TheFace: Rozana Al-Tayyar, professional mediator in business disputes

Family photo of Rozana Al-Tayyar. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 22 March 2019

TheFace: Rozana Al-Tayyar, professional mediator in business disputes

  • Her experience as a financial analyst  partly managing complex relationships gave her the perfect education in how to become a mediator
  • "I see stories from every angle, and I help clients collaborate to see the other sides, and reach an agreement," she says

The business arena is a tough one, and ultimately, it is all about ensuring the success and growth of an endeavor. They do not always work out. Partners go through various disputes, often very costly and time-consuming, and unfortunately, they sometimes end up in court.

I am a business mediator — a third party to disputes briefed to help resolve them amicably, long before they reach that stage.

I am the daughter of a diplomat and grew up in London before moving to Athens with my family. I majored in computer science and engineering, which led to a placement at an oil refinery company in my senior year at college. I wanted to learn and I wanted to challenge myself, and soon after graduating, when we moved to Vienna, I was offered a job at the Saudi British Bank (SABB).

Starting as a financial analyst, part of my role was managing complex relationships. I spent 14 years at SABB honing my people skills, earning the trust of clients, learning how to negotiate and to read body language. It gave me the perfect education in how to become a mediator.

I founded my company TASWEA (meaning “settlement”) four years ago, when not many people knew or appreciated corporate mediation as a concept. In modern business culture, however, managing relationships and reputations is vital, and many people would rather resolve things with a professional behind closed doors than risk damage by feuding in public. It soon caught on.

As part of our culture, we are afraid of conflict but are quick to take sides, judge and apportion blame. But we mediators have a saying: “There are three sides to every story — there are the sides of both parties, and then there is the truth.” I see stories from every angle, and I help clients collaborate to see the other sides, and reach an agreement.

A recent UK study found that 70 percent of cases that go through professional mediation find an amicable solution. We allow each party to feel empowered, to express their emotions in a safe environment instead of betting the fate of their business on a legal route.

The best people to decide solutions to conflicts are often those involved in them. This is the most important point of mediation. All I do is help facilitate that dialogue, and as a mediator I find it extremely rewarding to make clients realize they have that power. 


Saudi space chief visits Moscow mission control center

Updated 11 min 4 sec ago

Saudi space chief visits Moscow mission control center

MOSCOW: The chairman of the Saudi Space Commission on Saturday visited the Moscow headquarters of Russia’s mission control center.
Prince Sultan bin Salman was received by the center’s supervisor, who briefed him on the center’s work and programs, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
They discussed establishing scientific and research cooperation in the areas of space and aeronautics, and the International Space Station.
Prince Sultan also visited the General Corporation for Heavy Space Industries, which is responsible for manufacturing spacecraft and developing technology. It produces most parts of the International Space Station.
He said his visit was in line with directives from King Salman to ensure close cooperation with Russia in the space sector and joint investments.
The Saudi Space Commission (SSC) was working at a “rapid pace” to complete an ambitious national strategy, he said, and the Kingdom was one of the region’s first countries to explore the future of space more than 34 years ago.
He added that programs were being prepared in partnership with Russian space institutions and agencies to train Saudi astronauts and to expand in space and satellite industries.
The prince said the commission was keen to invest in training Saudi talent through specialized programs and educational scholarships abroad.
Earlier this week, he visited the headquarters of the Russian space agency Roscosmos for a working session alongside its director-general, Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin.
“Russia considers Saudi Arabia a serious partner, with a great regional and international influence,” SPA reported Rogozin as saying.
Last month, Saudi Arabia and 10 other countries signed the first pan-Arab agreement on coordinating national exploration programs at the Global Space Congress in Abu Dhabi.
The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, said that the group’s first project would be a satellite system to be built in the UAE.
The agreement is unprecedented for the nations involved, whose levels of technical expertise vary. The first aim of the agreement will be to bring them all up to an equal level of capability.