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A Proud Selfie —— The foreign employee in the Algerian refinery Mohammed


Mohammed, the Algerian employee, he took a selfie proudly as an employee of BUCG

Written by Dong Yu

Petroleum is the main national resource in Algeria With the 30% GDP contribution rate, it is of great strategic significance. In the southeast of the capital city Algiers, Algiers Refinery is surrounded by the military police and checkpoints. As the subcontractor of civil works, BUCG is expected to have over engineering upon completion. The annual crude oil handling capacity in the expanded refinery will reach 3.6 million tons.

When everyone was listening to the report during the visit to the refinery project, a picture attracted everyone’s attention. A tall and sturdy foreign employee took a picture proudly in the dim light of night beside the green BUCG LOGO from a non-professional angel at 45°from bottom to top. Who is he? Why he took a picture from this angle?

The full name of the Algerian employee is Mohammed Taleb, and the Chinese employees often call him Mohammed. He is a slash, a sunny and stylish man, an unready bridegroom.


The stereotype of young people in Algeria in people’s mind is that they have a French baguette in hand, drink a cup of coffee a day, and bask in the sun on the street idly. Different from this, Mahammed is the administrative personnel in the refinery projects, mainly responsible for handling work visa of Chinese employees. In his spare time, he is also a professional swimmer and basketball player, and he is proficient in Arabic, French and English. Over two years while he worked in BUCG, the big and burly man kept making improvement at work. In the process of handling work visa, he insisted on making repetitive inspection and verification in order not to make any mistake for fear that the government officials in the immigration bureau find any chance to ask for extra interests. At 6:00am every morning, Mahammed would start preparing detailed visa materials, and arrange them in good order on the table in the meeting room according to the procedures, and sometimes it would be at 00:00am after he left the construction site and arrived home. The picture everyone saw during the report was exactly taken by his friend on the road home when he happened to pass by another BUCG housing construction engineering after he worked overtime at midnight. Mahammed asked his friend to stop urgently, and he would take an intimate picture with BUCG LOGO. After he got off and posed very quickly, his friend took the candid photograph at the classic angle from the car window. I asked him, why he got off suddenly to take a picture with BUCG LOGO on the way home so late in the night? He answered, over two years while he worked in the refinery, he saw more and more BUCG LOGO appear on the streets of Algiers. Some projects have been completed, and some projects are just started. He felt very excited. BUCG has built a lot of high-quality engineering for Algeria. Looking at BUCG LOGO, he would feel proud of being a BUCG employee.

Sunny and stylish man

One of the biggest obstacles in international engineering is communication. In the refinery projects, even very shy Chinese employees would like to chat with Mahammed. When they feel unwell, Mahammed would accompany them to go to the hospital, for the employees would feel assured when Mahammed follows them. Mahammed ever said that he could feel the homesickness of Chinese employees: Sometimes when the Chinese employees chatted with their families through webcam, they felt very happy, but before the end of the call, they said “Don’t worry, everything is fine”. In spite of smile on their face, they held back tears. The stylish man said, “I would like to chat with everyone. Although their English may be not so good, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes they just need a warm smile, a good friend. I would like to be their good friend, especially I will not make them feel lonely when they are ill”. Actually, everyone doesn’t know that Mahammed’s father has difficulty with his business, his younger brother suffers from renal failure, and he is also the important economic and spiritual pillar in his family. Although we come from different countries and have different beliefs and customs, as long as we have confidence, we would not feel frustrated. Such identification doesnt need verbal communication, instead, it just calls for concentrated attention.

Unready bridegroom

On January 10, 2019, Mahammed and a beautiful girl got married. However, on the day before the wedding was held, he still worked overtime in the project department to handle an urgent visa issue for the Chinese employees. Due to limited time for visa, once the work visa expired, the workers had to leave the country. The deadline for the submission of materials was exactly on the day before the wedding was held. In order to ensure that the visa materials could be accurately passed, during the marriage leave, after he told his fiancée about it and she understood him, he took the initiative to come back to work overtime, and didnt got involved in any preparation for the wedding. During the wedding, all the Chinese employees came to the site to deliver their blessings. A good friend of Mahammed Zhang Jindi said, the kind-hearted good guy finally got married after being busy with work for so many days. It was really not easy. Finally, the handsome bridegroom fulfilled his marriage in a state of being kind of unready.

When the sun went down, the glittering sunshine shone on the factory area with intertwined pipelines. I strolled in the office area of the refinery with Mahammed. I could not help asking him, You ever worked in the French enterprise and the British enterprise, and you ever acted as a lawyer. Why you finally chose to be an administrative personnel in BUCG?He laughed heartily, saying, I earn respect in BUCG, and my value is approved. Here, everyone is young people who work diligently, are frank and honest with one another, provide mutual help, and treat each other sincerely. I have known a lot of Chinese friends. I love the tolerant and sunny team, and I also feel very glad to get on well with everyone. In the British enterprise and the French enterprise, my work suggestions were not taken. Instead, here it is taken as the goal to solve problems in BUCG. In the process of handling visa, I can give full play to my experience and value and gain recognition. Although I ever acted as lawyer, and I earned relatively considerable income, I feel assured to work here, and I am repaid and I deserve it for every cent I earn. Not everything can be judged with money.At this time, the setting sun made air full of warmth, and the slight orange red was on Mohammed. I believe that I saw a kind of power of belief. With belief, people would always be the strong ones.

In the future, the refinery will be operated as usual. There is the cross-cultural integration unique in international engineering, the ordinary stories derived from mutual respect, understanding, care and love under different beliefs and customs.